2/10/2020 – CFC: Violence and Environmental Crisis

cfp crisis violence

What, when & where


Violence: An international journal – Call for papers

Violence: An international journal is launching a call for papers on the theme “Violence and environmental crisis”. This theme section will be coordinated by Paola REBUGHINI (University of Milan). For its general articles’ section, Violence: An international journal is also welcoming papers that deal with issues of violence and exiting violence. Each issue will be coordinated by its two Editors-in-Chief: Scott STRAUS (UW-Madison) and Michel WIEVIORKA (EHESS, Foundation Maison des sciences de l’homme).

Can we speak about violence when describing biodiversity loss, the destruction of natural sanctuaries like Amazonia and the Great Barrier Reef, or when observing the spillage of illegally polluting wastes? How long is the chain of violence related to environmental crisis? And who are the perpetrators and the victims of such violence? In which way can we speak about violence, and can this violence be legitimated or condemned? All this raises theoretical, normative, linguistic and empirical questions to be discussed in the articles fostered by this call.

It is common sense that environmental crisis has been underway for a very long time, and is nowadays the object of political and economic discussions at the highest levels of governance. And yet, environmental crisis is rarely explicitly associated with forms of social violence. Environmental crisis also has not been figured prominently in a reconsideration of the conceptualization of violence, whereby violence could include not only interpersonal behavior but also more extensive forms of severe or irreversible harm against nature and life itself, as pointed out by the field of green criminology. In the modern Western tradition, violence is included within categories and concepts variously related to power, the state, politics, culture and symbols. With regard to this, violence has been analytically separated from natural environment, while what happens to the ecosystems in interaction with humans can have important consequences on humans themselves and on their social and political relations.

This special issue would like to foster:

  • Empirical investigations and theoretical discussions around the connection between social injustice and ‘environmental injustice’. This concerns the way in which climate change and environmental catastrophic events frequently hit with violent consequences the lives of people at the margins of society and of globalized economic production. Racism, ethnic violence, gender-based violence, political violence or violence against minorities can be the consequences of the competition for resources engendered by the social impacts of climate change, and by the related forms of social inequality. Moreover, inequalities in terms of health risks are related with conditions of poverty, emerging diseases, and ecosystems’ damages.
  • Empirical investigations and theoretical discussions around the plausibility of the extension of the notion of violence beyond the human. If nature is no longer conceptualized as a merely resource to be exploited by human–such as in current ecological sensibility–and it can be represented as a web of living entities in which we are included–the connection between social violence and ecological issues should be better highlighted, even rephrased.
    Power relations and violent behavior are more and more intertwined with environmental events: the ones to be harmed–human and nonhuman–are often on the same side. Indeed, violence against the environment is always also a violence against the human, and this is often part of such forms of violence that are not qualified as recognizable. In most cases, the impacts of environmental disasters aren’t spectacular or sudden. The connections between environmental crisis and violence are insidious, hidden, it is difficult to grasp them. How can these dynamics of violence be conceptualized and defined?
  • The intertwinement of violence and environmental crisis can be investigated also in relation to political action. For example, since the 1980s radical environmental movements have appeared incorporating anti-anthropocentric and millenarian themes (from Earth First! to current Extinction rebellion mobilizations). Into these mobilizations, violence is thematized both as a problem of the relation between human beings and their ecological environment, and as a tool for political action (non-violence and civil disobedience versus the necessity to protect the environment ‘whatever it takes’). What are these relations in current global and local mobilizations?

Deadline & how to apply

Fully written articles for the theme section “Violence and environmental crisis” must be sent before October 2nd 2020. You can send articles for the general articles’ section throughout the year.

For both the theme “Violence and environmental crisis” and for the general articles’ section, and other sections, please upload your article on the journal’s online platform, hosted by our co-publisher, SAGE Publications: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/violence. Articles should include a summary, a detailed bibliography and a short biography. Each article should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length (including footnotes, bibliography, biography). It should be sent, preferably, in Word format and use, systematically, Harvard Reference Style.

Other info, Links & conditions

If you have any question on the submission process or on the journal, please write to Violence’s managing editor, Charlotte Groult: cgroult@msh-paris.fr

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