Political Violence and Political Murder: Comments on Franklin Ford’s Essay

  • Eric J. Hobsbawm


Any analysis of political violence is faced with the fundamental problem of how to delimit its subject. It is surely too narrow a view to consider political violence by marginal and fringe groups as the whole of the matter. Although this is in itself an interesting subject, I think it would probably be wrong to take such a restricted view. An even more limited approach would be to deal with this phenomenon exclusively in terms of ‘political murder’ as has been done by Franklin Ford. The key question is rather whether any such narrow definition of political violence will do, or whether we should approach the phenomenon along other lines of argumentation which lead us into much wider fields. Even though one may not wish to do so, the advisability or otherwise of trying to broaden our definition needs to be discussed, and this is what I should like to say a few words about.


Interpersonal Violence Political Violence Restricted View Social Protest Individual Violence 
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Copyright information

© Wolfgang J. Mommsen and Gerhard Hirschfeld 1982

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  • Eric J. Hobsbawm

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