Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee


  • Robert Paul Churchill
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_405

Violence is among the most politically contested of all concepts. For this reason understanding violence must begin with careful conceptual analysis and attention to definitions of “violence” in contrast to proposals for extending or contracting usage of the term. The notion of “institutional,” or “structural,” violence as well as the notion of “nonviolent coercion” can be assessed in terms of the reasons for extending or contracting a more basic concept of violence. However it is defined, violence is universally conceded to be inherently bad, and therefore, only instrumentally justifiable. In this connection discussions of violence have critically important implications for global justice. First, discussions of violence often involve two perennial but dubious assumptions, specifically – the belief that violence is a manifestation of power and, additionally, the belief that violence or preparations for violence are valuable in developing the character, strength, or spirit of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Paul Churchill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyColumbian College of Arts & Sciences, George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA