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eBook The Social Construction of Man, the State and War: Identity, Conflict, and Violence in Former Yugoslavia epub

by Franke Wilmer

eBook The Social Construction of Man, the State and War: Identity, Conflict, and Violence in Former Yugoslavia epub
  • ISBN: 0415929636
  • Author: Franke Wilmer
  • Genre: Other
  • Subcategory: Humanities
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (June 16, 2002)
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • ePUB size: 1812 kb
  • FB2 size 1594 kb
  • Formats lit doc azw rtf


Home Browse Books Book details, The Social Construction of Man, the State .

Home Browse Books Book details, The Social Construction of Man, the State, and. Social Construction of Man, the State, and War is the first book on conflict in the former Yugoslavia to look seriously at the issue of ethnic identity, rather than treating it as a given, an unquestionable variable. Combining detailed analysis with a close reading of historical narratives, documentary evidence, and first-hand interviews conducted in the former Yugoslavia, Wilmer sheds new light on how ethnic identity is constructed, and what that means for the future of peace and sovereignty throughout the world.

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The Social Construction of Man, the State, and War is the fist book on conflict in the former Yugoslavia to look seriously at the issue of ethnic identity, rather than treating it as a given, an unquestionable variable.

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The Social Construction of the State: State-Building and State-Destroying as Social Action. Some historians have already opted to uphold a state-centric view of world politics by naming the violence in ex-Yugoslavia the Yugoslav wars of secession.

Franke Wilmer has written an unusually rich book about one of the more bloody chapters in recent international histor. ilmer introduces affect and emotion to a constructivism that has been bereft of both. - Perspectives on Politics. Politics & International Relations. BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: HIS005000. HISTORY, Europe, Baltic States. HISTORY, Europe, Eastern.

MORE BY Robert Legvold. January/February 2003. Rather, in their brutality, these wars offer discouraging proof of how undiminished the capacity for inhumanity remains - the topic of Wilmer's book. Yugoslavia is not her area of expertise, although in her travels and reading she clearly has become expert; instead, she tries to explain why normal people become butchers - and whether the possibility exists in us all.

Franke Wilmer lets the people of Yugoslavia speak in their own voices. Constructivists have never adequately confronted the unrelenting violence that our moral communities have so often presided over. Professor Wilmer has made it impossible to ignore. - Nicholas Onuf, Florida International University "A very interesting and innovative project. gives as good an overview of the long history of Yugoslavia as I have seen anywhere. I think it will be quite provocative and successful.

The Social Construction of Man, the State, and War is the fist book on conflict in the former Yugoslavia to look seriously at the issue of ethnic identity, rather than treating it as a given, an unquestionable variable. Combining detailed analysis with a close reading of historical narratives, documentary evidence, and first-hand interviews conducted in the former Yugoslavia, Wilmer sheds new light on how ethnic identity is constructed, and what that means for the future of peace and sovereignty throughout the world.
Comments: (2)
Rainbearer
This book is a model of interdisciplinary scholarship. Wilmer holds central concepts of research on global politics—war, violence, power, nation-states, (ethnic) identity/conflict—up to scrutiny and investigates their formation and normalization. She integrates psychology into her analysis of identity and violence at all levels, from the level of the individuals who form identity groups to the level of group dynamics. This isn’t always a popular move for scholars in international relations, who are likely to bracket psychological issues. What she gets from this integration of psychology is a cogent and humane analysis of motivation and political change that underwrites her principal questions about war and brutality: “why here?,” “why now?,” “why this way?” Wilmer does not slight structural and historical factors in her analysis of war; indeed, her social constructivist approach makes leadership, cultural practices, and political institutions central. Her contribution is in the way she sees psychological, cultural, and political factors interacting to produce the effects she analyzes. It’s also important to note that, unlike many works of social construction that have the tendency to reduce the site of study to the linguistic habits of its members, Wilmer’s social construction is a method that doesn’t sacrifice social and material relations to the putative power of symbolic representation.

Wilmer uses feminist scholarship in the fields of human rights and international relations, but she also draws on other bodies of feminist literature to analyze phenomena such as the development of gender identity, social constructions of gender, feminist epistemology, and the social meanings of violence against women. Gender is a central category of her analysis of violence as she examines, for example, mass rapes in warfare in the former Yugoslavia and the role of ideologies of masculinity in war. Yet she isn’t reductive in attributing particular characteristics to categories of people. Noting that women in ex-Yugoslavia didn’t differ from men in championing nationalist causes and leaders, she’s perceptive about the need to use gender, as well as ethnicity, as an analytic lens through which to understand the normalization of states, nationalisms, and group-sanctioned violence.
Nikojas
I bought this book by Franke Wilmer for the following reasons:

1. The title refers directly to Kenneth Waltz' Man, the state and War, which means the author is not hiding her ambitions with this book. That's the same thing Alex Wendt did with his Social Theory of International Politics which countered Waltz' book Theory of International Politics.

2. I'm extremely symphatetic to social construcitivism - I think it's the right way to think about International Relations.

3. I wanted to know more about the Balkans.

To me, the book was a big disappointment. While Wilmer and Wendt both are constructivists, Wendt is a realist while Wilmer seems to be an interpretivist in epistemological terms. The book has no clear problem or research question, but rather presents a minimum of ten questions for each chapter that are never properly answered. Clearly, Wilmer is a critical theorist who seeks to deconstruct some common perceptions about the Yugoslavia conflict.

The book's structure is a big mess. Theory mixed with empirical evidence (based on interviews with former citizens) in every chapter is a great strategy for confusing the reader. Worse is it that the same quotes from other theorists appear multiple times, making some of the theoretical parts sound like a broken record.

Relying extensively on interviews with former Yugoslavia citizens she tries to show that we cannot think of war only as a product of structural/materialistic factors. For that I agree, and the book may be fairly successful if the aim is to convince the reader that there is more to conflict than the international environment/internal economic problems. I just wish this was written in a more elegant way, maybe employing a realist epistemology to show how identities were constructed/changed before/during the conflict. She certainly touches upon these questions, but tries to deconstruct so many other things at the same time that it is impossible to get hold of what happened.

I wish this great title had been reserved for a more moderate constructivist project.
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