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Durham University

Durham Global Security Institute

Violence and Insecurity

The everyday of many people around the globe is characterized by violence and by multiple and often endemic forms of insecurity. Researchers and students at DGSi look into causes, forms, actors, and structures of violence and explore the societal dynamics that violence can unleash. Violence harms people and bodies, destroys buildings and infrastructures, and disrupts social and economic networks. Although violence is clearly destructive and harmful, it also has a productive and formative side, can create economic opportunities, produce new (gendered) identities and enable political change. We are interested in exploring violence from different angles, and look for example into the link between violence and state formation or how post-conflict reconstruction and attempts at peace- and statebuilding transform violence or generate new forms of violence. We discuss ethics of violence, and empirically explore how violence inscribes itself in bodies and memories or materialises in the built environment. Of particular interest is how violence is linked to power and domination or resistance. Core topics in DGSi are representations of violence, how such representations structure concepts of security and how both find their expressions in military or humanitarian interventions. Such explorations contribute to an understanding of violence, of social relations and power differences in which violence is embedded and which structure violent performances and of the ways violence can be contained or transformed.