violent conflicts without an understanding of the legacy of colonial rule

BLURB: War is commonly conceptualised as irrational, mindless and solely destructive, typified by the World Bank’s notion that “war is development in reverse”. A clear distinction is drawn between violence and civilisation. War is viewed as an indication of failed development and of failed transition to modernity. In this introductory lecture, we analyse this ‘liberal’ interpretation of war and question the dichotomy that has been constructed between development and violence. We challenge the “historical amnesia” (Cramer) upon which such claims are made, and instead examine the diverse ways in which violence has historically been embedded, in varying ways, in processes of state formation and capitalist transition as well as state breakdown and underdevelopment. We assess the role that violence and war has historically played in shaping social, political and economic change and in processes of state formation, imperialism, decolonisation, capitalism and democratisation. In doing so, the lecture offers a number of alternative ways of interpreting the relationship between violence, conflict and development. It also introduces a number of core themes that underpin the course, including: how to engage with different types of violence, the relationship betw

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