Political violence has many faces: from riotous protests to wars between states. It remains ever-present and has immense moral and political implications. However, the overall development of political violence remains poorly understood. The first TraCe working paper outlines a research program.
Christopher Daase, Jonas J. Driedger, Stefan Kroll, Sabine Mannitz, Hendrik Simon and Jonas Wolff identify three general positions: Political violence has either declined, escalated, or taken different forms. The authors provide a basic framework to better group existing approaches, examine available findings, and to enable the design of further research to better understand the development of political violence.
The literature shows: narrower and broader definitions of political violence exist, each allowing for a more focused or wholistic investigations. It also distinguishes three crucial aspects of political violence: its forms and patterns, the role of political institutions, and its social construction and justification, which are respresented in the TraCe research areas. A basic typology on the direction, basic units, and forms of political violence is also proposed.
Together, these definitions, aspects, and basic concepts provide a general framework with which to explore new ways of developing political violence. Connecting different strands of research from different disciplinary perspectives is central to this.