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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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PKK Violence against Civilians: Beyond the Individual Understanding Collective Targeting

Juan Masullo and Francis O’Connor

This article examines the logic of civilian targeting in the Turkish-Kurdish civil war. It analyzes two instances of PKK violence: against pro-state Village Guards’ families in the 1980s and school-teachers in the 1990s.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

This article examines the logic of civilian targeting in the Turkish-Kurdish civil war. It analyzes two instances of PKK violence: against pro-state Village Guards’ families in the 1980s and school-teachers in the 1990s. Against original data, we evaluate the extent to which the dominant conceptual tools available in civil war literature help us make sense of these instances and argue that there is a need to go beyond the established selective/indiscriminate distinction if we want to capture the logic of PKK’s targeting. Consequently, we build on and specify further recent conceptual developments in the field and show that both cases are better understood as instances of collective targeting. We further show, however, that the collective nature of each differs in relevant ways: while the killing of the families of Village Guards constitutes an instance of collective targeting in the sense of “extended group association,” in the case of school teachers there are indications of a secondary spatially differentiated selection criteria accompanying the collective logic. Our analysis emphasizes the field’s need for stronger conceptual foundations underpinning our theories of violence against civilians, as well as the limitations of understandings rooted in an “ontological individualism” when applied without careful consideration to non-Western societies.

Masullo J., O'Connor F. (2017) 'PKK Violence against Civilians: Beyond the Individual Understanding Collective Targeting', Terrorism and Political Violence, Taylor and Francis Online, London, pages 1-23, DOI: 10.1080/095

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2017.1347874

News

10/11/2017

Call for Application Now Open: Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities

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We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the Summer School on Youth Political Participation in Times of Inequalities, sponsored by the Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities project (EURYKA) and the Centre on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS).

26/10/2017

Now Online! The plenary session (Un)making Europe of the 13th ESA Conference

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During the plenary session, Donatella della Porta and Yanis Varoufakis spoke about the future of Europe and the social consequences of neoliberal economies.

06/10/2017

Open Democracy Post - "The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

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Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society. This post at Open Democracy addresses this issue from a different angle.

Publications

Journal Article - 2017

Digital Capitalism and the End of Politics: The Case of the Italian Five Star Movement

Loris Caruso
This article investigates the political and cultural nature of the Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement, M5S) by (1) analyzing its discourse on democracy, its organizational choices and its main issues; (2) comparing these elements with populism and the left; and (3) linking its fundamental characteristics to contemporary economic processes usually termed “digital capitalism.”

Journal Article - 2017

Framing exclusion in the public sphere: Far-right mobilization and the debate on Charlie Hebdo in Italy

Pietro Castelli Gattinara
While the January 2015 Paris terrorist attacks presented a crucial opportunity for far-right mobilisation, the focus on liberal democratic values and Charlie Hebdo’s non-conformist progressive profile presented challenges for right-wing discourse. Taking Italy as a paradigmatic case of public controversies on cultural and religious affairs, this article examines the opportunities and constraints generated by multicultural crises for far-right framing choices.