The research area Interpretations looks at the changing nature of political violence through the perspective of shifting interpretative processes, social practices and individual as well as collective normative evaluations.
In this context, the changing patterns of justification and attribution of meaning to political violence are considered. Moreover, the impact of memory discourses on shifting interpretations of violence will be considered. A special focus will be placed on the city as a central space for the practice and (re-)interpretation of violence.
Against the backdrop of the interpretive sovereignty of powerful actors, the research project examines the change in patterns of justification and attribution of meaning of political violence and the consequences. Drawing on the case study of Colombia, the effect of ligatures of violence (e.g. colonial norms and practices) on the development of violence, peace processes and authoritarian structures will be examined. Additionally, the recognition of colonial genocides (e.g. of Herero and Nama or of First Nations in settler colonial states) will be analyzed in order to investigate the reinterpretation of historical violence and the influence on political relations. The work package is coordinated by Philipps University Marburg and PRIF.
This work package examines how social reinterpretations of violence take place through the heritage or memory boom that has been observed since the 1980s/1990s. Drawing on case studies in different parts of the world, the project looks at the extent to which a reinterpretation of historical heroization takes place through, for instance, memorial overthrows. Researchers look at the way marginalized victims, perpetrators, and forms of violence become visible, how discourses shift from the counter-public sphere to the centre of social debates and how change in the official culture of commemoration is enabled. The work package is coordinated by Goethe University Frankfurt.
By focusing on the city, the work package looks at urban spaces as central for the practice and interpretation of violence. The work package is firstly dedicated to a historical analysis of violence in street protests by drawing on archival studies, interviews, and image analyses of urban protests in major cities in Europe and the USA. Research will trace the different actors, types of violence, their transformation, counter-measures and the conditions in cities as an influencing factor. In a further focus, urban terrorism and the relationship as well as interactions between cities and specific forms of Islamist terror will be examined. The work package is coordinated by the TU Darmstadt.