Violence in a comprehensive perspective

We propose a brief analysis of the three documents that in the last few years have been elaborated by some scholars as comments on and/or updates of the Seville Statement on Violence. We maintain that not only the importance of war should be stressed, but also the role of aggressiveness, including "normative" aggressiveness in interhuman relationships, should be more deeply analyzed. Within this context we argue that the field of human-animal studies can become extremely useful in the study of interhuman violence. And this, above all, for two reasons: a) violence against animals typically exemplifies an essential constituent of human violence, namely the exertion of power over weaker individuals; b) it underlines humans' frequent difficult and destructive relationship with diversity. Thus, similarities between violence against animals and interhuman violence can be identified and, consequently, a comprehensive and more correct understanding of human violence, both against humans and animals, can be attained. For example, concepts like "socially acceptable" and "socially unacceptable" violence, which are commonly used in the study of human-animal relations, can be especially useful in the study of human violence in general. In conclusion, we suggest that violence can only be understood and countervailed if it is analyzed in a comprehensive perspective, which considers humans' destructive behaviour and attitudes toward humans, animals, and the rest of the planet.

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Contributo in atti di convegno
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Pagani, Camilla
Robustelli, Francesco
XXXIII CICA International Conference "The Seville Statement on Violence: twenty-five years later", pp. 34–35, Roma, 22-25 September 2011
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