Summary and Definitions

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Sargeson 11/7/13

(“Violence as Development: land expropriation and China’s urbanization”,

Sally Sargeson, independent writer focused on Chinese history with 2 other publications, 7 November, 2013, Accessed on 6/25/14,’s-urbanization#.U6pjXhapqagJWH)

Explanations of the violence occurring during land expropriation in China predominantly centre on competing actors’ efforts to capture, redistribute or defend income from land development, or violence as a differentiator of political ecology and a catalyst of villagers’ politicization. These explanations assume a) instrumental antagonism between rational, unitary collective actors and b) that violence is of limited temporal duration and spatial and social reach.¶ To conceptualize violence in a way that is not solely instrumental, or epiphenomenal and discrete, I build on Escobar’s proposition that violence is constitutive of development to argue for an alternative view: Violence authorizes and constitutes an inclusive, ongoing project of urban development in China. It authorizes development, because the rural spaces surrounding urban centres are characterized as institutionally insecure, disorderly, economically under-productive and incompatible with urban modernity. It constitutes development, because it involves an ideology of urban improvement, the government-directed transformation of property rights and land use, the reorganization of governing organizations and changes in villagers’ political and economic subjectivity. The concluding section of the seminar briefly demonstrates the generalizability and analytical and methodological utility of the concept of violence as development by applying it to three ‘most different’ cases of land expropriation in China: Wukan and the ‘urban villages of Guangzhou, in Guangdong province, and Zhejiang’s Tongxiang


Nelson Maldonado-Torres, associate professor of comparative literature at Rutgers, ‘8 [Against War: Views from the Underside of Modernity, p. 237-8] //DDI13

In this work I have attempted to make explicit the subtle complicities between dominant epistemological and anthropological ideals and the exercise of violence. The works of Levinas, Fanon, and Dussel oppose what I have called a paradigm of violence and war. This dominant paradigm is characterized by making invisible or insignificant the constitutive force of inter human contact for the formation of subjectivity, of knowledge, and of human reality in general. The relation with objects, whether practical or theoretical, takes primacy over the relation between human beings. The first motivation for this way of thinking is to attain knowledge, truth, comprehension, or adequate understanding. The self is thereby taken to be primarily a monad, a transcendental ego, or an autonomous and free human being for whom the relation with the Other tends to represent only an undesirable detour in the project of adequately representing the world. The self becomes allergic to the Other, and the intersubjective contact is then accounted for either in epistemological categories or in concepts tied to a theoretical approach. This philosophical anthropology ends up legitimating the superiority of theory over praxis and contemplation over liberation. One of my central points is that once a civilization begins to conceive the humanity of the human in these terms it will either commit violence with good conscience, find itself incapable of opposing violence, or legitimize ideals of peace that are complicit with violence. I trace dominant themes surrounding the discussion of the crisis or so-called malaise of Europe back to the allegiance of Western civilization to practices that obey the logics opened up by a skewed vision of the human. Such a vision combines claims for autonomy and freedom with the production of the color line or the systematic differentiation between groups taken as the norm of the human and others seen as the exception to it. The so-called discovery of the New World became a crucial point in the establishment of this vision: it oriented Western humanism in a radically dehumanizing direction. From then on, Western humanism argued for the glory of Man and the misery of particular groups of human beings simultaneously. Indeed, Man became the most glorious as he was able to claim relative independence from God and superiority over the supposedly less than human others at the same time. The relationship between (imperial) Man and God has been ambiguous for the most part, but not so the relation between Man and his inferior sub-others. It is as if the production of the "less than human" functioned as the anchor of a process of autonomy and self-assertion. The paradigm of war, at first reconciled to and to some extent promoted by imperial Christendom, legitimates war against God, nature, and, particularly, the less than human others. The relationship with God and nature, however, can vary. What typically remains constant for the warring paradigm is the assertion of the color line. The distinction between God, Man, and the non-human precedes the reduction of subjectivity to a totality or its naturalization. And it was the colonized and the modern slave who experienced the systematic negation of her and his subjectivity, long before positivism, naturalism, or philosophies of history subsumed subjectivity in larger frameworks or anonymous mechanisms. In modernity, the racialized others take the place of enemies in a perpetual war out of which modern ideals of freedom and autonomy get their proper sense. This is the foundation of modernity as a paradigm of war and the source of many of its pathologies, crises, and evils.


Wolfe 06 (Patrick, La Trobe Research Fellow in History at La Trobe University, Australia and author of Settler Colonialism and the Transformation of Anthropology: The Politics and Poetics of an Ethnographic Event , "Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native",, December 2006, pg 3,, CH)

The logic of elimination not only refers to the summary liquidation of Indigenous people, though it includes that. In common with genocide as Raphae¨l Lemkin characterized it,6 settler colonialism has both negative and positive dimensions. Negatively, it strives for the dissolution of native societies. Positively, it erects a new colonial society on the expropriated land base—as I put it, settler colonizers come to stay: invasion is a structure not an event.7 In its positive aspect, elimination is an organizing principal of settler-colonial society rather than a one-off (and superseded) occurrence. The positive outcomes of the logic of elimination can include officially encouraged miscegenation, the breaking-down of native title into alienable individual freeholds, native citizenship, child abduction, religious conversion, resocialization in total institutions such as missions or boarding schools, and a whole range of cognate biocultural assimilations. All these strategies, including frontier homicide, are characteristic of settler colonialism. Some of them are more controversial in genocide studies than others.
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