Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences - Berlin Graduate School of Social Science

Agnieszka Niezgoda

Agnieszka Niezgoda
agnieszka.niezgoda (at)

Dissertation Topic

The Dynamics of Recurrent Violence in Divided Societies.



Considering that societies with a problem of recurrent violence tend to be very unequal, but not all highly unequal societies are violent, the project explores the puzzling logics of persistent, intractable violence. It attempts to explain the processes of violence escalation and containment not only with socio-economic structures of inequalities and exclusions, but also in terms of shared cultural meanings, a specific consensus concerning the legitimate social order taken as a basis of successful social communication and integration. The dynamics of violence is linked to specific political developments such as the emergence of populism, authoritarian tendencies and the state’s power to get the monopoly on violence. The empirical investigation focuses on Latin America, the most unequal region in the world. The proposed model offers an alternative to the culturalist interpretations of recurrent violence as well as to the approaches, dominating in the field of political science, which identify the state power as the only determinant of social stability.



Prof. Dr. Klaus Eder