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The legitimation of violence: armed forces deployment within the state's boundaries

Grant number: 19/07372-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 25, 2019
Effective date (End): November 24, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - International Politics
Principal researcher:Héctor Luis Saint-Pierre
Grantee:David Paulo Succi Junior
Supervisor abroad: Michael C Williams
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências (FFC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Marília. Marília , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Ottawa (uOttawa), Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:18/11168-3 - From enemy definition to violence legitimation: armed forces employment inside national boundaries, BP.DR

Abstract

The analysis of the state's violence and its instruments management in International Relations are traditionally grounded in the sharp division between the internal and external domains. This framework overlaps territorial borders and community boundaries. From this perspective, the military forces are restricted to the interaction with their counterparts at the international sphere, since its employment within state's borders would mean to direct the instrument of lethality against members of the national community, which is considered illegitimate. This framework, however, neglects and does not allow us to explain how this type of military task has been incorporated into normality, being legally and socially accepted in many countries. This research aims to fulfill this gap, identifying the process through which the employment of the state's instrument of lethal force is legitimized. Legitimacy is conceived as a social process that (re)shapes the boundary of acceptable action, which encompasses both a cognitive and a normative dimension. I argue that legitimation of armed forces employment against individuals or groups within domestic borders is crystallized through two elements: moral exclusion, that is, the perception of a group or individual as alien to a community's justice concepts and the conception that the armed forces are the most technically appropriate instrument to deal with the excluded group. This research will be performed through a double methodological approach, addressing the analysis object from a theoretical and empirical point of view. The inquiry of specific empirical events in Argentina and Brazil will seek to identify the way in which discourses are articulated to produce the acceptance of this military task.

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