(1) Practises of Violence – An Online Research Encyclopaedia
The Online Research Encyclopaedia has the goal to (1) document practices of collective violence as comprehensive as possible and (2) to analyse them comparatively along temporal and spatial axes.
Inspired by blogs, online encyclopaedias, and open access journals the platform aims at bringing together scholars from all disciplines and corners of the world (localities) – students and professors alike.
Practices of collective violence are universal in the sense that they have existed throughout human history (temporal) and in probably most if not all cultures (spatial). This omnipresence makes it necessary to cast a net as wide as possible in order to gather information regarding a broad range of cases.
The Practises of Violence Online Research Encyclopaedia is the visible End of the research on practices of collective violence. It presents basic information and resources on practice theory and violence research as well as the theoretical and methodological frame for the description of cases. The core of the Encyclopaedia, however, is the documentation of practices and their comparative analysis in theoretical papers.
(2) Psychology of Collective Violence – A (Universal) History
Violence, the harming of humans by other humans, is inherently a psychological topic. Interestingly, however, it is mostly not the violence itself but its causes, conditions, and the motivations of those carrying it out that psychologists work on, for example, aggression, inhibition, instincts, coercion, group dynamics, lust (pleasure). Further, violence research carried out in other disciplines refers to only a handful of psychological studies (e.g., Milgram, Asch, Tajfel, Zimbardo) in order to fill holes in their explanatory models. Finally, studies on collective violence, namely genocidal violence, are regularly an often rather eclectic mix of concepts and theories.
Therefore, there is a need to (1) properly historicise psychological conceptualisations and explanations of violence. (2) Such an account has to include more than the usual suspects. It has to present and discuss other Western psychologies like the diverse schools of culture sensitive psychologies (e.g., cross-cultural psychology. Kulturpsychologie). This has to encompass also non-Western models that aim to explain human behaviour in the context of collective violence.