Please join CENFAD for a talk by Dr. Uğur Ümit Üngör, Professor of History at the University of Amsterdam. His talk is titled Paramilitarism: Mass Violence in the Shadow of the State.
You can join in on this event via Zoom .
From the deserts of Sudan to the jungles of Colombia, and from the streets of Belfast to the mountains of Kurdistan, paramilitaries have appeared in violent conflicts in very different settings. Paramilitaries are generally depicted as irregular armed organizations that carry out acts of violence against civilians on behalf of a state. In doing so, they undermine the state's monopoly of legitimate violence, while at the same time creating a breeding ground for criminal activities. Why do governments with functioning police forces and armies set up and use paramilitary groups? Üngör tackles this question through the prism of the interpenetration of paramilitaries and the state. He interprets paramilitarism as the ability of the state to successfully outsource mass political violence against civilians, which transforms and traumatizes societies.