Faces of Power and Conflict

Authored by: Tomás A. Mantecón

The Routledge Companion to Cultural History in the Western World

Print publication date:  September  2020
Online publication date:  September  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138649460
eBook ISBN: 9781003080206
Adobe ISBN:


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Conflict and power are part of social and political practice; every conflict is the result of a disagreement, which springs from unsolved social, cultural or political contradictions. In early modern Europe, the social and political intensity of conflict depended not just on the issue at stake and the actors taking part, but also on the social implications of the conflict. In a scale of conflict, war ranks much higher than riots, brawls, homicides, assaults and individual verbal insults: war was the reverberation, on a grandiose scale, of deep tensions caused by asymmetric relationships and broken pacts in the international arena. Power relationships are part of every conflict and its resolution. The chapter also aims to explain the faces and historical evolution of interpersonal violence and conflict in Western societies. Interpersonal confrontation, passions and interests, as well as social deviance and intolerance, were factors of conflict, often deeply rooted in beliefs, religion, ethnic origin, gender, class and socioeconomic status.

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