This introductory article to the Special Issue of Peace and Conflict Studies asks, “are we in the ‘Age of Resistance’ in a post-9/11 world?” It is argued the concept of “resistance” may be framed in a broad theoretical context to include multiple and contested meanings by social and political actors as well as by scholars and through intellectual debate. The article questions recent ideas prevalent in fauxpolitical science studies which promote a clash of civilizations, essentialize histories, support anachronistic Orientalist-approaches, and bolster foreign policy initiatives by removing the human element. The contention is for researchers and theorists to concentrate on “invisible histories”, which reveal the less understood elements of history, social organization, and the inter-connectedness of conflict and violence across a broad range of cultures. Anthropology as a discipline demonstrates how invisible histories are revealed in multi-valent and nuanced ways of the past in the present and through the social interrelatedness of violent expressions and their analytical understanding. Beyond this, it is claimed that epistemological conceptions of nationalism may be examined on different levels through cultures, localities, and regions as contested and multiple expressions, which confront generalist and monolithic images. Partially this is explained through the notion of the “distributed” and “partible” person, as an extension of human activity, political agency, and political ideology to complementary and constituent parts of collective but detotalized wholes. To conceptualize this theory, the Basques will be utilized as exemplifying how such ideas are applicable. In all, this Special Issue of Peace and Conflict Studies will present some new approaches for comprehending our post-September 11 world, not only in our understanding of conflict but our role as conflict-resolution-specialists.

Author Bio(s)

J. P. Linstroth, D.Phil., received his D.Phil. degree in Social Anthropology from the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA), University of Oxford, UK. He is the Special Issue Editor of the Journal Peace and Conflict Studies and Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution and Anthropology in the Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Nova Southeastern University. The focus of his D.Phil. research was centered upon the Basque Country of Spain by providing fresh insight to studies of conflict, gender, history, locality, nationalism, performance, and ritual. Aspects of his research have far reaching implications for the study of conflict and his publications reflect these varying interests, including more recent works on vigilantism and a forthcoming book on gender, nationalism, and commemorative ritual in the Basque Country. He can be reached at linstrot@nsu.nova.edu.


‘Age of Resistance’, anthropology, Basques, clash of civilizations, faux political science studies, foreign policy initiatives, nationalism, post-9/11 world

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