The Moral Geographies of Political Violence: Using GIS to Map and Explain Public Opinion on Political Violence
Conflict research is generally focused on explaining those people that engage in violence. This thesis suggests that we also study ordinary civilians and their opinions and support for violence. Such a civilian-centered research focus is necessary because implicit in much of conflict research there are some underlying assumptions, moral judgments, and geographic ideas about violence-supporters. These ideas which can be called imaginary moral geographies of political violence (MGPV) are causing large divides in the conflict literature. It is preferable to study violence-support directly rather than to imagine them. Attempting to empirically explain and describe the spaces and geographies of support for violence in a GIS may be one fruitful way to better understand political violence and its supporters. Using multilevel modeling various theories are tested to find out why people really support the use of violence. Generally, the finding in the thesis is that most of the varied theories have some influence on support for violence. Similarly, based on geo-locating levels of support to the national and province level, we also find that the real MGPV’s can be said to be mixture of most imagined MGPVs. Violence-support is neither entirely supported, nor entirely opposed and that neither is it only located ‘over there’ or ‘over here’. Nor should violence-support be judged since it clearly can happen to any of us, depending on our situation.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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