Beyond Suppression: Global Perspectives on Youth Violence

Beyond Suppression: Global Perspectives on Youth Violence

Beyond Suppression: Global Perspectives on Youth Violence

Beyond Suppression: Global Perspectives on Youth Violence

Synopsis

The Faustian bargain--in which an individual or group collaborates with an evil entity in order to obtain knowledge, power, or material gain--is perhaps best exemplified by the alliance between world-renowned human geneticists and the Nazi state. Under the swastika, German scientists descended into the moral abyss, perpetrating heinous medical crimes at Auschwitz and at euthanasia hospitals. But why did biomedical researchers accept such a bargain?

The Nazi Symbiosis offers a nuanced account of the myriad ways human heredity and Nazi politics reinforced each other before and during the Third Reich. Exploring the ethical and professional consequences for the scientists involved as well as the political ramifications for Nazi racial policies, Sheila Faith Weiss places genetics and eugenics in their larger international context. In questioning whether the motives that propelled German geneticists were different from the compromises that researchers from other countries and eras have faced, Weiss extends her argument into our modern moment, as we confront the promises and perils of genomic medicine today.

Excerpt

In my series foreword to Police Use of Force, the title that precedes this book in the Global Crime and Justice Series, I noted that in some countries of the world it is difficult to distinguish between the police and the military. Some of the chapters in the present book show that, in communities torn by political strife, in which regular police are ineffective or not trusted, parallel policing organizations often emerge, using violence to see that “justice” is done. See, for example, the chapter on Northern Ireland (chapter 9). Or, perhaps more pervasive in the urban ghettoes of big cities in developing and developed countries alike, youth gangs use violence to maintain a semblance of “social control” in their communities, and to protect themselves from other gangs. the chapters on urban gangs in Los Angeles (chapter 11), Harlem, Iraq (chapter 6), and many Latin American (chapter 16 and chapter 18) countries, including Haiti, provide moving accounts of these violent, foreign worlds. This volume addresses the flip side of the force that underwrites regular police activity: the violence of youth that irresistibly entices police to respond in kind to suppress it. in fact, myriad ways to prevent youth violence are practiced in many different parts of the world, depending on how violence is perceived.

The authors of this book effectively demonstrate that youth violence occurs in many different forms. It is a problem of public health, criminal justice, culture, economics, religion, politics, and even the military. Violence is a male, youthful phenomenon found in every corner of the world. and it has always been so. Its reach is so vast that one is tempted to conclude that it is wired into the human condition. Why try to prevent violence if it is inevitable? This book is a testimony to the fact that enough community workers and social scientists in many parts of the world think it is worthwhile to mitigate or reduce the levels of youth violence . . .

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