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Demilitarization in the Contemporary World$
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Peter Stearns

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037894

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037894.001.0001

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Demilitarization: Unraveling the Structures of Violence

Demilitarization: Unraveling the Structures of Violence

(p.19) 1 Demilitarization: Unraveling the Structures of Violence
Demilitarization in the Contemporary World

Andrew Bickford

University of Illinois Press

This chapter presents a case study regarding East Germany after reunification, and frames it in terms of a larger and interdisciplinary inquiry into what demilitarization is all about. Narrow conceptions of demilitarization that are centered solely on the destruction of weapons fetishize weapons, and these narrow views obscure analysis of the social relations and cultural constructions upon which militarization programs are dependent. Demilitarization implies a reversal of an implicit process or program—an unraveling—of ways of thinking and sensing that made a military solution thinkable and desirable. The chapter also looks at the salient foci of demilitarization at the “micro” level of everyday life and lived experience, and how states attempt to make certain kinds of citizens.

Keywords:   demilitarization, East Germany, weapons destruction, militarization, social relations, cultural constructions, military solution, lived experience

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