Making Enemies: Humiliation and International Conflict (Hardback)Evelin Lindner (author)
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When the statue of Saddam Hussein fell and Iraqis danced on the body, hitting it with their shoes, there was joy. Moments later, when an American soldier climbed the statue to place an American flag on the face, there was a national gasp, a moment of humiliation for the Iraqis. Americans had claimed to be liberating them, but the placing of the American flag was a sign of conquest. The flag was quickly removed and replaced with an Iraqi flag, but those tense moments were a brief example of the power and potentially far-reaching, volatile effects of humiliating acts, even when unintentional. In this fascinating work, Dr. Linder examines and explains, across history and nations, how this little-understood, often-overlooked emotion sparks outrage, uprisings, conflict and war.
With the insights of a seasoned psychologist and peace scholar, the analytical skill of a linguist who speaks seven languages, and the scholarship of a Columbia University professor, Lindner explains which words and actions can humiliate, how the victim perceives those words and actions, what the consequences have been, and how individuals and organizations can work to avoid instances in the future. From acts of humiliation in Nazi Germany to intentional humiliations such as those at Abu Graib, from events during the bloodbaths in Rwanda and Somalia, to precursors to the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, Lindner offers vivid examples to explain how humiliation can be at the core of international conflict.
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 549 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 25 mm
"[T]he objections that one may raise to particular propositions in a book that addresses the wide range of individual and social conflicts should not deflect us from recognizing the substantial contributions this volume makes to the resolution of human conflicts. As Lindner has demonstrated, humiliation, patently and subtly, is a common and destructive component in interactions between individuals or groups in conflict situations. It is an element that not only should but can be eliminated in social interaction." - PsycCRITIQUES
"The frequency of references to the consequences of humiliation, often accumulated over generations, in contemporary international conflict makes Lindner's topic an important and potentially fruitful one. Moreover, it is one that economics-mimicking approaches to international relations are likely to miss and is, accordingly, best served by approaches able to draw on psychology. Lindner is a social psychologist of considerable erudition, with deep knowledge of different cultures and fieldwork experience in many areas of conflict, particularly in Africa. She moves effortlessly between considerations of personal experiences of humiliation, many of them poignant, and their potential structural causes." - Foreign Affairs
"This is a social psychological investigation of the role of humiliation in human conflict. Lindner first lays out a theory of the mental and social dynamics humiliation and proposes the need for egalization (the undoing of humiliation) for a healthy global society. She then presents chapters on the role of misunderstandings in fostering feelings of humiliation; the role of humiliation in international conflict; and the relationship of humiliation to terrorism and torture. She concludes with a discussion of how to defuse feelings of humiliation." - Reference & Research Book News