Political Insults

scrambled eggs in a pan over the Eternal Flame near the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers and then ate them in the nearest park. Their actions were recorded on a video that was posted on the Internet. They were subsequently arrested and put on ...

Political Insults

Five women entered the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow and began a performance of a "Punk Prayer." Young people fried eggs on the eternal flame near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ukraine. A small island in the Japan Sea provoked a diplomatic spat between the leadership of Japan and South Korea. All of these incidents are examples of politically motivated insults that escalated into surprisingly significant clashes. While the field of conflict analysis has looked extensively at the dynamics of insults between individuals, it has largely ignored the more complicated dynamics of insult committed between groups, often of uneven political and social power. In this book, Karina V. Korostelina offers a novel framework for analyzing the ways in which seemingly minor insults between ethnic groups, nations, and other types of groups escalate to disproportionately violent behavior and political conflict. Insult can take many forms. Yet, as this book shows, it is always a social act mutually defined between groups, and it has the power to destabilize and redefine social and power hierarchies. Korostelina identifies six different drivers of political insults, producing a theoretical model for analyzing intergroup insult and conflict. She uses her model to explore each of the incidents above, among other recent conflicts, to explicate the complicated dynamics that figure within them. The book concludes with practical suggestions for analyzing and resolving complex conflict situations.

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