Victims and Values joins history and ethics, conducting a timely inquiry into conscience and politics. Mindful of William James's notion that ethics must be grounded in the historical situation, this book examines fundamental ambiquities, dichotomies, and contradictions that we experience about the worth of our own suffering and that of others. In particular, it analyzes how victims make a powerful claim upon contemporary conscience and politics. Amato distances himself equally from those who deny suffering all substantive meaning and those who fashionably transform it into self-righteous identities and political rhetorics and ideologies. Amato's hope is that each person will be able to take measure of the suffering of others, while still remaining able to value his own suffering. After distinguishing pain from suffering, Amato starts his work with the assumption that humanity must interpret and give meaning to its pains and sufferings. Amato examines the fundamental place of suffering, sacrifice, and victims in Greek and Christian cultures. Reaching the central object of his study, the modern mind, Amato shows how the reformist world view of the eighteenth century philosopher sought to reduce suffering to a matter of rational calculation and how the progressive views of the nineteenth century dedicated the most profound energies of society and state to the elimination of human suffering. Ironically, in the twentieth century this resulted in an increasingly hedonistic society that is preoccupied with suffering and its rights, victims and their claims. Historians, philosophers, political scientists, theologians, and lay people will all find a lively forum in Amato's work.
The refugee phenomenon is a major force in international politics. This is more so in sub-Saharan Africa where refugees are major actors in the affairs of their home and host countries. But, are refugees just victims of insecurity or also major causes of insecurity? Mogire analyses how and why refugees, victims of insecurity caused by persecution and the many incessant conflicts which continue unabated, have come to be viewed by scholars and practitioners as security threats. Using Kenya and Tanzania as empirical case studies, this volume examines the nature of this threat, its projection and responses. Moreover, it highlights how, if at all, these threats are different or similar to other security threats faced by these countries.
<P>The author of this groundbreaking volume is not only a social scientist and victim advocate; she is also the mother of a murder victim. Deborah Spungen illustrates how and why family members become co-victims when a loved one is murdered, and she poignantly addresses the emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological effects of such traumatic events. These "invisible victims" often find their wounds compounded by confusion and a sense of aloneness in the aftermath of such a tragic event. </P><P>The author draws on research, personal insight and case examples to illuminate critical issues that surround: family notification of a loved one's murder, effects of murder on family and friends of the victim, media influences, traumatic grief, circumstantial influences, the criminal justice system and reconstruction and healing. The book will be invaluable for mental health practitioners and victim advocates. </P>
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