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.
Twenty-eight year old casino worker, Giles Jones, is a disturbed and dangerous man. Having endured a tortured childhood and adolescence on account of his drug-addicted father, who later committed suicide, Giles has a lot of pent up anger. When Giles discovers that he has been defrauded of his inheritance from his late father's estate, he vows to exact his revenge. The first to die is Aylmer Jones, one of the trustees of the estate, followed by solicitor, Derek Bradshaw, who is gunned down with his wife in their home. Next Giles targets his stepmother, Coral, and her father, the other estate trustee, who has moved into Giles old family home where Giles is eventually arrested. Whilst Giles waits in prison to discover his fate, he is visited by his friend, Jessica Wu, another victim of theft and what she has to come to tell him throws him into a whole new agony of mind. Victims explores what can happen when a man is pushed to the limit and how the past impacts our present. A powerful and, in places, gruesome novel that will leave all crime fans wanting more.
Based on fieldwork in several countries, this book examines the politicisation of victims of terrorism and creates a picture of the needs of victims and the reality of the victimisation experience. Victims of terrorism are a unique group of individuals whose experience, while being exceptional in so many regards, is relegated to insignificance in the literature on terrorism. The theoretical approaches to terrorism recognise categories of victims of terrorism (primary, secondary and tertiary) and relate these victims to the notion of audience. This framework considers that the primary victims are in fact incidental to the act of terrorism as opposed to the 'audience' who is the true intended recipient of the communicative act. The positioning victims of terrorism in such a framework has contributed to their neglect in the study of terrorism. While this traditional approach may have been relevant when the incidence of terrorism remained of little significance globally, the same cannot be said of this group in recent years. After 9/11, many European countries (as well as the USA) took active steps to protect and provide for the victims of terrorism, particularly given the nature of victimisation post-3/11 (Madrid) and 7/7 (London). This book is based on extensive field work in Northern Ireland, London and Spain and presents the results, which focused on the needs and experiences of victims of terrorism and political violence, and critically analyses these findings comparatively and in their own right. The aim is to assess the provision of support initiatives in Northern Ireland, mainland UK and Spain and understand if victims' needs are being met by these initiatives but most importantly to construct a picture of the local and international interpretation of the experience of victimisation by terrorism. This book will be of much interest to students of terrorism and political violence, victimology, criminology, security studies and IR.
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