Spiral of the Complication of Violence: a Demand for a Humanistic Policy

Spiral of the Complication of Violence:
a Demand for a Humanistic Policy

Kravchenko S.A.,

Head of Sociology Department, MGIMO University; Principal Researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, sociol7@yandex.ru

elibrary_id: 77019 | RESEARCHER_ID: H-5769-2016

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2019.05.04

For citation:

Kravchenko S.A. Spiral of the Complication of Violence: a Demand for a Humanistic Policy. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No. 5. P. 43-55. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2019.05.04


The effect of complicating the nature of violence – the transition from its traditional, relatively “simple” forms to increasingly complex ones – is considered in this article. The author shows the failure of the two dominant approaches “overcoming” this, as have been historically prevailing, with the help of the following: 1) retaliatory violence against primary violence and 2) the “treatment” of violence through a formal rationalization of people’s vital activity; this actually leads not to its denial, but to the imposition of some forms of violence over others and to changes of rigid punishments with “softer” ones. As a result, more complex manifestations of violence are formed – the author defines this effect as the spiral of the complication of violence. The factors that determine its dynamics are shown, which include: the accelerating change in people’s material, economic and social conditions as life changes under the influence of industrial revolutions; the emergence of globo-local-enclave interdependencies, accompanied by the growth of complex violence between civilizations, states and non-state entities; anthropogenic violence on the planet. The complicated manifestations of violence have ambivalent consequences on the nature of interaction of social actors: on the one hand, there have been unprecedented challenges in the form of privatized violence, “hybrid illegal-legitimate” wars, illegitimate sanctions, and “liquid evil”; but on the other hand, bridges are created that contribute to the integration of people and cultures. According to the author, the consequences of the spiral of the complication of violence dictate the need to move to new trends in the development of human relations, to search for answers to the emerging challenges in the context of humanistic policies. Of particular importance is the acceptance of the humanistic turn in modern knowledge. In practical terms, this is needed for working out adequate strategies to deal with metamorphoses of violence.

violence, arrow of time, multifactorial causation, complex socium, the spiral of complication of violence, socio-techno-natural reality, metamorphoses of violence, humanistic turn.


Bauman Z. 2009. Liquid Times. Living in an Age of Uncertainty. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Bauman Z. 2011. Collateral Damage. Social Inequalities in a Global Age. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Beck U. 2007. Cosmopolitan Version. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Beck U. 2010. World at Risk. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Beck U. 2016. The Metamorphosis of the World. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Braidotti R. 2013. The Posthuman. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Emerson R.M. 1964. Power-Dependence Relations: Two Experiments. – Sociometry. Vol. 27. No. 3. P. 282-298. https://doi.org/10.2307/2785619

Giddens A. 2014. Turbulent and Mighty Continent. What Future for Europe? Cambridge: Polity Press.

Heidegger M. 1993. Basic Writings. London: Routledge.

Mosco V. 2017. Becoming Digital. Toward a Post-Internet Society. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited.

Perrow Ch. 2011. The Next Catastrophe: Reducing our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters. Princeton University Press. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781400838516

Tiryakian E. 2014. Civilization in the Global Era: One, Many… or None? – Social and Regional Studies in the Global Age. Ed. by S. Arjomand. New York: SUNY Press. P. 91-112.

Vanderburg W.H. 2011. Our War on Ourselves. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Vanderburg W.H. 2016. Our Battle for the Human Spirit. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Wieviorka M. 2017. Europe Facing Evil: Xenophobia, Racism, Anti-Semitism and Terrorism. – Europe’s Crises. Ed. by M. Castells. Cambridge: Polity Press. P. 205-223.

Yanitsky O. 2010. Russian Environmentalism. The Yanitsky Reader. Moscow: Taus.


Baudrillard J. 2003. Pour une critique di l’économie politique du signe (Russ. ed.: Baudrillard J. K kritike politicheskoi ekonomii znaka. Moscow: Biblion-Russkaya kniga).

Durkheim E. 1996. De la division du travail social (Russ. ed.: Durkheim E. O razdelenii obshchestvennogo truda. Moscow: Kanon).

Foucault M. 2007. Le pouvoir psychiatrique. Cours au Collège de France (1973-1974) (Russ. ed.: Foucault M. Psikhiatricheskaya vlast’. Kurs lektsii, prochitannykh v Kolledzh de Frans v 1973-1974 uchebnom godu. Saint Petersburg: Nauka).

Foucault M. 2010. Naissance de la biopolitique: Cours au College de France (1979-1979) (Russ. ed.: Foucault M. Rozhdenie biopolitiki. Kurs lektsii, prochitannykh v Kolledzh de Frans v 1978-1979 uchebnom godu. Saint Petersburg: Nauka).

Fromm E. 2006. Escape from Freedom (Russ. ed.: Fromm E. Begstvo ot svobody. Moscow: AST).

Global’nyi krizis zapadnoi tsivilizatsii i Rossiya [Global Crisis of Western Civilization and Russia]. 2009. Moscow: LIBROKOM.

Gumanisticheskii povorot: imperativ chelovecheskoi tsivilizatsii. 2018. Pod obshch. red. S.A. Kravchenko [The Humanist Turn: The Imperative of Human Civilization. Ed. by S.A. Kravchenko]. Moscow: MGIMO University. (In Russ.)

Knyazeva E.N., Kurdyumov S.P. 2007. Sinergetika: Nelineinost’ vremeni i landshafty koevolyutsii [Synergetics: Nonlinearity of Time and Landscapes of Co-Evolution]. Moscow: KomKniga. (In Russ.)

Kravchenko S.A. 2015. Bridges Connecting All Possible Cleavages in Sociology for a More Equal World. – Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 2. P. 29-38. (In Russ.)

Kravchenko S.A. 2017. Metamorphoses: Essence, Increasingly Complex Types, Place in Sociology of Knowledge. – Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 10. P. 3-14. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.7868/s0132162517100014

Marx K. 2000. Ökonomisch-philosophische Manuskripte aus dem Jahre 1844 (Russ. ed.: Marx K. Ekonomiko-filosofskie rukopisi 1944 goda. – Marx K. Sotsiologiya. Sbornik. Moscow: KANON-press-Ts, Kuchkovo pole. P. 177-323).

Prigogine I., Stengers I. 2000. Order out of Chaos (Russ. ed.: Prigogine I., Stengers I. Poryadok iz khaosa. Novyi dialog cheloveka s prirodoi. Moscow: Progress).

Sorokin P.A. 1992. Sotsiologicheskie teorii sovremennosti [Sociological Theories of Our Time]. Moscow: Akademiya nauk SSSR. (In Russ.)

Sorokin P.A. 2000. Sotsial’naya i kul’turnaya dinamika: Issledovanie izmenenii v bol’shikh sistemakh iskusstva, istiny, etiki, prava i obshchestvennykh otnoshenii [Social and Cultural Dynamics: A Study of Changes in Large Systems of Art, Truth, Ethics, Law and Public Relations]. Saint Petersburg: ZHGI. (In Russ.)

Sorokin P.A. 2009. Krizis nashego vremeni [The Crisis of Our Time]. Moscow: ISPR RAS. (In Russ.)

Stepin V.S. 2008. O filosofskikh osnovaniyakh sinergetiki [On the Philosophical Foundations of Synergetics]. – Sinergetika: Budushchee mira i Rossii. Pod red. G.G. Malinetskogo [Synergetics: The Future of the World and Russia. Ed. by G.G. Malinetsky]. Moscow: LKI. P. 20-21. (In Russ.)

Toshchenko Zh.T. 2015. Fantomy rossiiskogo obshchestva [Phantoms of Russian Society]. Moscow: Tsentr sotsial’nogo prognozirovaniya i marketinga. (In Russ.)

Toshchenko Zh.T. 2018. Prekariat: ot protoklassa k novomu klassu [Precariate: From Protoclass to New Class]. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.)

Yadov V.A. 2002. Nekotorye sotsiologicheskie osnovaniya dlya predvideniya budushchego rossiiskogo obshchestva [Some Sociological Reasons for Predicting the Future of Russian Society]. – Rossiya reformiruy­ushchayasya [Russia Reforming]. Moscow: Academia. P. 349-363. (In Russ.)

Content No. 5, 2019

See also:

Kapustin B.G.,
To the Notion of Political Violence. – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No6

Sulimov K.A.,
Politico-Philosophical Conception of Political Violence: the Search after Sense. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No3

Rozov N.S., Pustovoit Yu.A., Filippov S.I., Tsygankov V.V.,
Revolutionary Waves of the Second Half of the 20th Century: an Interplay between Geopolitics, Violence, and Legitimacy. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No2

Rozov N.S.,
The specificity of «russian power» as determined by mental structures, by ritual practices, and by institutions. – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No1

Beck U.,
Living in and coping with world risk society: the cosmopolitan turn. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No5



Introducing an article

Polis. Political Studies
5 2006

Mezhuyev B.V.
The “Orange Revolution”: a Reconstruction of the Context

 The article text


   2024      2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991