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Understanding torture: The strengths and the limits of social theory

Morris, L (2012) 'Understanding torture: The strengths and the limits of social theory.' International Journal of Human Rights, 16 (8). 1127 - 1141. ISSN 1364-2987

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This article explores the contribution that social theory can make to an understanding of the practice of torture. After a contextual introduction it addresses the idealist-realist divide, and the use made of Durkheim and Weber to respectively support two irreconcilable positions, thus displaying the limits of theory. The article then argues that social theory may be better suited to a more modest aim of analysing the social relations, social structures and discursive manoeuvres that underpin the practice of torture, while also considering the role of agency, constraint and individual responsibility. In this light the article revisits the use made of Durkheim and Weber in the opening debate and reconsiders the nature of their continuing relevance. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2012 13:29
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 12:15

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