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Violence and Human Development

The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
  • Design
  • Psychology


For centuries, mankind has watched, helplessly, as his capacity for planetary destruction has outdistanced his ability to comprehend the reasons for human violence. In desperation, man has scoured the animal kingdom searching for a model of comportment, and he has returned, empty- handed, from his quest. Psychology has insisted that it has a clue to the crude recipe for the creation of violent individuals and that the analysis of violence at a personal, group, national, or international level must focus on the nature of the develop ing human being who will—by happenstance or cold design— succeed to a position of leadership. The psychological struc ture of the leader and of his lieutenants is a vital piece of the puzzle of violence both at the juvenile resort-riot level and in the game of cold war-hot war bluff. Without an increased understanding of the forces that shape the individual, we will forever fail to comprehend the direction that international violence may take.

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