Synopses & Reviews
Why do some conflicts escalate into violence while others dissipate harmlessly? Under what circumstances will people kill, and why?
While homicide has been viewed largely in the pathological terms of "crime" and "deviance," violence, Mark Cooney contends, is a naturally-occurring form of conflict found throughout history and across cultures under certain social conditions. Cooney has analyzed the social control of homicide within and across over 30 societies and interviewed several dozens of prisoners incarcerated for murder or manslaughter, as well as members of their families. Violence such as homicide can only be understood, he argues, by transcending the traditional focus on the social characteristics of the killer and victims, and by looking at the role played by family members, friends, neighbors, onlookers, police officers, and judges. These third parties can be a source of peace or violence, depending on how they are configured in particular cases. Violence flourishes, Cooney demonstrates, when authority is either very strong or very weak and when third-party ties are strong and boundaries between groups sharply defined.
Drawing on recent theory in the lively new sociological speciality of conflict management, Mark Cooney has culled a vast array of evidence from modern and preindustrial societies to provide us with the first general sociological analysis of human violence.
"Will be welcomed by all interested in African history and anthropology. A valuable contribution and a rich mine of material."
--Journal of African History
In many parts of the African Muslim world, slavery still blights the landscape. What are the origins of this terrible institution? Why is it still practiced? How widespread is it and how does it differ from Western chattel slavery?
This book tells the story of how the enslavement of Africans by Berbers, Arabs, and other Africans became institutionalized and legitimized throughout Muslim Africa. A classic, pioneering study, first published in 1971 and extensively updated in this revised edition, Slavery in the History of Black Muslim Africa provides an expansive portrait of domestic slavery from the tenth to the nineteenth century in the context of the religious, social, and economic conditions of the African Islamic world.
Drawing on a host of accounts from contemporary observers such as Leo Africanus and Ibn Battuta, Fisher and Fisher describe the status and rights of slaves in Africa, and their various roles as currency, goods, eunuchs, soldiers, and statesmen, as well as the jarring historical interruption brought on by slave raiders and traders in West and North Africa.
About the Author
Humphrey J. Fisher
is Reader in the History of Africa at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
Allan G. B. Fisher, was formerly Price Professor of Economics at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London.