"There is real personal danger for anthropologists who dare to
speak and write against terror; by doing so, they potentially and
sometimes actually bring the terror down on themselves."-Jeffrey A.
Sluka, from the Introduction
Death Squad is the first work to focus specifically on the
anthropology of state terror. It brings together an international
group of anthropologists who have done extensive research in areas
marked by extreme forms of state violence and who have studied
state terror from the perspective of victims and survivors.
The book presents eight case studies from seven countries-Spain,
India (Punjab and Kashmir), Argentina, Guatemala, Northern Ireland,
Indonesia, and the Philippines-to demonstrate the cultural
complexities and ambiguities of terror when viewed at the local
level and from the participants' point of view. Contributors deal
with such topics as the role of Loyalist death squads in the
culture of terror in Northern Ireland, the three-tier mechanism of
state terror in Indonesia, the complex role of religion in violence
by both the state and insurgents in Punjab and Kashmir, and the
ways in which "disappearances" are used to destabilize and
demoralize opponents of the state in Argentina, Guatemala, and
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