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Eddie Hartmann

Assistant Professor
Potsdam University
The Social Order of Violent Action. A Theoretical Framework for the Microfoundation of Collective Violence
01 October 2015 -
31 July 2016


Eddie Hartmann is Assistant Professor at the University of Potsdam. His PhD is a sociological analysis of the social conflict and mobilization processes behind the violent unrest which occurred in 2005 in suburban France (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/EHESS). His book Strategies of Counteraction (in German) won the biennially awarded prize for the best PhD dissertation of the German Association of Sociology (DGS) in 2012.

Research interests

Sociological theory and methodology; sociology of violence; the interface between violence research and social action theory.

Key Publications

Strategien des Gegenhandelns. Zur Soziodynamik symbolischer Kämpfe um Zugehörigkeit (Strategies of Counteraction), UvK, 2011.

Violence et sciences sociales. Plaidoyer pour un relationnisme méthodologique, special issue of the Revue de Synthèse, 2014.

Symbolic Boundaries and Collective Violence. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 2015.

At least since the beginning of this century, the international research community has been studying the subject of violence in detail. However, in the social sciences, decades of neglecting violence as a research subject have led to considerable theoretical and methodological gaps. One of these, perhaps the decisive gap for sociology, concerns the question of under what conditions exercising physical violence is to be viewed as social action and not primarily as a political, moral or even genetic problem: to what extent can the violence of individual actors (micro level) be attributed to the involvement of individuals in social relationships and collective structures (macro level) and also be adequately explained by these factors?
In other words, how can physical violence be defined as a genuinely social fact and thus also be clearly differentiated analytically from other forms of violence?
To answer, first and foremost, the shortcomings of action theory in violence research need to be addressed. The project proposes a new kind of interdisciplinary approach, an interface between sociological action theory, the sociology of violence and the cognitive and neurosciences, which is able to link the cognitive and affective mechanisms of physical violence with the social processes through which actors are involved in collective practices and structures.

Journée d'étude organisée par E. Hartmann (résident de l'IEA de Paris)
27 Apr 2016 09:00 -
27 Apr 2016 18:00,
Paris :
Bringing social action back into violence research
02 Apr 2016 19:00 -
02 Apr 2016 00:00,
Paris :
Démocratie locale et vivre ensemble. Conflits, mobilisations… et solutions ?
22 Jan 2016 09:00 -
22 Jan 2016 11:00,
Paris :
Sciences sociales et stochastique : accidents, réponses, réactions, résiliences et mémoires
Séminaire de recherche co-organisé par Eddie Hartmann, résident de l'IEA de Paris, et Éric Brian (EHESS)
13 Nov 2015 09:00 -
27 May 2016 00:00,
Paris :
Sciences sociales et stochastique : accidents, réponses, réactions, résiliences et mémoires
Contemporary period (1789-…)
World or no region