#165 | The Rise Of Organized Violence: The Brutalities Of National Identity w/ Siniša Malešević

In this episode, I speak with Siniša Malešević — Full Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University College in Dublin, Ireland. Siniša is the author of numerous books, including ‘The Rise of Organised Brutality: A Historical Sociology of Violence’ and the upcoming ‘Grounded Nationalisms.’ We discuss Siniša research into the historical formation of national identity (nationalism) in the modern era, and how the molding of national identities by nation states over the past several centuries has given rise to unprecedented large-scale violence, at a scale previously unseen throughout human history.

In this discussion with Siniša, we examine his research into the sociological roots of the nation state in the modern era, as well as the social mechanisms and techniques the nation state uses in order to wed the individual (the citizen) to the ideologies and interests of the nation — through a combination of sophisticated state propaganda, state-mandated education (indoctrination), and warfare. Siniša expounds on the role nationalism (and its corollary: patriotism) has played in the “rise of organized brutality” — a function implicit in the formation and legitimation of the nation state. In Siniša’s work and in this interview, he “demonstrates that violence is determined by organizational capacity, ideological penetration and micro-solidarity, rather than biological tendencies, meaning that despite pre-modern societies being exposed to spectacles of cruelty and torture, such societies had no organizational means to systematically slaughter millions of individuals.”♢ We discuss these subjects and more in this episode.

Siniša Malešević is a Full Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University College, Dublin, Ireland. He is an elected member of Royal Irish Academy and Academia Europaea (the European Academy) and an elected Associated Member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is the author of numerous books, including ‘Grounded Nationalisms,’ ‘The Rise of Organised Brutality: A Historical Sociology of Violence,’ ‘Nation-States and Nationalisms: Organisation, Ideology and Solidarity,’ ‘The Sociology of War and Violence,’ ‘Identity as Ideology,’ and ‘The Sociology of Ethnicity.’✦

♢Source: http://bit.ly/OrganizedViolence

✦Source: http://bit.ly/SMbio

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Siniša’s work at his website: https://sinisa2malesevic.wordpress.com

- Pre-order Siniša’s new book ‘Grounded Nationalisms’: https://amzn.to/2AyCWSj

- Learn more about and purchase Siniša’s book ‘The Rise of Organised Brutality: A Historical Sociology of Violence’: https://amzn.to/2TnA0ih

- Much of Siniša’s research can be found here: http://ucd.academia.edu/SinisaMalesevic

- The song featured in this episode is “Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition” by Kay Kyser from the album Heart & Soul: Celebrating The Unforgettable Songs Of Frank Loesser.