Ekkehard Coenen & René Tuma: Contextural and Contextual – Introducing a Heuristic of Third Parties in Sequences of Violence. [Abstract]

This paper highlights the dynamics in sequences of violence using the perspective of communicative constructivism as a theoretical framework. The main focus of this paper is on the role of third parties in violent sequences. Using the example of two smartphone videos that show different types of violence (a brawl in a less institutionalized setting, execution in a military context), the third parties in these violent encounters are analyzed. Considerations from communicative constructivism are pursued to make a distinction between contextuRal and contextual third parties. The former are physically and performatively involved in the sequences of violence while the latter have consequences for the dynamics of violence due to their semantic and symbolic representation. ContextuRal and contextual thirds are to be understood not as static roles but as “modes of action” that have a different influence on the sequences of violence and can be better comprehended in their specific temporal-sequential embeddedness into the trajectories of violence. Therefore, the analyses emphasize that violence can be understood as communicative action in which those involved within the “triad of violence” refer to each other in their interactions.

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