Four Types of Violence:

Personal or Institutional Role of Actor/Overt or Covert Effect of Action

Based on Newton Garver, "What Violence Is," The Nation 209 (June 24, 1968), 817-822





Moral Responsibility in                               Moral Ambiguity of
Individual Action                                           Institutional Roles

Conscious Hurt/Offense                     Structural Harm/Oppression
 
Overt Personal Violence

Clear: mugging, rape, and murder
 
 

Debated: defend law, benefit person

--reasonable restraint

vs police brutality

--corporal punishment

vs child abuse

Overt Institutional Violence

Clear: civil war, international war
 
 

Debated: capital punishment, riots

--legitimate execution

vs state murder

--organized strike

vs spontaneous outburst

 

Covert Personal Violence



Clear: verbal & psychological abuse
 
 

Debated: threats

--may avoid overt personal

violence

--individual responsible, if done

 

Covert Institutional Violence



Clear: slavery, colonialism, ghettos
 
 

Debated: deterrence

--may avoid overt institutional

violence

--state responsible, if done