It's important, we're told, to think about the gap (or maybe link) between sentiment and killing. And by sentiments we mean feelings. Think about Donbas: there are a lot of polarized feelings. 'Polarized' doesn't even begin to describe the horror show – we're deep into trauma territory here. People have grievances and they might be against the gov't in Kiev or against Russia or against each other. Whatever. But people across all corners of the planet have feelings of grievance – that doesn't mean you're going to do pick up a gun. So what happens when they do?
Some say a war is a product of identity conflicts, and if you say that then you're saying there's a direct link between hate and the act of killing. And as Tatiana Zhurzhenko (and the entirety of peace research as a field) told us while speaking about memory wars
: that's not enough. Maybe it's reason to troll someone, but not to reach for a weapon.
So what is, then?
Echoing the folks we read up on while doing our peace research course, there's the thought that a weak state apparatus doesn't help. We spoke yesterday about a lack of 'state-legitimate' violence sometimes makes space for other kinds of violence. But unless you want to pummel someone with your fists (happens) you need to get yourself some weapons.