The Making of Torturers: The Case of Abu Ghraib – An Exploration of Individual Psychological Factors, Group Factors, and Mimetic Structures of Violence

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Title: The Making of Torturers: The Case of Abu Ghraib – An Exploration of Individual Psychological Factors, Group Factors, and Mimetic Structures of Violence
Authors: Olafsson, Nadine
Date: 2017-05-12
Abstract: The exposure of the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib in 2004 deeply shocked the American conscience and triggered a widespread public debate surrounding both the legitimacy of the use of torture and American values. With the election of president Trump this discussion has once more moved into the limelight of public discussion. While much attention has been devoted to the morality of torture, little has been paid to the perpetrators of torture themselves. This thesis explores the theoretical framework of Grodin and Annas (2007) to assess individual and group psychological factors in combination with Redekop’s (2002) mimetic structures of violence to assess how ordinary people turned into torturers at Abu Ghraib in 2004. The data analysed stems from the Central Investigative Departments investigation into the torture scandal, as well as the Taguba Report, the Fay Report, the Schlesinger Report, the Red Cross Report and Errol Morris award winning documentary Standard Operating Procedure. The study finds that individual and group psychological factors, in conjuncture with mimetic structures of violence appeared to have played a role in the making of torturers at Abu Ghraib.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/36065
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-20345
CollectionThèses Saint-Paul // Saint Paul Theses
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