In contrast to traditional systems of thought which regarded evil as a supernatural force that explained human misfortune, Michel Wieviorka develops a sociological analysis of evil phenomena. His aim is to explain evil, to reveal its social, political, and cultural sources, and to clarify the processes through which the present-day forms of evil - terrorism, violence, racism, and active hatred - are constituted.
A synthesis of the author's detailed studies of these forms of evil, this book offers a fresh approach to the understanding of the darker regions of human behaviour. If we wish to live in an open, democratic world in which each individual constructs his or her own experience and leads his or her own life in a spirit of respect for and solidarity with others, then we must understand the processes that lead in totally different directions, negating the individual's subjectivity and moral and physical integrity. Michel Wieviorka invites us to do just that in this highly topical and engaging book.