The moral anthropology of violent deaths in northeast India

This project wants to understand how rebel groups and societies deal with violent death as a part of civil strife. While these deaths are often transformed into statistics, for instance to show the intensity of a conflict or the success of (counter)insurgency, this project t wants to understand what type of moral politics emerges out of violent death. . It is hypothesized that moral politics emerges out of the tension between the body natural and the body politic of those killed as part of civil strife. The act which potentially transforms a (living) body natural into a (dead) body politic is at the heart of meaning- making in this context. Moreover, for the societies involved, and particularly for the families and (extended) kin of the deceased, this tension between the loss of kin (as a body natural) through violence and the potential political content of this killing also brings up a moral tension, in which the distinction between private and public morality of death becomes salient. The research project will try to better understand the moral politics of violent death and the tensions involved by a close comparative study of violent death in Northeast India.