The lecture on structural violence is thought-provoking and I really enjoyed the theoretical aspects of it. The question that came to my mind when discussing structural violence is what is the “structure” or “system” that we are discussing? As easy as it seems to point out many structural problems that remain in society, it takes quite a bit of analysis to understand what’s going on in the larger picture. In addition, we often portray structure as something invisible and shape all aspects of life, yet how does human agency play a role in this and shape the structures that we live in?

To understand structural violence, it requires us to take a step back and understand the larger picture, especially when coming to the work on conflict studies and international development. This also introduces an interesting dilemma that has always been in my mind – if we recognize that there are many structural problems that need to be identified and addressed, how do we actually start from making small changes? It is important not to undermine the incremental changes that have smaller impact yet always be critical and recognize that without tackling some of the more structural and fundamental issues, the problems won’t be solved.