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This article explores the links between globalization and ethnic violence in comparative perspective. By looking at ethnographic material from Central Africa, Europe, India and China, the paper suggests that bodily violence between social intimates may be viewed as a form of vivisection, and as an effort to resolve unacceptable levels of uncertainty through bodily deconstruction. This approach may cast light on the surplus of rage displayed in many recent episodes of inter-group violence. At the same time, the study suggests that the conditions for such extreme and intimate violence may partly lie in the deformation of national and local spaces of everyday life by the physical and moral pressures of globalization.