A psychiatrist I work with is considering writing a guide for PCP's and ER docs that gives an overview of the neurobiology of types of violence. They often have to make evaluations based on little hard information. At acute psychiatric hospitals we mostly earn our daily bread by treating violence: containing it when we must, evaluating its cause, recommending and starting treatment, so that the patient can return to the better treatment of interacting with reality and seeing outpatient providers. (Our next largest category would be inability-to-care-for-self.)
He offers the following four categories as a jumping-off point. Consider them as you will, on individual, group, or international levels. (Notice that all four have good and bad expressions)
1. Defensive and paranoid violence, where the person feels under constant threat and lashes back in protection.
2. Hierarchical violence, establishing individual dominance, or group enforcement of ingroup/outgroup.
3. Calculated violence, to accomplish a particular goal. The military, or gang leaders, or SWAT teams use this.
4. Impulsive, reactive violence - those situations where people go from 0-60 in response to events.
I'm just interested in your thoughts.