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Understanding Nonviolence

The use of nonviolent action is on the rise. From the Occupy Movement to the Arab Spring and mass protests on the streets of Brazil, activists across the world are increasingly using unarmed tactics to challenge oppressive, corrupt and unjust systems. But what exactly do we mean by nonviolence? How is it deployed and to what effect? Do nonviolent campaigns with political motivations differ from those driven by primarily economic concerns? What are the limits and opportunities for activists engaging in nonviolent action today? Is the growing number of nonviolence protests indicative of a new type of twenty-first century struggle or is it simply a passing trend? Understanding Nonviolence: Contours and Contexts is the first book to offer a comprehensive introduction to nonviolence in theory and practice. Combining insightful analysis of key theoretical debates with fresh perspectives on contemporary and historical case studies, it explores the varied approaches, aims, and trajectories of nonviolent campaigns from Gandhi to the present day. With cutting-edge contributions from leading scholars and practitioners in the field, this accessible and lively book will be essential reading for activists, students and teachers of contentious politics, international security, and peace and conflict studies.
Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Contributors Boxes and Figures Acknowledgements Part 1: Foundations 1 Introduction Maia Carter Hallward and Julie M. Norman 2 Understanding Nonviolence Maia Carter Hallward and Julie M. Norman Part 2: Contours 3 Spiritual and Religious Approaches to Nonviolence Mohammed Abu-Nimer 4 Tactical and Strategic Approaches to Nonviolence Howard Clark 5 Questions of Strategy Stephen Zunes 6 New Media and Advocacy Srdja Popovic and Marcella Alvarez Part 3: Contexts 7 Civil Rights and Domestic Policy Patrick Coy and Amanda Clark 8 Revolutions and Democratic Transitions Maciej Bartkowski 9 Rural Movements and Economic Policy Kurt Schock 10 Transnational Movements and Global Civil Society Peter (Jay) Smith 11 Future Directions Maia Carter Hallward and Julie M. Norman Notes References Index

About the Author

Maia Carter Hallward is Associate Professor of Middle East Politics Julie M. Norman is Lecturer of Political Science at McGill University


This thorough and well-written book ably combines theory with a wide range of case studies to provide an excellent introduction to the growing field of nonviolence. Brian Martin, University of Wollagong, New South Wales "Rarely does one find an edited volume so comprehensive and expert in its treatment of such a timely subject. Hallward and Norman have assembled an impressive cohort of contributors who have written an excellent set of chapters. The end result is essential reading for any student or scholar seriously interested in civil resistance and nonviolence." Erica Chenoweth, University of Denver

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