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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 Nonviolent Perspectives on Power and Systemic Change.pdf

5 Pages
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Department
Peace and Conflict Studies
Course Code
PACS 201
Professor
Nathan Funk

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Lecture  9-­  Nonviolent  Perspectives  on  Power  and  Systemic  Change   9a)  Nonviolent  Power   When  you  hear  the  word  “power”,  what  is  the  first  mage  that  comes  to  mind?:   • Battery,  gun,  fist,  money,  capacity   Strategic  Dependence  on  Violence:  Is  it  a  soluble  Problem?:   Propositions  from  the  Nonviolence  Paradigm   • We  are  conditioned  to  associate  power  with  violence   • When  normal  means  fail  and  the  objective  is  a  vital  one,  we  feel  pressure  to   endorse  the  use  of  violence-­‐  matter  of  security  or  matter  of  our  interests-­‐  if   all  you  have  is  a  hammer  then  all  you  see  are  nails   • A  common  result:  cycles  of  violence-­‐  if  we  resort  to  it  others  are  likely  to   respond  in  a  higher  response  of  violence   • “Violence  is  a  form  of  resourcelessness;  in  other  words,  we  use  violence   when  we  lack  the  creativity  to  come  up  with  a  nonviolent  solution”-­‐  Ursula   Franklin   • Challenge:  can  we  confront  stubborn  or  opportunistic  adversaries  without   resorting  to  violence-­‐  if  we  equate  power  with  the  ability  to  hurt  then  there   will  never  be  peace   Asymmetric  Conflict  and  Cyclical  Violence   • Unequal  conflict  and  feels  oppressed  and  feels  their  back  is  up  against  the   wall  and  its  easy  to  resort  to  violence   Consent  Theory  of  Power:   • Government  is  ultimately  based  on  consent/obedience-­‐  not  necessarily   happy  consent  but  if  we  keep  complying  with  the  status  quo  we  are   empowering  it   • By  withdrawing  consent,  the  people  can  reclaim  their  power  (i.e.,  “people   power”)-­‐  ultimately  political  power  lies  with  broad  masses  of  the  people   even  in  hierarchal  power.  They  can  limit  the  opportunity  of  the  oppressors  to   oppress   9b)  Nonviolence  Theory   Reasons  to  Study  Nonviolence:   • It’s  cool,  it’s  interesting-­‐  most  social  and  political  conflict  is  nonviolent  eg   Egypt   • Its  important-­‐  if  we  want  a  less  violent  world  need  to  study  alternative  ways   for  people  to  take  back  their  dignity   • Its  empowering   • Its  more  human-­‐  a  more  human  way  out  with  a  world  with  less   dehumanizing  and  destruction   Violence:   • Latin  root:  Violare,  “to  violate”   • Our  PACS  typology:  direct,  structural,  cultural   • Direct  violence  can  take  many  forms-­‐  war,  genocide,  murder,  rape,  terrorism,   human  rights  abuses,  exploitation   • Direct  violence  also  correlates  with  many  other  maladies   The  meaning  of  “Nonviolence”   • Non  +  violence  =  neg.  +  neg  ?   • “Achieving  without  harm…things  that  are  normally  thought  to  be  attainable   only  through  violence”  (Curle,  in  Vellacott,  p.  104)   • Active  refusal  to  use  or  to  submit  to  violence  in  the  pursuit  of  social  change-­‐   not  always  safe,  sometimes  requires  peaceful  confrontation  with  violent   forces   9b1)  Approaches  to  Nonviolence   • Nonviolence:  a  multidimensional  concept   • Strategy  for  social  change   • Method  for  resolving  conflict   • Method  of  liberation   • Method  of  defense   • Way  of  life   • “Pragmatic”  approach   • #1-­‐  4  accentuated   • “Principled”  approach   • #5  accentuated   The  Principled  Side  of  Nonviolence:   • Vellacott’s  definition  of  nonviolence:  “refraining  from  violence  on  grounds  of   principle”  (p.  104)-­‐  not  a  universal  definition   • Influence  of  ethical  and  religious  ideas-­‐  Ghandi,  Leo  Tolstoy,  Quakers,   Mennonites   • Refusal  to  dehumanize  adversaries   • “conflict  provides  an  opportunity  to  move  to  a  higher  level  of  truth”  (Jeong,   p.325)   • Heart  side  of  nonviolence         Pragmatic  Side  of  Nonviolence:   • Nonviolence  action  as  an  “option”:  a  means  to  an  end-­‐  try  to  justify   nonviolence  by  its  capacity  to  produce  practical  effects-­‐  argue
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