In this Special Issue, we culled through recent scholarship on nonviolent resistance (also called civil resistance or nonviolent struggle) to find research that would be most useful for thinking through strategic questions, research with the clearest implications for organizing. From Standing Rock to Sweden, from Ferguson to the West Bank, join us in exploring how to employ humor in nonviolent movements, recognize diversity and privilege in transnational anti-occupation activism, sustain a broad-based struggle against racism and police violence, leverage Indigenous treaty rights to struggle against environmental exploitation, and withstand “smart” repression.
Inside this issue, you will find analysis of research highlighting the use of preventive diplomacy in Southeast Asia and how regional and international organizations can contribute to conflict resolution. We provide insights on the factors that influence public opinion on war and defense spending. We discuss key motivations behind domestic right-wing terrorism as well as a fascinating study on reasons why people leave terrorist organizations. Finally, we look at the evolution of armed United Nations peacekeeping missions.
In this issue, we offer analysis on mediation techniques for intergroup conflicts with specific implications on the tensions surrounding the refugee/immigrant populations. By looking at a study re-visiting military draft and inequality, we offer contemporary perspectives on war support. The examination of religious peacebuilding in Sierra Leone offers insights into how religious actors can leverage their role in societies to constructively transform conflict. In a further study, we look at peace journalism and media ethics. In a time when the term “fake news” is used for almost anything that challenges the administration, peace journalism can play a radical role in speaking up against the status quo. Finally, we look at alliances and their role in multiparty wars. This is of relevance, given the controversial role NATO plays in the current tensions between the U.S. and Russia.
This issue’s articles illustrate the necessity of highlighting the alternatives to war and violence, and proving that these alternatives are indeed available. However, we are not naïve—we are facing challenging political times. Given the uncertainties of U.S. foreign and domestic policy ahead of us, it becomes even more important to pro-actively challenge war and violence prone rhetoric and action by pointing to demonstrable more effective and less costly alternatives. Peace Science tells us that we certainly do not need a new (nuclear) arms race.
Inside this issue, we provide relevant research examining multiple lenses of war prevention and the viable nonviolent alternatives: how domestic protests influence coups; oil, terrorism and insurgency in the Middle East and North Africa; democracy, human rights and terrorism as possible motives for U.S. military intervention; the uneven distribution of civilian casualties, politics, and public support for Israel; and how nonviolent resistance contributes to strong democracies.
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