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Read More about Nonviolence ....


The nine topics of the nine chapters of the Online Journal for Modern Peacebuilding and Nonviolence are linked thematically as much as they are complex topics in their own right. The purpose of this side note is two-fold - to first remind us of those interlinkages and then to explore this topic in greater depth to provide greater explanation for the interlinkages.



The Interlinkages ....

In the following chapters we discuss the important parallels of Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace to the UN Program for a Culture of Peace, and the emerging importance of a movement to scientifically measure peacefulness to provide guidelines for Peacebuilding planning. We discuss the relationship of Peacebuilding to nonviolence - how nonviolence is the core nature of peace, and how the study of Peacebuilding leads to the study of five levels of peace action. We also discuss important parallels and interrelations of Peacebuilding to individual psychology and to social and sustainable development programs. Individual psychology is important to both the peacebuilder and to the victims of violence and war. For example it is psychological methods by which peacebuilders can achieve the first level of nonviolent action - achieving inner peace and nonviolence - that way they can deal better with the terrible things they see, and better help victims of war and violence. Finally we discuss the indispensable place of disarmament in Peacebuilding. This is a single theory with Peacebuilding at its center - the idea that you must have equality, justice, inclusiveness and strong democratic institutions in order for peace to last - but that has myriads of detailed facets reflecting the diversity of locations and cultures and histories found across the world. The unified theory is explained in our summary document - Modern Peacebuilding and Nonviolence: Creating Peace that Lasts, while the myriad of details is reflected in our growing body of papers, blogs, videos and expert resources that are found in each chapter.



(and now more detail about this topic: excerpted from Modern Peacebuilding and Nonviolence: Creating Peace that Lasts, by David Kirshbaum….)





Chapter 4. Nonviolence


By definition when you are seeking to stop and prevent violence and create long-lastIng peace, you are practicing nonviolent actions. Nonviolence is at the core of short and long-term peace. And in fact both Gandhi and King spoke of nonviolence as a worldview and a lifestyle.


In the course of studying the dynamic relationship between Negative and Positive Peace, one sees 5 levels of nonviolent action emerge, and one leads into the next(9):


  • Inner Nonviolence (INV) - a state of inner peace, which in time becomes so strong it cannot be affected by outside events, which is thus a source of stability during times of crisis, which keeps the mind clear to enhance problem-solving, increases empathy for others as the heart remains open and the mind receptive even during times of conflict, is a source of wisdom as it leads to insight about human beings and world circumstances, and is an inspiration to others.

  • Nonviolent Communications (NVC) - this is a style of communication which can be part of normal daily human interaction that is especially designed to build human bonding, encourage expression of mutual respect, deepen mutual understanding, and facilitate greater cooperation and deepening brotherly love in the course of the normal day. When you have such human bonding and mutual understanding, then automatically people are more committed to nonviolence and maintaining peacefulness(10).

  • Nonviolent Conflict Resolution (NVCR) - when conflict arises, and conflict is normal to human interaction, NVCR techniques are used to build and utilize the immense power of human connection to overcome obstacles and find mutually beneficial solutions where none were previously imaginable. NVCR can be used between individuals, but also between groups as well, and even in armed combat situations. There it can be seen in the practice of Unarmed Civilian Protection to protect civilians being attacked by armed combatants and terrorists(11).

  • Nonviolent Non-Cooperation (NVNC) - in situations where there is an imbalance of power (such as civilians vs. governments or employees vs. employers) and NVCR has not succeeded in finding solutions, the weaker group can choose to expose or even reverse the imbalance of power by taking advantage of the fact that the more powerful group actually needs the weaker group and thus by manipulating the normal day-to-day circumstances of the imbalance so as to threaten or expose the more powerful group’s need in order to encourage the more powerful group to take the weaker group’s needs and demands more seriously. An example of this is a labor strike where workers refuse to go to work and thus they have forcinged the employer to consider their demands more seriously. ThereforeThus the idea is that disrupting normal activities exposes the dependency of the bigger group on those activities and whichthus puts both parties on a more equal footing.

  • Nonviolent Resistance (NVR) - in situations when there is an imbalance of power and the more powerful group is using their greater strength to avoid fair negotiations and other fair actions toward the weaker power and none of the other 3 types of nonviolent action work, then the weaker power can employ nonviolent resistance - direct protest that draws media attention and often disrupts the normal flow of community life. Often the actions are designed to embarrass the more powerful group by exposing his wrong-doing making him look bad. Often the protests involve forcing the stronger group to arrest protesters which also makes the stronger force look bad. Research-activists like Gene Sharpe and Michael Beer have developed hundreds of techniques of nonviolent resistance and written many books on how to make them work. The idea is to find ways to force change without resorting to violence. There has been a lot of success with this approach(12,13).


Such methods were used by Mahatma Gandhi in India, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Martin Luther King, Jr. in the USA, Cesar Chavez in California and Mubarak Awad in Palestine/Israel, and others. All of these successfully employed these nonviolent methods in opposition to oppressive, exploitative government regimes except Awad who was quickly deported by Israel and not allowed to return(14).


It is important to note that all these nonviolent movements were also accompanied by unrelated violent actions, and it is a matter of study and debate how much the violence contributed to the success, and if it was even necessary(15)


Nonviolence is at the core of Negative Peace and Positive Peace although violence is sometimes necessary in Disassociated Negative Peace in order to keep the warring parties apart to stop their violence or aggression against each other, but always the goal is to work toward nonviolent peacekeeping and Peacebuilding.


Here are a few examples where trained facilitators in nonviolent actions can make a difference in peacemaking, peacekeeping and Peacebuilding:


  • Dissociative Negative Peace - when separating warring parties or isolating a uncooperative aggressor, practitioners in NVC and NVCR help tremendously because such training includes methods to de-escalate tense situations and creating atmospheres where people feel listened to and respected while still not being able to get away with aggressive actions. Such skills to be able to de-escalate and then create a trustworthy atmosphere helps tremendously in such situations move it to the next level where people can start talking.

  • Associative Negative Peace - NVCR includes the perfect skill set to help conflicting parties begin talking and then listening and then working toward mutually beneficial solutions, while implementing de-acceleration when needed.

  • Peacekeeping - practitioners of NVC and NVCR are expert at keeping people talking, de-accelerating tension, listening to and acknowledging and respecting opposing viewpoints leading to reconciliation, and then working together and practice creative problem-solving in reforming security services, healthcare, education and government services and what best to do with demobilized combatants and their weapons. Thus they are experts at creating a peaceful and productive atmosphere. Then if one party grows belligerent and uncooperative then experts in NVNC and NVR know how to design nonviolent actions to de-accelerate tensions and hopefully bring them back into alignment.

  • Direct/Individual Positive Peace - this is where you train conflicting individuals and groups themselves in NVC and NVCR so that they choose nonviolent actions instead of violence. This is complemented by progress in Structural Positive Peace so their actions are backed up legally and socially, and by progress in Cultural Positive Peace so that their peaceful nonviolent actions are supported and promoted by their society values and morals and beliefs, which is tremendously powerful. Also extremely important is progress with human development so that the people see a strong possibility for a prosperous future, which also motivates them to utilize peaceful nonviolent methods to prevent violence from harming their social and economic progress.

  • Structural Positive Peace - changing laws, government processes and other social structures inevitably involves political negotiation, and practitioners of NVC and NVCR are expert at facilitating that, helping people overcome obstacles, hearing opposing views, cooperate in creative problem-solving, and creating possibilities for compromise. Then this is helped tremendously if there is also progress as well with culture change and human development.

  • Cultural Positive Peace - probably changing cultures is the most difficult part of Galtung’s ideas, but through the power of human connection as facilitated by the practitioners of NVC and NVCR, where people are helped to become more willing to listen to others and cooperate in building a better future for everyone - then maybe that in itself is a culture change - to a culture that glorifies and promotes unity equality and communicating and cooperation and enjoying mutual prosperity together.


Truly this could lead to peace and prosperity that will last long-term because the people know how to maintain it, and their culture and laws support that. That is why everyone should be trained in INV, NVC, NVCR, NVNC and NVR - parents and children, teachers and students, employers and employees, police and the public, government workers and prison guards and everyone else. This would only make things easier.




Take Note ,,,,

In the following chapters we discuss the important parallels of Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace to the UN Program for a Culture of Peace, and the emerging importance of a movement to scientifically measure peacefulness to provide guidelines for Peacebuilding planning. We discuss the relationship of Peacebuilding to nonviolence - how nonviolence is the core nature of peace, and how the study of Peacebuilding leads to the study of five levels of peace action. We also discuss important parallels and interrelations of Peacebuilding to individual psychology and to social and sustainable development programs. Individual psychology is important to both the peacebuilder and to the victims of violence and war. For example it is psychological methods by which peacebuilders can achieve the first level of nonviolent action - achieving inner peace and nonviolence - that way they can deal better with the terrible things they see, and better help victims of war and violence. Finally we discuss the indispensable place of disarmament in Peacebuilding. This is a single theory with Peacebuilding at its center - the idea that you must have equality, justice, inclusiveness and strong democratic institutions in order for peace to last - but that has myriads of detailed facets reflecting the diversity of locations and cultures and histories found across the world. The unified theory is explained in our summary document - Modern Peacebuilding and Nonviolence: Creating Peace that Lasts, while the myriad of details is reflected in our growing body of papers, blogs, videos and expert resources that are found in each chapter.

To read more articles and watch videos about this topic, check out the nonviolenceny.org/journal.



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