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Jerome Ravetz

In this essay I review my own involvement in climate science, and attempt to draw some useful lessons. I start with a critique of the theory of post-normal science (PNS). This is derived from the experience of the effective criticisms of PNS that were made on the blogosphere. I proceed to a critique of climate science itself, which might be described as the attempt to solve a post-normal problem by "normal science" methods. Since quality, in a variety of aspects, became crucial in the Climategate debates, I analyze that concept in the fraught context of a politicized, contested science. Such sciences have the seeds of tragedy for those who innocently engage with them believing that their task is simply to speak truth to power. Finally, out of my personal history I suggest that we keep in mind the personal investment of anyone holding a contested view, and respect their struggles to maintain integrity when their core beliefs are under attack. This motivates the fostering of non-violence in debates on policy science issues.

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Ramin Jahanbegloo

The article deals with Mohandas K. Gandhi's theory of democracy and its related civic practices. It indicates the relation between Gandhi's idea of civic duty and his idea of democracy, and argues that few would dispute that Gandhi was one of the most original and transformative thinkers of democracy. The article maintains that among his many notable contributions, Gandhi is rightly credited with emphasizing on the ideas of citizenship duty, truth in politics, genuine self-rule, and ethically enlightened democracy. In addition to advocating self-sustaining villages and communal cooperation, Gandhi developed an idea of non-liberal democracy reducing individualism, economic greed, and laissez-faire by insisting on a duty oriented and spiritually empowered participative democracy. Nearly seven decades after his death, Gandhi stands as one of the most significant and relevant non-Western theorist of democracy.

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Keith Alexander

In October 1978, diverse members of the West Berlin Left founded the Alternative Liste für Demokratie und Umweltschutz (Alternative Ballot for Democracy and Environmental Protection, AL). This article examines the origins and evolution of the AL. Initially, the new political organization fundamentally opposed the parliamentary system. Within three years, however, the AL won a significant presence in the West Berlin Parliament, and in 1989, the party joined the Social Democrats in governing West Berlin. The AL’s parliamentary participation had a moderating, integrative effect on the party and its members. From the late 1970s through the end of the 1980s, a significant segment of the radical West German Left grew to accept parliamentary democracy, demonstrating the strength of the Federal Republic.

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Deevia Bhana and Emmanuel Mayeza

In this article we focus on sixty South African primary schoolgirls’ experiences of male violence and bullying. Rejecting outmoded constructions of schoolgirls as passive, we examine how girls draw on different forms of femininity to manage and address violence at school. These femininities are non-normative in their advancing of violence to stop violence but are also imbued with culturally relevant meanings about care, forgiveness, and humanity based on the African principle of ubuntu. Moving away from the discursive production of girls’ victimhood, we show how girls construct their own agency as they actively participate in multiple forms of femininity advocating both violence and forgiveness. Given the absence of teacher and parental support for girls’ safety, we conclude with a call to address interventions contextually, from schoolgirls’ own perspectives.

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Andreas Herberg-Rothe

In an attempt to capture the unexpected forms taken by excessive violence since the epochal years of 1989-91, Robert Kaplan has argued that these developments indicate a coming anarchy, which has to be prevented (Kaplan 1994). This statement is based on the assumption that the level at which wars are being fought has shifted from the level of the state to a 'lower' level. It is argued that in most of these conflicts, non-state actors are involved on at least one side. The motivation and goals of these non-state actors seem not to follow political or ideological imperatives but have other sources, which may be ethnic, economic, or the fact that violence has become an autonomous force. Things would look different, however, if this diffusion were no more than a transitional phase after the breakdown of the polar order of the Cold War. The paradigm of the wars to come would then be determined not by the order/anarchy antithesis, but by the conflict between different conceptions of order. Finally, I argue that there will be a re-politicization of war and violence in the long run.

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“Boys Fight, Girls Fight“

Adolescent Girls Speak about Girls' Aggression

Melissa K. Levy

A perceived rise in girls' physical aggression is alarming the public as it collides with dominant views of femininity. Existing research focuses on either boys' violence or girls' non-physical aggression, leaving the realm of girls' physical aggression relatively unexplored. Using data from ethnographic observations and interviews, this study examines young adolescent girls' experience of their and their peers' fighting. Findings indicate that girls participate in fights to stand up for themselves and others, to show they are not afraid, and for fun. This study calls for continued in-depth research into girls' perspectives on aggression and violence in order to provide insight into how gendered, raced, and classed structures affect girls. It seeks, too, to address the problems that arise from girls fighting.

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Lesley Gill

Low-intensity conflicts, counter-insurgencies, and the so-called war on terror blur the boundaries between war and peace and, in doing so, collapse the distinctions between combatants and non-combatants. Scholars have used concepts such as `routinization of terror', `culture of fear', and `banalization of violence' to describe how fear regulates social life in places of extreme instability. These concepts often paint an overgeneralized portrait of violence that fails to examine the social relationships and institutional forms that give rise to terror and insecurity. This article examines the shifting qualities of war and peace in Colombia and argues that daily life in Barrancabermeja—a working-class city nominally `at peace' after a government-backed, paramilitary demobilization process—is a volatile arena of uncertainty in which some people are more vulnerable than others.

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Beatriz Manz

In the 1980s, Guatemala's state-sponsored violence reached genocidal proportions and led to community ruptures, endemic fear, deepened distrust, and unprecedented levels of daily violence that have continued into the post-war period. Tragically, the war's resolution has not ended the country's volatility and insecurity. Reconciliation is challenging and requires a much deeper structural overhaul. It is problematical for a society that has been created on a rigid, ethnic-based, and highly divisive foundation now to take steps toward reclaiming a non-existent pre-war period of concord. An inclusive and just society, which respects the fundamental human rights of all, is essential yet sorely lacking. Moving in this direction is hindered by the historic impunity enjoyed by the military and the powerful, as well as a dysfunctional judicial system in need of reform.

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Avoidance of Military Service in Israel

Exploring the Role of Discourse

Oren Livio

This study examines the use of the derogatory term mishtamtim (literally, 'shirkers') for Israeli citizens who do not serve in the military, as employed in a variety of widely circulating cultural texts and in several focus group discussions. I suggest that in addition to revealing and reflecting Israeli society's dominant views and opinions on military service and its relation to civil society, the inherent ambiguity of the mishtamtim label enables interlocutors to construct different notions of the Israeli collective, which are then translated into different patterns of inclusion and exclusion, hierarchies of citizenship, and disciplinary meas ures. In addition, the discursive construction of non-service as avoidance of participation in a symbolic, non-violent, civilianized, and benevolent contribution to the collective conceals the military's own tendency to discharge conscripts, as well as its inherently violent nature and the role that violence plays in providing the glue that keeps society together.

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Andreas Herberg-Rothe

Since the 1990s various influential authors have argued that Clausewitz’s theory is no longer applicable, not only in relation to contemporary conflicts, but also in general (see the discussion in de Nooy 1997). Some have suggested that it is harmful (van Creveld 1991, 1998) and even self-destructive (Keegan 1993, 1995) to continue to use this theory as the basis for understanding and as a guide to political action, given the revolutionary changes in war and violence occurring in the world’s communities.2 Clausewitz, it is proposed, was only concerned with war between states employing regular armies, whereas conflict today mainly involves non-state actors.