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Michigan State University

Peace and Justice Studies: Nonviolence

Related to MSU's Program on Peace and Justice Studies

About Nonviolence

The concept of nonviolence can be traced back thousands of years but its modern popularization was spurred by the work and life of Mohandas K. Gandhi and led to the independdence of India from the British in the late 1940s. In the United States, Martin Luther King, Jr. is the considered the most public face of that movement. But there is much that has been written and attempted before and after each of them on tactics, philosophy, scale, and approaches. This guide is a simple guide to some of that literature. It makes no pretense to be complete.

Finding articles

Alternative Press Index and Archive is a bibliographic database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles from over 300 international alternative, radical, and left periodicals, includes some full-text.

Peace Research Abstracts (EBSCO) . Bibliographic records covering essential areas related to peace research, including conflict resolution, international affairs, peace psychology, and more. Titles like Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution and International Journal of Refugee Law are all found in the database. EBSCO has digitized the full archive of this index, with coverage dating as far back as 1964, and also updates the content on a weekly basis to incorporate the latest research.

Political Science Complete. Provides full text for over 500 publications, and cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for more than 1995 journals. The database also features more than 189 full-text reference books and monographs, and over 27,000 full text conference papers, including those of the International Political Science Association.

Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO). Indexes and selectively publishes post-1990 scholarship and reports on international affairs. Provides full-text access to relevant Columbia University Press titles and many recent journals, papers from university research institutes and non-governmental organizations, foundation-funded research projects, and conference proceedings. CIAO also has links to international affairs centers, institutes, and other resources; U.S., international, and foreign govenment sites; environmental studies web pages; and news media services.

Theory and Case Studies

Gene Sharp has written widely on the tactics and philosophy of nonviolence. We own 13 of his works in the MSU libraries covering 35 years of his research and reflection.

Mohandas K. Gandhi and M.L. King, Jr. are the most well-known proponents and practitioners of nonviolence, but there are numerous works that showcase many other applications including Mark Kurlansky's Nonviolence : twenty-five lessons from the history of a dangerous idea, David Dellinger's Revolutionary Nonviolence and Michael Nagler's Is There No Other Way? : the search for a nonviolent future.

We also have a Nonviolence Training Manual produced by our own local Michigan Peace Team.

See also the section below of Useful Websites for more examples.

Useful Nonviolence Websites

Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice - Drexel University's School of Public Health program whose mission is to promote health, nonviolence and social justice through trauma-informed practice, research, professional development, and advocacy for policy change.

Center for Nonviolent Communication - led by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, author of "Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life", offers resources for learning and practicing communication to steer us away from violence.

International Center on Nonviolent Conflict - a great resource for learning and teaching, and very good source of recent news and campaigns involving nonviolence.

Metta Center for Nonviolence - The mission of the Metta Center is to promote the transition to a nonviolent future by making the logic, history, and yet-unexplored potential of nonviolence available to activists and agents of cultural change (which ultimately includes all of us). 

Michigan Peace Team - empower people to engage in active nonviolent peacemaking. 

Nonviolence International - Nonviolence International researches and promotes nonviolent action and seeks to reduce the use of violence worldwide.

Nonviolent PeaceforceThe mission of Nonviolent Peaceforce is to promote, develop and implement unarmed civilian peacekeeping as a tool for reducing violence and protecting civilians in situations of violent conflict.

Voices for Creative Nonviolence - initiated from the 2003 US invasion of Iraq focuses more broadly on ending war.

Waging Nonviolence - emphasis on news and analysis related to nonviolence including current actions around the world and theoretical discussions..

Subject Guide

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Julia Ezzo
Michigan State University