The Challenges of Pacifism and Nonviolence in the Twenty-First Century

In: Journal of Pacifism and Nonviolence
Richard Jackson The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

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This reflection explores some of the reasons why the current historical moment provides an ideal opportunity to launch a new journal on pacifism and nonviolence. It goes on to argue that there are a number of compelling analytical and normative reasons for taking pacifism and nonviolence seriously, such as the failure of just war theory to regulate international violence, the power-resistance cycle, and the insights from social theory about the connection between the means and ends of social action. The reflection concludes with a warning about some of the key challenges facing the field, including the inevitable resistance from the vested interests in war and militarism, the challenge of decolonising Eurocentric social science, and the challenge of living up to the radicality of pacifist values.

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