Why Learn About Nonviolence?

/ 1 February 2011

The title of this entry is the same as a paper I had to write for my Theory and Practice of Nonviolence course. This paper was partially a response to Michael Nagler’s book The Search for a Nonviolent Future, and partially my own thoughts on the question when still within the first month of the semester. Part of the purpose of the paper was to start to figure out how to explain the term “nonviolence” to someone who hasn’t studied it. While reading the book I kept getting increasingly excited about nonviolence and all that it could be used to accomplish. This course is going to be an interesting exploration for me.

For my FYS class this semester we each need to do a fairly large research paper. As I’m positioning myself as a Peace Studies major I’m working hard to come up with a research question that will incorporate both something I’m purely passionate about and interested in as well as Peace Studies. Therefore a side goal of this project, I’ve decided, will be to use it to help focus my studies within Peace Studies. Nonviolence is one of the main areas within Peace Studies that I’m considering incorporating into my FYS research paper somehow. As such I was writing this paper actively knowing that pieces of it (or certainly the rest of this course) may provide anything from the basis of a thesis statement to evidence later on this semester. Essentially I’ve gotten energized enough about nonviolence to at least expand my study of it beyond this class and into what I’ve considered my second (year-long) Peace Studies course, FYS.

Anyway, the paper is linked above and as always feel free to comment on it here.