#32 Three Books and a TEDx Video (Nov 2013)
It's Time to Change
We are moving rapidly within a time in history when data is converging that will enable us to escape from the millennia-long grip of war. Here are three important books and an amazing TEDx talk on the outstanding power of nonviolent civil protest to bring about positive social transformation, on the ability of "the people" to resist the call to war, and on the amazing "woman effect" on social stability and peace.
Erica Chenoweth TEDx Talk on Nonviolence
In 2008 Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth published an important study of the success rate of violent social movements compared to nonviolent ones. The title was "Why civil resistance works. The strategic logic of nonviolent conflict." In her powerful Tedx talk, Chenoweth presents the astonishing results in a clear and compelling manner: nonviolence wins hands down. This is a video to share with as many people as possible, especially skeptics who think that nonviolence is ineffective compared to force.
How Do We Out Out of War?
Mary B. Anderson and Marshall Wallace have done the peace community, and the world community, a great service by documenting examples of how 13 communities that found themselves in the midst of violent conflicts chose to reject being drawn in. In Opting Out of War: Strategies to Prevent Violent Conflict they describe what these people did and how they did it, and then go further and analyze what these communities had in common that enabled their success. People, from countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, Mozambique and Rwanda, demonstrate for all of us that when a community wants to avoid war it can...if they make the decision to do so. What one comes to realize is that the global community could do the same...if we make the decision to do so.
Sex and World Peace
Yes, paying attention to sex is going to affect whether or not the global community can at last end war and establish an enduring peace. In 2003
Dr. Judith Hand published her book
Women, Power, and the Biology of Peace. In it she proposed that women, as a group, differ from men biologically when it comes to using physical aggression. That natural selection has built a constellation of talents/proclivities/inclinations into human female biology that serve the function of maintaining socially stable communities - a "social-stability hypothesis." In that book and in numerous essays on her website, AFutureWithoutWar.org, she proposed that any effort to end war and establish a lasting peace would require full partnership of men and women in positions of influence and decision-making at all levels of society.
Now with their book Sex and World Peace, four authors, Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli and Chad F. Emmett, present solid data from numerous sources that document the relationship of women's empowerment to creating socially stable and less violent societies and nations.
If you are interested in the possibility of ending war and of understanding the role that women can play in making that vision a reality, these two books should be considered required reading.
Sex and World Peace is a rich trove of data that strengthens the argument that women's security and social stability are entwined: the greater security women have within a society, the less inclined such a society is to initiate internal or external wars.
The authors make clear that what they are presenting in Sex and World Peace is the evidence for correlation of this relationship of women to the nature of their societies. Women, Power, and the Biology of Peace offers the biological explanation for why women's influence in a community or society does not just correlate with social stability, why women's influence is causative.
About A Future Without War
We want to provide newsletter readers with a reminder about our extensive website, www.afww.org. The materials can be a reference for personal use, something to share with friends or colleagues who doubt that it would ever be possible to abolish war, and as thought pieces to stimulate discussions, for example, by your students, a book group, or peace activist organizations. You will find on the site:
"A war regarded as inevitable or even probable, and therefore much prepared for, has a very good change of eventually being fought."
George F. Kennan
A Good Book
Waging Nonviolent Struggle. 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential.
The Harvard professor Gene Sharp has written classic analyses of many social transformation movements. Read this book to find out what works, and what doesn't work...and especially the astonishing power of strategic use of nonviolent struggle.
A Good Movie
"Budrus." The film, written and directed by Julia Bacha, follows a Palestinian leader who unites Fatah, Hamas, and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter jumps into the fray.
A Future Without War
Believe in it.
Work for it.
And we will achieve it.
These three quick links are to Dr. Hand's core articles on paradigm shift:
To Abolish War
Shaping the Future
Paradigm Shift: Swift and Enduring
How Long Ending War Would Take
Why Women Are the Key to Security
The Nine Cornerstones
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