Compiled by Silvia De Michelis
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Balducci examines fundamental ethical questions from a global perspective following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of Cold War and the attack on the U.S. on 11th September 2001. His analysis draws upon Catholicism and the necessity of pursuing a secular, nonviolent renovation that – as he argues - all religions must face.
In this critique of both idealism and realism the authors argue that, in the atomic era, the former should incorporate some aspects of realist thinking and the latter should incorporate some idealist concepts if it is to escape the negation of itself. The work focuses on the exploration of pacifism. The authors distinguish ‘humanitarian pacifism’ - centered on the human conscience; ‘democratic pacifism’ - centered on peace as a process resulting from the exercise of popular sovereignty; and ‘socialist pacifism’ - centered on the labour movement and its main characteristic: nonviolence as a tool for achieving change. By arguing on the limits of idealism and realism the authors reach the conclusion that the only way forward is international cooperation, solidarity and the solidification of a culture of peace that focuses on faith in humankind.
Bobbio discusses the interconnection of human rights, democracy and peace as central elements for the achievement of peace. He discusses nonviolence as a tool for establishing a condition of ‘institutional pacifism’ capable of regulating violence and managing the peaceful resolution of conflict.
Italian philosopher Aldo Capitini expounds the principles and practices which he regards as inherent in nonviolence and explains his own ethics-based philosophy, which informs his political analysis. He evaluates the role of the United Nations, the Cold War, the relations between Italy and Europe, the arguments for economic controls versus the free market, the global role of the USA and the confrontation between East and West. He argues that only an individual transformation of the actors concerned will favour the implementation of new forms of politics and, therefore, lead to new realities
In this work Johan Galtung provides a conceptualisation of peace and security, with reference to the East-West conflict, the global balance of power, the disarmament issue and security policies. The analysis founded on his own epistemological approach to conflict resolution.
In this study Galtung provides four major theoretical approaches to peace, including peace education and peace action. This work is divided into four parts: Peace Theory, where he elucidates the epistemological foundations of peace studies and the nature of violence; Conflict Theory, where he focuses on explaining the culture of conflict and moves onto discussing nonviolence as a tool for conflict resolution; Development Theory, where he illustrates the dynamics of structural violence (economic in particular); and Civilisation Theory, where he discusses cultural violence, cosmology, and what he terms ‘codes’ and ‘programmes’.
By examining the wars in Rwanda, in the former Yugoslavia, across the Middle East and in the former Soviet Union, Kaldor discusses the elements and dynamics of structural violence that determined the nature of these wars. She argues that these wars were predominantly determined by military and criminal factors, as well as by the presence of an illegal economy and human rights’ violations. She also argues that the underlying causes of these conflicts lie in the relationship between military and civilian victims, and in the changed perception of threat by the Western powers.
Panikkar’s is an attempt to define the meaning of ‘peace’ in relation to war, politics, religion and ecology. He introduces the concepts of ‘cultural disarmament’ and ‘intercultural dialogue’ as paramount elements for pursuing reconciliation between nations.
This book introduces key documents presented by the Italian Partito Radicale Nonviolento Transnazionale e Transpartito (Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (PRNTT)) enunciating the core values from which nonviolence was extrapolated as the guiding principle for the party’s political action. It is also a testament defining the Party’s programme on the abolition of the death penalty; the abolition of prohibitionism, especially with regards to drugs; the abolishment of Genital Female Mutilation; freedom in scientific research, especially in relation to stem cells research; and the enabling of international jurisdiction aimed at ensuring citizens’ access to international legal institutions to advance their political and social goals.
This work organises Danilo Dolci’s scholarship on nonviolence and nonviolent action through a selection of his most significant experiences and works.
This work, divided in two parts, reprints in the first Danilo Dolci’s writings on his struggle for employment and democracy; the struggles he led for the construction of dams in Sicily, and nonviolent anti-mafia initiatives in the 1950s and 1960s in Sicily. The second part recalls Dolci’s work on development educational programmes, the development of democratic and participatory models and his critique of the mass consumption model.
This work contains selected letters between anti-fascist Italian philosopher Aldo Capitini and nonviolent activist Danilo Dolci, initiated by the former when Dolci was on his first hunger strike. This series of letters testifies to the close and unique relationship that developed through time between the two figures, which inspired both to develop their work and further implement insights in the field of culture, politics, education, and religion in the second half of the twentieth century in Italy.
Bravo and Buzzone collect biographical recounts and other documents that narrate women’s history in war. The authors argue that war cannot be a way to achieve progress, and debate the use of violence and on the rejection of violence. They also stress the importance of not underestimating civil and unorganised forms of struggle alongside more common forms of organised forms of resistance, and of including more on the contributions of women in the organisation and study of resistance movements.
This works elucidates fundamental principles of nonviolence, and proposes a toolkit of nonviolent practices and techniques with reference to some of Capitini’s lived experiences in Italy and worldwide. To develop his argument, Capitini draws connections between ethics and politics, ends and means of both politics and social action, and between the rule of law and civil disobedience.
A collection of essays – including by Johan Galtung - on the life and work of Danilo Dolci, aimed at exploring his contribution to the practice of nonviolent civil resistance, to the project of building a resilient civil society and being an agent of change.
Dolci’s account of the ‘reverse strike’ by unemployed agricultural workers which he led in Partinico to repair a disused road, and his subsequent trial in 1956. The demonstration dramatised the extreme poverty endured in Sicily, while affirming the right to work inscribed in Article 4 of the Italian Constitution, and was supported by many of the unemployed, farmers and representatives of the labour movement. The reverse strike created a new form of nonviolent protest.
See also: Ancora del Mediterraneo (ed.) (2006), Perché L’Italia Diventi Un Paese Civile, Napoli: L’Ancora, pp. 153.
This covers the mass fast in San Cataldo, the subsequent reverse strike and the trial, and provides a chronology of the events leading to Dolci’s conviction.
Giummo and Marchese collect the major inspiring ideas that Danilo Dolci used to project a model for development based on nonviolence, which has at its core the imperative of including all the population involved.
This work discusses Weils’s nonviolent militancy during the 1930s and 1940s and highlights her rejection of violence as the epicentre of Weil’s discussions on economy, politics, philosophy and religion.
In this work, Marco Pannella, Italian journalist and politician, founder of the Partito Radicale Nonviolento Transnazionale e Transpartito (Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (PRNTT)), narrates the story of his political life and devotion to nonviolence as the core principle of his political programme. He also narrates the hunger-strikes and dialogues he engaged in to pursue political objectives.
Further information about the Party can be found at http://www.radicalparty.org/, which is available in Italian, English, French, Russian, and Arabic.
The page dedicated exclusively to him can be found at https://www.partitoradicale.it/marco-pannella/
Translation of Gene Sharp’s classic three-volume of nonviolent resistance, its techniques and dynamics. Volume 1 is a discussion on the nature of power where Sharp establishes his main arguments that governments are ultimately dependent on the support of the people and of intervening institutions. So cooperation can always potentially be withdrawn, both by specific institutions and by the people as a whole. He distinguishes nonviolence from passivity and submission, and provides examples to illustrate its main characteristics. In Volume 2 he describes the methods of nonviolence, which amount to almost 200 grouped into three broad categories: protest and persuasion, non-cooperation and intervention. Finally, in Volume 3 he discusses the dynamics and factors that constantly change within a society that can determine the success of nonviolent action. These can be regarded as social sources of power, leadership, negotiation and so on, alongside strategy and tactics. The third volume also discusses the retribution suffered by those involved in nonviolent struggles, the dynamics that need to be implemented for improving cohesion within nonviolent groups and offers other analytical considerations on power and its distribution within society.
Pdf versions can be found at:
This work was firstly published in the 90s, following a request that Sharp received from some Burmese activists who were attempting to dismantle their dictatorial regime. It was then used in Thailand and in Serbia in the same decade. It has been translated into over 30 languages and was cited during the Arab awakening in 2011-12. Sharp discusses the nature of dictatorship and the tools and dynamics to dismantle it. He gives prominence to the importance of strategy and planning of nonviolent action and offers insights on how to establish a lasting democracy.
The work touches upon general conflict theories and proposes conflict resolution techniques in relation to specific conflict resolution case samples.
The editors, Elena Camino, researcher in Natural Sciences, and history teacher Angela Dogliotti, who are both leading nonviolence and civil resistance activists, reproduce here the contents of seminars they organised on the concept of ‘conflict’ from a Galtunghian perspective with the purpose of re-enforcing a culture on peace education.
This toolkit elucidates a method for nonviolent conflict resolution, the so-called Transcend method established by Galtung himself. The book expounds Galtung’s theory on the visible, cultural and structural aspects of violence, and includes his conflict theory. It is intended to be a resource for those that would like to benefit from training in nonviolent resolution techniques, whilst primarily focusing on dialogue as the main tool for settling disputes.
A reduced version of the book is available at: http://serenoregis.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Johan-Galtung-La-trasformazione-dei-conflitti-con-mezzi-pacifici-web.pdf
In this work, Maria Montessori elucidates her theory of education. She argues that children are the most important actors in a society and therefore stresses the role of education as a tool for building a culture of peace.
In this toolkit for educators working with teenagers between the age of 9 and 13 years old, Novara proposes methodological and pedagogical approaches to transforming conflict nonviolently.
In this work, Patfoort proposes a theoretical framework for nonviolent conflict management and provides practical examples on how to resolve conflicts non-violently at the personal level, in contexts affecting the environment as well as within international politics.
A discussion on the need to solidify a culture of nonviolence and peace education as the starting point for elaborating broader educational strategies and systems for peaceful coexistence.
A narration of Gandhi’s life in South Africa and his battle for the civil rights of the Indian minorities who were living there at the time. The work illustrates how Gandhi’s teaching and practice of nonviolence developed from the South African experience.
In this book, Coretta Scott King collects a series of extracts on Dr. King’s views on issues such as racism, justice, civil rights, freedom, religion, nonviolence and peace. She also includes some of her husband’s major speeches.
A selection of Gandhi’s writings that illustrate his thought and action, his relationship with the West and his reflection on the West-East relationship. The author presents also research findings on educational programs based on Gandhian principles, Gandhi’s thought on economic issues, nonviolence, nationalism, intercultural dialogue, terrorism and war, as well as experiments in Italy based on the Gandhian philosophy.
This is an anthology of Gandhi’s writings on ethical-political orientations and his teachings on nonviolence. The first part covers the fundamental principles of nonviolence, including the difference between the nonviolence of the strong and the nonviolence of the weak; the relationship between ends and means; and his perspectives on violence and war. In the second part, Pontara discusses practical aspects relating to preparation for a nonviolent struggle and elucidates different nonviolent techniques.
In this long article, L’Abate reflects on Cassola’ s work, La Rivoluzione Disarmista, which focuses on pursuing a nonviolent ‘disarming revolution’ aimed at strengthening fraternity amongst people and abolishing nuclear weapons. Starting from Cassola, L’Abate examines the relevance of nonviolent movements in Italy and worldwide, starting from those whose activity contributed to the adoption of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed in 1987 by Gorbachev and Reagan. He also sharply analyses the pervasive, global structural violence caused by the huge concentration of natural resources in the hands of a few, and reflects on how nonviolence can contribute to changing the current global financial system. L’Abate cites both Italian and internationally renowned authors on nonviolence, and proposes his solutions for overcoming the current state of affairs.
Merton explains his theoretical approach, which draws on exponents of nonviolence such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, and in this context discusses the Danish people's resistance against the Nazis, the perils of the nuclear age and racism.
In this short interview, Pinna recounts his reasons for becoming a conscientious objector and the impact this decision had within the political Italian context. Additionally, he elucidates the elements of nonviolent actions.
Available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emniqr2trk4&t=609s
This interview is a message that Pinna sent to the conference marking the 40th Anniversary of the legal recognition of the right to conscientious objection held in Florence on 15th-16th December 2012. He narrates his experience during the Second World War and how this shaped his decision to object to military service on the ground of ‘conscience’. He then explains his position on the co-participation of civil society in war-making and arms production and finally touches upon nonviolent civil disobedience.
Available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOz7PFa180A
In this book, Polito analyses the philosophical conceptualisation of ‘conscience’, central to the elaboration of the ethical and moral tenets of the practice of objection to military service. Polito pays tribute to the most famous conscientious objectors who shaped the history of the Italian Republic and promoted nonviolent theory and techniques, such as Aldo Capitini – anti-fascist Italian political philosopher; Ada Gobetti – anti-fascist jourbalist; Norberto Bobbio – Italian philosopher, Sereno Regis – peace activist; Danilo Dolci – peace activist; Lorenzo Milani – priest and educator; Rodolfo Venditti – Italian judge and conscientious objection supporter; Goffredo Fofi- Italian author, and literature, drama and movie critic; and Pietro Pinna – Italian nonviolent activist. The book provides a refutation of the belief in the necessity of violence embedded in politics - even where it may seem justified as in preventive wars and humanitarian intervention. Polito also argues that violence is at the root of the economic and financial global system that is becoming profoundly detrimental to the environment.
This is a series of letters that Pietro Pinna exchanged with Aldo Capitini, both key protagonists of the nonviolence movement in Italy in the aftermath of the Second World War. Their relationship proved to be fruitful for the elaboration of a theory on nonviolence and related techniques. The first set of letters from Pinna to Capitini depicts Pinna's thoughts and feelings following his decision to refuse military service and challenge the Italian government. The second set describes the supporting network that was formed around Pinna when he was in prison, awaiting his trial. This network ensured Pinna's case resonated with the public. The third set of letters starts from his release from prison and reveal the process of creating the Nonviolent Movement for Peace with Capitini.
A collection of letters following the attack in the US on 11th September 2001 that Terzani published in response to some declarations made by his colleague, Oriana Fallaci, on the same event. In his collection Terzani discusses the need to explore the root causes of violence and extremism within human nature. He also advocates nonviolence as the only creative response to conflict, alongside the necessity to reconstitute the paradigms upon which the idea of Western globalisation rests.
By recalling the trauma that society suffered following the homicides by the mafia organisation Cosa Nostra that took place in the Italian island of Sicily in 1992 - which involved more than 20 victims, including the judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, their security and mafia informers -, Cavadi introduces some reflections on how every part of civil society is responsible for building a different society. He discusses the importance of awareness of how mafia works, alongside the importance of adopting a particular ideological, ethical, political, economic, and pedagogic orientation to solidify a strong anti-mafia movement.
In this work, Cavadi argues that the anti-mafia movement should be as organised as mafia organisations are. He proposes that alongside the repressive forces of police and policing institutions, a predominant and pedagogical role should be fulfilled by schools, churches and social organisations and should aim at counterposing a moral and intellectual form of resistance to the mafia phenomenon.
This work comprises a theoretical discussion and proposed methodological tools for establishing a critical and comprehensive anti-mafia educational programme. It’s divided into five parts: theoretical aspects of anti-mafia education; pedagogical approaches; practical experiences; law procedures; available bibliographies on the topic.
These stories, which Dolci collected in Sicily, are the medium through which he elucidates the local dimension of the mafia – its action and influence in Sicily – and its wider impact in Italy and beyond. This is a record of how ordinary people coped with their suffering of violence, and it aims to transmit their vision of social justice. The work has an educational value.
The story, narrated by his brother, of one of the most iconic figure of the anti-mafia struggle, Peppino Impastato, who revolted against the patriarchal structure of his family, went against his father who belonged to the Sicilian mafia organisation and ignited an anti-mafia culture and actions at the cost of his own life.
An analysis of the role that women had from the period of the ‘Fasci Siciliani’ (Sicilian Workers Leagues’ revolts) until now in changing the mafia culture and mafia organisations in Sicily.
In this work, Sanfilippo provides a definition of nonviolence and elaborates on the Gandhian vision of the world. He also elaborates on the origin and root causes of the mafia system, according to which, he argues, a theory of systems is the necessary methodological and epistemological tool for the analysis of this phenomena and for building a nonviolent reaction against it. His perspective encompasses the cultural, economic, political, institutional, and social dimensions of the system where mafia organisations exist and where nonviolent antimafia movements need to be organised.
By recalling Danilo Dolci’s pioneering role, this work explores the relationship between civil society, mafia and nonviolence, a theme that remains predominantly unexplored up to now. It’s a composition of arguments, opinions and experiences stemming from a dialogue between individuals and organisations that want to build a solid anti-mafia movement in Italy, with particular regard to the South.
This article briefly narrates the life of Giuseppe (aka, Peppino) Impastato, who initiated a cultural and political change that then gave rise to the anti-mafia movement from the 60s onwards. Impastato’s life is highly symbolic because of his political and civil anti-mafia struggle stemmed from his personal experience. In fact, he belonged to a family where his father was affiliated to the Mafia criminal organisation, and had his uncle murdered by them. Impastato’s revolt against some core members of his family, including his father, led to his murder in 1978, but he is still considered in Italy as one of the most iconic figures of the nonviolent anti-mafia struggle today.
This long article highlights the three different periods of time that defined the anti-mafia movement, namely from 1891-1894 until 1950s; 1960s and 1970s; and from 1980s up to now. The analysis provides an initial understanding of the typology and tools of the anti-mafia struggle in each of these phases, alongside the ethical and cultural factors that supported it. The article also elucidates the social, economic and cultural composition of the mafia organisation as well as the anti-mafia movement and touches upon its development as a national movement, rather than configuring it as an issue concerning solely the island of Sicily. Finally, it depicts the peculiar characteristics of the anti-mafia movement and what differentiates it from social movements as traditionally considered, by contextualising the analysis within power relationships in Italy.
This long article touches on the development of the anti-mafia movement and distinguishes within it civic anti-mafia and social anti-mafia. It delineates the developments that took place in three different periods of time in Italy: 1950s, that saw the birth of the nonviolent anti-mafia movement; the 1960s and 1970s, when socio-political-cultural aspects of the anti-mafia movement started to develop organically; up to the 1980s-1990s, a period that saw the development of the pacifist movement rising against the US militarisation of the Italian island of Sicily that paralleled the reinforcement of the anti-mafia movement and a stronger participation of organisations within it alongside individuals. It touches also on the growth of the anti-mafia movement outside the confines of Sicily, and its extension to the entire Italian peninsula, mainly because of the activity of teachers and students that facilitated the adoption of the first set of anti-mafia legislation and led to the removal from public offices of staff involved with the mafia organisation. It also establishes a conceptual distinction between the anti-mafia movement and social movements as traditionally considered, and stresses the peculiar nature of the first as being pro-system and anti-system, simultaneously. Finally, it highlights the weak points that undermine the continuity and cohesiveness of the anti-mafia movements.
This work narrates the anti-mafia movement that started in Sicily at the end of the 19th century and extended to the entire Italian peninsula in more recent years. Santino recounts the origin of the Sicilian mafia organisation, the reactions to it by Italian institutions, and the socio-cultural context by drawing from different authors and first-hand interviews.
As an expert on mafia organisations, Umberto Santino elucidates the nature and structure of the Sicilian mafia phenomenon as well as the building of the anti-mafia movement and related campaigning by civil society representatives and social organisations in Sicily.