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Peace Studies at Manchester University | Plowshares | Indianapolis Peace Institute | Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace
  Volume 35   May 2008

 

Introduction



Articles


WILL THERE BE ANY MORE DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTIONS?
by Mark N. Katz

The first half of the 21st century’s first decade witnessed the extension of the transnational democratic revolutionary wave that burst forth at the end of the Cold War. By the end of 2007, though, the impetus for additional democratic revolutions appears to have stalled. Katz describes four important obstacles have emerged that make successful democratic revolution more difficult at present.


A QUIET REVOLUTION
by Mary Elizabeth King

What has been called the “siege” of Beit Sahour lasted from September 22 to October 31, 1989. Adjacent to Bethlehem on the West Bank, the village was placed under 24-hour curfews during the first five days and was considered a closed Israeli military zone, leaving residents to survive solely on their own resources; they could not leave, and no one could enter. Subsequent curfews lasted from five o’clock in the afternoon to five o’clock in the morning. Israeli soldiers conducted surveillance from rooftops. Authorities severed telephone lines, rounded up scores of residents, ransacked homes and stores, and barred the news media. . . . Tax authorities seized furniture and furnishings as well as . . . key organizers. . . . Troops “seized and proceeded to auction off personal goods worth many times the value of the taxes ostensibly owed.” . . . [C]onfiscated goods were put to auction, as tax raids followed “a civil disobedience campaign that has been uniquely successful,” according to Joel Greenberg [Jerusalem Post]. Not one of the merchants in the village capitulated to the paying of taxes. After Israel lifted the siege, Palestinians held an ecumenical service at the Beit Sahour Roman Catholic Church in the mostly Christian village and invited Israeli peace proponents who had ventured to the village to join them in camaraderie. On November 12, 1989, a truckload of trees and saplings arrived from Israeli sympathizers.

 

Mary Elizabeth King, A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance.


BURMA : A HISTORY OF REPRESSION AND RESISTANCE
by Emily Hallgren

Burma, a country with a long history of both repression and resistance, attracted international attention again this past fall with its revived movement for democracy.  From British occupation to the military junta that is still in power, Burma has long been controlled by oppressive forces.  However, this is only half the story.  Coupled within the history of oppression is one of resistance.  Resistance to oppressive rule has a long tradition in Burma, and though it has at times turned violent, the people’s democracy movement has relied mainly on practical and principled nonviolence to achieve its goals.  The story of nonviolent resistance in Burma is one of resilience, courage, and, notably, success.


This article provides brief overviews of the mechanisms recruiters use to get access to young people, groups of people involved and some core approaches of the movement, in addition to identifying some pitfalls and potentials related to counter-recruitment organizing.  It points toward a broader framework for nonviolent social transformation with regard to counter-recruitment organizing, moving up a level from a focus on specific resistance tactics and toward a broader perspective which holds a vision for community change. 


CAN FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DONALD RUMSFELD LEGALLY BE TRIED BY GERMANY UNDER UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION?
by Sarah Hall

This paper aims to discuss the possibility for former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to be tried by Germany for war crimes and torture allegedly committed in the current war in Iraq.The legal issues surrounding such an event are considered with regard to the crimes allegedly committed, distinctions between diplomatic and state immunity, and the role of universal jurisdiction with respect to German legal code.Concluding the paper is an analysis of the likelihood of the trial of former Secretary Rumsfeld by Germany under universal jurisdiction for war crimes and torture, updated to include more recent information.


COUNTERING THE INTUITIVE: DEMOCRACY AND INCLUSION AS A RESPONSE TO TERRORISM
by Michael Patterson Brown

The reaction in Spain to the March 11, 2004 train bombings represents an alternative response to terrorism which has been called “counterintuitive” by some in the United States, despite its inherent rationality. In the midst of national elections and national mourning, the Spanish people used democratic means to focus on the prevention of such crimes through changes in the government, including its policies abroad. The result is a model, if imperfect, of increasing the reliance on legal institutions to reduce violence by broadening their mandate and their scope of moral and political inclusion.


THE LAVENDAR LENS: LESBIANISM IN THE UNITED STATES 1870-1969
by Audrey Hampshire

While the Stonewall Inn riots, which many claim sparked the gay rights movement in the 1970s, provide important background, the purpose of this article is to provide a glimpse into the lesbian community within the United States and its organizing efforts prior to 1969. Lesbian women were very involved in fighting for their advancement as well as for their own place within American society long before 1969. Some lesbian women actually paved the way for the advancement not only of the gay rights movement but of the early feminist movement as well. These women organized themselves into nonviolent sisterhoods, which worked towards gaining equality for women as well as the homosexual community. As such, these movements represent important, though often overlooked examples of nonviolent social change.


 

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Purpose Statement

Nonviolent Social Change is dedicated to publishing accounts of nonviolent conflict that have not been given sufficient attention. Published since 1971 as the Bulletin of the Peace Studies Institute, Nonviolent Social Change is an annual publication of the Manchester University Peace Studies Institute, North Manchester, Indiana.

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