Revolutionary Nonviolence

Concepts, Cases and Controversies

Edited by Professor Richard Jackson, Joseph Llewellyn, Griffin Manawaroa Leonard, Aidan Gnoth, and Tonga Karena


An advanced introduction to the theory and practice of revolutionary nonviolence, reassessing the concept through a postcolonial lens

Revolutionary Nonviolence: Concepts, Cases and Controversies provides an advanced introduction to the central philosophy, ideas, themes, controversies and challenges of applying revolutionary nonviolence in political struggles today, with a particular emphasis on reframing nonviolence through a postcolonial lens.

Bringing together an eminent group of researchers and activist-scholars, this collection focuses on a number of important questions: Is a commitment to radical nonviolence a necessity for generating revolutionary change in society? Should revolutionary movements abandon their reliance on political violence as a tool of change? What are some of the practical and theoretical challenges of adopting revolutionary nonviolence today? What can we learn from groups, actors and cases of people who have used revolutionary nonviolence to struggle against injustice? With a mix of theoretical and case study based chapters, the volume explores these and other important questions about how to generate necessary and lasting revolutionary change today.

Author Bio

Richard Jackson is Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS) and Professor of Peace Studies.

Joseph Llewellyn is a PhD candidate at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS), University of Otago, New Zealand.

Griffin Manawaroa Leonard is from the Te Arawa iwi and is a PhD candidate at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS), University of Otago, New Zealand.

Aidan Gnoth is a Research Assistant and PhD candidate at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Otago University, New Zealand.

Tonga Karena is a PhD candidate at the Peace and Conflict Studies Centre in Otago University. He is an indigenous researcher experienced in the cultural field of custom and ritual, language revitalization and performance arts.


Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The opportunities and challenges of revolutionary nonviolence today - Richard Jackson, Joe Llewellyn, Griffin Leonard, Aidan Gnoth and Tonga Karena
  • 1. A defence of revolutionary nonviolence - Richard Jackson
  • 2. Listen, Leftist! Violence is not revolutionary - Joseph Llewellyn
  • 3. Symbolic nonviolence and the transformation of society beyond liberal capitalism - Timothy Bryar
  • 4. Eradicating warism: Our most dangerous disease - Duane L. Cady
  • 5. Social defence: A revolutionary agenda - Brian Martin
  • 6. One No against violence, many Yeses beyond violence: Zapatista dignity, autonomy, counter-conduct - Sean Chabot & Stellan Vinthagen
  • 7. Rethinking nonviolence and (de)legitimacy: BDS and the formal Palestinian political process - Philippa Barnes
  • 8. Grassroots media as strategic resistance - Isabel McIntosh
  • 9. Wiremu Patene and the early peace movement at Karakariki - Anaru Eketone
  • 10. Reclaiming the role of Rongo: A revolutionary and radical form of non-violent politics - Tonga Karena
  • 11. Understanding Baxter’s ‘Dunedin lawyer’: Alfred Richard Barclay and the significance of Boer War opposition in New Zealand - Tim Leadbeater


'Revolutionary Nonviolence offers a broad and compelling overview of nonviolent campaigns for justice and social change. It goes beyond prevailing pacifist, pragmatic and often liberal approaches and includes important attempts to decolonize resistance and imagine alternative futures.'
Roland Bleiker, University of Queensland

'In this era of endless violence and interrelated political marginalization, economic inequality, social dislocation and ecological (including climate) breakdown, this book explains why revolutionary nonviolence is the most fruitful path for generating the grassroots, community-led structural change needed to transcend this complex and multi-faceted crisis. An insightful and compelling read.'
Robert J Burrowes, author of The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach

'A superb collection of essays that is much needed in the current era of political, economic and environmental crisis. The volume adeptly points to the potential of revolutionary nonviolence in transforming society while exposing myths upon which the glorification of violence are based.'
Kurt Schock, Rutgers University


Publication Date: 22 July 2021
312 pages


Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781786998262

In Print

Product ISBNs: Hardback: 9781786998255
eBook ePub: 9781786998224
eBook PDF: 9781786998248
eBook Kindle: 9781786998231

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