Satyagraha – the search for truth Gandhi in South Africa, large Indian community in the Durban area, where Gandhi worked from 1893 as a young lawyer. He had to travel to Pretoria and had a first class ticket on the train. When the train arrived in Pietermatrizburg the train staff were turning down the beds for the night. Gandhi was thrown off the train because of his color. He decided to stay and fight injustice in South Africa rather than return to India, as he had planned. He founded the Natal Indian Congress and for the next twenty years staged marches and protests against anti-Asian laws. He left South Africa in 1914 after many of his demands had been recognized by the South African government. Today, there is a status of Gandhi outside the Pietermariytburg railrod station where it all began.
Gandhi never wrote a textbook of Gandhianism. The main sources are a) his autobiography (The Story of My Experiments with Truth), b) his many newspaper articles and speeches, c) his actions. Nevertheless, there is a large literature on Gandhian thinking. One of the most ambitious is an attempt by Arne Naess, a Norwegian philosopher, to systematize Gandhi’s ethics. Johan Galtung, one of the found fathers of peace research, was a research assistant on this project when he was in his early twenties and co-authored a book with Naess on Gandhi’s political norms.
For instance, getting arrested and having to suffer was not a deterrent to Gandhi. In fact, he frequently engaged in actions determined to increase his own suffering, such as a fast. His nonviolence prevented him from increasing the physical suffering of his opponent, but he took on suffering himself. That, of course, put a burden of blame on this opponent for not alleviating his suffering. Gandhi: You cannot fast against a tyrant (Klitgaard, 1971: 148) The communication aspect of nonviolence is also emphasized in Martin & Varney’s article in JPR
The basic distinction here is between positive and negative approaches. A negative approach is designed to discourage the other party from engaging in actions with negative consequences to yourself. A positive approach is designed to increase the probability that the other party will engage in actions favorable to you. On the vertical scale, structuring of the action-space refers to demonstrating dramatically to the opponent what actions are seen as negative and positive. Demonstrations: negative (protests). Positive? The Norwegian ‘red cap’, or painting H7 on sidewalks Physical approach: Preventing the opponent from doing something negative – e.g. sabotage (the Swiss example) Sanctions: Responding action by action, negatively or positively Amplification: Responding to the opponent’s actions by actions to yourself – e.g. fasting Role-playing: demonstrate in practice what kind of relationship one wants with the opponent. Refuse to participate in the relationship as set up by the other (negative) or try to build another (positive) Uniformity approaches – I’ll do this, whatever you do Galtung’s conclusions: more emphasis on positive approaches (although they are more difficult and need more imagination) Need statistical or exoerimental studies to find our effectiveness of the different approaches – Wallensteen (1968), Rapoport/Axelrod
The nonviolent tradition in peace research Lecture at HEI, 29 March 2007, Course E 584 Topics in Peace Research Nils Petter Gleditsch Centre for the Study of Civil War (CSCW) at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) & Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
- failure: The Quisling public radio ‘coup’ in 1940
- success: The teacher’s strike in Norway
Swiss preparations for occupation resistance
A sociological analysis of nonviolent action Source: Galtung (1965). Direct action, active civil disobedience, unilateralism Non-cooperation, passive civil disobedience Role-playing Alter-inflicted gratification for ego Alter-inflicted suffering Amplification Reward immediately for positive or neutral actions, memberships Strikes, boycotts, ostracism Sanctions Facilitate cooperation, facilitate contact Sabotage, escape, migration Physical dimension Point out what is desired, in a gradualist way Protest Structuring of action-space Positive Negative
The uses: nonviolence as national defense Could nonviolent methods be transferred to national defense? Occupation resistance Publication of occupation resistance as strategic deterrent Sabotage Replacing or supplementing existing military forces?
Nonviolence as liberation Discussions about sending ‘nonviolent troops’ from the outside; peace brigades Inspired by the civil rights movement in the US Attempts to stop bombing and invasions by sending nonviolent hostages (Gulf War) Nonviolence revised in Eastern Europe at the end of the Cold War, particularly East Germany
From nonviolent to non-offensive defense ‘ Second Cold War’ in the 1980s New arms race Intermediate-range missiles in Europe Non-offensive defense - weapons systems - targeting - but what about missile defense? From disarmament to transarmament And what about (former) Yugoslavia?
The debate about sanctions Skepticism in peace research about (negative) sanctions The Wallensteen (1968) study The Galtung (1967) study of Rhodesia Yet, sanctions reemerges an alternative to war with the Gulf War But: ‘Sanctions of Mass destruction’ (Mueller & Mueller, 1999) Smart sanctions
I swear by Æsculap, Hygeia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath.
To consider dear to me as my parents him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and if necessary to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art if they so desire without fee or written promise; to impart to my sons and the sons of the master who taught me and the disciples who have enrolled themselves and have agreed to the rules of the profession, but to these alone the precepts and the instruction.
I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.
To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.
Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion.
But I will preserve the purity of my life and my art.
I will not cut for stone 1 , even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.
In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.
All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.
If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.
1. Stone = kidney stone
A Hippocratic oath for peace researchers Source: Galtung (2006)
Health studies are higher inter- and trans-disciplinary [and] also inter- and trans-national. Ideally speaking, medical doctors have no father/mother-land. Not only can they practice anywhere, but they also have a value overriding patriotism, sexism, racism, and so on: health. The hippocratic oath demands of them to treat friend, foe and Other alike … We are moving in that direction in the field of peace studies, promoting a value more important than national interests: peace. We are not there yet …
Particularly important are
the peace worker’s legitimacy in in his/her skills)
never propose an outcome that cannot be undone )
all conflicts are born equal
The essence … , the moral maxim in a Kantian sense, might one day provide a basis for the equivalent of a Hippocratic oath.
A Code of ethics for scientists (1) Scientific research is an indispensable activity of great significance to mankind … Research can contribute to solving the great problems facing humanity, such as the threat of nuclear war, damage to the environment, and the uneven distribution of the Earth’s resources. … Yet, research can also, both directly and indirectly, aggravate the problems of mankind. This code of ethics has been formulated as a response to a concern about the applications and consequences of scientific research. In particular it appears that the potential hazards deriving from modern technological warfare are so overwhelming that it is doubtful whether it is ethically defensible for scientists to lend any support to weapons development’. Source: Gustafsson, Rydén, Tibell & Wallensteen (1984)
Research shall be so directed that its application and other consequences do not cause significant ecological damage.
… that its consequences do not render it more difficult for present and future generations to lead a secure existence. Scientific efforts shall therefore not aim at applications or skills for use in war or oppression. ...
The scientist has a special responsibility to assess carefully the consequences of his/her own research, and to make them public.
Scientists who form the judgement that the research which they are conducting or participating in is in conflict with this code, shall discontinue such research, and publicly state the reasons for their judgement. …
Two contrasting professional roles Source: Galtung (2006)
A mission statement for nonviolent peace workers Source: Galtung (2006)
The Seville Statement on Violence (1986) Violence is Not Law of Nature Believing that it is our responsibility to address from our particular disciplines the most dangerous and destructive activities of our species, violence and war ... we have … arrived at the following Statement on Violence. In it, we challenge a number of alleged biological findings that have been used … to justify violence and war. ... We state our position in the form of five propositions. The cultural aspect It is scientifically incorrect to say that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal ancestors. … Warfare is a peculiarly human phenomenon and does not occur in other animals. Genetics It is scientifically incorrect to say that war or any other violent behaviour is genetically programmed into our human nature. Human evolution It is scientifically incorrect to say that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive behaviour more than for other kinds of behaviour. … Violence is neither in our evolutionary legacy nor in our genes. Neurophysiology It is scientifically incorrect to say that humans have a 'violent brain'. Psychology It is scientifically incorrect to say that war is caused by 'instinct' or any single motivation. Conclusions We conclude that biology does not condemn humanity to war, and that humanity can be freed from the bondage of biological pessimism … Just as 'wars begin in the minds of men', peace also begins in our minds. The same species who invented war is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies with each of us. – Seville, 16 May 1986. Initial signatories: David Adams, Psychology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA … etc. Source: Adams (1989) and www.culture-of-peace.info/ssov-intro.html . For a debate, see Beroldi (1994) and Scott & Ginsburg (1994)
Nonviolence – normative or instrumental? The instrumental approach – use nonviolent methods because they are more effective in the long run The normative approach – use nonviolent methods because they are right
The decreasing lethality of war, 1946–2005 – nonviolent politics in practice? Figure created by Lars Wilhelmsen. Data for the number of battle deaths (civilian and military) are from www.prio.no/cscw/cross/battledeaths , cf. Lacina & Gleditsch (2005). The number of battle deaths has been divided by the world population in all independent countries for that year, based on population data in Gleditsch & Ward (2006).
The liberal peace – nonviolence in practice? And what about humanitarian intervention?
References Adams, David, 1989. ‘ The Seville Statement on Violence – A Progress Report’, Journal of Peace Research 26(2): 113–121 Beroldi, Gerald, 1994. ‘ Critique of the Seville Statement on Violence’, American Psychologist 49(19): 847–848 Boserup, Anders & Andrew Mack. 1974. War without Weapons. Non-Violence in National Defense. London: Frances Pinter Galtung, Johan, 1965. ’On the Meaning of Nonviolence’, Journal of Peace Research 2(3): 228–257 Galtung, Johan, 1967. ‘ Effects of International Economic Sanctions – With Examples from Case of Rhodesia’, World Politics 19(3): 378–416 Galtung, Johan , 1984. ‘Transarmament: From Offensive to Defensive Defense’, Journal of Peace Research 21(2): 127–139 Galtung, Johan, 2006. ’What Does Professionalism Mean in Peace Research?’, keynote address, Conference of the International Peace Research Association, Calgary, 29 June–3 July, www.transnational.org/SAJT/forum/meet/2006/Galtung_PeaceProf.html Gustafsson, Bo; Lars Rydén, Gunnar Tibell & Peter Wallensteen, 1984. ’The Uppsala Code of Ethics for Scientists’, Journal of Peace Research 21(4): 311–316 Martin, Brian & Wendy Varney, 2003. ‘Nonviolence and Communication’, Journal of Peace Research 40(2): 213–232 Klitgaard, Robert E., 1971. ‘Gandhi’s Nonviolence as a Tactic’, Journal of Peace Research 8(2): 143–153 Mueller, John & Karl Mueller, 1999. ‘ Sanctions of Mass Destruction’, Foreign Affairs 78(3): 43–53 Naess, Arne, 1958. ‘A Systematization of Gandhian Ethics of Conflict Resolution’, Journal of Conflict Resolution 2(2): 140–155 Scott, John Paul & Benson E. Ginsburg, 1994. ‘The Seville Statement on Violence Revisited’, American Psychologist 49(10): 849–850 Wallensteen, Peter, 1968. Characteristics of Economic Sanctions’, Journal of Peace Research 5(3): 248–267