Introduction: Enacting peace amid violence: Nonviolent civilian agency in violent conflict

Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, Jeremy Allouche, Felicity Gray

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Abstract

Worldwide, civilians experiencing violence make agential choices about how they interact with conflict landscapes. This special issue assembles contributions that specifically deepen our understanding of nonviolent civilian agency amid violence. Our Introduction embeds these contributions in a wider overview of the study of civilian agency in war. First, we unpack the state/military versus civilian binary upon which dominant scholarship’s idea of agency in violent conflict is often still based and show how this has contributed to an analytical gap in our understanding of nonviolent civilian action. We then provide an overview of the growing literature that has started to fill this gap and discuss how its recentering of nonviolence and civilian agency enables a more nuanced understanding of conflict management and transformation across diverse contexts. Finally, we provide an overview of the contributions to this special issue and how they take the state of the art of scholarly work forward.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-180
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Pacifism and Nonviolence
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2023

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