Swarthmore College Department of

Peace & Conflict Studies Blog

New course on Security and Defense: Nonviolent Strategies

Advising is coming up, and Prof. George Lakey will be offering a new course in Peace and Conflict Studies for Fall 2013!


PEAC 040 / SOAN 040 H

Prof. George LakeyThreats to security exist on many levels: environment, community, nation, human rights, and others.  People naturally mobilize for defense, but often choose among a very narrow set of options.  This course broadens the framework to focus on modes of nonviolent defense which have had concrete application sometimes involving millions of people, but which remain “off the radar” of most strategic analysis.

The course will learn from cases of successful nonviolent defense of nations, communities, environmental resources, and human rights under threat.  Students will research and write “forgotten cases” for publication in the Global Nonviolent Action Database, giving them experience with the data of civilian resistance.  They will also take an example of threat in today’s world and begin to explore how a nonviolent strategy could be devised given the circumstances.  Through these activities students will gain research skills and broaden their view of the dynamics of struggle.