Pacifism and Nonviolence Discussion Group

Pacifism and Nonviolence are closely related concepts that influence political and social activism and have attracted significant interest in academic settings.

This semester, two Doctoral Researchers in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Eleanor Strangways (International Relations, Politics and History) and George Foden (Geography and Environment), will be running a discussion group for students, doctoral researchers and early career researchers to stimulate critical discussion around these themes in different contexts and across disciplines. Core questions addressed include:

  • What is violence?
  • What are pacifism and nonviolence and how do these concepts differ?
  • In what ways does violence manifest in contemporary society?
  • What is the efficacy of pacifist or nonviolent approaches?
  • How do pacifist perspectives relate to contemporary social and political issues?
  • How can we implement nonviolent practices and create nonviolent spaces?

The study of pacifism and nonviolence has often been centred in activist circles and within the academic spheres of international relations and political theory, but we believe that many disciplines can contribute to our understanding of the interplay between violence and peace in societies in the modern world. We aim to draw on historical, geographical, psychological, and anthropological approaches to pacifism and nonviolence, and to engage with researchers from outside of these disciplines who may have an interest in exploring the links between their own work and contributions to lasting societal peace.

Pacifism and Nonviolence Discussion Group Sessions

These sessions will run for approximately 90-minutes, with an introductory presentation each week, followed by time for Q&A and discussion of the readings and topics. We encourage those who attend to read the materials ahead of the session, to help stimulate discussion.

  1. What is Violence? – Monday 27th November 4.00pm. Room EHB205
  2. Pacifism and Nonviolence – Monday 4th December 4.00pm. Room EHB20
  3. Histories of Pacifism and Nonviolence – Monday 11th December 4.00pm. Room EHB205
  4. Pacifism & Nonviolence in the Contemporary World – Monday 8th January 4.00pm. Room EHB205
  5. Critiques of Pacifism and Nonviolence – Monday 15th January 4.00pm. Room EHB205
  6. Constructing Nonviolent Spaces – Monday 22nd January 4.00pm. Room EHB205
  7. Half-Day Conference – Monday 29th January 10.00am - 3.00pm. Venue TBC

For further information or to register to attend, please contact Eleanor ( or George (