The power of nonviolence : enabling the right to peace

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Harth, Laura
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The United Nations has recently asserted its commitment to non-violence by proclaiming 2001-2010 a decade of peace and non-violence for the children of the world, and is in the course of elaborating an augmentation of its commitment to the right to peace. However, little comprehensive research into the theory of nonviolence has been undertaken over the past two decades. The theory of nonviolence is a comprehensive and empowering theory comprising a metaphysical and methodological framework. It is based on a political theory of consent- based power and provides a methodology for the withdrawal of such consent through civil disobedience, civil resistance and non-collaboration. In aspiring to create a culture of nonviolence to replace the culture of violence, which continues to be the guiding paradigm of our contemporary world, it professes a radical revolution. In Part I, this thesis provides an overview of the main characteristics and implications of this theory through an analysis of its leading authors. In Part II the theory is applied to the concepts of democracy, human rights and international relations, by examining the key enablers in the first step towards a culture of nonviolence. Concrete contemporary examples are used. Finally, the United Nations’ commitment to positive structural peace is tested on the basis of its compliance with the key enablers.
Second semester University: University of Padua.
democracy, human rights, nonviolence, peace