Rethinking the Relevance of Pacifism in IR: The Case for Nonviolent Counterterrorism

The theory and practice of pacifism has long been silenced and ignored in international relations, in large part because of a series of misconceptions and misrepresentations about its credibility and relevance. However, a growing body of recent research highlights the growing success of nonviolence and the decline in the efficacy of violence. In this talk, I argue that pacifist theory has a great deal to offer IR, both in terms of normative theorising about war and the use of force, and for thinking about practical challenges such as peacebuilding and responding to terrorism. I attempt to make the case that a pacifism-inspired nonviolent approach to counterterrorism has a potential benefits that far outweigh the currently ineffectual and violence-generating ‘war on terror’ approach.

About Dr. Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson is Deputy Director at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS).

Prior to taking up this position, he was Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom, and was the Honourable Secretary of the British International Studies Association (BISA) from 2009-2011. He is the founding editor and current editor-in-chief of the journal, Critical Studies on Terrorism, and the former convener of the BISA Critical Studies on Terrorism Working Group (CSTWG).

He is the author and editor of 8 books and more than 50 journal articles and book chapters. His books include: Contemporary Debates on Terrorism (Routledge, 2012; co-edited with Samuel Justin Sinclair); Terrorism: A Critical Introduction (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011; co-authored with Marie Breen Smyth, Jeroen Gunning and Lee Jarvis); Contemporary State Terrorism: Theory and Cases (Routledge, 2010; co-edited with Eamon Murphy and Scott Poynting); Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century: Principles, Methods and Approaches (Ann Arbor MI: Michigan University Press, 2009; co-authored with Jacob Bercovitch); Critical Terrorism Studies: A New Research Agenda (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009; co-edited with Marie Breen Smyth and Jeroen Gunning); and Writing the War on Terrorism: Language, Politics and Counterterrorism (Manchester University Press, 2005).

His various research interests are bound together by an overall interest in the nature, causes, and resolution of organised forms of contemporary political violence. More specifically, his research has focused on questions of international conflict resolution, including negotiation and mediation, the social construction of war and other forms of organised political violence, political development in the African state, and critical approaches to terrorism. He appears regularly in the media, and writes about these issues on his blog:

Phone 643 471 6461



Event Contact:

Michael Stohl
Director, Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies Professor of Communication, Political Science and Global and International Studies

Page Editor

Ben Smith
Ben Smith
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