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State Violence and the Right to Peace [4 volumes]: An International Survey of the Views of Ordinary People Hardcover – Oct 22 2009
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"Good indexing and solid bibliographic notes." - Choice
"The material found in this set is engrossing and suggestive. . ." - Library Journal
"In this four-volume set, edited by Malley-Morrison (psychology, Boston U.), contributors describe and analyze the results of an opinion survey instrument, the Personal and Institutional Rights to Aggression and Peace Survey for 43 countries around the world. The survey asked opinions regarding the right of governments to perform acts of aggression; whether individuals have a right to a world of peace and to demonstrate in support of that conviction; the role of the United States in Iraq; acts of state violence as assessed through the prism of emotional responses to direct or indirect exposure; lay understandings of such terms as war, peace, torture, terrorism, reconciliation, and rights; and the relationship of national security to individual and family security, as well as whether peace is achievable. The essays describe the general contours of the results for each country and seek to put them into historical and political context, with the particular emphasis being left up to the specific case study author rather than attempting to forge a unified approach. The volumes are organized by region, with the first volume covering Western Europe and North America; the second covering Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Middle East; the third covering Africa and Central and South America; and the fourth covering Asia and Australia." - Reference & Research Book News
"Malley-Morrison and her collaborators take an important step in a postrealist direction when they focus on individuals and claim that war is a human rights issue. Further, if the world's people truly believe that they have a right to peace, their voice--which she and her collaborators evoke--represents a powerful independent force in world politics. The project's confirmation that individuals in many countries feel that they have a right to peace--and that they oppose state invasion, torture, and killing civilians--is a welcome move in advancing humane psychology and a postrealist approach to world politics." - PsycCRITIQUES
"This new four-volume collection offers a timely account and analysis of the voices and views of people throughout the world whose lives are affected by war and state violence. With chapter contributions from an impressive roster of international experts, this indispensable series is remarkable in its combination of scientific rigor, geographic comprehensiveness, and illuminating insights." (Roy J. Eidelson, Ph.D.
President-Elect of Psychologists for Social Responsibility and Associate Director of the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict at Bryn Mawr College)
"Although numerous publications have examined the views of political elites on matters of war, peace, human rights, and a host of other issues, this four-volume set is the first to explore the views of ordinary people around the world. Based on an ambitious research program, the volumes will surely become a landmark publication. Using grounded theory, the findings in these volumes offer both global perspectives and fine grain country-by-country analyses. As a peace psychologist, I found the worldwide endorsement of the proposition that peace is a basic human right juxtaposed with pessimism about the achievability of peace not only among the most provocative findings but also a clarion call to examine each country more closely and redouble efforts to demonstrate the power of nonviolence as a realistic way of pursuing the equitable and sustainable satisfaction of human needs for all people." (Daniel J. Christie
Professor Emeritus of Psychology
Ohio State University, USA)
"This set gives voice to the voiceless. We live in a political world where international and domestic political conversations are dominated by powerful state authorities and non-state organizations that speak largely through armed interventions. But what do ordinary citizens feel and think about critical issues such as the meanings of war, peace and terrorism, and state rights to torture? The contribution of these volumes is in their elegant mix of scientific rigor, cultural-historical sensitivity, political acumen, and wide geographical coverage. The qualitative findings presented were carefully extracted and comprehensively analyzed from thousands of survey forms collected from developed and developing societies around the world. The chapters are written by an impressive array of international scholars, sensitized by their own local experiences in their respective countries. The authors do not mince words in presenting hard truths as data patterns emerge. Read this set, and listen to the global voices of the silent, as they speak about political issues that affect their everyday lives." (Cristina J. Montiel, Psychology Department, Ateneo de Manila University
Author, Peace Psychology in Asia (with Noraini M. Noor))
"These four volumes make a monumental contribution to our understanding of war and peace, as well as the ability of people from all walks of life, from all parts of the world, to eloquently state their ideas about these important matters. I applaud the extraordinary efforts that were made to give voice to the ordinary people of the world, while adhering to empirical rigor and lucid explanations of the findings. I am very impressed by the coverage of the research; the contextual and historical analyses; the elegant, yet practical, research approach; and the breadth of knowledge that the various authors in this truly international collaboration contributed. This series can profitably be read by everyone in psychology, peace studies, political science, international relations, history, government and many other fields. Representing the views of lay people from more than 40 countries, attitudes towards peace, national security, war, torture, and terrorism, are explored in a way that is sensitive, compelling, and elegantly written. It is clear that there is a great passion for peace and a commitment to justice among this international cadre of knowledge workers." (W P. Heuchert, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Allegheny College; past editor, Peace Psychology)
"This is clearly a welcome addition to the literature on state violence and how it can be addressed in the interests of peace. Most of the work provides thorough coverage by country and by region but the first and concluding chapters also provide integrative summaries. Understanding and lessening state-sponsored violence is obviously of crucial contemporary importance, and the present work provides both practical and theoretical help in this quest.' " (Herbert H. Blumberg, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London > of London)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In the forward we learn that in the wake of World War II there have been 228 armed conflicts across the globe. To what extent is the use of violence and torture supported in the countries previously and currently involved in these conflicts? Also, to what extent do lay people from different countries except or reject their leader's arguments concerning the rights of their regime to perpetuate violence in order to achieve ends? These are the types of questions this book succeeds in answering. Over the course of 4 volumes we hear common voices from over 40 nations. "State Violence and the Right to Peace" is an attempt to bring the world one step closer to achieving peace, and it succeeds in doing so. This book understands one very important thing; if peace is to be achieved people must take the time to understand the diverse mindsets. This book demonstrates that it is misunderstanding that typically leads to violence and hatred and it works against this misunderstanding.
In volume 4 Dr. Malley-Morrison focuses on Asia and Australia. The countries discussed include: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Loas, China, South Korea, and Japan. Each chapter gives a concise background of how each nation achieved sovereignty and a portrait of the various conflicts that each country has been involved in over the past century. The result is an overall feeling of understanding about how each country understands war and peace. In the uniting chapter at the end of the volume the "security dilemma" phenomenon is discussed. The "security dilemma" posits that we live in a world where nations are encouraged to establish self-defense as a right. However, this can be a problem when other nations perceive each other's security motives as aggressive tactics. Thus, by promoting this right of self-defense we have in fact bred the opposite of the desired result; a world in which violence and threat naturally thrive and escalate to high levels. At the end of volume 4 there is a hopeful message. Ordinary people are optimistic; they see an end to the threat of rising tension and violence. If we are to achieve peace in this world we need to start by understanding the problem; only then can we work together to solve it. This book tells us that the people of the world have spoken and they want peace.
If you enjoyed this book and would like to find out more about Dr. Malley-Morrison's work visit her blog, "Engaging Peace," at [...]
Along with the voices of ordinary people, the historical and sociological issues of different global regions are often ignored when discussing international events. These books do a great job describing the different ecological factors in the regions that shape their society and views on issues of war and peace. The background information provided also alerts the reader to the many atrocities that have been committed throughout history. It demonstrates how senseless violence has been justified by states in the past and how it affects people currently. After reading the books it becomes very clear that it is not sufficient to solely look at a state's current government to understand the complexity of each region.
These books are especially relevant given the recent protests in the Middle East. These protests demonstrate that the public does not always approve of their government and of its actions. It shows what can happen when the ordinary are overlooked. The volumes address ordinary views on a number of topics that are pertinent in the situation in the Middle East such as: "do individuals have the right to stage protests against war and in favor of peace?" and "does the head of a government have the right to kill innocent civilians in order to fight international terrorism?" The books give qualitative answers to these questions, among others, from areas in the Middle East. In addition, responses from Western Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, Africa, Central America, South America, Eastern Europe, and Central Europe are also included, which can provide insight on how the uprisings in the Middle East will be perceived across the globe.
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