Unarmed Forces


When we urge that the struggle for justice and peace be nonviolent we often meet with the reply that it is both legitimate and wise to use violence to defend oneself against violence. Many people on the receiving end of violence in the world today are prepared to adopt this view without hesitation. Yet there are others who, though subjected to extreme violence, have decided to carry out their work of resistance and social improvement nonviolently.

From June 16 to June 30, 1989, the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University hosted a conference entitled, "Nonviolence in Violent Contexts: Nonviolent Initiatives for Social Change in Central America and the Middle East." This book is based on talks given at that conference.


...the theme of this book is that injustice is a form of violence that injures and kills more people than die or are wounded in formal military warfare. It includes some of the best chapters I have ever read on the potential but insufficiently developed and used powers of nonviolent force to bring justice and peace to a dehumanizing world.

Science for Peace (December, 1992)

About the Author

Graeme MacQueen

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Graeme MacQueen

Graeme MacQueen is the founder of the McMaster's Centre of Peace Studies in Canada and its War and Health programme. He has been involved in developmental work and peace initiatives in war-affected places such as Sri Lanka, Croatia, Gaza and Afghanistan. He has a rich knowledge of Asian religions and literature and is deeply concerned with issues around peace, all of which are reflected in his writings.