For you who wants to know more Nonviolence & Conflict Management

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. For you who wants to know more

Nonviolence & Conflict Management

-An abridged training material with basic exercises


What is violence? 6

What is nonviolence? 9

Understanding power 19

The discipline of nonviolence 20

Political jujitsu 22

Civil Disobedience 22

Swedish prominent figures 28

International Prominent Figures 29

The struggle for independence in Southern Asia 34

The Citizens rights Movement in the USA 35

The struggle against economic injustice 35

The Fall of the Berlin Wall 36

In Sweden 37

Active/empathetic/controlled listening 67

A nonviolence strategy for social change 67

To carry out training 69

The Group 69

Interviewing each other 74

Training in values and judgement. 74

The hot seat 75

The termometer 75













Nonviolence team training, three days for young people. 86

Workshop on conflict management, two hours with young people 88

The International Decade of Peace and Nonviolence

For The Children of the World
2001 – 2010 is the decade to overcome violence. We are The Christian Peace Movement, PeaceQuest , CIVIS and Sweden’s Teachers for Peace. In the co-operation project we have accepted the challenge of the decade. The book you have in your hand is a result of several years of development, earlier together with The Swedish Christian Council and The Swedish UN Organisation.
Our purpose is to spread the knowledge, commitment and skills to be able to work for peace, nonviolence and constructive conflict management. We arrange training programs in peaceful conflict management and non-violence. We also encourage and stimulate local initiative in these subjects. We wish to show the possibilities and gains of working constructively and violence-preventively between individuals and groups of people irrespective of where they are in the world.
Peace in our Hands is a national project with local activities in over ten places in Sweden. Welcome!

Nonviolence or

-Martin Luther King-

Read this First

Before you, you have a resource, inspiration and training material on nonviolence and conflict management.

The idea is that you shall be able to use this material as a resource to learn more, find ways to reach further

or when you yourself lead workshops, courses or training sessions. There are suggestion of books and websites where you can learn more. Discover and use!

Our expectation is that you may be inspired and challenged by the material and that this will lead to reflection, action and perhaps a change of habits or lifestyle. Non-violence and conflict management are of no value if they are not practised. Only when we allow our insights to move from head to heart and become deep rooted in us can they be practised.

The starting point for all thought about non-violence and conflict management is that we ourselves - all – have responsibility for how we choose to live and for what others do in our name. Even if we do not always feel that we have time and energy to influence the world to better things, we can at least change how we ourselves live. We can also influence what others do in our name. We are free to choose what we buy, what we do and do not do and even how we think!

The choice is ours, freedom is ours, power is ours.

I am inspired by nonviolence training.

At the same time, I ask myself the question,

what is it worth if it does not lead to action?

Lior - Israeli peaceactivist

The material is divided into three parts. The first part is about nonviolence. The second part looks at conflict management. The third part is aimed at the teacher and contains a large number of pedagogic suggestions, curriculum, useful and amusing exercises. The material on nonviolence and conflict management is divided into a basic course in peaceful conflict management and nonviolence (part 1). The section for instructors is handed out first after the step 2 training in peaceful conflict management and nonviolence is completed. To compile a good course it is needed to combine the theoretical models and thought in parts 1 and 2 with the practical exercises in part 3. Even if you do not wish to hold courses it can be of interest to look at the exercises.

This material has been produced in several steps by Fred i Våra Hander, during two project periods. Initially of a working group consisting of Monica Hagbok, Stina Magnuson, Martin Smedjeback, Eva Strömberg and Ole Rikner who also assembled the material. The group also received good help from Fanny Davidsson and Kajsa Svensson. A lot of inspiration has been people working with these questions around the world. In a second phase a considerably increased and revised edition has been produced by Klaus Engell-Nielsen and Patrik Gruczkun. During the autumn of 2007 a third revision has been done and the chapters Gender and non-violence (Sara Wallentin) and The Worldwide Nonviolence (Pelle Strindlund) have been added. The material is subject to continual development.

We the authors of this material, feel that inclination and satisfaction are among the most important motivators. It is all too easy to see the problem when it comes to commitment, but the fact of the matter is that it is both great fun and meaningful to work for a better world. The challenge is made!


More wars took place during the 20th1 century than at any other time in the history of the world. Between 1990 and 2001 there were 57 larger conflicts in the world, the majority in Afrika and Asia. Approximately 3.6 million people have died as a result of war since 1990. Violence is not only direct violence, but indirect, as structural violence resulting in starvation and epidemics. Each year 6.3 million children younger than 5 years old die of starvation2. Each day 30,000 children die of illnesses which could be prevented3.

In the present situation, wars and armed conflicts are fought within states, rather than between states and are a main cause of stopping development at the same time as they increase poverty. Working for peace and human rights by preventing armed conflicts and combating injustice with nonviolence methods is all about thinking about war, conflicts and violence in a new way. Thoughts and values where democracy, human rights and equality are included, together with the insight that conflicts on all levels – international, local and individual can be solved without weapons and violence. We are all hit by violence in the world and should therefore contribute to creating a peaceful and non-violent culture, even here in Sweden.

The requirements for a peace and non-violent culture exist already. Methods and models to prevent violence and manage conflicts have been developed and tested on an ever increasing scale since around 1970. Non-violence4 has under recent decades received a stronger recognition and has been used, for example, as a form of protest against economic injustice by Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (“SMT”- de Jordlösas rörelse) in Brasil .The UN general assembly has declared 2001 – 2010 as the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World. The UN realises that it is important that the whole of the civil society – organisations, churches, schools, professions, business and media actively contribute to the international work for a peace and non-violent culture.

Four organisations; The Christian Peace Movement, Peace Quest, CIVIS and Sweden’s Teachers for Peace work together to spread information, knowledge and skills in creative conflict management and nonviolence as a method of actively preventing oppression and injustice. Training in conflict management

and nonviolence is carried out, this book being the basic material. Through training and reflection over our own attitude and action in the face of injustice and conflicts, a greater credibility is created in preventive work in other countries. Our hope is that the material will give you inspiration and commitment to think about your role in working for a more peaceful world at home and even internationally. When we include ourselves in a non-violent culture we have dedicated ourselves to an understanding of ourselves and our ability to influence situations. Conflicts are not avoided without us having learned how to meet, sort and manage them in a creative and constructive way. Perhaps you can use some of the exercises or examples in your own organisation, workplace or school, and continue the work that Gandhi, Alva Myrdahl, and Martin Luther King among many other women and men have started. As each of us is influenced by and influences the violent culture around us contribute to a non-violent culture.


“Nonviolence is the law of the human race and is infinitely greater than, and superior to, brute force” – Mohandas K. Gandhi

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