Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Protest and DissentNOMOS LXII$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Melissa Schwartzberg

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479810512

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479810512.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Competing Theories of Nonviolent Politics

Competing Theories of Nonviolent Politics

Chapter:
(p.83) 4 Competing Theories of Nonviolent Politics
Source:
Protest and Dissent
Author(s):

Karuna Mantena

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479810512.003.0005

The contemporary literature on nonviolent politics relies upon a sharp distinction between strategic and principled nonviolence. Gandhi and King are associated with the latter, defined as a strict moral commitment to nonviolence that both scholars and activists view as unnecessary for the successful practice of nonviolent politics. I argue the distinction between strategic and principled nonviolence is misleading. It misunderstands the most distinctive feature of classical nonviolent politics, namely, how Gandhi and King tethered ethical practice—practices of self-discipline or suffering—to political strategy. This chapter reconstructs an alternative account of nonviolent action—nonviolence as disciplined action—and argues that it is also strategic in orientation but premised upon a different theory of politics and political action. Disciplined action is underpinned by a skeptical ontology of action which highlights the affective dynamics of action. I contrast this to the prevailing model of nonviolence as collective power, which focuses on techniques of mass mobilization and the generation of social power. I distinguish the conceptual logic of these competing theories of nonviolent politics and the differing forms of protest and dissent they recommend.

Keywords:   nonviolent politics, satyagraha, mass protest, Gene Sharp, strategic nonviolence, M. K. Gandhi

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.