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Culture, Power, and Strategy in the Peace Movement
Lynne M. Woehrle; Patrick G. Coy and Gregory M. Maney
During war, space for debate shrinks. Narrow ideas of patriotism and democracy marginalize and silence opposition to militarism abroad and repression at home. Although powerful, these ideas encounter widespread resistance. Analyzing the official statements of 15 organizations from 1990-2005, the authors show that the U.S. peace movement strongly contested taken-for-granted assumptions regarding nationalism, religion, security, and global justice.
engages cutting-edge theories in social movements research to understand the ways that activists promote peace through their words. Concepts of culture, power, strategy, and identity are used to explain how movement organizations and activists contribute to social change. The diversity of organizations and conflicts studied make this book a unique and important contribution to peace building and to social movements scholarship.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-0-7425-6447-3 • Hardback • December 2008 •
978-0-7425-6448-0 • Paperback • November 2009 •
978-0-7425-6572-2 • eBook • December 2008 •
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural
Political Science / Peace
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Lynne M. Woehrle
is associate professor of sociology at Mount Mary College.
Patrick G. Coy
is director and associate professor at the Center for Applied Conflict Management at Kent State University.
Gregory M. Maney
is associate professor of sociology at Hofstra University.
Chapter 1 Section One: Peace Discourses in a War Culture
Chapter 2 Chapter 1: Creating Oppositional Knowledge and Promoting an Active Democracy
Chapter 3 Chapter 2: To Harness or to Challenge Hegemony? Peace Movements at a Cultural Crossroads
Chapter 4 Chapter 3: Reconstructing Patriotism
Chapter 5 Section Two: Contesting Emotions and Identities in War and Peace
Chapter 6 Chapter 4: Capturing Hearts and Minds: Emotions and Peace Appeals
Chapter 7 Chapter 5: Gods of War, Gods of Peace
Chapter 8 Chapter 6: Mobilizing the Margins: Race, Class, Gender and Religion
Chapter 9 Section Three: The Changing Present and an Uncertain Future
Chapter 10 Chapter 7: Real Solutions for a Safer World
Chapter 11 Chapter 8: Going Global?: Discourses Beyond the Nation-State
Chapter 12 Chapter 9: Peace Movement Discourse: Unraveling Hegemony, Spinning New Threads
It is a 234-page serving of some much needed analysis of the modern American peace movement, more specifically, how it has managed to play an important role in balancing the popular discourse about war and patriotism. . . . It is a work of great significance in an area of research that, as the authors themselves point out, has been neglected for far too long.
, December 2009
How to persuade Americans, who are legitimately worried about terrorist attacks, that our current policies provoke more terrorism and are not in the national interest? The authors here make a valuable contribution to the study of how peace and justice movements grapple with these important questions. In the process, they also show it is time for the universities to devote more resources to conflict resolution studies.
Peace movement organizations operate in a diverse social and political climate, one distorted by rhetoric of fear and lies. That's why the peace movement has hungered of late for an informed, analytic framework to assess where we are and where we go next. Woehrle, Coy and Maney provide rich, deep, but fully accessible research that will sharpen our focus, increase our effectiveness, and provoke our community to "smart growth" through self-reflection. This is a very timely gift. It will give us direction with its GPS-like utility, and it offers encouragement in its C. Wright Mills-like sensibility for social change as a legitimate expression of patriotism.
Mark C. Johnson, executive director, Fellowship of Reconciliation-USA
In an era when U.S. nationalism and unilateralism are arguably the biggest threats to world peace and security, Woehrle, Coy, and Maney offer an important analysis of how culture can be used as a strategic tool for those seeking to promote a more peaceful and just world.
Jackie Smith, University of Pittsburgh
We wring our hands about the culture of violence that pervades our nation, and some of us expend enormous energy trying to change our country's rhetoric from one of war to one of peace. We act locally and from within esteemed national peace groups such asthe Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, War Resisters League, and the American Friends Service Committee. But the wars-and the worries-persist. What should we do? And how? Contesting Patriotism gives us a language to talk about our dilemmas. In it, Lynne Woehrle, Pat Coy, and Greg Maney describe the rhetoric used by peace organizations and then give us real solutions as we look to the future. Contesting Patriotism is an academic book, complete with an 11-page bibliography, but it's written by professors who are themselves activists and is eminently readable. It's a must-read for anyone who wants to move from wailing about strategy to truly working for peace..
, July 2009
Those who advocate for peace have too often had their patriotism questioned. This carefully reasoned and richly researched book provides a set of tools to help reshape the discourse about who speaks for America in matters of war and peace. This timely book is vitally important for all who seek new ways to turn this country away from the catastrophic policies that, in the name of patriotism, have deeply harmed Americans' interests at home and abroad.
Andrew L. Barlow, U.C. Berkeley and Diablo Valley College; author of Between Fear and Hope: Globalization and Race in the United States
We wring our hands about the culture of violence that pervades our nation, and some of us expend enormous energy trying to change our country's rhetoric from one of war to one of peace. We act locally and from within esteemed national peace groups such as the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, War Resisters League, and the American Friends Service Committee. But the wars-and the worries-persist. What should we do? And how?
gives us a language to talk about our dilemmas. In it, Lynne Woehrle, Pat Coy, and Greg Maney describe the rhetoric used by peace organizations and then give us real solutions as we look to the future.
is an academic book, complete with an 11-page bibliography, but it's written by professors who are themselves activists and is eminently readable. It's a "must-read" for anyone who wants to move from wailing about strategy to truly working for peace.
, July 2009
Woehrle, Coy, and Maney combine both their academic interests and their personal experience in developing a very clear assessment of the ways in which major groups in the peace movement have advanced this cause in their publications over the past 20 years.... Woehrle, Coy, and Maney provide rich, deep, but fully accessible research that will sharpen our focus, increase our effectiveness, and provoke our community to great coherence through self-reflection and cross-movement dialogue.
, Spring 2010
is a bombproof, peer-reviewed academic study on the ways the peace movement has responded to war and threats of war in its messaging. It gives examples of the strongest antiwar/pro-peace arguments from different approaches, explains reasoning for framing arguments, and categorizes arguments according to their characteristics....The authors combed through a great deal of peace group arguments and isolated the strongest persuasive writing, contextualized it, and compared contexts.
, Summer 2010, Volume 27
This excellent analysis considers all these in relation to North American peace movement organizations…. The study is well-structured and progresses logically…. It is an ideal book for postgraduate students….This book also opens up a new avenue of research for academics researching Latin American or African social movements…. This book is of significant importance….A piece of work that sets that standard for future research very high. A highly recommended book.
Interface: a journal for and about social movements
, May 2010
provides an intellectually complex, nuanced analysis of the conflicting uses of patriotism by war and peace forces in the modern world. Scholars, peace activists, government officials, and member of the general public can learn much from it.
History News Network
, May 2009
offers a comprehensive, detailed, and nuanced reading….While this book offers an intelligent content analysis, it also raises new research questions.
Coy, Maney, and Woehrle detail ways in which PMOs create "oppositional knowledge" by introducing new information into public debates, critiquing official lines of argument, envisioning new social and political arrangements, and calling people to action….
is notable for its research design that captures both the agency of social movement organizations and the political and cultural contexts that constrain and enable them in shaping political discourse…. The authors' systematic discourse analysis is impressive and compelling. The book is well referenced….I highly recommend
for its clarity because it offers anew level of focus on activist' cultural agency, and because it synthesizes many emerging interests in the cultural study of social movements.
Lee A. Smithey
, Fall 2010
Woehrle, Coy, and Maney have performed a notable public service with
. Readers get solid evidence for the authors' claims that historical context, organizational identity, and perceived audience matter as PMOs produce oppositional knowledge and fight hegemony. We are reminded that PMO discourse work is strategic, varying with political climate and political space. The authors show us that peace protest is among the highest forms of patriotism.
Woehrle, Coy, and Maney have performed a notable public service with
Readers get solid evidence for the authors’ claims that historical context, organizational identity, and perceived audience matter as PMOs produce oppositional knowledge and fight hegemony. We are reminded that PMO discourse work is strategic, varying with political climate and political space...The authors show us that peace protest is among the highest forms of patriotism.
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