Title Violence and Nonviolence
Subtitle Conceptual Excursions into Phantom Opposites
Author Peyman Vahabzadeh
ISBN 9781487523183
List price USD 39.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 360
Book size 152 x 228 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher University of Toronto Press
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
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Violence and Nonviolence will be a major contribution to the field; the book develops a post-Heideggerian approach to a central topic within politics, specifically, the interface between violence and nonviolence, according to the basic precepts of phenomenology.”

Frank Schalow, University Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of New Orleans


Violence and Nonviolence will appeal to a number of different audiences and will be useful to scholars and students of social movements, social and political theory and to those who are interested in the study of political and revolutionary change. Especially critical is the book’s convincing critique of current modes of thought and discourses that present violence and non-violence as mutually exclusive – discourses that as the author says in reference to certain readers of Gandhi, “try to extract breeze from the hurricane.” This book creates an analytical space for deeper studies of social/revolutionary movements, which can maneuver across the terms, (non)violence, without at the same time losing any and all ability to distinguish between them.”

Mark Ayyash, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Royal University


Through an original and close reading of the key literature regarding both revolutionary violence and nonviolence, this book collapses the widely-assumed concepts of violence and nonviolence as mutually exclusive. By revealing that violence and nonviolence are braided concepts arising from human action, Peyman Vahabzadeh submits that in many cases the actions deemed to be either violent or nonviolent might actually produce outcomes that are not essentially different.

Vahabzadeh offers a conceptual phenomenology of the key thinkers and theorists of both revolutionary violence and various approaches to nonviolence. Arguing that violence is inseparable from civilizations, Violence and Nonviolence concludes by making a number of original conceptualizations regarding the relationship between violence and nonviolence, exploring the possibility of a nonviolent future and proposing to understand the relationship between the two concepts as concentric, not opposites.



Introduction: Back to Violence • The World We Have Inherited • Recollective Thoughts on (Non)Violence • Caveat Lector • Critical Note on the Approach • Our Conceptual Journey

Chapter 1. Towards a Radical Phenomenology of (Non)Violence • Metaphysics of Violence, Violence of Metaphysics • A Tripartite Phenomenology of Violence • Healing and the Persisting Scars of Metaphysics Violence • Power and the Instrumentality of Violence • Revisiting the Instrumentality of Violence

Chapter 2. Deworlding, Reworlding, Phenomenal Violence • Deworlding, Reworlding, Phenomenal Violence • What’s in a Word? Reflections on ”Nonviolence” • Rethinking (Non)Violence Phenomenologically • Response to an Objection • Back to the Originary Moment

Chapter 3. Acts of Liberation • The Conceptual Uniqueness of Liberation • Sorel: The General Strike as an Originary Moment • Benjamin’s Critique of Violence • Derrida’s Interjection

Chapter 4. On Liberation’s Magical Moment • Fanon and the African Liberation • Arendt’s Predicament: On Liberation’s Excesses • Agamben: Homo Sacer’s Actless Existence • The Excess of Violence: Nonviolence • Liberation: (Non)Violence as Différance


Chapter 5. Logistical Necessity and Pragmatic Nonviolence • A Logistical Necessity for Citizens • Negating the Negative in Nonviolence

Chapter 6. On the Utility of Nonviolence: Peace and the Question of Justice • From Nonviolence to Peace • Revisiting (Non)Violence

Chapter 7. Ethics of Nonviolence • Tolstoy: The Law of Love • Thoreau: Twisted Emergence of Nonviolence • Arendt’s Interjection • Butler and the Injurability of the Other • Tolstoy Reloaded • Ethics and Verwindung

Chapter 8. Conflictual Politics of Nonviolence • Gandhi: Searching for Violence • The Necessity of Violence • On Acting and Its Issues • The Receding Signified • Once More ... Pausing on Liberation • Reading Gandhi Backwards

Conclusions: Not Opposites, Concentric! • Not Opposites, Concentric! • Violence in Our Technological Age • Seeing as Unseeing • Out in the Open



About the Author:

Peyman Vahabzadeh is professor of Sociology at University of Victoria.

Target Audience:

Useful for scholars and students of social movements, social and political theory and those who are interested in the study of political and revolutionary change. Also for people interested in Philosophy and Sociology.

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