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Attention to nonviolence in theory and practice has gone far beyond pious invocations of Gandhi or sonorous soundbites from Martin Luther King.  Nonviolent action, from principled to pragmatic, is studied by political scientists, strategists, activists, historians, ethicists, and psychologists, among others. How effective is it?  How do nonviolent and armed resistance intersect in particular struggles?  What does morality have to do with it? 
The conference begins Friday afternoon with a keynote on nonviolent resistance by political scientist Stephen Zunes, who argues that “strategic nonviolent action has become a force more powerful than war.” 
On Friday evening attendees are invited to a dinner and a screening of Al-Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine, a film by Connie Field featuring Stanford’s Prof. Clayborne Carson, Dance Lecturer Aleta Hayes, 2010 graduate Fadi Quran, and an array of Palestinian theater artists and activists.  
On Saturday the first panel assesses the trajectories of nonviolent and armed resistance in the movement that ultimately overthrew the apartheid regime in South Africa.  The second panel considers the history of nonviolent and violent means in the Palestinian freedom movement, with particular attention to legal, political, and ethical considerations in the currently prominent and hotly debated strategies of boycott, divestment, and sanctions.
A concluding address by Judith Butler will address philosophical and ethical meanings of nonviolence.
The conference is presented by the Peace+Justice Initiative at Stanford. For detailed conference program, see



Friday, May 30, 2014. 04:00PM


FIsher Conference Center, Arillaga Alumni Center, 326 Galvez St.


Peace+Justice Studies Initiative, Center for African Studies, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute


Free and open to the public. Please register at conference.
Dinner Fri. & lunch Sat. available only to registered attendees.