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Realizing Nonviolent Resilience

Neoliberalism, Societal Trauma, and Marginalized Voice


Edited By Jeremy A. Rinker and Jerry T. Lawler

Current neoliberal social and economic realities have had enormous impacts on the abilities of oppressed groups and marginalized communities to realize resistance and innate resiliencies. How does the ubiquity of neoliberal economic forces exacerbate traumatized populations’ helplessness, and, thereby, influence their inability to grapple with their oppressors and engage in fruitful change solutions? This edited volume asks how nonviolent conflict practitioners might intervene to ‘treat’ traumatized, and often marginalized, populations suspended in the predicament of ‘acting in’ and ‘acting out’ their collective traumas. Treating trauma is an integral aspect of successful peacebuilding work. This work aims to explore the role of trauma in peacebuilding and illuminate the ways that neoliberal marginalization impacts trauma-informed peace work.

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Introduction (Jeremy A. Rinker and Jerry T. Lawler)



The contributions in Realizing Nonviolent Resilience: Neoliberalism, Societal Trauma, and Marginalized Voice (hereafter referred to as Realizing Nonviolent Resilience) address a multipronged problematic in the contemporary fields of peace studies and conflict transformation. How is positive peace possible in the context of the unacknowledged collective historical traumas of the marginalized? Further, when such collective historical traumas are reinforced and maintained by what Henry Giroux calls the “terror of neoliberalism” (Giroux, 2008), how are peacebuilders to respond nonviolently (i.e., in a way that does not perpetuate any form of violence)? Through engaging a growing literature on both trauma-informed peacebuilding (Zelizer, 2008, 2013; Hester, 2016; Yoder, 2005, among others) and nonviolent responses to neoliberal marginalization (Meckfessel, 2016; Braithwaite and D’Costa, 2018; Foucault 1980, 2006), the chapters in Realizing Nonviolent Resilience aim to address the pervasive effect of collective historical and societal trauma in inhibiting the resolution of what Edward Azar (1984) called protracted social conflicts (PSCs). This aim is certainly complicated by the macro forces of political, economic, and societal oppression, most clearly conceptualized in the dominant modern ideology of neoliberalism. Neoliberal ideology and practices have disrupted traditional and indigenous structures of society to create unique roadblocks to lasting conflict reconciliation and resilience. Neoliberalism thereby acts to maintain PSCs and elide the ongoing impacts of collective historical trauma. Such complex forces are hegemonic, not easily amenable to top down amelioration, and commonly conceived of as intractable, or inevitable. The collection of ←1 | 2→works herein aims to develop practical insights...

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