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Realizing Nonviolent Resilience

Neoliberalism, Societal Trauma, and Marginalized Voice

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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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Chapter Ten: Ecovillages, Sustainability, and Social and Environmental Healing (Joe Cole)

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Ecovillages,Sustainability, and Socialand EnvironmentalHealing

JOE COLE

The Ecovillage Movement aims to build a global network of village-scale communities grounded in regenerative sustainability, justice, and cooperation. But is human and ecological flourishing even possible in an era of neoliberal capitalism, where human and environmental systems are facing intensified social upheaval, environmental devastation, trauma, and war?

To explore how the Ecovillage Movement supports peacebuilding, resilience, and environmental and social regeneration, I examine a case study of an ecovillage located in the southeastern United States, and I discuss five interviews with the ecovillage residents and leaders concerning their experiences of social and environmental trauma, crisis, and healing. I reflect on the connections between the ecovillage movement and the framework of Regenerative Sustainability (Du Plessis and Brandon, 2015), which aims beyond conventional sustainability toward human and environmental flourishing. I conclude that the global ecovillage movement, while facing many challenges, offers a viable model of long-term peacebuilding, sustainable community, and greater human and environmental health and resilience, yet this model can better address social sustainability, inner sustainability, and personal and community trauma healing.

Neoliberalism is a global system of values and institutions promoting market-based economies and governments that protect the sanctity of property rights and for-profit economic goals (Harvey, 2005). Neoliberalism primarily benefits corporations and wealthy elites that thrive on competition, consumption, inequality, and global economic expansion. In recent decades, Neoliberalism has been strengthened through privatization of government services, deregulation of corporations, and the rise of...

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