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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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Afterword and Future Directions (Jeremy A. Rinker and Jerry T. Lawler)



In the original call for contributions to this volume, the editors asked for submittals that would highlight the “current neoliberal social and economic realities” that “have had enormous impacts on the abilities of oppressed groups and marginalized communities to realize resistance and innate resilience.” Neoliberalism was defined in the original call as follows:

Neoliberalism, the reigning ideology of our era, is most commonly associated with free market economics and economic growth as the supposed best way to achieve human progress and happiness. It is foundational to neoliberalism that there should be a minimum of government intervention in economic affairs. As a titular expression of economic freedom for all, neoliberalism is distinct from modern liberalism that saw poverty, inequality, disease, and discrimination as impediments to individual freedom and happiness. Instead, neoliberal ideology sees government interventions to allay these impediments by redistributing wealth, as inevitably leading to totalitarianism. A key neoliberal conviction is that individuals, the underserved, and/or minority groups do not benefit from government imposed social support. Rather, they need to compete and adapt to progress and flourish.

In defining neoliberalism in this conflictual way, the co-editors were particularly interested in the following question: “In the ascendant context of neoliberal ideology in the early 21st century what can the poor and marginalized do to resist such forces?”

Only later when submissions began to come in did we realize the size of the broad net we had cast. Coming as it did in early...

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