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Title: The process of engagement in non-violent collective action : case studies from the 1980s.
Author: Mastnak, Lynne.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3620 9883
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 1995
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This thesis examines the process of engagement in nonviolent collective action. It is a cross- cultural study - using the methods of life history interview, participant observation and archival research - of twelve individuals drawn from three anti-militarist movements that emerged in the 1980s. The movements were: in Britain, the Greenham Common women; in Poland, Wolnosc i Pokoj: and, in Guatemala, the Runujel Junam Council of Ethnic Communities. Its aim is to understand how individuals move from belief to collective action and how their values are incorporated into the movements in which they engage. My findings challenge the global model of protest behaviour that fails to separate non-violent collective action from other forms of protest. They also challenge the idea of a unitary explanatory model of commitment: in particular, both the psychopathological model - in which political engagement is a decontextualised, irrational process - and the hypothesis that engagement is simply a response to structural injustice. MY findings suggest that political engagement may be not only the result of psychological processes within the individual or merely a response to the external world, but, rather, a unique combination of the two: it is a particular individual's response to a particular set of historical circumstances that produces engagement. Three possible models are proposed: they involve both affective and cognitive processes and depend on the interplay of historical events with the individual's own life circumstances. There are cross-cultural continuities, but also significant differences in the role of fear which are crucial to understanding the timing of initial involvement. Finally, I examine the relationship between choice of method of action and the process of commitment. cuIture can have an overriding influence on the development of a particular moral perspective but no one moral perspective is especially associated with non-violence. Engagement in nonviolent action can foster awareness of the importance of connection and relationship. Moreover, moral perspective and thinking about the useful limits of non-violence appea~ to be related.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Protests