Past event

Non-Violence as Strategy An International Relations Roundtable Collaboration

Scholars have thought deeply about the use of violence in society and the utility of force in war. These ideas have traditionally occupied centre stage in strategic thinking, not least owing to Clausewitz. The use and utility of non-violence, although recognised as strategy by some, is not regarded as such by others. Notwithstanding the scholarly differences, the use of non-violence has arguably brought strategic victory to some of its proponents in the real world. Is there then a case for 'Non-violence as Strategy'?

Here are some questions of interest: What is Strategy? Can opposing concepts of violence and non-violence both constitute strategy? Is there a need to distinguish strategic non-violence from moral non-violence and pacifism? What are the implications for strategic studies, military history, and peace and conflict studies?

The aims of this roundtable are twofold. First, in using a broad interpretation of the meaning of strategy and bringing together speakers with diverse research expertise, it provides an intercontinental and interdisciplinary forum to explore new ideas in strategic thought. It will also provide an opportunity to clarify/solidify some key concepts in the field.

Second, the roundtable seeks to engage with new scholarship on non-violence as well as take stock of both historical and recent political movements to understand how they have informed, and are shaping, conflict, peace, strategy and (non-)violence.


  • Erica Chenoweth, Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment, Harvard University
  • Isabelle Duijvesteijn, Professor of International Studies and Global History, Leiden University
  • Karuna Mantena, Professor of Political Science, Columbia University
  • Michael Rainsborough, Professor of Strategic Theory, King's College London

Chair: Peter Feaver, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, Duke University

Roundtable events at the School of International Relations aim to bring together academics, students and researchers from universities and organisations across the world to discuss contemporary issues and ideas in International Relations.

This roundtable is a collaboration between the Institute for the Study of War and Strategy as part of its ongoing research project on Strategy and the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies based in St Andrews. The event is open to the public, but participants are required to register.

Registrations: Jennifer Halley, Events Coordinator on [email protected]
Enquiries: Sneha Reddy, Postdoctoral Research Fellow on [email protected]