Assignment: Reducing Direct Violence

As you saw in the Discussion, strategic nonviolence can be successful in addressing a conflict. It occurs in the escalation phase of a conflict when disputants are working to increase awareness of a situation and gain support for their cause. Not all nonviolent strategies are successful or appropriate for all conflicts. When violence erupts in a conflict, it is necessary to implement systems to reduce it. When violence results in killing or harming people, it is considered direct violence. Direct violence can be contrasted with structural violence, when people are deprived of their human rights and needs. Structural violence often results in direct violence, the reduction of which can be the beginning of building peace. Your text addresses several systems and approaches for reducing direct violence, such as law enforcement, humanitarian assistance, and military intervention.

There is no shortage of examples of direct violence throughout history and all over the world. One example is Liberia, a country with a history of civil war. Although the most recent war ended in 2003, sporadic outbreaks of direct violence have continued. Your Learning Resources provide information about the conflict after the war.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review Chapter 8 in your course text, The Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding. Pay particular attention to systems and approaches for reducing direct violence.
  • Review the article, “Liberia: Violence, Discrimination, and Impunity,” and note examples of direct violence.
  • Review the articles, “Violence in Liberia Extends to Journalists” and “Sex and Bribery for Better Grades: Academic Dishonesty in Liberia.” Focus on systems and approaches used to reduce violence in Liberia.
  • Think about three systems or approaches for reducing direct violence that could reduce direct violence in Liberia.
  • Consider which systems or approaches might be the most successful and why.

The assignment: (1–2 pages)

  • Describe three systems or approaches for reducing direct violence that could have reduced direct violence during Liberia’s civil war and/or post war.
  • Explain how and why, using specific examples to illustrate your explanation.
  • Evaluate which strategy might be the most successful of the three, and justify your response. Be specific and use examples from the actual war(s).

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.

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