Social defence

Jørgen Johansen and Brian Martin

Sparsnäs, Sweden: Irene Publishing, 2019
174 pages.
ISBN 978-91-88061-37-9

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Book review

From the back cover

Social defence is nonviolent community resistance to aggression and repression, as an alternative to military forces. Given the enormous damage caused by military systems, social defence is an alternative worth investigating and pursuing.

Since the 1980s, Jørgen Johansen and Brian Martin have been involved in promoting social defence. In this book, they provide an up-to-date treatment of the issues. They address the downsides of military systems, historical examples of nonviolent resistance to invasions and coups, key ideas about social defence, important developments since the end of the Cold War, and the role of social movements.

Social defence challenges deeply embedded assumptions about violence and defence. It is also a challenge to powerful groups with vested interests in systems of organised violence, especially militaries and governments. Popular action against aggression and repression is a radical alternative — and a logical one.

There is no quick solution for the problems caused by military systems. Treating social defence as a goal provides guidance for strengthening social movements and their campaigns. Social defence is part of the path towards a nonviolent future.

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