Brian Martin: publications on social defence

Social defence is nonviolent community resistance to aggression as an alternative to military defence. It is also known as civilian-based defence, nonviolent defence and defence by civil resistance.



Major articles and book chapters

Other articles


Newspaper articles


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Brian Martin's publications

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Jørgen Johansen and Brian Martin. Social defence (Sparsnäs, Sweden: Irene Publishing, 2019), 174 pages. Social defence is nonviolent community resistance as an alternative to military defence.

Brian Martin. Technology for Nonviolent Struggle (London: War Resisters' International, 2001).

Brian Martin. Social Defence, Social Change (London: Freedom Press, 1993), 157 pages.



Jacki Quilty, Lynne Dickins, Phil Anderson and Brian Martin. Capital Defence: Social Defence for Canberra (Canberra: Canberra Peacemakers, 1986), 68 pages. Published in Italian as Un Modello di Difesa Populare Nonviolenta (Molfetta: Edizioni la Meridiana, 1987). Published in Dutch as Sociale Verdediging voor Canberra (Utrecht: Opleiding Sociale Vredesdienst, 1989).


Journal articles and book chapters

Brian Martin. Nonviolent security: an alternative to African militaries. In Geoff Harris (ed.), Elgar companion to war, conflict and peacekeeping in Africa (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2024), pp. 220-230.

Brian Martin. Social defence: a revolutionary agenda. In Richard Jackson, Joseph Llewellyn, Griffin Manawaroa Leonard, Aidan Gnoth and Tonga Karena (eds.), Revolutionary Nonviolence: Concepts, Cases and Controversies (London: Zed Books, 2020).

Brian Martin. Whatever happened to social defence? Social Alternatives, vol. 33, no. 4, 2014, pp. 55-60. An explanation for why a nonviolent alternative to military defence has been neglected.

Brian Martin. Strategies for alternative science. In: Scott Frickel and Kelly Moore (eds.), The New Political Sociology of Science: Institutions, Networks, and Power (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), pp. 272-298.

Brian Martin. Defending without the military. In: Geoff Harris (ed.), Achieving Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: Cost Effective Alternatives to the Military (Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies, 2004), pp. 43-55. Reprinted, in a revised version, in Peace in North-East Asia, International Seminar, Seoul, Korea, 26-29 June 2005 (War Resisters' International, 2005), pp. 56-67 (in Korean) and pp. 144-156 (in English).

Brian Martin. Nonviolent futures. Futures, Vol. 33, 2001, pp. 625-635.

Brian Martin. Technology, violence, and peace. In: Lester R. Kurtz (editor-in-chief), Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict, Volume 3 (New York: Academic Press, 1999), pp. 447-459.

Brian Martin. Social defence strategy: the role of technology. Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 36, No. 5, January 1999, pp. 535-552.

Brian Martin. Science, technology and nonviolent action: the case for a utopian dimension in the social analysis of science and technology. Social Studies of Science, Vol. 27, 1997, pp. 439-463.

Schweik Action Wollongong (Alison Rawling, Lisa Schofield, Terry Darling and Brian Martin). Beyond military control. In: Versions of Freedom: An Anthology of Anarchism (Sydney: Visions of Freedom Collective, 1996), pp. 89-94.

Helen Gillett, Brian Martin and Chris Rust. Building in nonviolence: nonviolent struggle and the built environment. Civilian-Based Defense, Vol. 11, No. 3, Fall 1996, pp. 1, 4-7. Reprinted in Nonviolence Today, No. 53, January-March 1997, pp. 12-15.

Brian Martin. Possible pathologies of future social defence systems. Pacifica Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1995, pp. 61-68.

Schweik Action Wollongong (Lisa Schofield, Brian Martin, Rosie Wells, Terry Darling and Debra Keenahan). Social defence and community empowerment. Australian Social Work, Vol. 47, No. 1, March 1994, pp. 48-54.

Brian Martin. Social defence: arguments and actions. In: Shelley Anderson and Janet Larmore (eds.), Nonviolent Struggle and Social Defence (London: War Resisters' International, 1991), pp. 81-141.

Brian Martin. Revolutionary social defence. Bulletin of Peace Proposals, Vol. 22, No. 1, March 1991, pp. 97-105.

Brian Martin. Nonviolent deterrence. In Gordon Rodley (ed.), Beyond Deterrence (Sydney: Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, 1989), pp. 259-264.

Brian Martin. Social defence: elite reform or grassroots initiative? Social Alternatives, Vol. 6, No. 2, April 1987, pp. 19-23. Reprinted in Civilian-based Defense: News & Opinion, Vol. 4, No. 1, June 1987, pp. 1-5. Reprinted in Groundswell, No. 27, August-September 1987, pp. 3-6. Reprinted in Dutch in Geweldloos Aktief, Vol. 23, No. 2, June 1988, insert pp. 1-7. Reprinted in Anarchist Age Monthly Review, No. 13, January 1992, pp. 10-14.

Brian Martin. Social defence. In Uprooting War (London: Freedom Press, 1984). Revised edition published in Italian as La Piramide Rovesciata: Per Sradicare la Guerra (Molfetta: Edizioni La Meridiana, 1990).

Brian Martin. Social defence and the Indonesian military threat. Peace Studies, No. 4, pp. 5-8 (July 1984).

Brian Martin. Social defence for Australia? In: Jim Falk (ed.), Preventing Nuclear War: Australia's Role (Wollongong: University of Wollongong, 1982), pp. 56-60.


Other articles

Brian Martin. Submarine sideshow: does Australia even need a military? Pearls & Irritations, 21 November 2021.

Brian Martin and Jørgen Johansen. What if the government abolished the military? Waging Nonviolence: Resistance Studies, 25 October 2019. The case for social defence. German translation.

Brian Martin. Social defence: how is it relevant today? FriedensForum: Zeitschrift der Friedensbewegung, No. 4, August/September 2009, pp. 43-45 (in German, translated by Christine Schweitzer).

Schweik Action Wollongong (Sharon Callaghan, Chris Fox, Brian Martin and Yasmin Rittau). Feminists look at civilian-based defense. Civilian-Based Defense, Vol. 16, No. 1, Spring 2001, pp. 3-12.

Brian Martin. Impressions of the Dutch social defence network. Nonviolence Today, No. 34, September/October 1993, pp. 16-18; Civilian-Based Defense, Vol. 8, No. 6, Winter 1993-94, pp. 2-5.

Brian Martin. Nonviolent struggle and social defence: 3-7 April 1990, Bradford, England. Conference report. Nonviolence Today, No. 15, pp. 13-15 (June-July 1990).

Alison Rawling, Lisa Schofield, Terry Darling and Brian Martin. The Australian Post Office and social defence. Nonviolence Today, No. 14, April-May 1990, pp. 6-8.

Brian Martin. CBD - taking stock. Civilian-based Defense: News & Opinion, Vol. 6, No. 1, p. 3 (July-August 1989).

Canberra Peacemakers. Social defence: nonviolent community resistance to aggression. Canberra: Canberra Peacemakers, 1982.

Brian Martin. Notes on non-violent defence. In: Jill Taylor and Bob James (eds.), Review of Libertarian Politics and Alternative Lifestyles (Lewisham, 1980), pp. 26-27.


"Nonviolent defence: Robert Burrowes' approach," review of Robert Burrowes, The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense, in Nonviolence Today, No. 55, July/August 1997, pp. 19-22; a shortened version appeared in Gandhi Marg, Vol. 19, No. 1, April-June 1997, pp. 107-112.

Review of Michael Randle, Civil Resistance, in Social Alternatives, Vol. 13, Nos. 3 & 4, October 1994, p. 59.

"Learning about 'nonviolent struggle': lessons from Steven Huxley," essay review of Steven Huxley, Constitutionalist Insurgency in Finland, in Nonviolence Today, No. 22, August-September 1991, pp. 11-14.

Review of Alex P. Schmid, Social Defence and Soviet Military Power, in Nonviolence Today, No. 1, pp. 18-19 (February-March 1988); also in Civilian-Based Defense: News & Opinion, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 6-11 (May 1988).

Review of Gene Sharp, Making Europe Unconquerable, in Social Anarchism, No. 12, pp. 54-56 (1986-1987).

Newspaper articles

Brian Martin. Social defence: concept to conquer world war. Canberra Times, 2 December 1982, p. 18. Reprinted in Green Alliance Newsletter, No. 9, 1983, pp. 25-26.