books.

books

Abolishing State Violence provides insights and analysis about some of the key structures of violence in our world today, as well as the ongoing activism for their abolition.

 

The chapters connect various movements for social justice, providing ideas for how activists can support and build on each other's analysis and strategy. It shows that there are many, mutually supportive, abolition movements, each enhanced by a shared understanding of the relationships among various structures of violence and a shared framework for challenging them on the basis of their roots in patriarchy, racism, militarism, settler colonialism, and capitalism.

The book argues that abolition is transformative. It is about defunding, demilitarizing, disbanding, and divesting from current structures of violence, but also about imagining new ways to organize and care for each other and our planet, and about building new systems and cultures to sustain ourselves in a more equitable, free, and peaceful way. It shows that change is possible.

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Throughout history, people have challenged and changed the way governments and institutions legislate our lives. Movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo have had an incredible impact on public discourse and political commitments, showing the meaningful impacts that social movements and popular resistance can have on our world. Banning the Bomb, Smashing the Patriarchy offers a look inside the antinuclear movement and its recent successful campaign to ban the bomb. From scrappy organizing to winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 and achieving a landmark UN treaty banning nuclear weapons, this book narrates the journey of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and developments in feminist disarmament activism. It explains the process through which diplomats, activists, and nuclear survivors worked together to elevate the horrific humanitarian and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons, develop new international law categorically prohibiting the bomb, challenge nuclear orthodoxy, and strengthen norms for disarmament and peace.

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Edited by Ray Acheson in 2010, Beyond arms control: challenges and choices for nuclear disarmament is a collaborative work of non-governmental researchers and activists who critically examine the mainstream discourse about and actions around nuclear weapons. The book explores some of the most important challenges that governments and civil society face in terms of nuclear abolition, highlighting the prospects and pitfalls for disarmament at the time of writing. Throughout, the authors demonstrate that nuclear disarmament must be pursued in the context of social and economic justice.

The authors argue that abolishing nuclear weapons without affecting change in the systems that sustain, promote, and in fact require the existence of nuclear weapons to survive is impossible. The perceived military "utility" of nuclear weapons may be diminishing, but nuclear weapons and nuclear power are still "useful" to the economic and political elite of many countries and will thus be pursued by others seeking the same elite status. The first step on this road is distinguishing the rhetoric from the reality and creating a new discourse for nuclear disarmament that promotes true human security.