Violence, nonviolence, and the palestinian national movement

Wendy Pearlman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

97 Scopus citations


Why do some national movements use violent protest and others nonviolent protest? Wendy Pearlman shows that much of the answer lies inside movements themselves. Nonviolent protest requires coordination and restraint, which only a cohesive movement can provide. When, by contrast, a movement is fragmented, factional competition generates new incentives for violence and authority structures are too weak to constrain escalation. Pearlman reveals these patterns across one hundred years in the Palestinian national movement, with comparisons to South Africa and Northern Ireland. To those who ask why there is no Palestinian Gandhi, Pearlman demonstrates that nonviolence is not simply a matter of leadership. Nor is violence attributable only to religion, emotions, or stark instrumentality. Instead, a movement's organizational structure mediates the strategies that it employs. By taking readers on a journey from civil disobedience to suicide bombings, this book offers fresh insight into the dynamics of conflict and mobilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages287
ISBN (Electronic)9781139013239
ISBN (Print)9781107007024
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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