Toward a Psychology of Nonviolence

  • Harry Murray
  • Mikhail Lyubansky
  • Kit Miller
  • Lilyana Ortega
Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)


In 1964, Martin Luther King concluded his first book, Stride Toward Freedom, by proclaiming: “Today, the choice is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.” Although many would take comfort in the fact that global civilization has survived nearly half a century since those words were written, others (e.g., Bodley 2008) fear that our culture has developed so many possibilities of self-extermination that we have indeed chosen nonexistence. We write this chapter in the conviction that King’s words were prophetic, in the hope that there is still time to choose nonviolence, and in the firm belief that psychology can contribute to that choice.


Nonviolence Restorative Nonviolent communication Permaculture 


  1. Ackerman, P., & Duvall, J. (2000). A force more powerful: A century of nonviolent conflict. New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  2. Alexander, M., & Bruning, J. (2008). How to break a terrorist: The US interrogators who used brains, not brutality, to take down the deadliest man in Iraq. Free PressGoogle Scholar
  3. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (2008). Newly unredacted report confirms psychologists supported illegal interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Press Release. Retrieved April 30, from
  4. American Psychological Association. (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American Psychologist, 57, 1060–1073.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bodley, J. (2008). Anthropology and contemporary human problems (5th ed.). Lanham: Alta Mira.Google Scholar
  6. Braithwaite, J. (1999). Restorative justice: Assessing optimistic and pessimistic accounts. In M. Tonry (ed.). Crime and justice: A review of research, Vol. 25. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. (1963). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  8. Casey, G. W. (2011). Comprehensive soldier fitness: A vision for psychological resilience in the U.S. Army. American Psychologist, 66, 1–3.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chenoweth, E., & Stephan, M. J. (2011). Why civil resistance works: The strategic logic of nonviolent conflict. New York: Columbia.Google Scholar
  10. Christie, N. (2004). A suitable amount of crime. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Christie, N. (2007). Limits to pain: The role of punishment in penal policy. New York: Wipf & Stock Publishers.Google Scholar
  12. Davidson, M. (1998). Convictions of the heart: Jim Corbett and the sanctuary movement. Arizona: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  13. Day, D. (1997). Loaves and fishes. Maryknoll: Orbis.Google Scholar
  14. Dillard, C. L. (2002). Civil disobedience: A case study in factors of effectiveness. Society and Animals, 10, 47–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eidelson, R., Pilisuk, M., & Soldz, S. (2011). The dark side of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness. Retrieved from
  16. Eller, J. (2006). Violence and culture: A cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach. Australia: Wadsworh.Google Scholar
  17. Flaherty, A., (2008). Probe: Officials warn about harsh interrogations. USA Today. Retrieved February, 24, 2013 from
  18. Forest, J. (2011). All is grace: A biography of Dorothy day. Maryknoll: Orbis.Google Scholar
  19. Gandhi, M. K. (1919). Satyagraha leaflet no. 13. Retrieved December, 22, 2012 from
  20. Gandhi, M. K. (1951). Non-violent resistance. New York: Schocken.Google Scholar
  21. Gandhi, M. K. (1983). Autobiography: The story of my experiments with truth. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  22. Gandhi, M. (2009). The way to God: Selected writings from Mahatma Gandhi. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.Google Scholar
  23. Gillinson, S., Horne, M., & Baeck, P. (2010). Radical efficiency: Different, better, lower cost public services. London: NESTA.Google Scholar
  24. Golden, R., & McConnell, M. (1986). Sanctuary: The new underground railroad. Maryknoll: Orbis.Google Scholar
  25. Goleman, D. (2006). Social intelligence: The revolutionary new science of human relationships. New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
  26. Gould, S. J. (1982). A nation of morons. New Scientist, 6, 349–352.Google Scholar
  27. Hallie, P. (1979). Lest innocent blood be shed. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  28. Hanh, T. N. (1987). Being peace. Berkeley: Parallax Press.Google Scholar
  29. Hanh, T. N. (1998). Interbeing (3rd ed.). Berkeley: Parallax Press.Google Scholar
  30. Holmes, R. (1990). Nonviolence in theory and practice. Prospect Heights: Waveland.Google Scholar
  31. Hudson, B. (2003). Justice in the risk society: Challenging and re-affirming justice in late modernity. London: Sage Publications Limited.Google Scholar
  32. Huxley, A. (1937). Ends and means: An inquiry into the nature of ideals and into the methods employed for their realization. New York: Harper and Brothers.Google Scholar
  33. Irwin, J. (1985). The jail: Managing the underclass in American society. Berkeley: California.Google Scholar
  34. King, M. L. (1957). The power of nonviolence. Berkeley: University of California.Google Scholar
  35. King, M. L. (1964). Stride toward freedom: The Montgomery story. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  36. King, M. L. (1986). A testament of hope: The essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, jr. (J.M. Washington, Ed.). San Francisco: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  37. Kool, V. K. (2008). The psychology of nonviolence and aggression. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
  38. Kuhn, T. (1996). The structure of scientific revolutions (3rd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Larsson, L. (2011). A helping hand: Mediation with nonviolent communication. Svensbyn, Sweden: Friare Liv Konsult.Google Scholar
  40. Litz, B. T., Stein, N., Delaney, E., Lebowitz, L., Nash, W. P., Silva, C., et al. (2009). Moral injury and moral repair in war veterans: A preliminary model and intervention strategy. Clinical Psychology Review, 29, 695–706.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lyubansky, M., & Barter, D. (2011). A restorative approach to interpersonal racial conflict. Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 23(1), 37–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Macy, J. R., & Brown, M. Y. (1998). Coming back to life: Practices to reconnect our lives, our world. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers.Google Scholar
  43. Murray, H. (1990). Do not neglect hospitality: The catholic worker and the homeless. Philadelphia: Temple.Google Scholar
  44. Mannen, D., Hinton, S., Kuijper, T., & Porter, T. (2012). Sustainable Organizing: A Multiparadigm Perspective of Organizational Development and Permaculture Gardening. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.Google Scholar
  45. Olson, B., Soldz, S., & Davis, M. (2008). The ethics of interrogation and the American Psychological Association: A critique of policy and process. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, 3, 2–8.Google Scholar
  46. Pirsig, R. (1974). Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  47. Pope, K. S. (2011). Psychologists and detainee interrogations: Key decisions, opportunities lost, and lessons learned. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 7, 459–481.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pope, K. S., & Gutheil, T. G. (2008). The American Psychological Association and detainee interrogations: Unanswered questions. Psychiatric Times, 25, 16–17.Google Scholar
  49. Reiman, J., & Leighton, P. (2010). The rich get richer and the poor get prison: Ideology, class, and criminal justice (9th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  50. Rohr, R. (2003). Everything belongs: The gift of contemplative prayer. New York: Crossroad Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  51. Rosenberg, M. B. (2003). Nonviolent communication: A language of life: Create your life, your relationships, and your world in harmony with your values. Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press.Google Scholar
  52. Scheper-Hughes, N., & Bourgois, P. (2004). Violence in war and peace: An anthology. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  53. Seligman, M. E. P., & Fowler, R. D. (2011). Comprehensive soldier fitness and the future of psychology. American Psychologist, 66, 82–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sharp, G. (1973). The politics of nonviolent action: Part one: Power and struggle. Boston: Porter-Sargent.Google Scholar
  55. Sherif, M., Harvey, O. H., White, B. J., Hood, W. B., & Sherif, C. W. (1961). Intergroup conflict and cooperation: The Robber’s cave experiment. Norman: University of Oklahoma.Google Scholar
  56. Sherman, L. W., & Strang, H. (2007). Restorative justice: The evidence (p. 2007). London: The Smith Institute.Google Scholar
  57. Smith, C. (1996). Resisting Reagan: The U.S. Central America peace movement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  58. Zahn, Gordon. (1964). In solitary witness: The life and death of Franz Jaggerstatter. Collegeville: Liturgical Press.Google Scholar
  59. Zehr, H. (2002). The little book of restorative justice. Intercourse: Good Books.Google Scholar
  60. Zinn, H. (2003). The twentieth century: A people’s history. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry Murray
    • 1
  • Mikhail Lyubansky
    • 2
  • Kit Miller
    • 3
  • Lilyana Ortega
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyNazareth CollegeRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Gandhi Institute for NonviolenceRochesterUSA
  4. 4.College of EducationChampaignUSA

Personalised recommendations