Non-violent defense against terror?


Image of vigil in France via

In the first place, who knew that non-military techniques have, in actual historical cases, reduced the threat of terror?

This week I would like to share with you George Lakey’s article “8 ways to defend against terror non-violently.

Such a discussion seems timely, though I guess one could say that had the same article been published anytime in the last few decades. The articles discusses a “toolbox” for non-military approaches to increasing security, many of which can be implemented by civil society organisations as well as advocated for at a federal level. Lakey introduces the techniques through a discussion of how the he teaches the 8 techniques to college students, and how the students engage with the material.

Some of the techniques that jumped out at me were “Pro-conflict education and training” and “unarmed civilian peacekeeping.” It is exciting to imagine and enumerate alternatives to militarized conceptions of security, however implementing these techniques would equally require a critical approach.

For example, the first technique is “Economic development.” What are the assumptions we have related to that phrase? Much of what is now considered “economic development” is actually jobless growth contingent upon the financialization of capital. I presume that is not quite what Lakey means, so what sort of economy could contribute to peace?

Do you think these “eight ways” could be effective?

What potential problems could arrive from or may be inherent in any of these approaches?

Are there other “ways” that could be added to this list?