The Technology of Nonviolence: Social Media and Violence Prevention

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MIT Press, 2012 - Social Science - 288 pages

How technology and community organizing can combine to help prevent violence, with examples from Chicago to Sri Lanka.

Tunisian and Egyptian protestors famously made use of social media to rally supporters and disseminate information as the "Arab Spring" began to unfold in 2010. Less well known, but with just as much potential to bring about social change, are ongoing local efforts to use social media and other forms of technology to prevent deadly outbreaks of violence. In The Technology of Nonviolence, Joseph Bock describes and documents technology-enhanced efforts to stop violence before it happens in Africa, Asia, and the United States.

Once peacekeeping was the purview of international observers, but today local citizens take violence prevention into their own hands. These local approaches often involve technology--including the use of digital mapping, crowdsourcing, and mathematical pattern recognition to identify likely locations of violence--but, as Bock shows, technological advances are of little value unless they are used by a trained cadre of community organizers.

After covering general concepts in violence prevention and describing technological approaches to tracking conflict and cooperation, Bock offers five case studies that range from "low-tech" interventions to prevent ethnic and religious violence in Ahmedebad, India, to an anti-gang initiative in Chicago that uses Second Life to train its "violence interrupters." There is solid evidence of success, Bock concludes, but there is much to be discovered, developed, and, most important, implemented.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
I Theory and Methodology
15
II Violence Prevention on the Ground
55
III Resource Allocation Considerations and Recommendations
177
Conclusion
203
Reporting Sheet for Field Officers
209
Categories for Local Conflict Early Warning and Early Response
211
Super Event Categories
217
Indicators of the CEWARN Mechanism
221
Results from Statistical Analysis on Organized Raids
225
Acronyms
227
Glossary
231
Notes
239
References
257
Index
275
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Joseph G. Bock isnbsp;Director of nbsp;Ph.D. Program in International Conflict Management in thenbsp;College of Humanities and Social Sciences atnbsp;Kennesaw State University, Georgia.

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