Document Type : Research Article


Human Rights Professional with Administrative, Donor Relations, and Fundraising Experience


Violence generally monopolizes the discourse of social change. An alternative voice is that of marginalized people who confront nonviolently the danger of forfeited basic rights and need to secure rights. This essay applies sociological theories on the causes of violence as well as peacebuilding/nonviolence literature to three case studies: 1) Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo through a Christian Liberation Theology perspective; 2) the Islamic revolution in Iran; and 3) the Gandhian/Buddist Sarvodaya Movement in Sri Lanka. These case studies illustrate the role that religion plays in nonviolent efforts to attain human rights recognition and suggest that marginalized voices may be heard as peacebuilding literature and nonviolent rights recognition helps us transcend the human rights dichotomy. This paper’s main purpose is to break violence’s monopoly on the discourse of social change and to allow room for nonviolent movements to contribute to the dialogue.


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