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Le Moyne College Hosts Talk on the Relationship Between Politics and Violence

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (For Immediate Release) … Le Moyne College will host a talk by Dr. Dustin Ells Howes, of Louisiana State University, on Thursday, March 25, at 2 p.m. in Grewen Auditorium. His talk is titled “Toward a Credible Pacifism: Violence and the Possibilities of Politics,” and is based on his recent book by the same name, published by SUNY Press.

In his lecture, Howes will speak about the relationship between politics and violence, the implications of this relationship for political life and the lessons to be learned.

Advocates of pacifism usually stake their position on the moral superiority of nonviolence and have generally been reluctant or unwilling to concede that violence can be an effective means of conducting politics. In this compelling new work, which draws its examples from both everyday experience and the history of Western political thought, author Dustin Ells Howes presents a challenging argument that violence can be an effective and even just form of power in politics. Contrary to its proponents, however, Howes argues that violence is no more reliable than any other means of exercising power. Because of this there is almost always a more responsible alternative. He distinguishes between violent and nonviolent power and demonstrates how the latter can confront physical violence and counter its claims. This brand of pacifism gives up claims to moral superiority but recuperates a political ethic that encourages thoughtfulness about suffering and taking responsibility for our actions.

Free and open to the public. Presented by the Center for Peace and Global Studies and co-sponsored by the department of political science and the Lectures Committee.

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posted on: 3/9/2010