Mohandas Gandhi often indicated that nonviolence was “a science,” and he appears to have meant this literally. Consistent with this vision, in this paper, we outline and apply principles of behavioral systems science, an emerging data-based approach to understanding the dynamics of complex cultural systems, to the practice of constructive noncooperation (Gandhi’s “constructive programme”). Although Gandhi emphasized that constructive action was the most important and potent of nonviolent strategic options, constructive alternatives have been the least developed in the literature of nonviolent struggle. The reconceptualization of constructive noncooperation in behavioral systems terms offered here suggests that rigorous analysis of Havel’s “living in truth” and Gandhi’s “truth force” may be both possible and practically useful in challenging oppression and supporting human rights.
behavioral systems science, campaigns of resistance, constructive noncooperation, Mohandas Gandhi, nonviolence
Mattaini, Mark A. and Atkinson, Kristen
"Constructive Noncooperation: Living in Truth,"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 18:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/pcs/vol18/iss1/1