The Technology Of Nonviolence
Fig. 1. The Technology Of Nonviolence. Courtesy of The MIT Press 2012.

The MIT Press published a book titled "The Technology Of Nonviolence: Social Media and Violence Prevention" written by Joseph G. Bock.

Publication Data

Bock, Joseph G. The Technology Of Nonviolence: Social Media and Violence Prevention. The MIT Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780262017626.


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.

Table of Contents

I Theory and Methodology
1 Toward an Applied Theory of Violence Prevention
2 Reporting and Warning about Deadly Possibilities
II Violence Prevention on the Ground
3 Organizing against Ethnoreligious Violence in Ahmedabad
4 Interrupting Gang Violence in Chicago
5 Counteracting Ethnoreligious Violence in Sri Lanka
6 Crowdsourcing during Post-election Violence in Kenya
7 Circumventing Tribal Violence in East Africa
8 Comparing the Approaches
9 How to Intervene Effectively
10 What to Do When Violence Prevention Is Unlikely to Work
III Resource Allocation Considerations and Recommendations
11 Concerns about Misallocation of Resources
12 Future Directions and Recommendations
Appendix A: Reporting Sheet for Field Officers
Appendix B: Categories for Local Conflict Early Warning and Early Response
Appendix C: "Super Event" Categories
Appendix D: Indicators of the CEWARN Mechanism
Appendix E: Results from Statistical Analysis on Organized Raids

About the Author

Joseph G. Bock is Director of Global Health Training and Teaching Professor in the Eck Institute for Global Health and University-wide Liaison with Catholic Relief Services at the University of Notre Dame. He has more than a decade of experience in humanitarian relief and development.

To order the book online visit The MIT Press website.