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Contrasting Views About Violence

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Some contend that violence is one of the most important defining characteristics of the twentieth- century experience, and recent events have shown that many people, world leaders and lone individuals alike, still consider violence to be a legitimate mode of political action.

This paper requires you to use three of the texts you have read so far this quarter to analyze varying and contrasting views about violence. One of these three texts must be the assigned excerpts from Mohandas Gandhi, Satyagraha. You may find it most productive to choose the other two readings from among the following authors: Kreisler or the War Nurse (do not choose both), Stalin, Mussolini, Churchill, Fanon, Guevara, King, Foucault, and the Palestinian National Charter / Israel-PLO recognition letters (both read together would count as one text), but you are not necessarily limited to this list.

Using these texts and considering the specific historical context that shaped each author’s understanding of power and violence, what differing roles did violence play in shaping social and political change in the twentieth century? To help you answer the prompt’s main question, you may find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

Consider the historical context in which each document was written. How did the specific historical contexts influence the author’s ideas about violence? (Hint: lecture provides the most helpful discussion of historical context for this paper.)

How does each author explicitly or implicitly define violence?

Does each author justify the use of violence or argue against it?

What are their primary arguments against or in favor of violence?

What do these arguments reveal about their objectives, and how are their views about violence

suited to realizing those objectives?

Construct an argument of approximately five pages (1250-1500 words) that ties your subpoints into a substantive thesis that answers the main question, and make sure that your claims are measured to the evidence at hand.

As always, your response should be complete, but succinct, and supported with properly cited quotations and evidence from the text. Papers shorter than 1125 words and papers longer than 1500 words will be penalized. Please double space and use a standard 12-point font, 1-inch margins, and minimal headers.

Do not consult any outside sources beyond lecture and the assigned readings while writing this paper. If you violate this rule and consult outside sources, you must cite them. Plagiarism carries a much stronger penalty than consulting unnecessary and often misleading secondary material

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