Monday, November 28, 2011

What is Wendy Pearlman reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Wendy Pearlman, author of Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement.

Part of her entry:
In Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement, I focused on the organizational aspects of mobilization. In my reading on the current uprisings, however, I’ve been drawn to explore the role of emotions. I’m usually skeptical about emotions as a factor explaining political action. But the intensity of feelings expressed in these uprisings has inspired me to rethink that bias.

As such, I’ve been reading about the psychology and sociology of emotions. I’ve been reading works that consider the place of emotions in societal relationships, such as Jack Barbalet’s Emotion, Social Theory, and Social Structure. I’ve also been reading works on how emotions affect individuals’ decision-making about politics, such as Affective Intelligence and Political Judgment by George Marcus, W. Russell Neuman and Michael MacKuen. In addition, I’ve been reading scholarly articles by George Loewenstein, an economist who has researched how people’s emotions affect their thinking and behavior in ways...[read on]
About Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement, from the publisher:
Why do some national movements use violent protest and others nonviolent protest? Wendy Pearlman shows that much of the answer lies inside movements themselves. Nonviolent protest requires coordination and restraint, which only a cohesive movement can provide. When, by contrast, a movement is fragmented, factional competition generates new incentives for violence and authority structures are too weak to constrain escalation. Pearlman reveals these patterns across one hundred years in the Palestinian national movement, with comparisons to South Africa and Northern Ireland. To those who ask why there is no Palestinian Gandhi, Pearlman demonstrates that nonviolence is not simply a matter of leadership. Nor is violence attributable only to religion, emotions, or stark instrumentality. Instead, a movement's organizational structure mediates the strategies that it employs. By taking readers on a journey from civil disobedience to suicide bombings, this book offers fresh insight into the dynamics of conflict and mobilization.
Learn more about Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement at the Cambridge University Press website.

Wendy Pearlman is Assistant Professor of Political Science and the Crown Junior Chair in Middle East Studies at Northwestern University.

The Page 99 Test: Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement.

Writers Read: Wendy Pearlman.

--Marshal Zeringue