Read online: Conscientious Objection: A Practical Companion for Movements


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This book is intended as a practical companion for conscientious objection movements and all those whose work forms part of the continuum of war resistance. 

It has been written by activists who are campaigning against all kinds of injustice, all over the world.  Learning from the lived experience of these activists, the aim is to help movements work together, surmount the external challenges they face, and enhance the concept of conscientious objection, using it in new and innovative ways - such as against war profiteering, or the militarisation of youth.  The book also has a specific focus on gender, and the often invisible role of gender, both in the war machine, and in the movements which oppose it. 

To read this book is to be encouraged, not just to notice gender and the other power structures upholding militarism, but to actively work to undermine them - and in doing so, to start dismantling militarism itself.


1. Introduction

2. Conscientious Objection in History

Section 1: Working Together

3. Why Gender?

4. Women and Conscientious Objection: Ferda’s Story

5. Race: an interview with Greg Payton

6. Class & Socioeconomic Background: an interview with Noam Gur

7. Working with Privilege and Difference

8. Different Motivations

9. Consensus Decision Making

Section 2: Movement Strategy

10. Organising Refuser Support

11. International Solidarity

12. Conscientious Objection in International Law: an overview

13. The Impact of International Mechanisms in Local Cases: the example of Colombia

14. Supporting Conscientious Objectors and Deserters in Times of War: an objector's perspective

15. Supporting Conscientious Objectors and Deserters Abroad: a supporter's perspective

16. The Role of Veterans in Peace and Antimilitarist Movements 

Alternative Service
17. Total Objection and Alternative Service: a Finnish perspective

18. Campaigning for Alternative Service in Russia

19. Alternative Service and the Danger of Depoliticisation: lessons from Germany

20. After Conscription

Section 3: Extending Conscientious Objection

21. Conscientious Objection: a springboard for radical social change

22. Conscientious Objection: making fissures in the deep militarism of South Korea

23. Militarism and Gender in Turkey

24. The Role of LGBT and Women’s Conscientious Objection in Turkey

25. Disability and Conscription: masculinity, (dis)ableism, and the militarised body in Turkey

26. Conscientious Objection in Israel: dismantling the master’s house with the master’s tools?

27. Conscientious Objection beyond the Military

28. 21st Century War Profiteering: more openings to object?

29. War Tax Resistance: Fiscal Objection to Spanish Military Spending

30. Communities Resisting War

31. Resisting Gang Recruitment

32. Building the Alternative

33. Refusing Violence, Fighting All Injustice, and Creating Alternatives: conscientious objection in wider nonviolent struggles

Or download the book as a pdf (and please consider making a donation to WRI if you can!)

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