Theories of (non) Violence

Teacher(s): Felicity Markdal 

Lessons: 4/week

Everyone on this planet is touched by violence, either as; victim, perpetrator or both. In this class we seek to understand this phenomenon, on both a global, local and personal level, with a mind to reduce and maybe even remove it from humanity. The class will be about discussing, debating, researching and exploring the phenomena of violence and non-violence, no great theorists or academics can 100% understand the causes of violence, otherwise wouldn’t we have solved this problem by now, so we will add our great minds to the mix to see what we can find out…

  • What is violence? Discussing and debating and seeing if we can define what we are talking about
  • Theory of Violence- where does it come from, how does it rise up and so on. In this section looking at theories from Johan Galtung, Margaret Mead, Freud and more. Includes Genocide Theory and Just war Theory
  • Systems of Violence- Democracy, Capitalism, Colonialism, Westernisation, Gender stereotypes, Media and so forth, we will choose some violent phenomena that we wish to explore in more depth
  • The Bystander effect and more – from Milgram to Zimbardo exploring why humans might behave in terrible ways or do not react at all in the face of terrible acts. Looking theoretically but maybe also performing and designing some social experiments.
  • The Art of Killing/ Being Violent- exploring the impact of asking some people to kill for us, looking at the work of Judith Butler and others, as well as veterans, violent criminals and others on what it means to engage in violence.
  • Pedagogy of Hope- understanding Peace education and how we can learn about and change the world for the better
  • Love as Social Justice- understanding how politics and decision making can be enacted through other emotions, for example Love and Justice
  • Organising for Peace- A look in to the United Nations, Regional Organisations such as The African Union, as well as local organisations to see how and what they are doing to secure Peace and the use of non-violence
  • Has non-violence failed? The anarchist view on today’s protesters- looking at Gelderloos’ theory on why as well as our own thoughts on why non-violence might be failing.
  • Civil War is not stupid? Have the west monopolised “good” violence, a discussion and debate on whether only some countries can legitimately use violence and what this might mean. Here we will also look in to phenomena such as Terrorism and Freedom Fighting.
  • The power of the lens? Is the world really violent or is that just what we are being shown, or indeed want to see? As well as an exploration into the ethics of violence photography
  • The Art of Protest- research in to different non-violent and violent protests of your choice, analysing how effective you think they were in their goal
  • The Art of Violence/ Non Violence- Looking in to the phenomena of War memorials, Fine Art, and Music to see what impact these have on our perception of the world and its violence.
  • What can I do?- reflecting on what we have learnt and trying to understand the role and contribution we can make
  • Plus much more, and your ideas …

Overview of Classes

We offer nearly 40 different subjects and classes. View the alphabetical list here.


Global Studies

Global Studies are the main focus at International People’s College in Denmark. We focus on cultural education, cultural meetings and global development.



International People’s College
Montebello Allé 1
3000 Helsingør
CVR: 23253410
EAN: 5790002651410

+45 49 21 33 61

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