Who Benefits from Global Violence and War
Uncovering a Destructive System
by Marc Pilisuk
December 2007, 336pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-99435-8
$55, £41, 48€, A75
eBook Available: 978-1-56720-687-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Provides a detailed description of violence that flows from a social order that requires war, poverty and injustice, herntifying institutions and people who propel this system while hiding their power from the masses.

Military, economic, and environmental violence in the era of globalization cause immense suffering and may ultimately threaten the existence of life as we know it, but author Pilisuk explains that the future can change if we understand and act upon the roots of violence. A professor emeritus of psychology and human and community development, Pilisuk explains how most violence is the product of a human-built social order in which some people and institutions control most of the resources, make the decisions that necessitate violence, and operate with minimal accountability. The common root of war, poverty, environmental destruction, and other forms of violence is spotlighted. Such violence, says Pilisuk, is a natural consequence of a system inordinately influenced by a relatively small, interconnected group of corporate, military, and government leaders with the power to instill fear, to increase their excessive fortunes, and to restrict information, particularly about their own clandestine dealings.

This text includes scholarship hailing from across disciplines, combined with information from investigative journalism, and insights from nonprofit watchdog groups, all shedding light on centralized power and its effects. Pilisuk presents material including the range of tactics used to manipulate and destroy adversaries, the human capacity to kill as a challenge, and how media is used by powerful groups to manipulate fear and maintain their power. Here, readers find solid social science to support what whistleblowers and social critics are observing about a system that needs change.


"Marc Pilisuk (with Jennifer Achord Rountree) does our field a significant service in bringing together numerous disparate sources of information to make good on the promise of the book’s title. . . . this book provides a carefully researched and documented guide for professionals, as well as for graduate or advanced undergraduate coursework in international and peace psychologies. In fact, anyone who wishes to have a psychological angle on the economic, social, political, and international matters often covered by Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Naomi Klein, Howard Zinn, and other critics of powerful, harmful systems would benefit from a careful reading of this book."—PsycCRITIQUES, August 12, 2009

". . .fitting, timely, and equally appropriate for an academic audience and the general public. . . . an appropriate text for graduate and upper level undergraduate courses in several disciplines -- Politics, Economics, International Relations, Social Change, Peace Studies, Religion, Ethics, and Theology. . . . Additionally, excellent use of cross referencing cuts down on needless repetition and guides teachers, students, and general readers to more details on a particular topic. This work is particularly suited for the classroom with its theories and analyses along with concrete examples."—International Journal on World Peace, December 1, 2009

"This important book is a tour de force of erudition and scholarship, lucid exposition and organization, cogent reasoning, psychological depth, and compassionate motivation. It is written in clear, accessible language and a warm, humane voice. . . . It is a gift to humanity from a peace psychologist who has devoted his career to reducing violence and enhancing health, social justice, understanding, and peace."—Indigenous Policy Journal, March 1, 2010

"One of the most comprehensive--and programmatic-- discussions of the sources and nature of global violence in years."—Tom Hayden, author of Ending the War in Iraq [2006], long-time peace and justice advocate

"There are painful truths here for Americans about the role our government plays in perpetuating global violence--but some readers will be inspired to follow the author's advice on what can be done about it."—William A. Gamson, Professor of Sociology, Boston University

"Marc Pilisuk has cast his net over the threats to world peace and ecological balance, pulling in not only fish but monsters of the deep. After painting a picture gloomier than any canvas by Bosch or Goya, Pilisuk offers a glimmer of hope for a planet suffering from a life-threatening disease. Globalization can become an instrument for peace and justice. Non-Governmental Organizations can focus on issues and people who would otherwise fall through the cracks of institutional neglect. The sum total of citizens' actions can become a second super power. Pilisuk suggests that the Devil is in the system that promulgates global violence. If so, his innovative, yet practical, suggestions provide a blueprint for exorcism. Indeed, no recent book presents today's pathologies so clearly nor provides potential remedies with such brilliant articulation"—Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., Saybrook Graduate School Co-author of Haunted by Combat

"This is a rare book: It speaks the truth about the causes of war. Dr. Pilisuk cuts through the veil of theories that mystify and obscure rather than explain the causes. He exposes the hidden workings of the interdisciplinary phenomenon of war. This is a scholarly work, fully referenced and documented, yet accessible to the general public. Revealing the devil in the system, the book is a forthright and hard-hitting critique of the power elite1s control of government, foreign policy and the media."—Milton Schwebel, Ph.D., Emeritus Dean and Professor, Rutgers University, Emeritus Professor, Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology, Rutgers, Emeritus Dean, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, Founding Editor, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology Former President, Psychologists for Social Responsibility

"In this encyclopedic and yet highly focused analysis of the causes and consequences of violence and wars, Marc Pilisuk builds on the tradition established by his two great mentors, Kenneth Boulding and Antatol Rapoport and then adds in his own lifetime of insightful scholarship to create a masterful synthesis that makes sense out of the vast literature on violence and war-making. Despite the painful picture that he is forced to paint, he also draws on his experience as a social psychologist and anti-war activist to suggest ways to alter the processes leading to violence. This is a sober book that nonetheless leaves us with hope for future generations."—G. William Domhoff, Research Professor in Psychology and Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Author of Who Rules America? Power Politics and Social Change

“Structural violence is not discussed in the undergraduate psychology textbooks I’ve used or reviewed. Yet there are excellent reviews and discussions of structural violence by peace psychologists. Particularly comprehensive is Who Benefits From Global Violence and Warby Marc Pilisuk with Jennifer Achord Roundtree (2008). I highly recommend this book. I have used it not only in peace psychology classes, but also in book-discussion groups outside the university." —Hal S. Bertilson, Author of Structural Violence: Incentives for Aggression, Violence, Exploitation, and How to Reduce It
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