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Nigel Young’s published work since 1964 has focused on the state and social movements - especially Peace Movements, and resistance to the war-making aspects of the state including Anarchist and Pacifist perspectives and expressions. Much of his publication has also focused on developing Peace Studies and Peace research - in a broad sense - as fields. In 2011, he won the Dayton Literary Peace Price for The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, his largest project to date.

peace encyclopaedia

Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace:

Global Conflict, Analysis, Transformation and Nonviolent Change

(Oxford University Press, New York, USA 2010)

Oxford University Press new reference work, The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace: Global Conflict, Transformation, and Nonviolent Change has now been published. Its editor is Prof. Nigel Young, Cooley Research Professor in Peace Studies and former Director of the Peace Studies Program at Colgate University (1984-2004).


A four-volume work, the encyclopedia with preface by his Holiness the Dalai Lama, is an authoritative, objective and comprehensive global reference that brings together the scholarship on peace studies, conflict mediation, and non-violent alternatives to war. It is both policy oriented and academic, with a sharp focus on the contemporary world.


Under Prof. Young's expert editorship and with almost 1,000 entries, this outstanding work has contributions by hundreds of scholars from many fields of study. The goal is to present all aspects of peacemaking and peacekeeping efforts worldwide and historically, in a clear and accessible manner, with supporting references, documentation, and illustrative materials.


Details and ordering information can be found on the Oxford University Press website


More information  on the Encyclopedia and Dayton Literary Peace Prize can be found here.

Much of Nigel Young's published work has reflected his experiences as an activist from 1957 - 1968 and intermittently from 1972-85: his earlier experiences in CND and the committee of 100, and the New Left (68) are reflected in Campaigns for Peace, and An Infantile Disorder? (1976); his contact with peace ideas and conscientious objection since an early age is reflected in Pacifism in the 20th Century; his work in developing peace studies in Problems and Possibilities in the study of Peace (1975); and his critique of perspectives on the Vietnam War, in On War, National Liberation, and the State (1970).


His more theoretical writing is reflected in his articles: Durkheim and the Corporatist State (Birmingham, 1969); The Incorporation of the English working class (1967, Berkeley Journal of Sociology) in response to fellow New Left historian, EP Thompson, and on the analysis of Peace and Social conflict, in response to Lewis Coser, (ASA paper, Montreal, 1964) Society for the study of Social Problems). His most important theoretical statement to date is his essay War Resistance, State, and Society (In Shaw, 1986). This will be expanded in his new study Communities of Resistance, which will also reflect his experience of draft resistance in the USA (1965-1969).

An Infantile Disorder:
The Crisis and Decline of the New Left
(Routledge & Kegan Paul 1977, re-published 2018)

The New Left, as an organized political phenomenon, came- and went- largely in the 1960s. Was the Movement that went into precipitate decline after 1969 the same New Left that had developed a decade earlier? Nigel Young's thesis is that the core New Left, as it had evolved by the mid 1960s, had a unique identity that set it apart from the other Old Left and Marxist Groups. He believes that this was dissipated in the later developments of the black and student movements, and in the opposition to the Vietnam war. By 1968 - the watershed year - an acute 'identity crisis" had set in within the Movement and became the major source of the New Left's disintegration.

Nigel Young traces the Movement's growth and crisis mainly in Britain and America, where it reached its greatest strength, but attention is also paid to parallel developments in similar movements elsewhere. He analyzes the crisis in terms  of the interrelationship between the dilemmas of strategy and ideas, and the external events which tend to reinforce the tendencies towards elitism, intolerance and violence, and produce organizational breakdown

 A landmark critique of the American New Left from someone both involved and sympathetic at a watershed time - a  groundbreaking analysis that has stood the test of time - still rated by critics, it has a lot to say to the new movements of the 2010s.

Campaigns for Peace:
British Peace Movements in the 20th Century
Richard Taylor & Nigel Young
(Manchester University Press 1989)

This collection of 12 original essays on the 20th Century peace movement indicates that the movement has been as divided as the wider social environment it has sought to transform. frequently those divisions mirrored one another: conflicts over issues pertaining to social class, economic justice, gender, nationalism versus transnationalism, individualism versus collectivism and, most fundamentally, power.

Pacifism In The 20th Century 
Peter Brock & Nigel Young
(Syracuse University Press 1999)

This volume focuses on an analysis of the various movements advocating personal non-participation in war of any kind with an endeavor to find non-violent means of resolving conflict. The authors consider conscientious objection (focusing on Catholicism and Judaism) the anti-nuclear movement, and the Vietnam War.

pacifism 20
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