Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
James F. Childress
The term pacifism , which is now applied to a number of historical and contemporary stances toward war, did not appear until the early twentieth century. In 1902, a Frenchman at an international peace congress used, and perhaps even coined, the word pacifism to mean antiwarism. Its linguistic roots, of course, suggest more positive implications: making or doing peace. Nevertheless, the common element in pacifist positions is negative: disavowal of war and/or participation in war. Many pacifists disavow both a state's use of armed force in interstate conflicts and their own personal participation in such armed force. Yet this distinction is important because some pacifists disavow participation in war, seeking to disassociate themselves from their government's policies by refusing to serve in the military, pay taxes, and so forth, without seeking to alter their government's military policies or to propose a political alternative to those policies. Pacifism is not necessarily ...