Non-Physical Violence Network (NPVN)

A new multidisciplinary network of scholars set up to co-create knowledge and understanding on the phenomenon of non-physical violence in diverse institutional settings and different historical times. In 2024, the network is organizing workshops and a writing retreat to create a solid foundation for research applying multiple approaches and methods.

Non-physical violence is widely researched in different disciplines applying terms such as bullying and mobbing, workplace aggression, psychological violence, emotional abuse, coercive control, and hurtful communication. Even though the phenomenon is addressed with different terminology and discipline specific knowledge interests, the research points indisputably to similar conclusions: non-physical violence leads to adverse effects on the health and well-being of the target; it affects the community negatively, including by-standers; and it is costly to the organization due to increase in absenteeism, and loss of reputation. However, abusive practices and behaviours may also be normalized within institutional practices and organizational cultures. Further, non-physical violence is often culturally discredited as a lesser form of violence.

The aim of the network is to enhance dialogue between scholars in social sciences and humanities, and to produce research-based knowledge that seeks to build awareness on the phenomenon of non-physical violence. It is envisaged that in the long term, the outputs of the network could help institutions to recognize and better respond to manifestations of abusive behaviours and practices within organizations. This could ultimately promote well-being and greater good in different sectors of the society such as religious communities, feminist and queer-feminist activist spaces, as well as research institutions and higher education.