Violence Rewired: Evidence and Strategies for Public Health Action

Richard Whittington, James McGuire

This thought-provoking book draws together research from genetics, anthropology, psychology and the social sciences to show that widespread assumptions about the inevitability of human violence are almost entirely a collection of myths. While violence has been a recurring feature of human life, there is no reason to suppose that it is inherent in ‘human nature’. On the contrary, patterns of aggressive behaviour are largely learned through experience and even those individuals who have often acted violently can learn to change. Rejecting the speculations of much contemporary writing about human aggression, Violence Rewired presents an evidence-based alternative: a multi-level model of action to reduce violence at both individual and collective levels, linked to public health initiatives developed by the World Health Organization. If humanity is to survive the challenges it faces, a more realistic appraisal of ourselves and our basic tendencies is an indispensable part of the solution.