Publication Details

Martin, B, Countershock: Mobilizing resistance to electroshock weapons, Medicine, Conflict and Survival, 2003, 19 (3), 205-222. Copyright Taylor & Francis 2003. This journal is available online here.


Electroshock, stun and restraint technologies are often used for torture and as tools of repression. There is much information available exposing the problems with such technologies but little about how to be effective in challenging their use. The concept of political jiu-jitsu - the process by which an attack on a nonviolent resister can backfire on the attackers - is introduced and adapted to examine challenges to electroshock weapons. In order to make these weapons backfire, it is important to emphasise the value of potential targets, to expose secret dealings, to reveal the harm caused by the weapons and to communicate clearly to a wide audience. A longer-term goal is policy change to deny access by torturing states to such repressive tools. Countershock strategies and methodologies are introduced here as potential tools to create ever-expanding torture-technology-free zones.



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