Skip to main content

About the Federation of Social Defense

The Federation for Social Defense was founded in 1989 after a major conference on social defense (civilian-based defense) in Minden in 1988, attended by about 1,000 people. The basic goals of the Federation are to promote nonviolent concepts of conflict transformation, both in Germany and internationally, and thereby work to overcome war, military and armament up to their eventual total abolution. The means to achieve these goals are peace education in its broad sense (including publications, conferences and teaching events), the organization of own projects of dealing with conflicts, and advocacy work to promote these alternatives to violence with German politics.

Milestones in the development of the BSV were the campaign “Germany without an Army” after 1989, the Balkan Peace Team (1993-2001), the conception of the Civil Peace Service in the 1990s and the internal social campaign “Ways out of violence”. Currently (2019), our main projects are peace education and work against hatred in the internet (LOVE Storm).

At least two times a year we organize conferences and symposiums.

We have organized our work in three (often overlapping) categories which you find on the right of this page:

  • International Nonviolent Intervention
  • Peace Education and Conflict Management in Germany
  • Pacifism and Antimilitarism


The BSV currently has about 340 individual members and 32 organisations.  About 1,000 – 1,500 people support us regularly with their donations.

The BSV is a member of several national and international platforms, networks and organizations, among them:

War Resisters’ International

Nonviolent Peaceforce Alliance

German Platform for Peaceful Conflict Management

Kooperation für den Frieden (Cooperation for Peace)

Forum Civil Peace Service

Aktionsgemeinschaft Dienst für den Frieden (Association Service for Peace)

 Working Groups

  • Gender and Peace (a group founded in 2012)
  • Civilian Peacekeeping
  • Peace Taxes (handled by the Network Peace Taxes)
  • Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Conflict Transformation (, an independent research institute)
  • Belarus
  • LOVE Storm (work against hatred on the internet)