Nonviolent conflict is a way for people to fight for rights, freedom, justice, self-determination, and accountable government, through the use of civil resistance - including tactics such as strikes, boycotts, protests, and civil disobedience. Learn more...
Haroro J. Ingram and L.T. Anthony, The Conversation via Informed Comment, May 21, 2015
A broad array of Syrians -- Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, former regime members, opposition activists -- express anguish regarding the failure of Syria’s Arab Spring and the belief that this was one of many missed opportunities to topple the regime. A common sentiment is that the global media’s obsession with Islamic State and foreign fighters had reinforced false perceptions of the war. “Where is the revolution [in the media’s reporting]? It’s not our fault. The Syrian people keep fighting the regime but nobody cares about that now because they (the media) don’t want [to show] that,” said one interviewee.
Anne Kaun, openDemocracy, May 23, 2015
A new action plan against extremism by the Swedish government suggests that a number of extra-parliamentary movements are prone to violence, because “direct action” could supposedly lead to it. But civil disobedience, a form of direct action, is not the same as violent extremism, fifteen leading academics say. In two published commentaries, some of the signatories criticized the most recent government report on this. Direct actions have historically been small steps towards a broader democratic space. By categorizing organizations and movements that employ direct action as (potentially) violent, the Swedish government is taking a step in the other direction.
Charles Tannock, Japan Times, May 26, 2015
With Amal Clooney the human-rights lawyer acting as your advocate, you would think your case would grab headlines. But Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives’ first democratically elected president who was sentenced to 13 years in jail by the government that overthrew him, seems to have fallen off the world’s radar. Three of his associates are reportedly facing charges, and journalists and opposition members of Parliament have been arrested. Moreover, China is said to be considering one of the Maldives’ islands as a site for a naval base. The Maldives is in danger of throwing away its chance at genuine democracy. It is in the interests of the international community to prevent that.
Mathew Burrows and Maria Stephan, openDemocracy, May 22, 2015
Around the world, aggrieved citizens are standing up to challenge power structures, demanding basic freedoms. But aggregate Freedom House scores on political rights and civil liberties have declined each of the past nine years. What can be done to reverse the tide? Can we avoid citizen challenges leading to bloodbaths and prolonged chaos? How can democratic movements lead to reforms that encourage more durable stability? Our book, Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback? analyzes authoritarian resilience in places like Central Asia, Syria, and the Gulf, highlighting the dilemmas and possible solutions.
Saeed Kamali Dehghan, The Guardian, May 26, 2015
Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter imprisoned in Iran for nearly 10 months, is standing trial behind closed doors in Tehran on charges of espionage and at least three other major crimes. The Iranian-American appeared before a revolutionary court presided over by a hardline judge notorious for handing down heavy sentences to opposition activists and dissidents, local media reported. “No evidence has ever been produced by prosecutors or the court to support these absurd charges…And now, unsurprisingly but unforgivably, it turns out the trial will be closed,” said a Washington Post editor.
WEBINAR - Civic Struggle in Venezuela amid Political Polarization
Presented by: Gerardo Gonzalez, Sociologist and Lecturer at Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA) and the Universidad Metropolitana
Thursday, April 30, 2015 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
This webinar talk will analyze the civic struggle in Venezuela that took place in 2014. Using Peter Ackerman and Hardy Merriman‘s Checklist for Ending Tyranny, the presentation will evaluate the skill-based and organizational capabilities of protesters as well as trends of nonviolent conflict in the country last year. It will also examine the interactions between different actors involved in the conflict, tactics employed by protesters, and analyze why organizers failed to meet their goals.
WEBINAR - Nonviolent Resistance against Enforced Disappearances
Enforced disappearance has been used by undemocratic and democratic regimes as well as violent groups for decades. It is considered one of the most severe crimes because it consists of simultaneous violations of various interrelated human rights norms and has widespread pernicious psychosocial effects on the society. Despite the terrible impact, enforced disappearances have not necessarily led to civic disempowerment. On the contrary, the relatives of the disappeared persons have often engaged in strategic collective actions as a way to resist nonviolently the crime and its demobilizing effects.
WEBINAR - Gradualist Democratization using Civil Resistance
Presented by: Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies, University of San Francisco; Co-Chair, ICNC Academic Advisors Committee
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Not all successful unarmed civil insurrections against dictatorships take place in a dramatic mass uprising with hundreds of thousands occupying central squares in the capital city. There have also been cases of nonviolent struggles against autocratic regimes that failed to topple the dictatorship in a revolutionary wave, but did succeed in forcing a series of legal, constitutional, and institutional reforms over a period of several years which eventually evolved into a liberal democratic order. These more gradualist transitions have taken place across different regions and against different kinds of authoritarian systems. This webinar will tell the story of pro-democracy movements in three of these countries— Brazil, South Korea, and Kenya —and how they were able to force, over time, autocratic governments to agree to substantive democratic reforms. By focusing on the role of civil society this presentation challenges dominant, top-down, institution and elite-based approaches to democratization.
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