The Checklist to End Tyranny
by Peter Ackerman
The Checklist to End Tyranny enables dissidents to become more strategic in their thinking and more skillful in their quest to win civil resistance campaigns in the 21st century.
Over a century of data shows that civil resistance campaigns—employing strikes, boycotts, mass protests, and many other nonviolent tactics—are the most powerful means for societies to confront authoritarians and achieve democracy and human rights.
If the world is to have a Fourth Democratic Wave expanding freedom over oppression, then pro-democracy activists waging civil resistance campaigns will lead the way.
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How Agent Provocateurs Harm Our Movements
by Steve Chase
History shows us that peoples’ movements are more likely to succeed when they have unity among supporters, widespread participation, strategic planning, and nonviolent discipline. Unsurprisingly, movement opponents use agent provocateurs—fake activists working undercover—to behave in counterproductive ways that undermine these four keys to success.
Drawing from international examples, and an in-depth case study of the US Black Liberation Movement, this volume explores how agent provocateurs—and agent provocateur-like behavior—make movements smaller, weaker, and easier to defeat. It also offers some ideas for how activists can inoculate their movements against such harms and increase their chances of success.Download this Publication
New Special Report:
The Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM) in Pakistan
by Qamar Jafri
What factors drive people to choose nonviolent civil resistance to achieve human rights, peace, and justice? This Special Report offers ground-breaking knowledge about the link of colonialism, the Cold War, and the War on Terror with Talibanization, oppression, and human rights violations in the northwestern tribal areas of Pakistan. This knowledge is drawn from three years of in-depth field work studying the nonviolent resistance of the Pashtun Protection Movement in Pakistan. The report provides key takeaways to civil resistance scholars, policymakers, civil society, and activists who are confronting colonial phenomena and its remnants in the form of minority suppression, violence, exclusion, and injustice.Download the Free Report
How Nonviolent Movements Increase Pressure on a State Through Demand Escalation
On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, ICNC hosted Dr. Sooyeon Kang, an ICNC 2020 research fellow, to discuss her recent research into how nonviolent movements escalate their demands against a regime.
How does a group of people go from asking something of the government to demanding that it must go? Dr. Kang argues that movements are more likely to escalate their demands when the state responds to the initial nonviolent action with a disproportionate use of force. Repression expands the grievances of the protesters and betrays the remaining trust that people might have had in the government. Kang’s quantitative analysis demonstrates that demand escalation allows nonviolent campaigns to increase pressure on the government without resort to violence.Watch the Video
For Activists & Organizers
ICNC provides practical, relevant information and educational opportunities about civil resistance to activists and organizers around the world.
Our view is that nonviolent struggle is a social science that can be studied and understood. Practitioners can increase their chances of success by learning lessons from each other as well as from cutting edge academic scholarship on this topic.Learn More
New from ICNC Press
Second edition of The Path of Most Resistance: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Nonviolent Campaigns
by Ivan Marovic
The Path of Most Resistance: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Nonviolent Campaigns is a practical guide for activists and organizers of all levels, who wish to grow their resistance activities into a more strategic, fixed-term campaign. It guides readers through the campaign planning process, breaking it down into several steps and providing tools and exercises for each step.
The Second Edition released in March 2021 includes chapters on tactics and running a tactical planning workshop, and a Foreword by Hardy Merriman.Learn More
Or, if you are interested in civil resistance and don’t know where to start, we’ve made a list of general introductory resources–many of them short articles–to introduce you to the field. See our list of ten key resources for activists and organizers.Visit the Resource Library
ICNC Translations Program
Translating civil resistance literature into diverse languages is one of the most powerful ways to spread knowledge and increase the effectiveness of nonviolent movements struggling for rights, freedom, and justice. Learn more about our translations program or read our glossary of key terms.
We also currently host resources on civil resistance in over 70 languages and dialects on our website.Find Translated Resources
For Scholars & Students
The discipline of civil resistance has developed enormously in recent years, driven by new quantitative and qualitative scholarly research, as well as by numerous nonviolent movements around the world.
ICNC runs a number of grant-supported academic and educational programs to meet the growing demand for cutting edge research, applied knowledge and practical skills in this field. Look at our research, writing, teaching and other educational offerings and review current calls for proposals or applications.Learn More
Academic Online Curriculum
ICNC’s Academic Online Curriculum on Civil Resistance (AOC) is an online resource to advance curriculum development, teaching, and research on civil resistance. It offers an extensive and regularly updated set of resources in this field, organized into clearly structured topics and case studies, and drawn in part from content that we and various academic collaborators developed for the ICNC university seminars we’ve led since 2009.
Anyone can register to use the AOC at any time and it is free to use.
Topics on the AOC include:
– Civil Resistance: Nature, Ideas and History
– Strategic Considerations in Civil Resistance Struggles
– Types of Civil Resistance Struggles
And more!Register Now!
Calls from ICNC Academic Initiatives
Throughout the year, ICNC is offering a number of academic opportunities, resources, and support that it makes available to scholars and students. The field of civil resistance has grown immensely and these academic programs aim to respond to the growing demand for knowledge and skills and contribute to expanding the quality of education, research, and curriculum related to civil resistance. This page includes the current and past calls for the ICNC’s educational and research programs, such as learning opportunities, curriculum support, and research grants.
One of our calls, the Rapid Field Research and Data Collection Program, accepts applications on a rolling basis and interested applicants can apply for the program throughout the year.Learn More
New from ICNC Press:
Preventing Mass Atrocities: From a Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) to a Right to Assist (RtoA) Campaigns of Civil Resistance
by Peter Ackerman and Hardy Merriman
Available in: English, Arabic, and Spanish
Events of the last decade demand new approaches to atrocity prevention that are adaptable, innovative and independent of a state-centered doctrine. With the aim of reducing risk factors such as civil war, we argue for a new normative framework called The Right to Assist (RtoA). […]See ICNC Press Publications
For the Policy Community
Civil resistance movements have a proven role in advancing human rights, democratic governance, and curtailing corruption. They are a critical factor in addressing root causes of human suffering and reducing deadly violence in the world.
It is incumbent for members of the policy community who care about these issues to understand how movements work; their historic record of making change; and when, how, and under what circumstances external actors can take actions that are helpful to movements.Learn More
NEW ICNC MONOGRAPH ON EXTERNAL SUPPORT FOR NONVIOLENT CAMPAIGNS
ICNC is proud to present the newest addition to its popular Monograph Series, The Role of External Support in Nonviolent Campaigns: Poisoned Chalice or Holy Grail? by Drs. Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan, authors of the groundbreaking civil resistance classic, Why Civil Resistance Works.
Published by ICNC Press, this new report employs original, qualitative, and quantitative data to examine the ways that external assistance impacted the characteristics and success rates of post-2000 revolutionary nonviolent uprisings.
Download the full monograph for free here.
Watch the March 3 webinar with the renowned authors here.Read More
New From ICNC Press:
Preventing Mass Atrocities: From a Responsbility to Protect (RtoP) to a Right to Assist (RtoA) Campaigns of Civil Resistance
by Peter Ackerman and Hardy Merriman
Available in: English, Arabic, and Spanish
Events of the last decade demand new approaches to atrocity prevention that are adaptable, innovative and independent of a state-centered doctrine. With the aim of reducing risk factors such as civil war, we argue for a new normative framework called The Right to Assist (RtoA)….Learn More
A Movement-centered Support Model: Consideration for Human Rights Funders and Organizations
ICNC President Hardy Merriman writes: “What makes civil resistance movements effective? If funders and human rights organizations can identify key factors that answer this question, then their efforts can be oriented towards trying to support the development and growth of those factors. […]”Learn More
NEW BLOG POST
Amos Oluwatoye writes: “In my previous blog post I talked about the destructive role that agents provocateurs played in Nigeria’s #EndSARS campaign, which took place last fall. But there were many examples of beauty and constructive power in this movement as well. One of those was in the form of artistic resistance that emerged from diverse communities across the country. In this post, I will share a few examples below–including photography, video, inspirational designs, illustrations, graphic design, paintings, music and dance—and also offer some analysis of the roles that they played in the campaign. […]”
Phil Wilmot writes: “Are we already on our way to the next political jolt? Our movements are probably more populous and diverse than ever before. Movement leaders are increasingly deliberate to organize intersectionally and across decentralized structures. Creativity is now mainstreamed within activist culture and there is stronger cooperation across national borders and continents. To ensure that civil resistance remains a force more powerful, though, we’re still going to need a better consolidated ideology, more enduring staying power, and exceptionally innovative tactical chops. […]”
Phil Wilmot writes: “The new data are depressing, with mass nonviolent resistance success rates dropping from 52 percent to 34 percent. At the same time however, violent resistance success rates dropped to their lowest point in the past century, at 8 percent. In her Journal of Democracy article a year ago, Chenoweth asks why, and what next? I want to ask, additionally, what to do? To answer this question, I propose to first take a step back and put the evolution of asymmetrical political conflict into perspective, considering developments in both ideology and in practice. This will help us as activists better harness our collective power in the new global context—the focus of my follow-up post. […]”