Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Against Settler Colonialism—and for a Just, Sovereign and Sustainable Puerto Rico

Abandoned billboard signs overlooking the Caribbean Ocean are spray-painted with #yankeegohome as you drive west on Highway 2 in Puerto Rico. The stories of displacement have become increasingly common since 2019. Entire communities, including elders, must find new homes as millionaires buy up property, taking advantage of a law passed under former Governor Ricky Rossello’s administration as Act 60—before he was ousted from office in the summer of 2019 by the most widespread protests in the history of Puerto Rico […]

Read More
Movement Commentary

Civil Resistance against Climate Change: Insights from Australia

Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future burst onto the world stage in 2018 to demand urgent action on the climate crisis. These movements organized strikes, blockades and demonstrations, building on the work of activists before them. But how frequently do climate activists use civil resistance? How do they sustain their campaign and organizing despite various challenges and repressive responses by the opponents and their allies? And what has civil resistance against climate change been able to achieve?

Read More
Interviews & People

“Vala, Ljeposava”: Organizing and Nonviolent Action against Mistreatment of Women in the Balkans

Last November, Montenegrin politician Dritan Abazovic publicly commented that female politicians and women in general should stay out of negotiations to form a new government so that they are not overburdened with complicated political matters. The statement provoked major backlash in Montenegro, and two female activists, known as Jeka and Joka, using the pseudonym Ljeposava, decided it was time for women to take things into their own hands. […]

Read More
Ideas & Trends

Movement Magic? How Movements Mobilize Material Resources

While movements initially have few resources, and nearly no cash, many thrive and often succeed in achieving their goals. How do they mobilize resources to achieve their objectives? What sort of strategies do they use to generate material resources needed in their campaigns? To answer these questions, we studied three movements from northwest Mexico. In all three cases, we found that the key to mobilizing material resources was that movement leaders focused on communicating powerful messages and building public trust, which encouraged volunteers to join them. […]

 

Read More
Scholarship & Research

From Civil War to Civil Resistance to… Peace? Transforming Conflict in Nepal

Between 1996 and 2006, Nepal experienced a civil war that resulted in the deaths of over 17,000 people. The beginning of the conflict caught by surprise political leaders and international observers alike. The country had just transitioned to a parliamentary system—brought about by the largely nonviolent Jana Andolan or “People’s Movement” of 1990—and many believed Nepal was on a stable and peaceful path toward democracy. Just as remarkable, however, was how the conflict ended […]

Read More
Ideas & Trends

New Shields, New Swords: The Autocrat Learning Curve

Those of us who study and practice civil resistance need to know that the Academy for Autocrats is also busy learning—in many cases, from us. We share our knowledge in the spirit of offering tools for nonviolent liberation to all, everywhere. There are strengths in our transparency and open approach, but autocrats also try to use this to their advantage, seeking to think several moves ahead of activists. […]

Read More
Scholarship & Research

Civil Resistance Breakthroughs: A Democratizing Force?

We are in one of the largest waves of nonviolent resistance in history. Even the COVID-19 pandemic could not stop massive uprisings in Thailand, Belarus, Myanmar, and elsewhere as ordinary citizens use nonviolent tactics to challenge entrenched authoritarians and demand reform. Yet, even as more and more people have hit the streets to push for change, the Varieties of Democracy project reports that global democracy has never been weaker and the long trend of growing autocracy has only accelerated. What can be done to turn this around? […]

Read More
Read More Stories

Sign up for our twice-monthly blog newsletter