Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

“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. […]

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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. […]

 

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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? […]

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Interviews & People

James Lawson Institute: A Movement School Bridging Past and Present

The history of nonviolent action is rich, diverse, and dates to ancient times. Yet despite its historical and at time revolutionary significance over centuries and across continents, the academy with its universities, the news media, institutes of diplomacy and international relations, and policy makers have neglected the study of the social power and dynamics of civil resistance. In many societies, including the United States, the history of their wars is emphasized, while the successes of their nonviolent struggles are not taught to schoolchildren. […]

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Ideas & Trends

Start Where You Are: Addressing Four Common Questions about Civil Resistance Training

Training activists is now widely considered a foundational movement activity. But what about implementation? If you don’t yet have a movement, or your movement lacks the capacity to hold workshops, where and how do you start to apply this insight?

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