Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

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
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. […]

Read More
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?

Read More
Ideas & Trends

We Know We Need Civil Resistance Training. Now Where Do We Start?

“In the face of rising authoritarianism, people worldwide are increasingly turning to civil resistance to fight for their rights. This is an empowering choice, but it can also feel overwhelming for those involved. When people who seek to build or maintain a movement, the first big question is often: Where and how should we start? […]”

Read More
Ideas and Trends

Daños a la propiedad privada, violencia, acción noviolenta y estrategia

Estamos en una nueva fase de activismo con grandes fuerzas ejerciendo presión sobre todos nosotros. Aquellos que buscamos justicia y el fin de la violencia policial que mata personas negras desarmadas, aquellos gravemente golpeados por la pandemia de COVID-19, aquellos cuyos pequeños negocios han sido destruidos y saqueados y aquellos simplemente demasiado asustados para hacer cualquier movimiento en este momento. […]

Read More
Scholarship & Research

Nonviolent Movements and the Recognition of Governments: What Implications for International Law?

On June 6, 2019, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union suspended the Sudanese government from the activities of the African Union. The suspension was a reaction to the unconstitutional change of government in Sudan. However, the coup d’état against long-time dictator Omar Al-Bashir had already occurred two months earlier on April 11, 2019, when members of the Sudanese Armed Forces removed Al-Bashir from office against the backdrop of a country-wide nonviolent movement. […]

Read More
Ideas & Trends

Interpreting a Garden of Wildflowers: The Glossary of Civil Resistance

English language terminology in the field of civil resistance is like a garden of wildflowers, shaped by sometimes competing forces. On the one hand, the garden reflects locally rooted ideas and cultures: vibrant, natural, and defying simple efforts to constrain it. It’s an outgrowth of various micro-climates. Over time, some flowers (key terms) get more sunlight than others. New flowers also emerge, brought in on the wind from elsewhere. The garden evolves, as does the soil from which it grows. […]

Read More
Top 10 Civil Resistance Stories of 2020 - Looking Forward

#1: Organizing in the New Global Context: Lessons from 2020 Movements

The COVID-19 crisis fundamentally altered the conditions in which activists organized in 2020, yet we still observed widespread political mobilization in 2020 as a result of nonviolent movements. Perhaps then there is some silver lining in this crisis—we are reminded that repression and other unfavorable conditions (read: physical constraints) do not doom movements to failure. Activists and movements develop skills that enable them to overcome challenging social and economic conditions. […]

Read More
Ideas & Trends

#2: “Bending the Arc of the Universe:” The Salience of Democratic Forces against Autocratization in 2020-21

In the past two decades, autocracies have been on the rise and aspiring autocrats in democracies have been gaining in numbers and strength. The 2020 democracy report by the V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) Institute noted that by 2020, autocracies have formed a clear majority for the first time since the beginning of 2000, constituting 92 countries with 54% of the global population or 4.2 billion people. Furthermore, 35% of the world’s population, an additional 2.7 billion people, live today in countries that are experiencing a significant decline in their democracy index and that are often headed by elected anti-democratic demagogues. This is colloquially known as the third wave of authoritarianism, or “autocratization” […]

Read More
1 2 3 19

Sign up for our twice-monthly blog newsletter