Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

News, Insights, Thoughts

Articles

Repression, Resilience, and Mass Movements: A Page from Chilean History

In a matter of days Chile went from vibrant democracy to closed society after the military coup of 1973. At the time, my maternal grandfather, Carlos Matus, was Minister of the Economy and President of the Central Bank of Chile, serving under Salvador Allende. The armed forces arrested my […]

Read More
Scholarship & Research

To Understand Political Power, Look No Further than Civil Resistance

Those who support the use of violence often claim the weak “need” it to offset the power of the strong, that they have no choice given their circumstances, or that it is a “natural’ response to their experiences living in situations of violence and oppression. One of the fundamental premises of civil resistance, however, is […]

Read More
Scholarship & Research

Resisting War: Insights from a New Frontier in Civil Resistance Studies

Civil resistance isn’t always about masses of people in the streets calling for the downfall of authoritarian regimes. At this moment, in many countries around the world, unarmed civilians living in warzones are resisting armed groups in surprising and subtle ways. As we have gotten deeper into this new research frontier, we’ve made […]

Read More
Movement Commentary

Russia: Inside the Nonviolent Struggle to Save Khimki Forest

When I helped found a grassroots movement called “Save Khimki Forest” in 2006, it was a bleak time for activists in Russia. People were unsure of how to build a movement on an issue like protection of the environment. All we knew was that we had to do something when the Russian government announced plans to […]

Read More
Scholarship & Research

Did the Arab Spring Revolutions Bring More Violence to the Middle East?

Immediately after the Arab Spring, political scientists and experts embarked on soul searching to find the answers to two simple questions: why they failed to predict these uprisings; and why some revolutions succeeded through nonviolent means despite the presence of brutal regimes. Scholars recognized that their past focus on the durability of  […]

Read More
Interviews & People

How Do Nonviolent Movements Shape History? An Interview with Jacques Semelin

I recently had the good fortune of interviewing Jacques Semelin, an historian and political scientist who has notably studied civil resistance during Nazi and communist Europe. Speaking with him brings past and present together. It is as close as I can get to experiencing—over an hour-long conversation in Paris last August—how past nonviolent movements […]

Read More
Ideas & Trends

“Living in the Truth”: Revisiting the U.S. Anti-War Movement of the 1970s

With recent protests in the United States capturing headlines, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of largescale mobilizations from decades past. Several notable episodes took place during the 1970s, when myriad groups nationwide—and especially in Washington, D.C.—protested U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Now is a better moment than any to […]

Read More
Scholarship & Research

Why Do Some Movements Fail to Bring Positive Outcomes, and How Can This Be Changed?

My previous post looked at how nonviolent movements often play a role in political transitions and democratization. However, in some cases, nonviolent movements succeed in ending an incumbent authoritarian’s rule, but are unable to consolidate gains and instead the situation deteriorates. Such impacts can be observed in three types of […]

Read More
Scholarship & Research

Do Civil Resistance Movements Advance Democratization?

Two recent books, Social Movements and Civil War and Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring: Triumphs and Disasters, examine the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and come to the conclusion that civil resistance movements can lead to rising violence, authoritarianism and failed democratization. As Adam Roberts, one of the editors of Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring, observes […]

Read More
Ideas & Trends

Strategic Nonviolence is not Civil Resistance

When developing a new field of study in the social sciences, the selection of terms for key concepts can be crucial. Certain words may evoke multiple meanings because they are filtered through a reader’s cultural experiences and personal imagination. Failure to account for this possibility can diminish the clarity of research and even […]

Read More
1 8 9 10 11 12 13