Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Elizabeth A. Wilson

Elizabeth A. Wilson is a human rights lawyer. She has a JD from Harvard Law School and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focusses on civil society, people power movements, and international law. Her book People Power and International Human Rights (International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, 2017) put forward a new theory for the origins of human rights law and was presented at the Research Forum of the American Society of International Law. Currently, she is a visiting scholar at Rutgers Law School-Newark and formerly Assistant Professor of English at Yale University. A Fulbright Scholar, she is writing a book on Gandhi and human rights.

Writings from Elizabeth A. Wilson


Scholarship & Research

“Civil Resistance Against Climate Change”: Major Contributions, Remaining Challenges for Our Field (Book Review)

Over the last five years, groups and organizations like Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future emerged to mobilize against climate change and adopted more radical measures than the environmental movement has traditionally used. Although temporarily disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a global nonviolent civil resistance movement is coalescing and it is clear that its leaders have been studying and drawing lessons from the field of civil resistance studies. […]

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Movement Commentary

Extinction Rebellion: People Power on a Global Scale?

After Greta Thunberg, the social force that has drawn most attention to climate change in recent months is Extinction Rebellion (XR), a London-based environmental group committed to nonviolent civil resistance. In little more than a year, XR has seen its profile rise dramatically, owing in part to its disruptive tactics and use of art and theatre. […]

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Movement Commentary

Greta Thunberg and the Power of Strategic Movement Messaging

Though Greta Thunberg is not the leader of the youth climate change movement (which defines itself as leaderless), she has emerged as an eloquent spokesperson and almost singlehandedly has fashioned a powerful moral narrative for the movement. She has done so by using imagery, subconsciously resonating with pop culture, pushing social boundaries, and evoking moral authority. […]

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Ideas & Trends

The Youth Climate Movement’s Early Tactics and Gains: Declaring A Climate Emergency

Student climate strikers have sought to get local and national authorities to “treat the climate crisis as a crisis” by passing climate emergency declarations. The NGO Climate Mobilization now estimates that over 221 million people are represented by governmental entities that have made such declarations. This fundamental reframing work is a strategic first step in galvanizing power of ordinary citizens around the world to pressure their governments to take action.

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