In 2014, ICNC launched its new curriculum fellowship to support development of courses on nonviolent conflict and promote teaching in the growing field of civil resistance studies. During the first edition of the curriculum fellowships, ICNC has selected seven instructors and scholars to help them introduce or expand existing curricular and educational activities in the field of civil resistance at their universities and colleges. Our 2014 curriculum fellows teach in the United States, United Kingdom, Israel, and Poland.
2014 fellows include:
Benedetta Berti is a Kreitman Post-Doctoral Fellow at Ben Gurion University, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University, and a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). Dr. Berti’s areas of expertise include human security, internal conflict, integration of armed groups, and post-conflict stabilization. Berti’s work has appeared, among others, in Foreign Policy, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, and Mediterranean Politics. Recently, Dr. Berti also authored the book Armed Political Organizations. From Conflict to Integration (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Dr. Berti is a Member of the Young Atlanticist group of the Atlantic Council, the Körber Foundation’s Munich Young Leader group, the ME 2.0 Israeli-Palestinian Young Business Leaders Forum, she serves as academic advisor for the Yala Online Peace Academy and is affiliated with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. She holds a Ph.D in international relations from the Fletcher School (Tufts University).
Course title: “Mobilization, Social Protest, Revolution: Civil Resistance from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street” (Spring 2015)
Location: Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Abstract: This seminar will explore the vast topic of ‘contentious politics’—looking specifically at the role of social movements and civil society groups. In the course of the semester students will look at different dynamics of civil resistance and strategic nonviolent struggles, relying heavily on case studies from the Middle East (but not exclusively). Some of the key themes that will be explored in the course of the semester include: conceptualizing civil resistance in its various forms; deconstructing and criticizing the myth of the ‘effectiveness of violence’ and discussing realistic alternatives (from grassroots nonviolent mobilizations, to digital activism and to local forms of ‘everyday resistance’); as well as discovering and applying economic, political, social and organizational tools to assess when and why strategic nonviolence works. The course is highly interdisciplinary and draws from both ‘classic’ works in civil resistance and political theory, to organizational sociology, social anthropology and international relations.
Paulina Codogni, Political scientist; Vice-Rector for International Cooperation at Collegium Civitas, where she also works as a lecturer in the field of International Relations; adjunct in the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Graduate of the Warsaw School of Economics, where she studied International Political and Economic Relations. She has also graduated in Financing and Banking. The title of her Ph.D. thesis, defended at the Polish Academy of Sciences, was “The Polish elections in June 1989 – at the Threshold of the Transformation,” and it was published in 2012. Author of two other books: Year 1956, published in 2006 and The Polish Roundtable – Crossing the Rubicon, published in 2009. Co-author of Biographical Dictionary of Central and Eastern Europe 20th Century (Warsaw, 2005) and of the Polish edition of Oxford Contemporary History (Warsaw 2008). Now she is doing a research on transforming everyday life activities into forms of civil resistance.
Course title: “Salt and Politics– Nonviolent Resistance in the XX and XXI Century” (Fall 2014)
Location: Collegium Civitas, Warsaw, Poland
Abstract: This is an elective course for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students as well as Erasmus and exchange students. It is focused on introducing students to the theory and practice of civil resistance struggles and their dynamics including the role of external actors, new media and technology. During the course we analyze and interpret civil resistance campaigns with the use of canonical case studies but also referring to relatively less known campaigns. A special emphasis is placed on diverse strategies and tactics used during civil resistance struggles. We discuss main reasons for successes and failures of non-violent campaigns. The civil resistance theory and practice are addressed by analyzing different aspects of campaigns – everyday acts of resistance, women and youth participation, culture and symbols, among others. The course has incorporated books on civil resistance (among others, authored by Gene Sharp, Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan, Adam Roberts and Timthy Garton Ash, and Kurt Schock), documentaries (two segments from A Force More Powerful), articles and video materials provided by ICNC.
Shannon Gibson is a Full-time Lecturer at the University of Southern California in the School of International Relations, where she teaches courses on international organizations, environmental politics, global public health, and transnational social movements. Her research focuses on the role of civil and “uncivil” society participation in transnational politics. As part of her dissertation, “Dynamics of Radicalization: The Rise of Radical Environmentalism against Climate Change,” she conducted field and participant observation research at a variety of international summits, including World Social Forums in Brazil and Senegal, the 2010 G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, and the United Nations climate negotiations in Denmark and Mexico in order to assess the evolution and impact of environmental social movements and activist networks in the climate change regime. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of Miami’s Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. She has co-authored an article “Environmental Praxis, Climate Activism, and the UNFCCC: A Participatory Action Research Approach,” (Globalizations 9:3).
Course title: “Order and Disorder in Global Affairs” (Spring 2015)
Location: University of California, California, USA
Abstract: “Order and Disorder in Global Affairs” (IR 382) is an upper-level undergraduate elective that focuses on the various “orders” and “disorders” created by modern globalization across political, economic, social, cultural and environmental spheres. As such, it takes a largely critical approach to the study of globalization. In order to explore globalization and its discontents theoretically and practically, the course focuses on several transnational social movements and grassroots civil resistance struggles and their attempts to bolster, reform, transform, discredit, or decommission globalization and its supporting institutions, actors and ideologies. These movements are explored through documentaries, academic and activist literature, and the instructor’s firsthand experiences as a scholar-activist. Finally, at the culmination of the course, we examine various alternative proposals, including impact and role of civil resistance movements, for creating more sustainable, just and democratic governance structures and societies. The course will integrate books, documentaries and other materials on civil resistance recommended by ICNC.
Rachel Julian has spent 20 years working on peace and nonviolence issues including peace campaigning, education, social enterprise and community development. She worked for 5 years for both the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Nonviolent Peaceforce. She has also worked for International Peace Bureau, Calderdale Community Foundation, GlobalOps and is founder and Chair of the Trustees for a local Community Centre. She now teaches, and leads courses on, International Relations, Peace and Development at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK. Her expertise ranges from how developing movements and how organisations or projects are run, the roles and responsibilities of individuals, nonviolent social change and the importance of local ownership of peace and resistance movements. She teaches, lectures and leads workshops on nonviolence and social movements and continues working with a range of peace and justice organisations. Her PhD is on overcoming the challenge of demonstrating results in conflict transformation, and since 2012 she has been teaching undergraduate and postgraduate modules on Peace building, Managing projects, Conflict resolution and Introduction to Peace. She supervises PhD students on conflict resolution, nonviolence and peace education. Her research focuses on the development of Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping.
Course title: “Nonviolence and Civil Resistance” (Spring 2015)
Location: Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, United Kingdom
Abstract: The course on civil resistance is a component of the first year Undergraduate module ‘Introduction to Peace.’ Over three weeks the students will specifically study ‘Nonviolence and Civil Resistance’ will include the theory and practice of nonviolent civil resistance with a guest lecture on Gandhi, and group research on historical nonviolent intervention, growing contemporary nonviolent social movements and researching civil resistance, addressing some of the critical questions in the field through their case studies such as dealing with nonviolence and violence, power and civil resistance and social movement theory. From doing this course the students will learn the theory of nonviolence and civil resistance and have it embedded in historical and contemporary examples. They will be doing one of the assessments based on this content and will produce a display of research they have produced. The course is offered by Leeds Metropolitan University as part of the BA(Hons) International Relations and Peace Studies. The guest lecture and materials will also be available to students on the MA Peace and Development course in their module ‘Critical Perspectives on Peace and Conflict’.
Allyson McCreery is an adjunct professor at Arcadia University. She teaches classes on both nonviolent and violent conflict. She has developed academic courses on both civil resistance and visual propaganda of armed conflict. McCreery holds an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution (2013) from Arcadia University as well as an MA in Art History and Archaeology from Temple University (2010). Her academic research focuses on the role of the arts and cultural heritage in transforming conflict, thus bridging these academic fields. She was a Peace Fellow with the International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI) and has completed field studies in Serbia and Kosovo, Ukraine and Crimea, the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and Northern Ireland. Other research includes reconstructing identity in post-conflict Northern Ireland, examining the potential for cultural diplomacy in divided cities, and analyzing the role of ethnic and national symbols in divided landscapes. She has co-authored an article called “Crisis as Impetus Toward Conflict Resolution in Cyprus,” (Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 24:4, 446–453) and is working towards the publication of several other manuscripts.
Course title: “Making Moves: Strategic Nonviolence and Civil Disobedience in American Culture”
Location: Arcadia University, Philadelphia, USA
Abstract: Throughout American history strategic nonviolence and civil disobedience have led to significant transformations in American political, economic, and social spheres. The strong force of activism in American culture, represented through actions such as peaceful protests and boycotts, has changed the course of American history. Civil rights and liberties often compose the platform of strategic nonviolence and civil disobedience as citizens exhibit resiliency in their efforts and motivations to change the status quo. This course will investigate why and how civil resistance works, noting both successes and failures across several decades from the Civil Rights Movement to current day, as well as international examples. Utilizing primary and secondary sources, students will expose the role of strategic nonviolence in initiating change through demonstrations, boycotts, and other nonviolent measures.
Benjamin Naimark-Rowse is an academic and practitioner with over a decade of experience directing NGOs and advising governments on criminal justice, democratization, human rights, and transitional justice issues. He has served as a Program Officer with the Open Society Justice Initiative, an electoral observer with The Carter Center, and the Founding Director of the Seevak Human Rights and Social Justice Fellowship. From 2007-2010, he co-directed Darfurian Voices, the first public opinion survey of Darfurian refugees on issues of peace, justice, and reconciliation, which entailed conducting 2,152 refugee interviews along the Chad/Sudan border and briefing the survey findings to key stakeholders around the world. During 2011 he conducted political analysis of the Egyptian Revolution including two field research missions in Egypt.
Ben holds a M.P.A. from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago. He has served as an Assistant Editor of the Journal of Public and International Affairs and as a public security expert review group member for the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. He is a Truman National Security Fellow and a Ph.D. candidate at The Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Ches Thurber is a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for cience and International Affairs and a Ph.D. candidate at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. His research pans the spectrum of intrastate conflict dynamics ranging from ontentious politics to civil war. His doctoral dissertation, “Between Mao and Gandhi: Strategies of Violence and Nonviolence in Revolutionary Movements,” examines variation in strategies employed by groups seeking to capture state power. Previously, he worked as a foreign and defense policy aide in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Course title: “From Gandhi to the Arab Spring: The Theory and Practice of Nonviolent Resistance” (Fall 2014)
Location: Tufts University, Boston, USA
Abstract: From colonial America to colonial India, the Berlin Wall to Tahrir Square, nonviolent resistance movements have proven capable of toppling regimes and recasting the geopolitical landscape. But what exactly constitutes “nonviolent resistance?” Why do some groups employ it while others turn to arms? Why and when is it effective? What, if anything, can the international community do to help nonviolent movements succeed? This seminar is intended to provide a broad, interdisciplinary overview of the study of what has been interchangeably called civil resistance, nonviolent direct action, and strategic nonviolence. It will explore questions surrounding the ethics of nonviolent action, when and where civil resistance is used, the conditions under which it is more or less effective, and its consequences for local communities, state polities, and the international system. The course will draw from seminal philosophical texts, historical accounts, and cutting-edge social science research. Students will gain an understanding of both the normative and empirical debates surrounding the practice of civil resistance and a familiarity with key cases in which it has been used.