Call for Research Proposals on Civil Resistance Movements and Material Resources
Waging effective nonviolent struggle depends on the voluntary mobilization and coordinated efforts of ordinary people. The size, capacity, knowledge and skills of a movement’s human resources are key. Yet movements also strive to harness material resources in order to propel themselves and maintain momentum. There is relatively less research about how nonviolent activists and movements around the world gain, secure, manage, and use these material resources to help them wage sustained and successful campaigns.
ICNC is interested in supporting quantitative and/or qualitative research that will shed light on this under-explored aspect of civil resistance practice. Material resources include:
• financial resources;
• non-monetary material assets such as equipment, physical infrastructure; and other movement resources (including materials such as posters, t-shirts, banners, and movement literature);
• in-kind contributions such as donated printing services or room and board for activists.
Nonviolent movements and campaigns may experience several challenges in their efforts to gain, secure, manage, and use such resources. These include:
1. Many campaigns and movements do not have a traditional organizational infrastructure that is designed to systematically acquire and allocate material resources across various individuals, groups, structures and campaigns;
2. Addressing the issue of who gets to make decisions about how movement resources are allocated can be challenging if formal structures and leadership are not developed, and if trust among different groups is not strong. Yet many movements are forced to function without formal structures and leadership, and mobilizing groups may only have weak ties to each other;
3. Many campaigns and movements do not have formal mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of how their resources are used;
4. In non-democratic contexts, resources may have to be acquired, stored, managed, distributed, and used in a clandestine manner. Sometimes resources must be hidden to stave off a government’s crackdown and then tapped at the right moment and with a degree of efficiency that maximize their impact.
The Application deadline is December 2, 2018 (Sunday, 11:59pm EST)
Key Research Questions to Explore
Research questions that we would like this study to explore include, but are not limited to:
Generation of Material Resources
1. How do movements generate funds?
• Do they fundraise? Do some have membership fees? Do they provide services or goods (i.e. through alternative institutions) that people pay for?
• What groups tend to raise or generate funds within movements?
• Who provides funds to movements? Are funds raised locally or broad, or both? Are there particular kinds of groups within a country, or abroad (i.e. diaspora groups or NGOs), that tend to provide financial support to movements?
2. What are the categories (with specific examples, and identifying criteria) of non-monetary material assets and in-kind contributions that movements use?
3. How do movements procure various categories of non-monetary material assets and in-kind contributions?
• What groups tend to raise or generate these material resources within movements
• Who is most likely to provide these material resources to movements?
4. How do movements determine which kinds of material resources they need over the course of their struggle? Do they have established mechanisms, processes, or (informal and formal) procedures that allow them to quickly assess the needs for material resources of different groups and structures that are part of their movement?
Management, Allocation, Distribution, and Monitoring of Material Resources
5. How do movements make allocation decisions about how to use their material resources? For example, are there particular structures that movements have adopted to effectively manage their funds and other material resources?
6. How do movements collect, store, and distribute material resources, especially in repressive environments?
7. How do movements assess the impact of how their material resources are used? What monitoring and evaluation tools or strategies do movements use in this regard?
Movement Attributes, Dynamics and Material Resources
8. What capabilities or capacities do movements need to develop and maintain to be effective at raising, generating, and deploying funds and other material resources?
9. How does a movement’s structure and composition (i.e. hierarchical or non-hierarchical decision making, the presence or absence of formal NGOs within a movement, the presence or absence of diverse networks/coalitions; the development or absence of alternative institutions) impact its ability to garner and utilize material resources?
10. Do various civil resistance groups in a movement or a struggle operating in different localities pool and utilize material resources in coordinated fashion? If so, how?
11. Do different types of civil resistance movements (maximalist/revolutionary and non-maximalist/reformist in their goals) use various types of material resources in similar or different ways and how and why?
12. How does the acquisition of material resources by a movement impact the selection and sequence of tactics during a campaign?
13. Are there particular material resources that help movements resist and manage (i.e. avoid or mitigate the impact of) repression used against them?
The Impact of Material Resources on Movements
14. What is the impact of the way material resources are allocated and used on a movement’s chances of success or failure? Are certain strategies of gaining, securing, managing, and using funds, non-monetary material resources, and in-kind contributions more effective than others, in various contexts?
15. What specific kinds of non-monetary assets and in-kind contributions do movements rely on in their campaigns?
16. Are there examples in which a movement’s acquisition, management, and use of material resources has been damaging to the movement (for example, by creating rivalry or divisions within the movement, or by de-legitimizing the movement)?
Grant Award and Expected End Product
ICNC is offering a grant of up to $15,000 for an individual or a group to conduct quantitative and/or qualitative research that also includes a representative sample of in-depth case studies of past and current movements and addresses the above questions.
The end product of the research will be a monograph of 25,000 – 30,000 words (100-120 double spaced pages) that will be published as part of the ICNC Monograph Series.
It is expected that the monograph will provide:
1. A detailed review of literature that is directly relevant to the subject of the call (including drawing from resource mobilization theory and past key cases that were analyzed using this theory), and identifying existing research gaps (based on the literature review) as related to the subject of the call;
2. A preliminary theoretical framework with key research questions and initial arguments relevant to the subject of the call and proposed in-depth case studies;
3. Up to six in-depth and diverse case studies covered in response to the proposed theoretical framework, research questions and initial arguments;
4. Lessons learned from the case studies and their added-value to the knowledge on the subject;
5. Information about remaining knowledge gaps and key hypotheses that would justify and inform development of a dataset to conduct new major quantitative analysis and additional qualitative research on the subject.
Depending on the results of this study, ICNC may subsequently choose to commission the development of dataset on this topic, which would be informed by the findings of this study.
Research and writing timeline:
We anticipate the research and writing period to be between 6 to 9 months though we will discuss this individually with selected applicants.
Interested applicants must submit for consideration:
1. A 2,000-word proposal that will include:
a) background on how you comprehend the topic and a possible framework of analysis with relevant hypotheses, and tentative answers that the research is expected to offer (500 words)
b) review of existing literature on civil resistance, and social movements directly relevant to the topic of this call (500 words)
c) an explanation of how you plan to conduct your research and collect data, and what information and data you expect to gather. Include here any list of case studies of nonviolent campaigns and movements that you plan to examine and Large N datasets, if any, that will be included into this research and explanation of why and how they will be used (500 words)
d) professional background information, including the applicant’s qualifications to do the proposed research (500 words)
2. A budget to account for the grant, which can be up to $15,000. The grant will cover only expenses directly related to conducting research on the subject of this call.
4. A list of previously written (preferably published) work, if any