Special Report Title:
Foundation Support for Pro-Democracy Social Movement Building
Special Report Abstract:
Why and how have some institutional donors in the United States supported nonviolent social movement building in non-democracies?
A number of movement-centric research projects seek to explore the effects of donor support for nonviolent social movements on their success or failure. By contrast, this research is donor-centric. It seeks to understand why and how donors decide to support nonviolent social movement building in the first place. This research will explore a range of factors that might influence donor support for social movement building including donors’ internal structures, donors’ perception of political risk, and the nature of donors’ understanding of and relationships to social movements.
In collaboration with the Human Rights Funders Network, this project will utilize the Advancing Human Rights database to outline trends in donor support from 2011-2015. Interviews with and a comparative case study of donors will allow this project to offer a detailed understanding of how donors work. In doing so, this research seeks to offer insights to donors, academics, and movements, amongst others about the availability of financial and other resources for social movement building in closed and closing political spaces.
About the Author:
Ben Naimark-Rowse is a Ph.D. candidate and the Topol Fellow in Nonviolent Resistance at The Fletcher School @ Tufts University where he teaches and researches social movements. He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Visiting Scholar at SciencesPo. He serves as a Truman National Security Fellow and the Founding Director of the Seevak Human Rights and Social Justice Fellowship. Ben holds a M.P.A. from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago. Ben’s research and teaching draw on over a decade of experience directing NGOs and advising governments, foundations and academic institutions. His publications include, “Nonviolent Resistance” in the SAGE Encyclopedia of War, “Surviving Success: Nonviolent Rebellion in Sudan” in the Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, and “The Founding Myth of the United States of America” for Political Violence at a Glance. His teaching includes From Gandhi to the Arab Spring: The Theory and Practice of Nonviolent Resistance.