ICNC Press and Publications
ICNC started its own press to support extensive circulation of free or low-cost resources about civil resistance—both original/in-house and externally-sourced texts—for a diverse international readership. Since 2015, we have published a number of works including:
- The ICNC Monograph Series, which consists of commissioned research that is written to reach practitioner communities
- The ICNC Special Report Series, which draws on cutting-edge research to cover topics pertinent to ongoing policy discussions and practitioner debates
- Cutting edge resources for practitioners around the world
- Important books and translations that might otherwise fall out of print
All ICNC Press publications can be downloaded for free and their print copies are made available for purchase at the lowest possible price via Amazon.
If you are interested in publishing opportunities with ICNC, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ICNC Monograph Series aims to bridge the gap between research and practice. Drawing on scholarly literature and high quality analytical and empirical analyses equal to that of a serious academic publication, monographs aim to enrich public discourse by expanding scientific knowledge in the field of civil resistance and providing general and specific recommendations for practitioners such as activists, organizers, journalists, and members of INGOs and the policy community. For more information about this series, and/or if you would like to write a monograph, click here.
By: Stephen Zunes
Series editor: Maciej Bartkowski
Volume editor: Amber French
Date of publication: December 2017
Nations are not helpless if the military decides to stage a coup. On dozens of occasions in recent decades, even in the face of intimidated political leaders and international indifference, civil society has risen up to challenge putschists through large-scale nonviolent direct action and noncooperation. How can an unarmed citizenry mobilize so quickly and defeat a powerful military committed to seizing control of the government? What accounts for the success or failure of nonviolent resistance movements to reverse coups and consolidate democratic gains?
This monograph presents in-depth case studies and analysis intended to improve our understanding of the strategic utility of civil resistance against military takeovers; the nature of civil resistance mobilization against coups; and the role of civil resistance against coups in countries’ subsequent democratization efforts (or failure thereof). It offers key lessons for pro-democracy activists and societies vulnerable to military usurpation of power; national civilian and military bureaucracies; external state and non-state agencies supportive of democracy; and future scholarship on this subject.
International human rights law did not come into existence top-down, out of the benevolent intentions of states, even though states eventually began to recognize that large-scale human rights abuses could pose a threat to the international order. Rather, it came into existence from the bottom-up efforts of ordinary people in civil society to ally with each other in solidarity and demand their rights, often through organized nonviolent campaigns and movements that pressured elites and powerholders to recognize or grant individual rights (freedom for slaves, women’s rights, labor rights, and children’s rights, to name a few). Unlike international law generally, the real source of international human rights law has been the coordinated, organized and nonviolently forceful efforts of individuals—in other words, what one can refer to as people power.
How can we understand when nonviolent movements will stay nonviolent? When are they likely to break down into violence? In this monograph, Jonathan Pinckney analyzes both what promotes and undermines nonviolent discipline in civil resistance movements. Combining quantitative research on thousands of nonviolent and violent actions with a detailed comparison of three relevant case studies of civil resistance during the “Color Revolutions”, Pinckney’s analysis provides important lessons for activists and organizers on the front lines, as well as for practitioners whose work may impact the outcomes of nonviolent struggles. We learn how repression consistently induces violence, as do government concessions. On the flip side, we see that structuring a campaign in an inclusive and non-hierarchical way is conducive to greater nonviolent discipline.
By: Juan Masullo
Series editor: Maciej Bartkowski
Volume editor: Amber French
Date of publication: August 2015
Confronted with civil war, local civilians typically either collaborate with the strongest actor in town or flee the area. Yet civilians are not stuck only with these choices. Collectively defying armed groups by engaging in organized nonviolent forms of noncooperation, self-organization and disruption is another option. This monograph explores this option through sustained and organized civil resistance led by ordinary peasants against state and non-state repressive actors in Colombia’s longstanding civil war: the case of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó.
- Click here to download the English PDF for free
- Click here to download the Spanish PDF for free
- Buy the book
By: Tenzin Dorjee
Series editor: Maciej Bartkowski
Volume editors: Hardy Merriman, Amber French, Cassandra Balfour
Date of publication: September 2015
Contrary to a perception—fueled by Chinese propaganda during the 2008 Tibetan uprising that the Tibetan struggle is heading toward extremism—this study shows that the movement for Tibetan freedom has since the 1950s moved toward a tighter embrace of nonviolent resistance. The study traces this evolution, analyzing the central themes, purposes, challenges, strategies, tactics and impacts of three major Tibetan uprisings over the past six decades. Tibetans are now waging a quiet, slow-building nonviolent movement, centered on strengthening the Tibetan national and cultural fabric via what the author refers to as “transformative resistance.” This is happening in an immensely repressive political environment, which shows that there is a way to mobilize people power against even one of the most ruthless regimes in the world.
Revisiting the Methods of Nonviolent Action (tentative title)
By: Michael Beer, 2018
Revisiting the Methods of Nonviolent Action adds new methods of nonviolent action to the list of 198 methods categorized by Gene Sharp in 1973 in his book, The Methods of Nonviolent Action. This monograph inspires readers that nonviolent action encompasses a big category of human activity and that new and old tactics are employed daily. It also analyzes strengths and weaknesses of Dr. Sharp’s typologies and updates his work by documenting additional methods of nonviolent action and new scholarship from the fields of civil resistance, human rights defense, and social change. The monograph surveys the work of scholars and activists who have contributed alternative nonviolent typologies. Methods documented by other scholars are gathered, organized and added to Dr. Sharp’s list of methods. The monograph also documents undiscovered methods and proposes helpful new categories of nonviolent action. The monograph concludes with a summary of lessons learned and how they are relevant for practitioners, educators, and scholars of civil resistance. Recommendations are made for further application and research.
By Jonathan Pinckney, 2018
Why do nonviolent movements often lead to democracy? Why do they sometimes not? While several existing studies have pointed to a strong connection between successful campaigns of civil resistance and a greater likelihood of democratization, prominent failures of democratization, as in many of the Arab Spring cases, raise questions about this finding. Furthermore, little literature has examined the dynamics of civil resistance campaigns following the initial democratic breakthrough to trace the mechanisms whereby civil resistance can encourage or undermine democratic prospects. I present a theory of civil resistance transitions, focusing on a series of strategic challenges faced by nonviolent movements after their initial democratic breakthrough. This monograph will argue that resolving three challenges: transitional mobilization, the problem of leftovers, and depolarization, is crucial for a successful transition to democracy. A quantitative analysis of all transitions from authoritarianism initiated by civil resistance from 1945-2011 and several qualitative case studies will support the monograph’s arguments.
Prison Hunger Strikes as Civil Resistance: A Global Perspective on Political Resistance in Prisons (Tentative Title)
By Malaka Mohammed Shwaikh & Rebecca Ruth Gould, 2018
This monograph examines six different global contexts wherein prison hunger strikes have been used as a tool of civil resistance, with a specific focus on hunger strikes among Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails from 1948 to the present. Drawing on first-hand interviews, archival research, and primary and secondary research in many languages, the authors examine how hunger strikes have generated solidarity among prison populations from Palestine, South Africa, and Northern Ireland to Iran, Turkey, and the United States. They offer an innovative typology for the effectiveness of hunger strikes and other forms of civil resistance across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America that foregrounds the differences and similarities between prison strikes in regimes of occupation and apartheid and within liberal democracies. Addressed to both academics and practitioners, this is the first monograph to offer a comparative account of prison hunger strikes on a global scale, and to incorporate findings from international law, legal anthropology, political theory, and sociology into a broad theory of the capacity of nonviolent civil resistance to bring about measurable political change.
By: Evan Perkoski and Erica Chenoweth, April 2018
What drives governments to crack down on and kill their own civilians? And how—and to what extent—has nonviolent resistance historically mitigated the likelihood of mass killings? This special report explores the factors associated with mass killings: when governments intentionally kill 1,000 or more civilian noncombatants. We find that these events are surprisingly common, occurring in just under half of all maximalist popular uprisings against states, yet they are strongly associated with certain types of resistance. Nonviolent uprisings that do not receive foreign material aid and that manage to gain military defections tend to be the safest. These findings shed light on how both dissidents and their foreign allies can work together to reduce the likelihood of violent confrontations.
By: Véronique Dudouet, Berghof Foundation
This report explores the complementary ideas and practices that civil resistance and peacebuilding approaches present, each from different points along the conflict transformation spectrum. Both strategies oppose violence in all its forms, and seek to pursue just peace by peaceful means. However, they take different approaches to conflict transformation, in particular how they analyze primary causes of violence and how they respond to conflict. Drawing on a number of case studies, this report aims to help practitioners and scholars understand how integrating these strategies can help establish a path for “powering to peace.”
Forthcoming Special Reports
No forthcoming Special Reports at this time.
Resources for Practitioners
By: Ivan Marovic, ICNC Press (forthcoming, 2018)
The Path of Most Resistance: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Nonviolent Campaign is a practical guide for activists and organizers of all levels, who wish to grow their resistance activities into a more strategic, fixed-term campaign. It guides readers through the campaign planning process, breaking it down into several steps and providing tools and exercises for each step. Upon finishing the book, readers will have what they need to guide their peers through the process of planning a campaign. This process, as laid out in the guide, is estimated to take about 12 hours from start to finish.
The guide is divided into two parts. The first lays out and contextualizes campaign planning tools and their objectives. It also explains the logic behind these tools, and how they can be modified to better suit a particular group’s context. The second part provides easily reproducible and shareable lesson plans for using each of those tools, as well as explores how to embed the tools in the wider planning process.
Key Terms in the Study and Translation of Civil Resistance (tentative title)
The amount of English-language literature in the field of civil resistance has rapidly expanded in recent decades, while the demand for materials in languages other than English has dramatically risen. This glossary of over 150 terms is created to help make this knowledge available to people around the world. Its primary goal is to help with the translation of information on civil resistance from English into other languages. We also expect other readers will also find value in it—a great deal can be learned through deep understanding of the terms in this field.
by Ivan Marovic and Hardy Merriman, ICNC Press (forthcoming, 2019)
For eleven straight years, freedom and democracy has declined around the globe. The world is in a slow-moving crisis, with authoritarians playing offense and adapting their strategies to prevent and counter civil resistance. Meanwhile, populists are also trying to drive popular discontent and use it for their own personal gain. Civil resistance movements must adapt their strategies in the face of these realities, and new thinking is required.
Liberating Politics aims to take the best insights from scholars and grassroots practitioners over the last decade and make them available to anybody who is preparing for or following the next wave of nonviolent resistance movements. Research in the field of civil resistance has progressed significantly in recent years, but far too little of it has been accessible to activists. Using data and examples with diagrams, photos and other visuals, this book will provide up-to-date understanding of diverse aspects of civil resistance and practical insights about waging nonviolent struggle, drawn from cases around the world. It will be available online for free download and in hard copy for a low price.
By: Jacques Semelin
English publication of La liberté au bout des ondes, 2nd edition
Translated by Elizabeth Libbrecht
Foreword by Adam Roberts
Afterword by Howard Barrell
Original (French) publication: Nouveau Monde Editions 2009
English publication: ICNC Press, February 2017
This book on the relationship between communications and nonviolent resistance captures a new understanding of the events that led ultimately to the fall of the authoritarian system in communist Central and Eastern Europe in 1989. In particular, it analyzes history-making acts of resistance and the movements that propelled them in Budapest in 1956, Prague in 1968, Gdansk in 1980 and East Berlin in 1989, in their own historical continuum.