Date: Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
Time: 11:00am – 12:30pm
Part One – Nonviolent Discipline and Radical Flanks: A crucial yet under-studied aspect of civil resistance is the impact of simultaneous violent campaigns on the outcomes of campaigns of nonviolent resistance. That is, does a violent movement operating at the same time and in the same country as a nonviolent one increase or decrease the likelihood of success of the nonviolent movement? One argument is that a violent movement may undermine the position of a nonviolent movement because it discredits all regime opponents, provokes repression, and reduces third party support. Another argument is that a violent movement increases the leverage of a nonviolent one by making it seem less threatening to elites or creating a crisis that is resolved in favor of the nonviolent challengers. All campaigns against states have a major, disruptive political objective: toppling a regime, ending foreign occupation, or secession. Generally, the presence of a simultaneous violent movement has no direct effect on the outcomes of nonviolent resistance movements. However, there is an indirect negative radical flank effect, as simultaneous violent movements decrease the level of participation in nonviolent movements.
Part Two – It’s the Politics, Stupid! Civil Resistance and Violent Flanks – The Case of South Africa’s Struggle Against Apartheid: This talk examines how simultaneous campaigns of civil resistance and organised military violence against apartheid interacted with each other in the case of South Africa. It examines a complex and paradoxical relationship that developed between popular civil resistance inside South Africa and the ANC’s armed campaign. It argues that the ANC’s almost exclusive focus on armed struggle between 1961 and 1979 severely undermined civil resistance, ironically also held back the development of armed struggle itself, and retarded the achievement of ending apartheid. It concludes that civil resistance inside South Africa led by the United Democratic Front (UDF) eventually far surpassed armed activity as a force for change in South Africa in the 1980s. The presentation will offer reasons for this outcome.
- Watch this Presentation
- Download Additional Resources
- Join the Conversation
Watch this Presentation:
- Presentation Slides (Radical Flank Effect)
- Presentation Slides (Violent Flanks and Anti-Apartheid Struggle)
- Curation of Key Tweets and Resources
- Shock, Kurt. Unarmed Resistance: People Power Movements in Nondemocracies.
- Shock, Kurt. Radical Flank Effect (webinar). ICNC/USIP Course, 2010.
- Walker, Jesse. Who Killed Apartheid? An Interview with Howard Barrell. Reason.com. February 11, 2010.