ICNC organizes Regional Institutes on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action in partnership with local organizations in different parts of the world. These Institutes offer activists, practitioners, educators and academics opportunities to engage in structured and applied learning on civic organizing, mobilization and dynamics of nonviolent struggles for rights, freedom and justice.
The goals of the Regional Institutes are:
• to build a vibrant network of grassroots activists and scholars from the region who are interested in studying and/or involved in the practice of strategic nonviolent action;
• to offer structured learning about effective nonviolent organizing;
• to generate knowledge and share information about nonviolent campaigns in the region, including key lessons from case studies that inform more strategic approach to nonviolent actions; and
• to establish and expand the network of practitioners in the region and build partnerships between practitioners and scholars, to foster information exchange related to nonviolent organizing and mobilization for social justice, human rights and democratic rule of law.
Upcoming Regional Institutes
Location: Quito, Ecuador
Dates: March 8 – March 14, 2020
The third annual Latin American Regional Institute in Quito will focus on how strategic nonviolent action works, why nonviolent campaigns succeed or fail, nonviolent strategy and tactics, case studies of movements and campaigns from Latin America and around the world, and how strategic nonviolent action shapes societies, national, and international affairs.
This course is designed to equip activists, scholars, teachers, professionals, and other future peacebuilders from all countries in the Americas with practical tools, knowledge, and hands-on experience to understand the power of nonviolent action to transform the state and society and improve social justice.
The program will include classroom discussions, a field trip, and practical workshops to design nonviolent strategies, apply nonviolent tactics, and use communications in support of nonviolent campaigns. In this sense, the Regional Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action is not just a learning or training opportunity, but a platform for action that connects people and empowers them to address complex challenges that face the world today. The program will be offered in English and Spanish with simultaneous interpretation.
Participants: Activists, scholars, teachers, professionals, and other future peacebuilders from across the Americas
Presenters: International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, FLACSO-Ecuador, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), and the Center for Mediation, Peace, and Resolution of Conflict (CEMPROC)
Institute Language: Presentations will be given and translated in English and Spanish.
Cost: $300. There are limited partial and full scholarships available, especially for grassroots activists without institutional funding.
Application Deadline: The application window closed on October 16, 2019.
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Dates: April 20 – 26, 2020
The South Asian Regional Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action offers practitioners and scholars alike a great opportunity to learn about and reflect on ways to achieve social change nonviolently.
The institute’s program is divided into three parts:
- general knowledge about the dynamics and effectiveness of civil resistance
- the study of specific local and regional cases of nonviolent campaigns and movements
- collaborative groups where participants will work together on strategic action plans for campaigns
Participants: This Institute is designed for activists, organizers, scholars, teachers, civil society professionals, as well as civic and political leaders across South Asia.
Presenters: International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, Center for Social Change, Department of Conflict, Peace and Development Studies at Tribhuvan University, and the National Network of the Families of the Disappeared and Missing Nepal
Institute Language: Presentations will be given in English.
Cost: $150. There are limited partial and full scholarships available, especially for grassroots activists without institutional funding. The program fee covers participation in the Asian Action Institute, food, lodging, resource materials, certificates, local transportation and a field trip. Travel or air flight or any visa application expenses are not included in this fee. Participants can apply for a scholarship on a needs basis along with their application.
Application Deadline: The application window closes on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at 4:30pm Nepal Standard Time (5:45am in Washington, DC)
Previous Regional Institutes
Kyiv, Ukraine, September 15 – September 20, 2019
In September 2019, ICNC partnered with the V. Vernadsky Taurida National University, Free Russia House, and the Laboratory of Democratic Transformations to present the Second Eastern European Regional Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action. In additional to local and regional presenters, international presenters included ICNC’s Manager of Academic Initiatives Steve Chase, NTNU Post-doctoral Research Fellow Jonathan Pinckney, Pakistani Activist Trainer Mariam Azeem, and former OTPOR leader Ivan Marovic [pictured above, left to right].
Research has shown that effectiveness of nonviolent movements depends on the scale of people’s mobilization and participation and this, in turn, is influenced by the degree to which a movement is able to maintain nonviolent discipline. So how can ordinary people come and work together to win rights, democratic reforms, and social justice without resorting to violence? What are creative nonviolent actions that movements deploy to achieve their goals? How can lobbying, litigation, and elections (when available) be combined with powerful, nonviolent civil resistance strategies and tactics for maximum effect?
The Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action offered both practitioners and academics access to global knowledge and experience in the theory, history, and practice of effecting needed political change through nonviolent means. This course was designed for those unwilling to tolerate injustice and human rights violations who are committed to finding evermore effective nonviolent strategies for change. It is meant for activists, scholars, and professionals who want to better understand how to change their communities, cities, countries, and even the world.
In six days, participants learned:
- How strategic nonviolent action works – and its theories of power and change
- Why nonviolent civil resistance campaigns either succeed or fail
- The record of civil resistance compared to armed struggle and movements with organized violent flanks
- Innovative nonviolent strategies and tactics and how they can be used to reach your goals
- Key lessons from a wide range of cases of civil resistance movements and campaigns from Eastern Europe and around the world.
Quito, Ecuador, April 7-13, 2019
Fifty-two civic activists, organizers, educators, and practitioners from 12 Latin American countries, as well as France, Ukraine, and the United States met together in Quito for the second annual Regional Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action to learn about the history, theory and application of nonviolent civil resistance. The Institute’s program was developed in partnership between ICNC, Factultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) Ecuador, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), and CEMPROC. The program covered, among other things:
- Nonviolent struggles for community safety and peace
- Nonviolent struggles against authoritarian regimes
- Strategies and tactics to develop a movement and wage successful nonviolent resistance
- Case studies of nonviolent movements and campaigns from Mexico, the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America
- How to avoid, deter, and reduce the impact of repression
- Conflict analysis tools
- Small-group work on designing campaign strategies and nonviolent actions
- Overview of available education programs and opportunities in the field of civil resistance
- Field trip to a local community to learn about grassroots organizing and efforts to promote social and economic justice
Some participants joined a radio show and discussed their experiences. You can listen here.
You can also watch the video below to hear from some of the participants and organizers.
The Institute brought together close to 40 practitioners, activists, organizers and educators. They came from more than 10 countries from the region and beyond, including Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Korea, Ethiopia, Netherlands, the US. Some participants have been part of the ICNC educational network and have also completed ICNC online courses.
“As Dalit people (untouchables), we have faced oppression for three thousand years. We also still have a long way to go to win full equality. Yet, by setting specific, achievable goals and using nonviolent methods of struggle we have won victory after victory. We think it is important to recognize the successes we’ve won on our journey toward justice. Never give up.” A Nepal community organizer.
- generic content on civil resistance that ICNC delivered together with its regional collaborators;
- case studies of movements and campaigns from the region presented by local speakers;
- participants’ presentations on the campaigns they were involved in;
- a group strategy project where participants worked on devising a nonviolent campaign and a viable strategy and tactics; and last but not least
- a field trip to local communities and groups that shared stories and insights on nonviolent campaigns and civil resistance actions that the communities have been engaged in to press for specific political, social and economic goals.
The program integrated effectively theoretical and analytical learning and lecture-based type of education in the field of civil resistance, with case study-based approach that brought in practical insights and lessons learnt from local nonviolent organizing and campaigns and, finally, hands-on, strategic planning exercises where participants focus on devising relevant nonviolent actions and campaigns for rights.
Kyiv, Ukraine. August 19-August 26, 2018
Institute Languages: Russian, Ukrainian, & English
The Eastern European Institute on the Practice and Study of Strategic Nonviolent Action offers both practitioners and scholars access to global knowledge and experience in the theory, history and practice of effecting needed political change through nonviolent means. It is designed for those who are unwilling to tolerate injustice and human rights violations and who are committed to finding more effective nonviolent strategies for change. It is meant for activists, scholars, and professionals who want to better understand how to change their communities, cities, countries, and even the world. The Institute will help attendees utilize the power of strategic nonviolent action campaigns to fight for truth, democracy and liberty. It is organized by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, the Taurida National Vernadsky University, Free Russia House, and the Laboratory of Democratic Transformations.
Flasco, Quito, Ecuador. February 19-24, 2018
Institute Languages: English & Spanish
This Regional Institute offers practitioners and scholars alike a great opportunity to learn about, and reflect on, ways to achieve social change nonviolently. Participants will learn how strategic nonviolent action can shift the existing balance of power and increase awareness of issues of injustice with the goal of bringing about positive change. Case studies of nonviolent movements throughout Latin America and the world will also be explored, including a field trip to a local community mobilized and engaged in nonviolent actions. The Institute is organized by FLACSO Ecuador, CEMPROC, Pontificia Universidad Católica del and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict and will take place in Quito, Ecuador from February 19 to 24, 2018.
Read two articles about the impact of the Institute:
- “A Catalyst for Action: Training and Education as Networking Platforms for Peace Projects” (pre-publication copy)
by Jeffrey Pugh. Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, 2019, September 2019
- “Weaving Transnational Activist Networks: Balancing International and Bottom-up Capacity-building Strategies for Nonviolent Action in Latin America”
by Jeffrey Pugh, Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies, 2018 Vol. 2, No. 1, 130-144
- Spanish translation:
“Tejiendo redes de activismo transnacional: el balance entre estrategias internacionales y locales en la construcción de capacidades para la acción no violenta en América Latina“