ICNC Priority Research Topics in Civil Resistance (2020-2021):
1. Assessing the impact of civil resistance knowledge and skills acquisition on civil resistance movements
2. The role and impact of women in civil resistance movements
3. How do civil resistance movements respond to deliberate misinformation, fake news, and social media attack campaigns used against them and/or the communities or groups they represent and defend? What strategies have been tried by movement adversaries to attack movements through media (traditional, online, or social media), and what is their impact? What counter strategies have been used by movements (for example, what actions, mediums and messages have been used by movements to counter such misinformation) and what is their impact?
4. How do movements generate material resources, conduct successful grassroots fund-raising efforts, and manage their financial and material resources, particularly in nondemocratic contexts?
5. Nonviolent resistance strategies to reduce societal violence and/or marginalize violent non-state actors (i.e. criminal groups; militias and paramilitaries engaged in civil war; extremist and terrorist groups)
6. Gender analysis of civil resistance
7. Civil resistance strategies to fight climate change
8. The role of emotions in movement emergence and sustainability and strategic choices; how emotional trauma impacts movements and movement decision-making, and how movements remain psychologically resilient
9. Why some nonviolent movements are hijacked by violent flanks and how nonviolent movements interact with violent movements and can plan better to prevent violent groups from taking over
10. The impact of civil resistance on defections from supporters of a movement’s opponent such as members of the business community, banks and finance, bureaucracy, religious organizations, members of the security forces, state-controlled media, and other pillars of support
11. Strategies for civil resistance campaigns against abusive or unaccountable practices involving multinational corporations—where and how do movements and their allies target or pressure; what strategies, tactics, and framing are most effective; etc.
12. Popular grassroots movements on the margins (landless peoples, unemployed, underprivileged) that demand inclusion, an end to discrimination, access to resources and better services in a nominal democracy
13. Civil resistance to counter populism and nationalism at the age of democratic backsliding: civil resistance in falling and failing democracies
14. The relationship between prefigurative and intra-movement dynamics and the broader political, social and/or economic impacts of nonviolent movements
15. Civil resistance and how it can contribute to peacebuilding
16. The role and impact of a variety of external actors in civil resistance struggles
17. Effective strategies for movements to use to mobilize in context of digital authoritarianism, and counter the repressive strategies and tactics of digital authoritarians.
Additional themes of interest:
1. Study of intersectionality between broad based pro-democracy movements and non-traditional, under-represented movements and groups such as LGBT, or ethnic minorities
2. Why some actors choose nonviolent resistance and others resort to violent means
3. Assessment tools for movements—how do movements assess their current state and progress over time?
4. How localized protests, and everyday resistance turn into national political movements
5. Analysis of strategic approaches to sustaining movements and building resilience, despite fear and apathy
6. The role and impact of civil resistance on people’s and states’ identities and/or aspirations
7. Civil resistance and negotiations
8. Different forms of leadership in civil resistance
9. Civil resistance and international law—Are acts of civil resistance protected under international law? How has civil resistance impacted international law?
10. Nonviolent national defense (sometimes referred to as civilian-based defense)
11. National or local surveys on the potential for, and effectiveness of, civil resistance methods in war-torn societies
12. Review of studies across disciplines about the onset of civil resistance movements under repressive conditions using a civil resistance perspective
13. Conceptual analysis and empirical study of formation of diverse social coalitions as part of civil resistance movements
14. Civil resistance and the prevention of major atrocities
15. The use and impact of new technologies in civil resistance struggles
16. The role of constructive programs and alternative institution building in civil resistance
17. Failure of civil resistance in crucial cases/campaigns: lessons learned
18. Recovering historical cases of civil resistance struggles that are unknown or under-researched
19. Nonviolent resistance to coups d’état
20. Comparative studies of recent civil resistance cases in a region or across regions, with emphasis on Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific region
21. Studies of the situations in which civil resistance is justified and appropriate and situations in which it may be misused or used by repressive actors
22. The role of nonviolent resistance strategies in international solidarity movements in support of nonviolent struggles
23. The role and impact of civil resistance before, during, and after political transitions
24. Why and how civil resistance movements maintain nonviolent discipline
25. Role and impact of civil resistance with specific policy goals and non-mass based participation
26. Leverage and resilience of civil resistance at a time of authoritarian backlash