A webinar with Benjamin Naimark-Rowse and Tom Perriello
September 13, 2022
Webinar PresentationIntroduction of Speaker: 00:00 – 08:23 Presentation: 08:24 – 37:37 Respondent: 37:38 – 46:23 Questions and Answers: 46:24 – 1:08:51
Additional Questions and Answers
Webinar DetailsDollars and Dissent, in this webinar Benjamin Naimark-Rowse outlines trends in donor support in the 2010s, and details how donors’ values, organizational structures, and perceptions of risk affect their support for grassroots organizers and nonviolent social movements. Former Congressman Tom Perriello, who is currently Executive Director of Open Society-US, offers remarks as respondent. This event is co-sponsored by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) and Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN).
About the Presenter and AuthorBenjamin Naimark-Rowse is the Topol Fellow in Nonviolent Resistance and a PhD candidate at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He is a Term Member in the Council on Foreign Relations and a Truman National Security Fellow. Ben’s expertise in social movements and resourcing of movements draws on two decades of experience in the donor, NGO, and academic worlds. He has served as a Program Officer with the Open Society Foundations, an electoral observer with The Carter Center, a board member of the University of Chicago’s Human Rights Program, and an advisory committee member of the Leading Change Network. His publications include “Liberating the ‘Enemy’,” “Nonviolent Resistance,” “Darfurian Voices,” “Surviving Success: Nonviolent Rebellion in Sudan,” and “The Founding Myth of the United States of America.” Ben holds a M.P.A. from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago. His research has been supported by a Harvard Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowship and as a USIP-Minerva Peace and Security Scholar. He is married to Nadia Marzouki. They are the parents of twin girls.
About the RespondentTom Perriello is a former Congressman (VA-05), diplomat (State Department) and advocate for human rights and democracy within the United States and around the world. Tom currently serves as the Executive Director of Open Society Foundations for the United States (OSUS), a philanthropy dedicated to supporting open, inclusive, democratic societies. During his time in Congress, Tom voted in favor of the landmark legislation for healthcare reform, climate change, immigration, antitrust, and economic recovery. During the Obama Administration, he served as the Special Envoy to the African Great Lakes region and authored the second Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. Tom also served as the President of Center for American Progress Action, and Senior Counselor to CAP, as well as co-founder of Avaaz.org and Faithful America. Tom’s writing has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Atlantic, Democracy Journal, The Hill, CNN.com, Slate.com, and Politico.
In 2022, ICNC with support from the Carnegie Corporation grant, has launched its new entirely Online Teaching Fellowship program where its fellows will develop online courses with customized content specifically designed to meet the needs of their local audience and translated into local languages. The program goal is to increase civil resistance skills and capacity and further civil resistance education to the members of local communities that can become civil resistance knowledge distributors and trainers themselves. When the program was launched, ICNC has reached out to its 100 star alumni from the ICNC online moderated and participant-led courses that were held over the years. More than 20% of the alumni applied for the new Online Teaching Fellowship by June 2022 and ten fellows were selected from Australia, Bangladesh, Catalonia, China, Kenya, Myanmar, Northern Ireland, Russia, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. The 2022 Fellows are: Harley McDonald-Eckersall Ilker Kalin Knowledge Mwonzora Leah Rea Maria Tsehai Md. Moynul Haque Nemo Lili Soo Xavier Majó Roca
Harley McDonald-Eckersall is a social change organiser, specialising in areas of strategic communications and movement strategy. In 2016 at age 19, Harley became involved with the Animal justice movement, co-founding the organisation Young Voices for Animals with the mission to educate and inspire the next generation of animal liberation activists. In January 2020, Harley moved to the UK from Australia to work on narrative and strategy at the social movement organisation Animal Rebellion where she used social movement and narrative theory to bring the impacts of animal farming and fishing into the broader conversation around climate action. Harley has recently returned home to Australia to continue her work as a communicator, facilitator and presenter who is passionate about sharing the power of nonviolent action in creating social change. Harley has presented at a number of conferences and events in Australia and internationally on topics of social change, direct action and civil disobedience. Course Title: Action in the Outback Course Abstract: When we think about social change movements and civil disobedience, far too often our main points of reference are what happens in cities and urban spaces. Yet, so many of the destructive, violent and exploitative practices we oppose as grassroots campaigners happen far out of the city limits. This course will focus on the potential for nonviolent civil resistance to help rural climate action groups build power and make change in their communities and beyond.
Ilkler Kalin, PhD, is currently an independent scholar and human rights advocate based in Turkey. He received his PhD in Political Science (majoring in International Relations) from Wayne State University in 2018. His research focuses on the topics of nonviolent action, civil conflicts, state repression, and civil society. He is currently developing a new research agenda that looks into the roles of women’s and LGBTI+ organizations in collective nonviolent dissent. He has so far published a peer-reviewed article on the roles of external actors in the dynamics of nonviolent conflicts at Conflict Management and Peace Science, and a policy brief on academic freedom in Turkey at Freedom House, among others. His main motivation in this line of research is to explore ways to strengthen civil society networks in the Global South and to contribute to the outcomes of movements demanding justice, freedom, and human rights, by improving scholarly work and providing policy recommendations on the topics. Course Title: Civil Resistance: The Theory and Practice of Nonviolent Movements Course Abstract: Nonviolent movements are considered some of the biggest challenges to entrenched autocratic and populist leaders in the past century owing to their relatively high success rate, outperforming violent opposition groups by a 2-to-1 margin in reaching their stated goals. But what is “civil resistance” (or interchangeably referred as nonviolent direct action and strategic nonviolence)? What exactly constitutes “nonviolent action”? When and why civil resistance works? This course is intended to create awareness on “people power” and to encourage an informed discussion about the strategic advantage of and tactical diversity in nonviolent action. To that end, the course covers key discussions and topics surrounding the concepts, theories, and impacts of nonviolent movements with historical and contemporary examples from around the world. The course also has a special module on the roles of women and gender minorities in resistance movements, which is a relatively new frontier in civil resistance research. Apart from assigned readings and academic lectures, the course also features dialogs with special guest speakers, documentaries, and participant-led discussion sessions.
Knowledge Mwonzora is an emerging academia, human rights, social justice and peace advocate. He holds the following qualifications: MA in Development studies majoring in Human Rights, Gender, Conflict studies: Social Justice Perspectives from the International Institute of Social Studies, Netherlands, Diploma in Sustainable Development and Human Rights Law from University of Antwerpen, Belgium. He also holds a diploma in Federalism, Decentralization and Conflict Resolution from University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He earned a PhD in Political studies from Northwest University, South Africa in December 2021. His research focused on Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe with a specific focus on the role of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to promote post-conflict justice, peace and reconciliation. He is an alumni of the (International Centre on Nonviolent Conflict) ICNC’ s 2022 participant led online course on Civil Resistance Struggles: How Ordinary People Win Rights, Freedom, and Justice. He is interested in researching on cross cutting issues revolving around transitional justice, reconciliation, civil resistance, nonviolence, climate change, environmental sustainability, human rights, gender and Peace. He was actively engaged in the research and publication of the ‘ Action Aid ‘Youth Climate Action Diaries’ which was aimed at promoting climate justice in Zimbabwe in 2021. He has worked for several organisations that includes a trade union, humanitarian NGOs and research thinktanks. He is currently conducting a nationwide study on Human wildlife conflict in Zimbabwe. He has recently been awarded an Online Teaching Fellowship by the ICNC and will be teaching youths in Zimbabwe on civil resistance struggles in October 2022 and February 2023. Course Title: Civil Resistance Struggles History and Nonviolence Movements from a Global to Local Perspective Course Abstract: The online teaching fellowship will introduce participants to civil resistance. The course will overall teach youths and activists on the history of civil resistance with case studies that illuminate the global patterns of civil resistance, as well as Zimbabwe’s social movements, civil resistance against climate change, Dynamics of non-violent resistance movements, people and power, Civil Resistance in Non-Democracies and democracies, critical analysis and discussion on factors that makes civil resistance succeed with examples from across the world. I will also teach participants on Strategies and Tactics of Civil Resistance and how to maintain non-violence campaigns/movements when provoked by agent provocateurs and state security agents.
Leah Rea is a scholarship PhD researcher examining the impact of constitutional conventions established by devolution upon the progression of human rights in Northern Ireland at the Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University. She holds a Master's with Distinction in Violence, Terrorism and Security, a Master's with Distinction in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, and an LLB, all from Queen’s University Belfast. Leah is a committed activist with experience in various human rights and equality grassroots campaigns in Northern Ireland, as well as experience in organising campaigns to lobby political representatives and challenge policy. Leah is passionate about social justice and believes that human rights progression and the peace process in Northern Ireland are entwined: to advance one is to advance the other. She believes it is important for contemporary nonviolent movements to learn from historic movements in Northern Ireland, especially in the context of the struggle for the advancement of human rights in the face of State inaction and/or opposition. Course Title: We Shall Overcome, Then and Now: Learning about Civil Resistance and Social Justice using the History of Northern Ireland Course Abstract: The course will introduce participants from Northern Ireland to the theoretical and practical study of civil resistance and its methods within the context of specific case studies. Participants will be introduced to the roles and experiences of civil resistance in the context of historic and contemporary campaigns challenging social injustice and human rights issues in Northern Ireland. The course will facilitate the study of the historic Northern Ireland civil rights movement within the period 1964-1969 and contemporary campaigns including in the areas of reproductive healthcare rights and Irish language rights. This comparative examination will provide an insight into the methods, tactics and strategies of these movements, focusing upon civil resistance. Further it shall determine their effectiveness, enabling participants to observe trends and commonality of issues and responses which can inform their knowledge and understanding of the practice of civil resistance as a means of addressing injustice.
Maria Tsehai is a communication expert and a media personality. Ms. Sarungi- Tsehai is known for a wide varied action-packed career in activism, pushing for the freedom of expression and press freedom in Tanzania. She is the co- founder of the citizens’ social media movement called Change Tanzania and a well-known vocal advocate for democracy and rule of law through her widely followed Twitter account. She has led and organized a number of successful online petitions, online protests calling for the abolishment of unfair taxes, freeing of illegally detained activists and politicians also advocating for a new constitution in Tanzania. Course Title: Wenye Nchi Wananchi - Citizen Power Course Abstract: This course is for Swahili speakers, largely focusing on providing more information about what citizen power is really about in civil activism and resistance. In a time when many countries in the Eastern Africa region are facing increased threats to civic space, what can citizens do to resist and keep the civic space alive. This course is aimed primarily at active citizens, young emerging activists in Tanzania and in the region who want to build more understanding and background to civil resistance and movement building.
Md. Moynul Haque is a faculty member at the Department of Political Science, Jagannath University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is currently pursuing PhD in Sociology at Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS), Bielefeld University, Germany. His research focuses on civil resistance in Bangladesh with particular attention to student protest activism. Moynul received Bachelor and Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Dhaka. He was the recipient of the German DAAD scholarship in 2013 and studied MA in Development and Governance at the Institute of Political Science, University of Duisburg- Essen, Germany. Course Title: Introduction to Study and Practice of Civil Resistance Course Abstract: This course provides a brief introduction to the concept of civil resistance by capturing various terminologies, relevance, scholarly debates, and the development of this emerging field of study. It will allow participants to know why civil resistance works, and orients students with the strategies and skills require to make a civil resistance campaign more sustainable. Students will learn historical records of the efficacy and potentials of nonviolent conflict that brought positive outcome, side by side know about the unsuccessful cases. Participants will also be informed about the catalytic civil resistance episodes that brought major political transformation in South Asia. In particular, students will gain substantive knowledge on Bangladeshi people’s nonviolent struggles of both pre- and post-independence periods.
Nemo graduated with an engineering degree from a university in Yangon in 2016. My knowledge about nonviolent civil resistance was minimal until the military coup in February 2021. After the coup, I started reading books by Dr. Gene Sharp about nonviolent resistance and people power. In May 2021, I co-founded Freedom Fighter Myanmar with a few friends in order to spread public awareness about the elements of an effective civil resistance. I facilitate research, training and discussions to promote capacity building for grassroots people using a bottom-up approach. Course Title: Essentials of People Power and Civil Resistance Course Abstract: In this 24-days course, we will study the foundations of civil resistance and its strategies and tactics. Essential elements of nonviolent resistance such as sources of power will be introduced and the mechanisms which ordinary people can utilize to bring about change will be explained. The course language will be Burmese with all required texts and videos provided in Burmese translations. The last part of the course will focus on the contemporary people's resistance in Myanmar where the participants are given an opportunity to apply what they have learned and contribute to the revolution through peer discussions.
Lili Soo has been a teacher and activist for more than a decade, and finished his education in the United Kingdom. Lili has been engaged in human rights cause from perspectives of academic study too. Lili has studied courses related to human rights theories (with a focus on immigrants) from Oxford University as well as the theories of activism from ICNC. Lili Soo has been sharing his knowledge on social media platforms such as Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube. His teachings have drawn interest from thousands of people of multiple backgrounds, including students, young professionals, and activists from around the world. Course Title: Theory and Practices of Activism Course Abstract: The course aims to inform the learners of what is activism, how and why activism in peaceful ways, including ‘subversions of governments’ or ‘colored revolutions’, as termed and criminalized by authoritarian regimes, is legitimate in international societies as well as legally protected and supported worldwide along with solid histories and relevant academic researches. The course also aims to help the learners with their attempts of developing their strategies of future activism. The course welcomes participants from all backgrounds, with or without higher educational experiences. Out of security concerns, the course encourages all applicants to use protonmail.com (or proton.me) for all the future communications from applications through studies.
Xavier Majó Roca was born in 1959 in Arenys de Munt (30 miles north of Barcelona). Since my youth I have been involved in actions against militarism (I was conscientious objector in 1985, I campaigned against Spain becoming member of NATO in 1986 and since 1990 I am a fiscal objector to the Government budget for the Ministry of Defence (military defence). Last years I have manly been involved in the pro-independence Catalan movement and occasionally participating in actions against climate change and militarism. I am member of Lluitanoviolenta.cat that promotes nonviolent methods for struggling for Justice and Human Rights. I have been teaching nonviolence for 4 years. Apart from self-training, I have been trained by the International Institute for Nonviolent Action (NOVACT) and by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). Course Title: Nonviolence: Strategy and Methods to Fight for Civil Rights and Justice Course Abstract: The course will be an introduction to nonviolence. From “what nonviolent struggle really is” to “why nonviolent struggle can be more effective”, with a detailed description of the methods and strategy of how nonviolent action is developed and evaluated. In addition, the sources of power of the adversary and how to build power from a nonviolent standpoint will be described. How to strengthen and care for the organization, and the historical roots and leaders of nonviolence.
The Fostering a Fourth Democratic Wave project seeks to catalyze support for nonviolent pro-democracy movements fighting against authoritarian rule. [caption id="attachment_46456" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Protesters brave heavy rain as they march against the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill on Sunday, August 18, 2019. Source: Studio Incendo, CC BY 2.0.[/caption] Fostering a Fourth Democratic Wave is a joint project between the Atlantic Council and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), aimed at catalyzing support for nonviolent pro-democracy movements fighting against authoritarian rule. If the United States and democratic allies are to prevail in this era of great power competition, they need an actionable, evidence-based plan for pushing back on authoritarianism and supporting a new wave of democratic transitions, which we refer to as the “Fourth Democratic Wave.” The project recognizes that civil resistance movements—using tactics such as strikes, boycotts, civil disobedience, and a range of other nonviolent tactics—are one of the most powerful forces for democracy worldwide and therefore central to reversing the last fifteen years of democratic recession. The project will result in a three-part Playbook centered on steps the United States and its allies can take to support pro-democracy civil resistance movements, which are at the core of democratic transitions.
The Playbook will:1. Propose new approaches and tools to support civil resistance movements. 2. Advance a new international norm — the “Right to Assist” pro-democracy movements — and identify steps to advance and implement it. 3. Develop strategic and tactical options to constrain authoritarian regimes and drive up the cost of their repression.
Key activities:Defeating the Authoritarian Threat: A Playbook for Democratic Resurgence The playbook will draw on cutting edge research to articulate effective strategic and tactical options. Workshops Engage scholars, experts, and activists on democracy and human rights across all major regions to address topics critical to effective international support for civil resistance movements.
With Dr. Steve Chase
January 18, 2022
Webinar ContentIntroduction of Speaker: 0:00 – 4:42 Presentation: 4:43 – 55:38 Questions & Answers: 55:39 – 1:19:04
Webinar DetailsOpponents of civil resistance movements use a variety of repressive strategies. One of their longstanding practices is the use of agent provocateurs—people who infiltrate movements by pretending to be activists. These provocateurs then work to create disunity and scandals, disrupt effective strategic thinking, lower participation, and promote or engage in vandalism and violence that can be blamed on the movement. As Erica Chenoweth notes in her book Civil Resistance: What Everyone Should Know, “Their ultimate aim... is to banish public sympathy and support for the movement while giving the government justification for heavy-handed tactics such as beatings, mass arrests, or lethal-coercion.” In this webinar, Steve Chase, the author of ICNC Press’s new publication How Agent Provocateurs Harm Our Movements, shares historical examples of agents provocateurs; challenges sincere but unstrategic activists who mimic damaging agent provocateur-like behavior; and explores how movements can minimize the harm of such behavior and increase their chances of success. As he writes, “My hope is that this examination will encourage civil resistance organizers to think more deeply about what can be done to minimize the negative impact of agent provocateurs and agent provocateur-like behavior on movements for peace, justice, human rights, and sustainability.”
About the Presenter:Steve Chase is a long-time activist, educator, and writer. He has been an editor at South End Press, the founding director of Antioch University’s master’s level activist training program in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability, and the Manager of Academic Initiatives for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. He is currently the Assistant Director of Solidarity 2020 and Beyond, a solidarity network and community of practice for grassroots movement organizers in the Global South using advocacy, peacebuilding, and nonviolent resistance to win sustainability, rights, freedom, and justice.
Questions and AnswersIn the webinar session, there were questions that were asked for which we did not have time to address. Steve Chase has provided written responses to these questions below: Do you have examples of agent provocateurs targeting feminist movements? The FBI's COINTELPRO program certainly targeted various feminist organizations, but I am not sure how much of the repressive activity against these organizations involved agent provocateurs. It seems likely, but I haven't seen any research on this. This is a great area to look into, both in the US and elsewhere. That would be a great contribution. Has the bar for "demonizing" a movement moved over time? It seems like nonviolent civil disobedience is sometimes treated as comparable to violence, at least in the US media. There is a constant struggle over how various forms of civil resistance are portrayed by power elites in mass media and under law. It is in an oppressive power elite's strategic interest to demonize its active citizenry. For example, in the US, federal law defines nonviolent boycotts against companies engaged in animal cruelty as terrorism. Similarly, several US states have adopted laws that equate boycotts targeting Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights as tantamount to antisemitism and terrorism. It is not accurate or fair, but this effort at demonization is a common challenge in the struggle for justice. For more on this, I would suggest activists and organizers read Brian Martin's Backfire Manual: Tactics Against Injustice. Brian offers several good ideas on how movements can counteract or mitigate the power of these very common, but false characterizations. How does a movement handle a situation where the lead organizer is compromised and becomes an agent provocateur? There are documented cases where authorities have pressured, blackmailed, or tortured formerly sincere activists into acting as informers and agent provocateurs. An organizer I know who worked in El Salvador in the 1980s told me how when labor activists there were released from jail after being tortured by authorities, their union comrades did two key things: 1) these comrades would relieve the tortured leader from organizational decisions for a time, and 2) they would interview the potentially compromised leader in a compassionate, but firm way about what the leader may have revealed to authorities or what promises were made to get released. They reassured the person that there wouldn't be retaliation and they understood the pressure the tortured leader was under, but said the movement needed to know. This approach often led to a positive resolution of the problem. That said, focusing on counter-productive and unstrategic behavior, regardless of motivation, is probably the best way for activists and organizers to inoculate themselves against compromised leadership in most cases. If there is well-documented evidence of a leader being an agent provocateur, this can and should be shared with the membership. Such charges without strong evidence, though, can harm a movement. When unsure, focus on the problematic behavior and decisions without charging someone with being an agent provocateur. It is important to remember that a common tactic of agent provocateurs is to make unsubstantiated charges against innocent activists and calling them informants or agent provocateurs in order to create conflicts, fear, and distrust in movement organizations. What would you say to activists who quote Malcolm X to justify violent tactics that might backfire against a movement and increase the likelihood of failure? First, I think it is important to recognize that Malcolm X was a gifted human rights leader with much wisdom to offer activists and organizers today. At the same time, I think it is important to look critically at his strategic suggestions about movement violence. Take, for example, Malcolm X's widely quoted 1964 “Ballots or Bullets” speech. In that influential talk, Malcolm X rightly critiqued the racist, “so-called democracy” of the United States, which had long denied voting rights to millions of black people and attacked human rights activists with police guns, dogs, clubs, tear gas, rigged courts, and prisons—as well as defended an exploitive world order through massive militarism and violence around the world. Under these circumstances, Malcolm X wisely rejected relying only on “ballots” for creating a just, multi-racial, and democratic society that did more than give lip service to the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He rightly sensed the need for more powerful popular resistance. In his talk, however, he argued that the best way forward was increasing the use of Molotov cocktails, hand grenades, bullets, and urban guerrilla warfare in the Black Freedom Movement. There is no indication, though, that Malcom X ever seriously studied civil resistance history, its underlying theory of power, or its strategy and tactics—let alone the relative effectiveness of civil resistance compared to armed struggle. Toward the end of his remarkable life, he was very strong on analysis and vision, but less strong on strategy because of this. Also, it is important to note that he wasn't speaking all that strategically when he argued for more violence in the US Black Freedom Movement. He was mostly talking about his emotional response to witnessing so much anti-black oppression and violence. As Malcolm said in his talk, “When you drop that violence on me, then you’ve made me insane and I am not responsible for what I do.” That is emotionally understandable, and we can all deeply empathize with his horror at the racist violence against oppressed people he saw everywhere around him. At the same time, today's activists and organizers have good reason to doubt if such emotions are a good basis for assessing what might be the most effective way for movements to achieve their goals. This is particularly true when we now know, as I and several others have documented, that agent provocateurs routinely instigate or encourage violent tactics within social movements by exploiting such emotions in order to make sincere movement participants act in ways that the provocateurs believe will make social movements smaller, weaker, and easier to defeat. We should not take that bait.
Recommended ReadingHow Agent Provocateurs Harm Our Movements by Steve Chase "How to Counter the Growing Threat of Agent Provocateurs" by George Lakey "Agent Provocateurs as a Type of Faux Activist" by Gary T. Marx "Nigeria: How Agents Provocateurs Triggered Government Repression During the #EndSARS Movement" by Amos Oluwatoye "What Can We Learn from Agent Provocateurs?" by Steve Chase "Licensed to Kill...Discourse? Agents Provocateurs and a Purposive Right to Freedom of Expression" by Katie Pentney
ICNC is launching its third round of a grant program for high school educators from around the world to support the development and implementation of civil resistance education for high school students in fall 2018 and winter/spring 2019. This can be used to help create and run a stand-alone course or a segment or unit within a course during Summer or Fall 2018 or Spring 2019. The application deadline: July 6, 2018. Before applying, check for more information about the Fellowship by reviewing the following sections : Fellowship Award What Kind of Curriculum Development Project Will Be Considered Why Teach Civil Resistance in High School Eligibility Time Frame for Teaching Language of Instruction Fellowship Requirement Required Documentation Resources in Support of Curriculum Proposal Development Funds Distribution Check also the profiles of our past High School Fellows Fellowship Award The support grant is in the amount of $1,000 and will be offered for up to 8 motivated educators who will embark on the task of developing and teaching a curriculum on nonviolent civil resistance to high school students in either fall semester of 2018 or winter and spring 2019. All Highschool Curriclum Fellows also receive both educational resources and curriculum advice from ICNC staff What Kind of Curriculum Development Projects Will Be Considered Selected fellows will either teach a whole course on nonviolent civil resistance or integrate a significant unit on civil resistance movements for rights, freedom, and justice into an existing or new course. ICNC is open to various curriculum options, but would, at a minimum, like to see something approaching five or six, 45 to 55-minute long curriculum units related to civil resistance movement history, strategy, tactics, and effectiveness. Besides accepting proposals for adding civil resistance content into a Fellow's existing social science courses, or creating a self-standing seminar on civil resistance as part of the high school senior/junior curriculum, we are open to proposals for extracurricular, after-school seminars as well. We want substance and significance, but do not what to constrain the Fellowship participants creativity about delivery models that suit their schools and students. Why to Teach Civil Resistance in High School Civil resistance education is emerging as an important element of the college-level educational experience, with a growing number of courses on civil resistance offered at various universities, including in the areas of conflict, peace and security studies, political science, international relations and sociology. As an interdisciplinary topic, civil resistance intersects various academic disciplines: politics, history, sociology, social-psychology, international relations. A specialized course on civil resistance for high school students can offer them knowledge and skills that are relevant to future advanced studies in broadly understood social sciences. At the same time, high school students who may be interested in careers in foreign policy, government, community organizing, or civil society organizations can find a course on civil resistance to be a career-oriented learning opportunity. As nonviolent civil resistance movements increasingly shape international affairs and domestic politics in countries around the world, government and civic actors, as well as journalists, are increasingly likely to encounter this phenomenon in their work. In such cases, knowledge about civil resistance movements can constitute an additional career advantage. Such a course may also enhance the students' skills and commitment to be active citizens in their communities. Eligibility Educators with teaching experience from:
can apply for the ICNC High School Curriculum Fellowship. Time Frame for Teaching Fellows are expected to set up and teach the course either in Fall and Winter 2018 or Spring 2019. Language of Reporting and Instruction
- Public/state high schools
- Charter high schools
- Private high schools
- After or out-of-school programs and enrichment organizations working with high school-aged students
Fellowship Requirement Required Teaching Load
- Application documents (e.g. application for, syllabus proposal, CV) must be in English
- Reporting to ICNC (two reports with requested documentation will be due at the beginning and end of the course) must be done in English regardless of the language of instruction
- Non-English languages of instruction can be considered provided there are enough translated readings on civil resistance in a specific language; or if a fellow takes it upon him/herself to translate relevant English-language texts
Acceptable Student Grade Level
- Fellows have to develop and teach a curriculum on civil resistance during their fellowship period that proves substantive and significant, and roughly consist of a minimum of 5 or 6 class units, each at least 45 minutes long, that will be distributed over several weeks to give students ample time to reflect on the material, review assigned readings, participate meaningfully in classroom discussions, and be able to complete written or oral homework. (see also Class Type)
The class can be open to:
Required Enrollment Numbers
- high school seniors (final year of high school; 17-18 years old),
- high school juniors (two years prior to high school graduation; 16-17 years old) and, possibly,
- high school sophomores (three years prior to high school graduation; 15-16 years old), provided that seats are not filled by seniors or juniors that must be given preference in enrollment.
Possible Class Type
- A minimum of 12 students will need to enroll and attend the class. Preference must be given to high school seniors and juniors though, if seats remain available, the class can be opened to interested high school sophomores
- integrated curriculum units covering the rough minimum equivalent of six, 45-minute long units on civil resistance over a minimum of a 6 week period that are integrated into an existing social science course (e.g., Politics, Civics, Sociology, History, Geography)
- a self-standing mandatory or elective course on civil resistance with the rough minimum equivalent of six, 45-minute long units on civil resistance, distributed over a minimum of 6 weeks
Required Documentation I. Completed online application with applicant’s CV included II. Curriculum/syllabus proposal on civil resistance that at a minimum includes the following topics with relevant readings and class assignments:
- a seminar on civil resistance organized as part of a social science club, after school, or enrichment program or study club: a minimum of six, 45-minute long, units on civil resistance, distributed over a minimum of 6 weeks
Additional possible topics include:
- Defining civil resistance and movements: What are they and what are they not? (with a possible focus on misconceptions about civil resistance)
- Civil resistance in history: historical cases of nonviolent civil resistance movements and campaigns, which may include international, national, or sub-national examples. Examination of the origin and emergence, conduct, impact and aftermath of these movements and campaigns
- The record and effectiveness of civil resistance movements: What have they achieved, and what is their historic success rate?
- Strategies and tactics of civil resistance campaigns
In the proposed curriculum/syllabus:
- Playing the computer-based game People Power throughout the duration of the course as part of the student home assignment. See the instructions on how to integrate the game into the course.
- Examining the dynamics of civil resistance including but not limited to how populations unify, mobilize, resist repression and cause it to backfire, engage in public communications, gain defections from their opponents, choose tactics and strategies.
Resources in Support of Curriculum Proposal Development In developing the curriculum proposal on civil resistance applicants are encouraged to review the following resources:
- Specify the structure of the envisioned curriculum delivery plan
- Provide descriptions for each of the session topics (in addition, you might include questions that will be explored/discussed for each topic session)
- List relevant readings (on average 15-20 pages of reading per week) for each session and any assignments and classwork that will be expected for a specific session or sessions as well as any midterm or final assignments
- Include a sample of the course assignments relevant to the subject of civil resistance that students will be required to complete during the course and the information on how these assignments will be evaluated/assessed. Possible final essay could assess a civil resistance campaign along the lines of “How ‘powerless’ youth and others helped organize ‘people power’ toward change in a public, institutional, or corporate policy”
- Utilize the resources listed below in developing your syllabus/curriculum proposal
- ICNC Conflict Summaries on Civil Resistance
- ICNC Educational Resources
- ICNC Academic Online Curriculum (that provides a comprehensive list of topics in civil resistance studies, reading lists, videos, teaching aid and syllabi samples and other useful resources)
- Recorded ICNC Webinars (where appropriate, consider integrating selected webinars into the syllabus as part of the student assignments)
- People Power: The Game of Civil Resistance
- Swarthmore Global Nonviolent Action Database
- Nonviolent Conflict News (for current events)
Selected chapters from the following books can be considered for reading assignments for the senior and junior high schoolers:
- A Force More Powerful, 2000
- Bringing Down a Dictator, 2001
- The Singing Revolution, 2006
- Orange Revolution, 2007
More advanced core reading on civil resistance includes:
- Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall, A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict (New York: Macmillan, 2000)
- Maciej Bartkowski, ed. Recovering Nonviolent History. Civil Resistance in Liberation Struggles (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2013)
- Shaazka Beyerle, Curtailing Corruption. People Power for Accountability and Justice (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2014)
- Kurt Schock, Civil Resistance Today, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2015)
- Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works. The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011)
Required Fellowship Documents If Accepted As part of the grant award, fellows will also be expected to prepare, among others:
- Selected Bibliography on Civil Resistance (March 2016): for readings more accessible for high school students check: Online publications, blogs, media articles & studies
- A Diplomat’s Handbook for Democracy Development Support
- learning gains instrument(s) prior to the start of the course to be used to monitor and assess progress in students’ learning about civil resistance. Review the learning gains templates that will need to be customized depending on the developed course content on civil resistance:
- final course evaluation with students’ feedback on the course content on civil resistance. Review a template of a final course evaluation that will need to be customized according to the course content developed as part of the accepted curriculum proposal
Funds Distribution The funds for the Fellowship will be disbursed in two equal installments:
- final report to be submitted to ICNC after the course ends on the delivered content, including any innovative teaching tools used, students’ learning gains (how they were measured and what the results were), results of students’ final evaluation, and student feedback on the game or other relevant course exercises, and general lessons learnt
- at the beginning of the course, after the submission of the updated syllabus and the confirmation of the enrollment numbers and list of students
- at the end of the course after the submission of the final report and evaluation results
Speaker: Jack DuVall / President, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict Date: Sunday, June 15th, 2014 Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm Description: The modern practice of civil resistance sprang from new ideas about the underlying nature of political power that began to be framed about 170 years ago. As later developed and applied by Gandhi, and then adapted through use in scores of movements and campaigns for rights and justice in recent decades, strategic nonviolent action has exhibited a common dynamic, propelled historic changes, and helped impart political and social properties to the societies in which such movements operated. The success of civil resistance in liberating oppressed people, when compared to violent insurgency or revolution, has been extraordinary – and is doubtless why it is now being increasingly censured by numerous authoritarian regimes and by ideologues that favor change led by vanguards. But today’s “people power” movements continue to evolve rapidly as a historically new force in human affairs, and they may augur significant change not only in the way in which power is developed but also in how the legitimacy and vibrancy of democracies can be regenerated. Watch the Presentation Download Additional Resources Join the Conversation Watch the Presentation: Video not displaying properly? Click here to view on YouTube. Additional Resources: Ackerman, Peter & DuVall, Jack. The Right to Rise Up: People Power and the Virtues of Civil Disruption. Fletcher Forum, 2006. DuVall, Jack. Civil Resistance and the Language of Power. OpenDemocracy.net. November 19, 2010 DuVall, Jack. Why Learn about Civil Resistance? (interview). June, 2009. Merriman, Hardy. Why Learn about Civil Resistance? (interview). June, 2009. Zunes, Stephen - Why Learn About Civil Resistance? (interview). June, 2009.
By Steve Chase Date of Publication: November 2021 Free Download: English | Spanish Purchase a Print Copy Purchase an e-book (Nook | Kindle) "Steve Chase’s book is valuable in this new period when governments are likely to plant agent provocateurs. Steve’s alternatives to 'security culture' (which breaks down trust we need for strong movement organizations) become all the more important." – George Lakey, Author of How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning History shows us that peoples’ movements are more likely to succeed when they have unity among supporters, widespread participation, strategic planning, and nonviolent discipline. Unsurprisingly, movement opponents use agent provocateurs—fake activists working undercover—to behave in counterproductive ways that undermine these four keys to success. Drawing from international examples and an in-depth case study of the US Black Liberation Movement, this volume explores how agent provocateurs—and agent provocateur-like behavior—make movements smaller, weaker, and easier to defeat. It also offers some ideas for how activists can inoculate their movements against such harms and increase their chances of success. Watch the Webinar Recording: On January 18, 2022, Steve Chase presented a webinar on his book and facing the challenge of agent provocateurs. Watch the video.
About the AuthorSteve Chase is a long-time activist, educator, and writer. He has been an editor at South End Press, the founding director of Antioch University’s master’s level activist training program in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability, and the Manager of Academic Initiatives for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. He is currently the Assistant Director of Solidarity 2020 and Beyond, a solidarity network and community of practice for grassroots movement organizers in the Global South using advocacy, peacebuilding, and nonviolent resistance to win sustainability, rights, freedom, and justice. He is also a contributor to Minds of the Movement and Waging Nonviolence. ,
Reviews and Commentary"How to Counter the Growing Threat of Agent Provocateurs" by George Lakey, Waging Nonviolence "Review: Protecting Movements from Infiltrators" by Arnie Alpert, InZaneTimes "What Can We Learn from Agent Provocateurs" by Steve Chase, Minds of the Movement "Michael Beer's Review of Steve Chase's Book on Agent Provocateurs" by Michael Beer, Nonviolence International "Fighting Agents Provocateurs Nonviolently" (an interview with Steve Chase), Northern Spirit Radio
With Dr. Sooyeon Kang
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Webinar Details:ICNC was pleased to host Dr. Sooyeon Kang, an ICNC 2020 research fellow, to discuss her recent research into how nonviolent movements escalate their demands against a regime. In places as diverse as Algeria, Chile, Ecuador, Hong Kong, France, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, people first came together to seek redress in a certain policy area only to then escalate their demands for a leader’s removal or seeking greater systemic change. This “demand escalation” by nonviolent movements is not unique to the current generation or limited to a certain regime type, or a specific geographical region. How does a group of people go from asking something of the government to demanding that it must go? Dr. Kang argues that movements are more likely to escalate their demands when the state responds to the initial nonviolent action with a disproportionate use of force. Repression expands the grievances of the protesters and betrays the remaining trust that people might have had in the government. Kang's quantitative analysis demonstrates that demand escalation allows nonviolent campaigns to increase pressure on the government without resort to violence.
About the Presenter:Sooyeon Kang is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies (Ohio State University) and a non-resident Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights (Harvard Kennedy School). She received her doctorate from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, and was a 2020-2021 Peace Scholar Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and a Doctoral Research Fellow at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. Her research interests include mass mobilization, political violence, political psychology, and all things North Korea. She holds an MA in International Affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a BA in Government and Psychology from Dartmouth College.
Recommended Reading:"Demand Escalation: How Nonviolent Movements Raise the Heat on Powerholders" by Sooyeon Kang "Algerians Adopt Civil Resistance to Push for Political Change" by Mohamed Nabil Bennaidja "A Civil Resistance Awakening in Latin America?" by María Gabriela Mata Carnevali "Can Hong Kong Be Free Again After the 2020 Crackdown?" by Victoria Tin-bor Hui "PétroCaribe: Haitian Hope and the Struggle against Corruption" by Gregory François and Jean Sonel Basquin "The Anatomy of Sudan’s Democratic Revolution—One Year Later" by Stephen Zunes
Szerző: Ivan Marovic Fordította: Misetics Bálint, június 2021 Eredetileg megjelent: ICNC Press, 2018 Letöltés (második kiadás): Magyar | Angol | Fényesít | Vietnami Letöltés (első kiadás): Spanyol | Katalán | Francia | Portugál (brazil) | Urdu A legnagyobb ellenállás útja: Az erőszakmentes kampányok tervezésének lépésről-lépésre szóló útmutatója gyakorlati útmutató azoknak az aktivistáknak és szervezőknek minden szinten, akik ellenállási tevékenységüket stratégiaibb, határozott idejű kampánnyá akarják terjeszteni. Végigvezeti az olvasókat a kampánytervezési folyamaton, több lépésre bontva, és minden lépéshez eszközöket és gyakorlatokat biztosít. A könyv elkészültével az olvasók megkapják, amire szükségük van, hogy társaikat eligazítsák a kampány tervezésének folyamatán. Ez a folyamat az útmutatóban leírtak szerint a kezdetektől a végéig körülbelül 12 órát vesz igénybe. Az útmutató két részre oszlik. Az első meghatározza és kontextusba helyezi a kampánytervezés eszközeit és céljaikat. Ez megmagyarázza ezen eszközök logikáját és azt, hogy miként lehet őket módosítani, hogy jobban megfeleljenek egy adott csoport kontextusának. A második rész könnyen reprodukálható és megosztható óraterveket tartalmaz az egyes eszközök használatához, valamint feltárja, hogyan lehet beágyazni az eszközöket a szélesebb tervezési folyamatba.
by authors Robyn Gulliver and Winnifred R. Louis
July 21, 2021
Webinar ContentIntroduction of Speakers: 0:00–3:30 Presentation: 3:31–25:25 Questions and Answers: 25:26–1:02:14
Webinar DescriptionICNC hosted Robyn Gulliver and Winnifred Louis to discuss their forthcoming monograph, co-written with Kelly Fielding, Civil Resistance Against Climate Change (tentative title). Civil resistance against climate change burst onto the world stage in 2019 with nonviolent actions by Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future generating widespread international media coverage. But nonviolent action against climate change has been taking place in many countries for many decades. What can this past experience tell us about the capacity for nonviolent action to help stop the drivers of climate change? In this webinar the learnings from extensive empirical research on the Australian environmental movement are discussed to help answer this question. Beginning with an overview of the groups which engage in climate change civil resistance and the tactics they use, the presenters then discuss the extent to which this activity is succeeding in achieving its goals. The webinar also includes a discussion of the dynamics and outcomes of one of two case study campaigns (the Stop Adani anti-coal mine campaign), before concluding with consideration of how different levels of the Australian government is responding to climate change related civil resistance.
About the Presenters and AuthorsRobyn Gulliver is a multi-award winning environmentalist, writer, and researcher who has served as an organizer and leader of numerous local and national environmental organizations. Born in New Zealand, she has spent the last decade advocating for and writing about environmental issues for activist groups, local councils, not-for-profit organizations, and academia. Winnifred R. Louis is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her research interests focus on the influence of identity and norms on social decision-making. She has studied this broad topic in contexts from political activism to peace psychology to health and the environment. Kelly Fielding is a Professor of Environmental Psychology at the University of Queensland in the School of Communication and Arts. Her research focuses broadly on understanding the social and psychological determinants of environmental sustainability. She seeks to understand environmental decisions and behaviors and to develop communication and behavior change strategies that can promote greater environmental sustainability.
Recommended Readings"Marginalized Communities Are the Frontline Leaders of 2020’s Environmental Movements" by Michael Wilson Becerril "Reflection on Civil Resistance and ARRCC" by Jason MacLeod “When the Bombs Drop, School Stops: Eight Decades of Australian School Strikes and Direct Action" by Iain McIntyre Thirty Years of Creative Resistance: Friends of the Earth Australia by Cam Walker
June 30, 2021
with author Jacob S. Lewis
Webinar ContentIntroduction of Speaker: 0:00–4:05 Presentation: 4:06–28:17 Questions & Answers: 28:18–55:51
Webinar DescriptionICNC is pleased to host Dr. Jacob S. Lewis, the author of the forthcoming monograph How Social Trust Shapes Civil Resistance: Lessons from Africa. Democratic backsliding around the world has highlighted the importance of nonviolent civil resistance as a method of protecting and seeking democracy. One core component in both collective action and democracy is social trust, yet there has been comparatively little research on the role that social trust plays in shaping the onset and maintenance of civil resistance. Drawing evidence from Africa, this study examines two questions. First, do higher levels of social trust correlate with higher willingness to participate in nonviolent protests? This study finds that high-trusting individuals are more likely to report a willingness to engage in nonviolent protest, and verifies this by analyzing real-world data on protests. Second, does trust correspond with increased preferences for nonviolent action? This study analyzes data on the relationship between trust and justifications for political violent action and finds that high-trusting individuals are less willing to justify the use of violent action than low-trusting individuals. The study then verifies these individual-level findings by examining real-world data on proportional levels of violent and nonviolent conflict.
About the PresenterJacob Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Global Politics in the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at Washington State University. His research centers on conflict processes and political psychology in the African context. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and has worked extensively in the fields of international development and public policy.
Recommended Readings“The Future of Nonviolent Resistance" by Erica Chenoweth “Connecting Civil Resistance and Conflict Resolution" by Maria J. Stephan and T. Thompson "What Nonviolent Struggles against Authoritarianism Can Learn from Movements across Africa" by Phil Wilmot "How Sudan’s Pro-Democracy Uprising Challenges Prevailing Myths about Civil Resistance" by Stephen Zunes "Rural Ugandan Youth Turn to Direct Action, and It’s Curbing Deforestation" by Phil Wilmot
with authors Chris Allan, Scott DuPree, and Mahmoud Soliman
June 16, 2021
Webinar ContentIntroduction of Mexico Case Study Speakers: 0:00–6:19 Mexico Presentation: 6:20–30:56 Introduction of Palestine Case Study Speaker: 30:57–32:26 Palestine Presentation: 32:27–57:12 Questions and Answers: 57:13—1:32:36
Webinar DescriptionICNC is pleased to host the authors of two forthcoming case studies on materials resources: Chris Allan and Scott DuPree, the authors of Nonviolent Movements and Material Resources in Northwest Mexico, and Mahmoud Soliman, the author of The Mobilization of Material Resources and Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance in the Occupied Territory of Area C.
Presentation on Nonviolent Campaigns in Northwest MexicoCommunities in Mexico are faced with challenges to their rights to natural resources: dams displace them, mines and industry poison their water and soil, criminal gangs and corrupt officials take over their territory. On paper, laws protect communities and Indigenous peoples, but in practice the state rarely comes to their aid. As a result, building movements that support the struggles of communities and groups fighting for their social, economic, cultural, and environmental rights has been a key strategy in civil resistance. The movements seem to operate with few resources, and nearly no money. The little external funding for civil society that is available rarely reaches the grassroots groups that are the backbone of these movements. Yet they thrive and often succeed. This webinar will highlight strategies that are being used effectively by movements to mobilize the resources they need to influence both the public and policymakers. Based on the experience of three campaigns in Northwest Mexico over two decades, the research finds that material resources mobilized internally are a key “social bank” that enables mobilization that movements can sustain over time. We will discuss the strategic choices movements make to mobilize resources and how they direct them as situations change.
Presentation on Nonviolent Campaigns in Palestine Area CDrawing on detailed interviews with activists, as well as the author’s observations and first-hand experience of more than 15 years as an activist involved in organizing campaigns, this study identifies the tactics used by Palestinian grassroots activists to generate, deploy, and manage material and non-material resources. It also identifies the organizational skills that these groups used to acquire and manage different kinds of material resources in support of various nonviolent campaigns. The study also looks at the types of material and non-material resources that have been harnessed by domestic actors and acquired from external sources for use in nonviolent campaigns. The monograph presents an in-depth empirical study of three nonviolent resistance campaigns in doubly marginalized communities located in Area C in the occupied Palestine territories under full Israeli occupation. It finds that the residents of the communities were the key domestic actors for the campaigns and provided them with the different kinds of material and non-material resources which sustained them for more than 10 years. The monograph also finds that community-generated material resources were the most valuable to the campaigns and had the greatest impact. The rich non-material resources within the communities helped to generate other kinds of material resources. External actors played supportive roles, but their importance remained secondary to the roles played by grassroots actors in the campaigns. This study showed that external solidarity groups such as international solidarity movements and others played the largest supporting role among external actors.
About the PresentersA. Scott DuPree (PhD, Civil Society Transitions) has worked for 30 years in helping build and strengthen social and environmental initiatives in Southern Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Southeast Asia and the United States. Scott holds a PhD in international affairs focused on the dynamic role of civil society. He has assisted international organizations and philanthropic foundations to advance civic approaches to development, human rights, the environment and grassroots activism. Scott was regional director for Africa for The Synergos Institute, co-founder and Program Director for Conectas Direitos Humanos, Greengrants Alliance coordinator for Global Greengrants Fund and the principal of Civil Society Transitions through which he has consulted for numerous organizations around the world. Scott is also a professor in the Masters of Development Program “Global Classroom” at Regis University where he teaches participatory planning and grassroots and indigenous activism. Chris Allan, Ajabu Advisors LLC, has experience with public donors, foundations, and local and international NGOs working in social change, including designing, planning, implementing, and evaluating programs around the globe. He has led or participated in evaluations of global networks, international partnerships, and organizations in many countries (including Brazil, Georgia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Niger, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe). In the human rights field, he has organized and funded grassroots groups, national coalitions, and global alliances working on public participation in decision making about a wide range of issues. He has set up and led grantmaking programs in East Africa, Southern Africa, and globally. He holds a Master’s Degree in Social Change and Development from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University in African Studies and Biology. Dr. Mahmoud Soliman is a Palestinian nonviolent activist and academic. He completed his PhD in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies at Coventry University in April 2019, and the title of his thesis was “Mobilization and Demobilization of Palestinian Society Towards Nonviolent Resistance in the Period from 2004-2014.” He has gained extensive experience in the last 15 years in organizing nonviolent campaigns against the Segregation Wall and the Israeli settlements. He is one of the cofounders of a popular nonviolent resistance network called the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) in which he worked as the capacity-building coordinator supervising the production of training materials for activists in the occupied Palestinian Territories.