Hardy Merriman is president of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Within ICNC he also leads the Civil Resistance Funders Initiative.
Mr. Merriman has worked in the field of civil resistance for over two decades, presenting at workshops for activists and organizers from around the world; developing programs and grantmaking for practitioners and scholars; publishing commentary; and speaking widely about civil resistance movements with members of international organizations, academics, and journalists. His writings have been translated into numerous languages.
Previously he served as ICNC’s president & CEO from January 2015 to June 2021, as well as vice president and director of content development from 2012-14, as a senior advisor from 2007-12, and as director of programs and research from 2005-7. He was simultaneously an adjunct lecturer at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University from 2016-8.
Mr. Merriman was recently a principal investigator for the Fostering a Fourth Democratic Wave project from 2021-23, a joint effort with the Atlantic Council, and is primary author of the publication Fostering a Fourth Democratic Wave: A Playbook for Countering the Authoritarian Threat (2023).
Additional recent works include the the essay “We Need People Power to Address a World in Peril” (2023); a bibliographic entry on civil resistance for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies (2023); the book Glossary of Civil Resistance: A Resource for Study and Translation of Key Terms (2021); and the report Preventing Mass Atrocities: From a Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) to a Right to Assist (RtoA) Campaigns of Civil Resistance (2019).
He previously contributed to the books Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback? (2015), Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization, and Governance in the Middle East (2010), Nonviolence: An Alternative for Countering Global Terror(ism) (2007) and Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential (2005) and also co-authored literature reviews on civil resistance as well as A Guide to Effective Nonviolent Struggle (2007), a training curriculum for activists. For a full publication list, click here.
In addition to his international work with activists, Mr. Merriman was a Senior Advisor to the 2017 James Lawson Institute, and previously served as the Institute’s director in 2013 and 2014, organizing two eight-day intensive programs for North American organizers and activists. His work with academics and members of civil society includes presenting at venues such as Cambridge University (UK), Central European University (Hungary), the Community of Democracies Secretariat (Poland), Georgetown University, Harvard University, the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) (Ecuador), the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO), Stanford University, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), University of Denver, University of Michigan, University of Sarajevo (Bosnia), University of Sydney (Australia), and many other venues. He is a graduate of Oberlin College.
Recent Blog Posts:
• “Sustaining the Field of Civil Resistance”
June 5, 2023
• “We Know We Need Civil Resistance Training. Now Where Do We Start?”
March 24, 2021
• “Interpreting a Garden of Wildflowers: The Glossary of Civil Resistance”
February 24, 2021
• “Lessons of Uprisings Around the World: The Present Moment, and Possible Future”
November 21, 2019
Spanish translation: “Lecciones de los levantamientos alrededor del mundo: El momento presente y el futuro posible“
• “In a Time of Democratic Backsliding, How Should Civil Society Be Supported?”
October 22, 2019
• “Democracy Insurance”
September 7, 2017
• “A Field Whose Time has Come”
June 21, 2017