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Individuals and organizations facing restrictive, oppressive and/or authoritarian forms of governance may be able to employ hundreds of nonviolent methods to amplify their voices, challenge power dynamics and press for reform. Tactics include protests, boycotts, sit-ins, civil disobedience and alternative institutions. Nonviolent resistance has been shown empirically to be twice as effective as armed struggle in achieving major political goals. The U.S. Institute of Peace promotes nonviolent approaches through education and training in strategic nonviolent action and movement-building; applied research on such movements and the efficacy of outside support; and publications that inform the work of policymakers to advance alternatives to violence.
Can Civil Resistance Breakthroughs Advance Democracy?
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
By: Jonathan Pinckney
We are in one of the largest waves of nonviolent resistance in history. Even the COVID-19 pandemic could not stop massive uprisings in Thailand, Belarus, Myanmar and elsewhere as ordinary citizens use nonviolent tactics to challenge entrenched authoritarians and demand reform. Yet, even as more and more people have hit the streets to push for change, the Varieties of Democracy project reports that global democracy has never been weaker and the long trend of growing autocracy has only accelerated. What can be done to turn this around?
Type: Analysis and Commentary
Nonviolent Action
Myanmar in the Streets: A Nonviolent Movement Shows Staying Power
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
By: Zarchi Oo; Billy Ford; Jonathan Pinckney
The people of Myanmar have opposed military rule in the past but never like this: In the face of horrific brutality by a lawless regime, Burmese have risen up in an historic national movement of nonviolent resistance. Led by young women, the fractious country has united across ethnic, generational and class lines, weaponizing social norms and social media in a refusal to accept the generals’ February 1 seizure of power.
Type: Analysis and Commentary
Nonviolent Action
World Water Day: The Role of Nonviolent Action in Water Governance
Monday, March 22, 2021
By: Jill Baggerman; Emmanuel Davalillo Hidalgo
Will people go to war over water? According to the United Nations, “Water is the primary medium through which we will feel the effects of climate change” in the years ahead. As access to this finite, vital resource becomes increasingly imperiled, water-related tensions will rise — both between states and within them. In recent decades, disputes between governments and local stakeholders have resulted in mass action events centered on water governance. Today, in the age of accelerating climate change, nonviolent movements will need to adapt their strategic thinking if they are to improve water governance and prevent violent conflict.
Type: Analysis and Commentary
Nonviolent Action; Economics & Environment; Democracy & Governance
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Synergizing Nonviolent Action and Peacebuilding
The impetus behind SNAP comes from case study research that highlights how grassroots activists, organizers, and peacebuilders engaged in nonviolent action and peacebuilding can use approaches from both fields together to strategically plan and more effectively prevent violence, address grievances, and advance justice. While scholars such as Adam Curle, John Paul Lederach, Lisa Schirch, Veronique Dudouet, and Anthony Wanis-St. John have explored synergies between the two fields for decades, the SNAP guide is one of the first to offer practical modules and exercises meant to help practitioners operationalize the combined approach at the grassroots
Education & Training; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Nonviolent Action; Peace Processes
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Jonathan Pinckney
Senior Researcher
Tabatha Thompson
Senior Program Officer, Nonviolent Action
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100 Years of Quiet Diplomacy, Nonviolent Resistance, and Peacebuilding
Civil Resistance 1: The Dynamics of Nonviolent Movements
Civil Resistance 2: The Movement and the Message
Civil Resistance 3: Sustaining the Movement
Introduction to Peacebuilding
Introduction to Peacebuilding: Micro-Course
Nonviolent Action: Micro-Course
Synergizing Nonviolent Action and Peacebuilding
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How Art Helped Propel Sudan’s Revolution
During Sudan’s 2019 revolution—as people mobilized...
In South Sudan, the Hope and Pain of Nonviolence
After 3 a.m., my cellphone rang with the voices of...
In South Sudan, Civic Activists Take On COVID
For South Sudan, COVID-19 is simply the newest plague....
People Power’s Transformative Role in America’s National Reckoning
Since the murder of George Floyd, protests against...
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