Nonviolent action is a topic of growing political importance and – especially in the form of unarmed resistance to undemocratic regimes – the focus of an increasing literature, as noted in the Introduction to this bibliography. But it is only one aspect of a broad theoretical and moral commitment to nonviolence, which embraces (as in Gandhi’s thought) an aspiration to a new just economic, social and political order, and emphasises conflict resolution at all levels and an ideal of personal living. This broad interpretation of nonviolence is not covered in the bibliography (except where directly relevant to individuals and movements engaged in nonviolent resistance). However, recent (very readable) works that do discuss nonviolence in a broad context are:
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(looking in particular at developing skilled nongovernmental leadership in nonviolent approaches to promoting justice and ending destructive conflict)
(written from the perspective of an activist academic)
which includes some discussion in chapter 10 of nonviolent resistance
A number of classics in the literature of peace and nonviolence also have some relevance to the theory of nonviolent action. These include:
a short essay arguing the need for alternatives to military methods and emotions associated with war, later reproduced as a pamphlet and in anthologies
(reprinted in 1910 by the Universal Peace Union, and online at www.nonresistance.org)
Ballou distinguishes his brand of Christian moral resistance to evil from both secular interpretations and from the ‘”passive obedience and nonresistance” imperiously preached by despots to their subjects’. He was active in the Anti-Slavery campaign in the USA together with William Garrison. While Garrison changed position and ultimately supported armed struggle to free the slaves, Ballou maintained his commitment to nonresistance. He had a direct influence on Tolstoy, and is therefore part of the broad tradition of nonviolent resistance
Early sociological study of nonviolent action in social movements, and of Gandhian strategy.
Frequently cited in discussions of the ‘consent’ theory of power. The accuracy of this ‘Gandhian paradigm’ of Boetie has been questioned (see Randle, Civil Resistance (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements) , p. 31), but Boetie has been used in the past by religious dissidents and from the 20th century by exponents of unarmed resistance. For discussion of his Renaissance context, (see Bleiker, Popular Dissent, Human Agency and Global Politics (A. 1.a.ii. Theories of Civil Disobedience, Power and Revolution) pp. 51-73).
and London, Pluto Press, 1989 (with Introduction by Peter van den Dungen), pp. 306.
Classic argument for nonviolent resistance from an anarchist anti-war perspective, with a broad historical perspective, and giving more emphasis to examples of unarmed resistance in the socialist tradition (for example 1905 in Russia) than much of the early literature.
Gandhi’s account of the seminal civil disobedience campaigns against legislation discriminating against the Indian population, and the evolution of his strategy and theory of ‘satyagraha’.
Classic analysis of ‘moral jiu jitsu’ as the basis of nonviolent resistance, and in particular of Gandhi’s interpretation and strategy of nonviolent action (‘satyagraha’). The updated second edition includes material on unarmed resistance during World War Two in Norway and Denmark, and on the US Civil Rights Movement.
(The 1918 edition, which includes references to the unarmed campaign for independence in Finland, is now online.)
This brief book – originally a series of articles – was influential in Ireland and translated into a number of Indian languages, and was almost certainly read by Gandhi. Whilst the historical accuracy is questionable, Griffith’s account was important in conveying the idea of nonviolent resistance. Csapody, Tamas and Thomas Weber, ‘Hungarian Nonviolent Resistance against Austria and its Place in the History of Nonviolence’, Peace and Change, vol. 32 no. 4 (2007), pp. 499-519, analyses the influence of Griffith’s interpretation.
Reader with excerpts on religious roots of nonviolence and classic writings on disobedience, including Socrates, as well as Thoreau, Tolstoy and Gandhi on nonviolent resistance.
Reprinted by New York, Garland, 1972, pp. 351.
Respected early analysis of satyagraha with emphasis on strategy. Also comments on role of nonviolent action in democratic states in resisting an invasion.
Still useful compilation. Part I ‘Foundations’ includes extracts from ‘ancient religious statements’, Boetie, Godwin and Shelley, Gandhi, Case and Gregg; Part II covers unarmed resistance in classical Roman times, the general strike, Hungary 1849-67, resistance in Norway during the German Occupation and the 1953 Vorkuta (prison camp) strike in the Soviet Union; Part III provides extracts on principled nonviolent power, including colonial Pennsylvania, South African resistance in the 1950s, the US Civil Rights movements, direct action against war preparations and the possibilities of nonviolent national defence.
also entitled ‘Civil Disobedience’. Essay available in some editions of Thoreau’s Walden, in many anthologies and online.
Collection illustrating Tolstoy’s Christian anarchist-pacifist perspective, stresses individual refusal to fight in wars. Omits ‘Letter to a Hindu’, which reflects on why millions of Indians submit to a small number of British rulers and which is available in Peter Mayer, ed.,The Pacifist Conscience, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1966, pp. 166-76. See also Leo Tolstoy, Government is Violence, Phoenix Press, 1990, which includes essays on anarchism and nonviolence.
Broad historical survey, ranging from Buddha to Arundhati Roy, and including Thoreau and Albert Camus, ‘Neither Victim nor Executioner’.
Scrutinises the theories behind nonviolence. Develops his earlier criticisms of consent theory, suggesting the relevance of Foucault’s apporach to ‘micro-resistance’ (See Atack, Iain , Nonviolent Political Action and the Limits of Consent Theoria, 2006, pp. 87-97 ).
This article examines the important question of how far nonviolent resistance promotes peaceful and democratic political outcomes after the overthrow of a dictatorial or authoritarian regime, as claimed in the nonviolence literature. The authors develop hypotheses about the likelihood of more egalitarian and peaceful relations at a governmental and party political level, and a greater political role for civil society, as a result of use of nonviolent resistance. These hypotheses are examined by comparing post-transition politics in Benin (an impressive example of successful nonviolent resistance) and Namibia (where in 1966 the South West African People's Organization began an armed struggle for independence from apartheid South Africa).
Wide range of contributions on case for and against civil disobedience, including classic essays by Thoreau and Martin Luther King, Bertrand Russell on civil disobedience against nuclear weapons, and Noam Chomsky and others on draft resistance to the Vietnam War. John Rawls’ ‘Justification for Civil Disobedience’ is also included (see Rawls, A Theory of Justice (A. 1.a.iii. Social and Political Writings cited in Civil Resistance Literature) below).
Theorizes transnational (‘transversal’) dissent, looking back to de La Boetie’s Renaissance theory of power and tracing evolution of modern collective action. Draws on Foucault to explore a ‘discursive’ concept of power. Critiques Sharp’s theory of power, illustrated by analysis of East German political and cultural dissent culminating in the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
Judith Butler, an eminent feminist theorist and philosopher, challenges interpretations of nonviolence as either passive, or based on an individualistic ethics. Instead she argues that nonviolence should be understood in a context of social interdependence and seen as a forceful form of political struggle. She also draws on Freud, Fanon, Foucault and Benjamin to explore how official interpretations of 'violence' tend to attribute it to the most subjugated and despised social groups, who in fact are subjected to many forms of violence throughout their lives. She argues, therefore, that nonviolence should be understood in the context of movements demanding social and political equality and fundamental societal change.
Examines a range of justifications for nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience in liberal parliamentary states, and shows the shifts in debate both within protest movements and in response to them. Also discusses unarmed resistance to corporate exploitation and neoliberal economic policies in a global context.
Focuses on unarmed national movements of resistance to imperial, dictatorial or semi-authoritarian rule in relation to the theories and experience of guerrilla warfare, revolution, concepts of power and links between people power and electoral processes. The discussion, which draws on a range of literatures (including theories of nonviolent action, political thought and democratization) is then set in a global context.
Brings together historical and contemporary approaches to nonviolent struggle and theoretical contributions as well as analyses of particular movements. Section 1 on theory includes writings by Thoreau, Tolstoy, Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Section 2 covers 'Nonviolence as a Political Strategy' and Section 3 'Nonviolence in Contemporary Movements' including a number of contributions on important recent movements in India: environmental campaigns against the Narmada dams and to preserve forests, Gandhian campaigns after Independence and the role of Jayaprakash Narayan, and the Anna Hazare Movement against corruption. A number of eminent contemporary Indian scholars have contributed.
The title essay confronts the case for violence made by Frantz Fanon, in his critique of colonialism (see 1a.iii), and by many US militants in the later 1960s, and argues that radical nonviolent action can be an alternative. Other essays by this feminist nonviolent activist and writer cover a wide range of protests. (The title essay is also available as a separate pamphlet from A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, New York.)
Peace studies pioneer aspires to lay ‘theoretical foundation for peace research, peace education and peace action,’ distinguishes between a static definition of peace as ‘an absence of direct, structural, and cultural violence’ and dynamic definition as ‘the state of affairs that makes the nonviolent and creative handling of conflict possible’. More specific contributions on nonviolence are:
- ‘On the Meaning of Nonviolence’, Journal of Peace Research, No. 3 1965, distinguishing between negative and positive sanctions, and
- ‘Principles of Nonviolent Action: The Great Chain of Nonviolence Hypothesis’ in Nonviolence and Israel/Palestine, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Institute for Peace, 1989, p. 13-33.
The ‘chain of nonviolence’ concept addresses the problem of social and psychological distance between oppressors and oppressed, and has been taken up in the literature. For instance, Howard Clark’s ‘Afterword’, pp. 214-218, in Clark, ed., People Power (below) briefly explores the concept.
Gives examples of where ‘consent’ of the oppressed is not necessary to the ends and strategy of the oppressor.
Examines whether a theory of power underlying nonviolent resistance should incorporate a structuralist (Marxist or feminist) interpretation, while noting the limits of structuralism for explaining active resistance.
May, a philosopher who has taken part in nonviolent resistance, explores both the dynamics of different types of nonviolent action O (such as moral ju-jitsu and nonviolent coercion) drawing on historical and contemporary campaigns. He then considers the values inherent in nonviolent action, such as respect for dignity, and discusses the role of nonviolent action today.
This is an acadmeic contribution to memory studies, but shows how preserving knowledge and stories of past movements affects present politics, and how nonviolent activists can learn from past campaigns. Examples examined include the suffragettes, Greenham Common, Polish Solidarity, US struggles against racism and Australian aboriginal campaigns. The authors also illustrate how one movement can influence others and stress the need to make archival and other sources (films, music, etc.) available.
The author surveys the history of Islamic nonviolent movements and their contemporary role, including contextual analysisof sacred texts and examples of Islamic nonviolent action today, challenging false perceptions of violence in Islam.
An argument by US intellectual on historical trends promoting nonviolence as a potential alternative to war. Part 2. ‘Nonviolence’, pp. 103-231, focuses in particular on Gandhi and dissent in Central Eastern Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.
Sharp, whose 1973 three volume The Politics of Nonviolent Action is now a standard reference work on the theory and strategy of civil resistance has here brought together a collection of writings from over 20 years to address key themes relating to social power and popular empowerment. Other topics covered include several essays on civilian-based defence, reflections on the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa (written as a series of articles in 1963), civil disobedience in a democracy, and review essays of Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, and On Revolution.
Offers a set of definitions of the range of terms associated with (and relevant to) nonviolent action and mass unarmed resistance. Includes a brief introductory essay on power, and short summaries of the civil resistance in Serbia 2000 and Tunisia 2011.
Often cited exploration of issues from an eco-feminist perspective by activist drawing on experiences in 1980s peace movement affinity groups. Explores power along three axes – power-over, power-within and power-with, and provides materials on individual and group empowerment.
Discusses distinction between principled and pragmatic approaches to nonviolent protest.
Vinthagen develops a new general theory of nonviolent action which embraces Gandhian concepts and commitments, but relates these to modern sociological theory (for example, Haberms's conception of rationality) and reinterprets them within a more contemporary ethos. Four key dimensions explored are: dialogue facilitation; 'power breaking': 'utopian enactment' - Gandhi's constructive programme; and nonviolent training. Theoretical analysis is illustrated by examples drawn from a range of movements such as US Civil Rights, Movimento Sem Terra and radical protests against nuclear weapons.
Develops issues raised by Stiehm’s ‘Nonviolence is Two’, see above.
and London, Pluto Press, 2003,
Well known radical historian and contributor to the literature on nonviolence and disobedience.
Arendt is one of the most eminent political philosophers often cited by theorists of nonviolent resistance, especially in relation to her 1963 book On Revolution, and also a major theorist of totalitarianism. This book contrasts Arendt's concept of total domination under totalitarianism with the testimonies of both well known and lesser known intellectuals and writers who survived the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, as well as those of unknown survivors of the holocaust. Aharony argues that Nazi domination was less total than Arendt posited (in her 1951 book On Totalitarianism), and that morality and individual choice exist even in the most extreme conditions.
The essay ‘Civil Disobedience’ discusses consent and the right to dissent in the context of the US Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam anti-war protests. It distinguishes between disobedience motivated by citizenship responsibility and that motivated primarily by individual conscience. The essay ‘On Violence’, examines the nature of power and violence (with examples from contemporary movements and politics), and argues that power (as she defines it) is not only distinct from violence but its opposite.
Explores the concept and experience of revolution, drawing on the history of the American and French revolutions in particular, but also Russia, and develops the theme of the ‘lost treasure’ of revolutionary experience, which is the upsurge of creative and organisational energy in forms of direct democracy, and the conflict between popular political cooperation and the centralising tendencies of political parties.
Eloquent and influential defence of revolutionary violence as a necessary psychological reaction to the prolonged experience of structural domination by colonialism, and as a socially radicalising experience promoting the possibility of genuine political freedom.
Covers a range of issues, including Foucault’s interpretation of power and resistance, in accessible form (and also includes interesting discussion on the 1977-79 Iranian Revolution). See also Foucault. M., ‘Truth and Power’ in Rabinow, ed., The Foucault Reader: An Introduction to Foucault’s Thought, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1991. For a brief survey of Foucault’s evolving thought see Bleiker, Popular Dissent, Human Agency and Global Politics (A. 1.a.ii. Theories of Civil Disobedience, Power and Revolution) , pp. 530-73.
Compares views of Arendt and Fanon on the role of violence in politics.
Essay by observer and analyst of many recent movements of unarmed resistance (see later sections). Garton Ash looks back after 20 years on 1989 in the Soviet bloc, but also other movements involving large scale unarmed resistance and culminating in negotiated agreement for a transfer of power (as in South Africa) that suggest a new model of revolution has emerged challenging older models.
Explores the disadvantages of ‘velvet revolutions’ with a specific focus on Czechoslovakia and comparing Vaclav Havel with the earlier president and theorist Thomas Masaryk.
Includes chapters by Moshiri on the evolving theory of revolution since Marx, including Tilly, Skocpcol and Goldstone. It also comprises Goldstone’s analytical framework for understanding revolutions, case studies of a range of violent and unarmed movements (chapters on Iran, Poland, the Philippines and the Palestinian Occupied Territories are referenced under appropriate sections later), and a concluding chapter ‘Comparison and Policy Implications’ by Gurr and Goldstone that incorporates reflections on the role of violence and nonviolence.
Habermas, one of today’s major social theorists, is associated with the concept of ‘new social movements’ in the 1970s, and developing the theory of ‘deliberative democracy’. Argues for the potential value of civil disobedience as a means of upholding democratic principles.
Other important essays by Habermas are: ‘Hannah Arendt’s Communicative Concept of Power’ in Steven Lukes ed., Power, Oxford, Blackwell, pp. 75-93, arguing for a structural interpretation of power.
And Habermas, Jürgen , What does Socialism Mean Today? The Rectifying Revolution and the Need for New Thinking on the Left New Left Review, 1990, pp. 3-21 , an interpretation of the nature and significance of the 1989 revolutions from a democratic socialist perspective.
(Also available in other collections.)
Influential analysis of ‘post-totalitarian’ society and politics in the Soviet bloc in the 1970s and eloquent argument for individual integrity and acts of dissent by lead Czechoslovak playwright and dissident, who became President after 1989. This text inspired many activists in Eastern Europe and others round the world, including Aung San Suu Kyi, leading figure in the nonviolent resistance in Burma from 1988.
Substantially expanded second edition (with two new chapters) of his influential 1974 short book. His delineation of ‘three dimensions of power’ has influenced debates about power in the social sciences, and provided a reference point for some debates about resistance to domination.
Also available in Mary Alice Waters, ed., Rosa Luxemburg Speaks, New York, Pathfinder Press, 1970; and in The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, 14 vols, London, Verso Books, 2011.
Discusses the evolution, nature and significance of the (predominantly unarmed) 1905 Revolution in Russia, and reflects Luxemburg’s emphasis on the importance of popular initiative and cooperation, as opposed to centralised party leadership – themes developed in her pamphlets ‘The Russian Revolution’ and ‘Leninism or Marxism’, both republished in 1961 under those joint titles (Ann Arbor paperback, University of Michigan Press). The standard study of Luxemburg is: Peter Nettl, Rosa Luxemburg, Oxford University Press, 1966 and 1969 (abridged edition).
Explores standard philosophical writings on civil disobedience and queries the assumption of political obligation in contexts of major injustice and oppression, such as slavery and segregation.
Influential intellectual oppositionist in Poland from the 1960s to the 1980s argues for adhering to nonviolent methods for moral and political as well as pragmatic reasons (i.e. threat of Soviet military response to a violent uprising).
Critiques individualist liberal theories of civil disobedience, including the notion that civil disobedients should willingly accept punishment (pp. 57-60 and 161-2). Rather ‘political disobedience ... may be the only way in which freedom and equality can be preserved’, and minorities have the right to refuse or withdraw consent.
Chapter Six, ‘Duty and Obligation’ (pp. 333-91) of this extremely influential philosophical restatement of liberal principles explores in depth the circumstances in which civil disobedience is justifiable in a liberal democracy. He summarises this argument in ‘The Justification of Civil Disobedience’ in Bedau, Civil Disobedience: Theory and Practice (A. 1.a.ii. Theories of Civil Disobedience, Power and Revolution) , pp. 240-55.
Antonio Gramsci, the prominent Italian Marxist activist and thinker who died in 1937, is known for his elaboration of the Marxist theory of ideology and hegemony, and has been consulted by students seeking inspiration from Marxist thought – for example in Poland and South Africa in the 1980s. Gramsci’s major work, Prison Notebooks, is by its nature long and disjointed, and its interpretation subject to debate.
Concise philosophical examination of disobedience within types of democracy by scholar now better known for writings on animal rights and radical arguments about responsibilities of the wealthy to the poor. Ends by briefly applying the principles to Northern Ireland in the late 1960s.
Skopcol is well known for her theoretical contribution to the theory of revolution, stressing the role of the state (States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China, Cambridge University Press, 1979), here she applies her framework to the Iranian Revolution of 1977-79.
Well-known exponent of the theory and history of resistance and revolt. In later part of book discusses whether the events in the Soviet bloc in 1989-91 count as revolutionary, and the possibility of nonviolent revolution.
Series of essays discussing issues of obligation and disobedience from a standpoint emphasising citizens’ obligations and with an awareness of the traditions of the labour movement (‘Civil Disobedience and Corporate Authority’ for example discusses the right to strike) and concepts of honour and solidarity.
Analysis of a selection of predominantly nonviolent struggles from Russia 1905 to Serbia 2000, arguing against ‘the mythology of violence’. Some of the case studies are standard in books on civil resistance, others – for example the 1990 movement in Mongolia – less familiar. Each chapter has a useful bibliography. The book arose out of a 1999 US documentary television series ‘A Force More Powerful’, now available on DVD, and therefore includes, in the more recent cases, information from interviews.
Focuses on the importance of resistance strategy in determining the outcome. Outlines 12 principles of strategic action and assesses five movements (Russia 1905, Ruhr 1923, the Indian independence campaign,, resistance in German-occupied Denmark, and Solidarity in Poland) in relation to these principles.
Ambitious volume in historical and geographical range (from 1765 to current struggles, and in every continent). Individual chapters feature in relevant sections of this bibliography.
Important article addressing the question why, when there have been so many examples of impressive nonviolent resistance around the world - especially since 2019, the success rate has been so low. Chenoweth notes the impact of Covid since 2020 as well as 'savvier state responses', but suggests the key reasons lie in the need to focus on building coalitions, grassroots organizing, strategy and planning.
This study, by one of the authors of the acclaimed Why Civil Resistance Works, is designed as an accessible overview of what civil resistance is, how it is effective, its use around the world, and its long term impact. It covers the theory and history of civil resistance, and includes chapters on the problems of violence against movements and violence within them.
After introductory essays by the editors and by Kurt Schock, there are sections on: ‘Explaining Nonviolent Resistance’, ‘Dynamics of Nonviolent Contention’ and ‘Outcomes’. Topics covered include self-determination disputes, gender ideologies and forms of mobilisation in the Middle East, role of mutiny in the Arab Spring, transitions in autocracies and transitions from armed to unarmed struggles.
Combines statistical analysis with case studies of unarmed resistance to argue that since 1900 nonviolent resistance campaigns have been strategically more effective than violent campaigns. Also analyses factors that promote success or failure of nonviolent campaigns. An earlier version of their overall argument was published as Chenoweth, Erica ; Stephan, Maria J., Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict International Security, 2008, pp. 7-44 , including useful case studies of East Timor, the Philippines and Burma 1988-1990.
The Introduction and Afterword discuss key strategic questions and Part I consists of five case studies of nonviolent resistance from 5 continents. But the major focus is on forms of transnational support for resistance campaigns and the possible problems (as well major advantages) of not only governmental, but also nongovernmental support and intervention. Some of the main chapters in Part II and Part III are therefore listed separately under A.5.
Offers a contemporary analysis of Gandhi, while tracing how subsequent US figures and campaigns have applied and enhanced an understanding of ‘applied nonviolence’ that is an effective methodology rooted in values, including feminist values.
Expert on social movements combines analysis of movements with theory of democratisation, and using comparative framework discusses causes and outcomes of 1989 movements in Eastern Europe with the Middle East and North Africa from 2011. Particular, but by no means exclusive, focus on GDR and Czechoslovakia and on Tunisia and Egypt.
Summarises evolution of nonviolent resistance in theory and practice and explores its role in redressing structural asymmetry and as a prelude to reconciliation and peace building.
Explores the context and conditions in which nonviolent resistance can contribute to successful and sustainable conflict transformation processes. The author introduces the concept, aims and methods of nonviolent action and explores conceptual and empirical developments throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. She illustrates its potential and limits, both in transforming asymmetric power structures and in encouraging democratic practices, using the example of the Palestinian first intifada in the Israeli/Palestinian struggle. (updated and revised for 2011 print edition)
Chapters on: Western Sahara, West Papua, Palestine, South Africa (in 1980s), the Zapatistas. Egypt, Nepal and on indigenous armed struggle and nonviolent resistance in Colombia.
The book examines how contemporary movements are using strategic nonviolent action to promote social change, covering a range of protests including climate change, immigrant rights, gay rights, Occupy and Black Lives Matter. The authors argue that nonviolent uprisings are becoming more common than violent rebellion, and look back to twentieth century antecedents in the Indian Independence and US Civil Rights movements, examine the nature of effective strategy and discuss organizational discipline. Their analysis includes the Arab Spring, but notes its discouraging implications.
Falk assesses the nature of the 1989 revolutions, which she delineates as the collapse of communist regimes across Eastern Europe in a context of commitment to nonviolence by key players (with the exception of Romania) and of restraint by both Gorbachev in the USSR and western leaders. Year 1989 appeared to usher in a new concept of peaceful revolution, which could be applied to challenge other repressive regimes. But, Falk argues, these attempts, as in the '2009 Green Revolution' in Iran and the 'Arab Spring' in 2011 in Egypt and elsewhere, have resulted in defeat. The author also notes other factors, which militate against successful nonviolent revolution. These include the greater ruthlessness (compared with the East European Communist regimes of the 1980s) of many of today's dictatorships, the declining respect for the US and for liberal democracy as an ideal, a rise in barbaric violence (represented by ISIS) and the complex role of today's communication technologies, which can mobilize protest but promote lack of leadership capable of formulating negotiable demands. The article references a number of other interesting recent perspectives on revolution today.
Uses the struggle of Latino farmworkers in California in the 1960s to illustrate the concept of ‘strategic capacity’ – how strategic resourcefulness can sometimes compensate for lack of resources.
Lively discussion of the strategies and methods popular movements can use to win struggles against various forms of oppression and to undermine elites. Includes brief accounts of the struggles for Indian independence, the ending of apartheid and the overthrow of Mubarak, as well the extension of the franchise in Britain, opposition to the Vietnam War, and resistance to corporate power.
This is the first volume in a study of Gandhi's role in relation to the broader history of Indian movements for justice and independence, by a British historian who has specialised in Indian history and peasant struggles. The book includes important and little known material on Indian 'passive resistance' movements from 1905-1909, charts Gandhi's role in the 'passive resistance' in South Africa 1906-14, and after his return to India his varied links to different forms of peasant resistance in Bijoliya, Champaran (often covered in literautre on Gandhi) and Kheda. This volume concludes with an assessment of Gandhi's evolving theory of nonviolence in relation to other theories of the time, and his leadership role in the 1919 resistance to the Rowlatt Acts.
Discusses earlier and contemporary theoretical analyses of nonviolence from a social psychological standpoint, and combines this with examples of nonviolent action and peace campaigns in the USA.
Retired US Army colonel, now colleague of Gene Sharp, examines the basis of political power and the methods and strategy of nonviolent struggle. His guidelines for preparing a Strategic Estimate are also included in Sharp, Waging Nonviolent Struggle.
The focus of this study is on how movements using nonviolent tactics can respond to repression, and increase the potential for repressive and violent measures to backfire. The contributors include both social scientists and activists who have experienced repression, providing an analysis of the different forms of repression possible, and of methods protesters might use in response.
Analyses revolutionary popular movements (such as Guatemala and El Salvador 1944, and France 1968) and issues of cultural preparation, organisation and tactics from a committed nonviolent standpoint. Also discusses how to develop and defend revolution by decentralizing power and use of nonviolent civilian defence.
Investigates strategic choices of a range of social movements.
Analysis of nonviolent action and case studies of people power in Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Central and South America and South Africa.
Analysis of how violent attacks can (but do not always) backfire on the perpetrators. Not solely about unarmed resistance movements, but the theoretical framework is relevant to nonviolent strategy and there are chapters on Sharpeville, South Africa 1960. the 1991 Dili massacre in East Timor, and the 1930 salt works protest in Dharasana, India. Many of Brian Martin’s publications are online at http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs.
Explores how methods of nonviolent action can be used effectively in contexts where unfamiliar: verbal abuse, online defamation, and struggles in relation to euthanasia and vaccination.
Discusses the nature and dynamics of nonviolent action and briefly covers several unarmed resistance movements (the accuracy of the account of the Danish resistance in World War has been questioned).
Compares ‘unsuccessful’ and ‘successful’ movements against Socialist regimes (Tiananmen and East Germany 1989), against military regimes (Panama and Chile in the 1980s) and against personal dictators (Kenyan opposition to Moi and the Philippines struggle against Marcos). Draws some fairly brief general conclusions.
Designed as a textbook, it covers history, theoretical developments and debates about the results of nonviolent movements. It categorizes nine types of nonviolent action, which are illustrated by case studies. A separate chapter explores key issues of why and when sections of the armed services defect from a regime challenged by a nonviolent movement.
The book discusses what factors encourage or undermine nonviolent discipline, including the reactions of the government and the way the movement is itself organised.
Examines why some nonviolent revolutions result in democratization, while others do not, and discusses how protesters can promote democratic outcomes. Focuses in particular on the role of civil society both before and after the revolution.
Popovic, an activist against the Milosevic regime in Serbia in the 1990s, went on to find CANVAS, which has offered advice and nonviolent training to activists in former Soviet states and other parts of the world, including Egypt before Tahrir Square and Syria. The book emphasizes the role of CANVAS (but does not address criticism of its role) and foregrounds the author's own experiences and interpretation of nonviolent action. It covers many varied campaigns with examples of how to mobilize successfully and use humour and imaginative forms of protest. It also addresses how to make oppression 'backfire' and the need to persevere in one's effort after apparent success. Written for activists rather than for scholars of nonviolence.
Chapters 1-4 focus on the history and dynamics of nonviolent resistance, and its increasing use in recent decades, within a framework of broader historical analysis. The main emphasis is on national resistance to oppressive regimes. The second half of the book analyses civilian (nonviolent) defence (see A.5.b.)
A wide-ranging compilation of papers presented to the Nonviolent Action Research Project in Bradford from 1994 to 1999, with extensive notes on the group discussion.
The Foreword to the 2011 paperback comments on the Arab Spring.
Succinct analytical case studies (organised around a set of questions) of movements of unarmed resistance from Gandhi to Burma in 2007, with incisive introductory and concluding assessments. Particular emphasis on the impact of external governmental pressures in promoting the success of resistance. One chapter analyses the role of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe up to 1989.
Seeks to address the lack of explicitly comparative analysis of how nonviolent methods promote political transformation. Examines success of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa (1983-90), and pro-democracy movements in the Philippines (1983-86), Nepal (1990) and Thailand (1991-92), and explores failure of such as movements in China (1989) and Burma (1988). Lists major actions in each movement. Includes analysis and criticism of ‘consent’ theory of power.
Survey of historical origins of nonviolent resistance (Gandhi, US Civil Rights) and the numerous recent movements, including both resistance to political oppression and movements for economic and social justice (e.g. Occupy). Schock also analyses the causes of resistance and reasons for success or failure.
Part 1 of this now classic analysis explores the political and sociological theories underlying nonviolent resistance to develop a 'consent theory of power'; this has since been much debated. Part 1 also discusses nonviolent action as an 'active technique of struggle' and contextualizes Gandhi's contribution within a much wider historical context of major resistance movements dating from the later 18th century to 1968. Part 2 categorises and illustrates the now famous list of 198 methods, while the longest volume, Part 3, elaborates Sharp’s strategic approach.
An abbreviated and slightly modified version of Sharp’s general argument in The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Includes 23 brief case studies of campaigns from the Russian Revolution of 1905 to the Serbian people power of 2000 (some written by Sharp’s collaborators: Joshua Paulson, Christopher A. Miller and Hardy Merriman).
Also published by London, Serpent’s Tail, 2012, and available from the Albert Einstein Institution (see website).
Written at the request of a Burmese dissident, this is now widely known as a succinct analysis of how nonviolent resistance can overthrow tyrannical regimes.
Stephan, co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works, examines the new threat posed by ISIS and its ambition to create an Islamic caliphate based on an extreme and violent interpretation of Islam. She suggests how civil resistance can help to contain ISIS and undermine its appeal and ability to recruit.
See introduction to Section V.E. Middle East and North Africa for notes.
Also available in Kumar, Mahendra ; Low, Peter , Legacy and Future of Nonviolence New Delhi, Gandhi Peace Foundation, , 1996 , pp. 141-57.
Eminent French historian and theorist of nonviolent resistance explores the links between media of communication and nonviolent campaigns, focusing on key examples of resistance in Communist Eastern Europe from 1948-1989.
Essays discussing people power in the Philippines, East Germany and Serbia, comparing the strengths and weaknesses of opposition, and the regime in China with Eastern Europe in 1989, to explain different outcomes, and reflecting on issues such as ‘female leadership of democratic revolutions in Asia’.
Well-documented accounts of nonviolent action around the world, mostly since the 1970s. (Individual chapters are also cited in the appropriate geographical sections of this bibliography.) Also includes a feminist critique of the masculinist bias of many works on nonviolence (by Pam McAllister) and essay by sociologist Kenneth Boulding on power (cited under A.1.a. ii).
Explores how internet links Palestinians in Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, creates a Palestine in cyberspace, and has an impact on manifestations of resistance, for example through street candle vigils and ‘lighting a candle’ on the internet.
Interesting range of examples of ingenious forms of indirect or symbolic resistance at individual and group level, as well as more open defiance and protest.
Explores varied forms of repression and means of response drawing on a wide sociological literature. Particularly relevant is Hank Johnston, ‘Talking the Walk: Speech Acts and Resistance in Authoritarian Regimes’ (pp. 108-37), exploring underground humour, graffiti, hit and run tactics, informal opposition networks, ‘duplicitous organisation’ – using official status for opposition, and role of recreational, cultural and religious groups. Johnston also notes how official political and cultural events can be subverted. (Strong overlap with ch. 4 in Johnston, States & Social Movements (A. 6. Nonviolent Action and Social Movements) .)
Argues against Scott’s thesis that long suppressed anger will one day explode, and suggests instead (drawing on Central European examples after 1980) that protest took indirect, satirical and carnivalesque forms.
Distinguishes between phases of military regimes: the first of terror not a time for direct confrontation but for survival and assistance to others, although human rights activists may link up with international networks. In the second phase the opposition have more scope for promoting organisation and indirect forms of resistance.
Discusses possible confusion in meaning of ‘resistance’ in recent sociological studies and suggests a typology of intended and unintended ‘resistance’. Many references to gender-based resistance, and forms of indirect resistance by slaves, peasants, workers and the unemployed, as well as the direct resistance of the US Civil Rights Movement.
Much-cited in the social movement literature on ‘framing’, Johnston analyses the contribution of resistant sub-cultures under Francoism to the eventual resurgence of Catalan opposition.
A study of quiet resistance through a women’s group reading forbidden western literature. Also includes autobiographical insights into the 1977-79 Iranian revolution – its early stages and aftermath.
Focuses particularly on women crossing Israeli-imposed borders to maintain their sense of autonomy and freedom, and argues that although these actions are ‘framed’ as resistance to occupation they also covertly challenge patriarchal controls..
Explores differing forms resistance can take through symbolism and speech and defensive support of those targeted by regime, as well as open ‘offensive’ resistance. Andrew Rigby has argued that creating autonomous organisations from below can be a sixth form of ‘constructive resistance’ that does not necessarily directly challenge the regime: Rigby, Palestinian Resistance and Nonviolence (E. V.A.3. Palestine) , pp. 3-6.
Anthropological study of resistance to fiscal regulation starts from the open and organised villes mortes campaign in Cameroon in 1992-93 (see E.I.2.1b.i). Main focus is on non-political forms of evading fiscal regulation, such as smuggling across borders.
Much-cited analysis of forms of hidden and indirect resistance, as opposed to overt organised opposition. Develops at a more general level ideas explored in his Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (1985). Scott discusses how everyday resistance might turn into open revolt: an aspect of his analysis that has been critically examined.
Discusses examples of individual and group resistance, with an emphasis on defensive resistance (trying to protect key targets of repression) with a number of examples from World War Two and Nazi Germany; but it also includes the open challenge by the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, and communal struggles to preserve the local environment.
Vinthagen provides a useful brief introduction to Scott's pioneering work on forms of small scale or 'hidden' resistance by subjugated classes. The interview then seeks clarification about the development of Scott's research and key elements in his theory.
Analysis of Gandhi’s approach to conflict and struggle and of three of his campaigns in India; the 1918 Ahmedabad textile workers strike; the 1919 resistance to the repressive Rowlatt Bills, and the 1930-31 Salt March.
First of three books by leading Gandhi scholar. Followed by:
Sympathetic yet objective biography with an emphasis on political tactics and organisation.
Brief Historical Association study giving historical context and referring to historiographical debates, noting ‘Cambridge school’ argument that internal weaknesses of the British Administration main cause of independence, and ‘subaltern studies’ school which stresses autonomous resistance of peasants and workers.
Analysis of Gandhi’s concept of satyagraha, of his political leadership and and of the 1931 Salt Satyagraha and 1947 fast, as well as covering critiques by contemporaries and making comparisons with Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
Lively sympathetic biography used as basis for Richard Attenborough’s 1982 film.
pp. 375, 379-794, 471, 464, 514, 555
Includes Satyagraha in South Africa (vol. 3), as well as Gandhi’s highly personal Autobiography, published 1927 (vols 1-2), important pamphlets such as his translation of Ruskin’s Unto This Last (vol. 4 – influential on Gandhi’s socio-economic thinking), letters on key issues (vol. 5) and speeches on historic occasions (vol. 6).
This is the second volume of massive biography by the eminent contemporary Indian historian re-evaluating Gandhi's life, ideas and role. It is published at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is rehabilitating the far right Hindu nationalists in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (an individual linked to the RSS assassinated Gandhi), and when Gandhi is often vilified. This volume is broadly sympathetic to Gandhi, though not uncritical, and gives weight to the influence of his secretary Mahadev Desai.
The first, widely praised, volume Gandhi Before India, which covers all of Gandhi’s life to the end of the South African campaign, was published by Penguin Random House in 2015.
See also Guha, Ramachandra, 'Remembering Vaikom satyagraha in the light of Sabarimala', The News Minute, 6 Januray 2019.
Commentary by prominent Indian public intellectual, and author of books on Gandhi, at the time of the 2019 mass protest by women in Kerala against a Hindu temple refusing to admit them. Guha responds by recalling the 1924-25 campaign (in which Gandhi played a role) to persuade the Vaikom temple to admit dalits (untouchables).
Sympathetic, but not uncritical, assessment of Gandhi’s style of politics, his conflicts with the Raj and opposition groups and critics within India, and his impact on later movements. The author studied ‘subaltern’ movements in India for many years before engaging with Gandhi.
Selected key texts from Gandhi with essays by Judith Brown, Richard Falk, Michael Nagler, Glenn Paige, Bhiku Parekh and others.
At a time when Gandhi is being widely criticized (for very different reasons) in India, South Africa and the UK, Mary King sets Gandhi in his historical context and also stresses Gandhi's own willingness to confront his assumptions and prejudices.
Revisionary analysis of Gandhi’s 608 day campaign to secure right of untouchables to use road by a Brahmin temple, challenging claims in earlier accounts that a solution was reached because the Brahmins were ‘converted’. The author criticises both Gandhi’s belief that self-imposed suffering can convert the opponent and his leadership of this campaign.
Chapter 6 ‘Democracy in Asia: India and the price of peaceful change’ argues that Gandhi was ‘the spokesman of the Indian peasant and village artisan’ (p. 178) and comments critically on Gandhi’s desire to return to ‘an idealized past’ of the village community purged of untouchability, and failure to challenge interests of landed aristocracy.
Nanda, who has also written a balanced biography of Gandhi and studies of other Indian leaders close to Gandhi (including Gandhi’s early mentor Gokhale), here examines controversial aspects of Gandhi’s life and thought.
Reprinted in A Collection of Essays, New York, Harcourt, 1953.
A frequently cited critical review of many aspects of Gandhi’s philosophy and life, which nevertheless recognizes his positive contribution as a politician.
A chapter from Overy’s unpublished PhD thesis.
Through detailed analysis of Gandhi's campaigns from 1915 to 1922 the author illuminates the evolution of Gandhi's thinking and strategy. Overy stresses the importance of Gandhi's constructive programme, promoting local empowerment, and its interconnectedness with resistance campaigns against imperial rule.
Political theorist and Gandhi scholar Parekh has also written a brief account of Gandhi’s life and work: Parekh, Bhikhu , Gandhi Oxford, Oxford University Press, , 1997, pp. 111 .
Primarily discusses the US civil rights and the British nuclear disarmament movements.
Main focus on 1930-31 independence campaign, but also covers peasant struggle in Chamaparan 1917-18, and Gandhi’s 1948 fast in Delhi against inter-communal killings linked to partition.
Scholarly critical biography drawing on 90 volumes of Gandhi’s writings, arguing Gandhi aspired to be a world saviour. Author comments on inaccuracies in Gandhi’s own account of the South African campaigns, and provides incisive analysis of Gandhi’s political role and campaigns in India.
Part II discusses various influences on Gandhi, and Part III Gandhi’s influence on Arne Naess (ecology), Johan Galtung (peace research), E.F. Schumacher (economics as if people mattered), and Gene Sharp (nonviolent action as a method).
By respected writer on anarchist theory and movements.
This book focuses on the role of both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X in the movement for rights for Black Americans. The author contests the standard view that they were rivals, and that Malcolm X was the radical exponent of violence challenging King's more moderate and peaceable approach. The author, a historian at the University of Texas, argues that their view of the United States and their strategies for achieving justice tended to converge over time, as King grew more radical in his later years and Malcolm X moved towards a more nuanced political approach. But they had separate power bases and styles of communication.
2nd edition New Delhi, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Mehta Publishers, 2002, pp. 520.
One of King’s closest associates from 1955 onwards, Abernathy took on greater prominence after King’s assassination.
Study of black trade union leader who played key role in pressuring presidents Roosevelt and Truman to ban discrimination in federal and defence employment. In 1963 headed the March on Washington.
This now famous work contains two essays written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation - "My Dungeon Shook. Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation," and "Down At The Cross. Letter from a Region of My Mind". It provides a three-point dissection on "The Negro Problem", an expression not owned by Baldwin that he refers to while discussing the roots of racial tensions of his time and how to overcome them. (To know more about the use of and debate on this expression by Baldwin himself, please see: http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,830326,00.html and https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2934484.pdf).
In the first essay, Baldwin focuses on the central role of race in American history, and specifically addresses himself to his 14 year-old nephew who was confronted with anger and outrage. Through his nephew, Baldwin aims to address any Black young Afro-American.
In the second essay, Baldwin discusses relations between race and religion. He addresses Christianity with particular regard to its meaning for US society and to its use for the oppression of Black people.
A common thread to the whole book is Baldwin’s call to both Whites and Blacks to use compassion, communication and mutual understanding to transcend tensions and overcome the legacy of racism.
James Balwin was an iconic essayist, novelist, playwright and critic, who worked primarily about the Black American experience, racial tension, homosexuality and religion. He was active in the Civil Rights Movement, but spent his last years in the more congenial society of France.
Part 1 of the trilogy. Episodes extracted from this readable narrative have been compiled into one volume – Taylor Branch, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement, New York, Simon and Schuster, pp. 256.
Part 2 of a trilogy. Episodes extracted from this readable narrative have been compiled into one volume – Taylor Branch, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement, New York, Simon and Schuster, pp. 256.
Part 3 of a trilogy. Episodes extracted from this readable narrative have been compiled into one volume – Taylor Branch, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement, New York, Simon and Schuster, pp. 256.
(published in the USA as Rosa Parks, New York, Viking, 2000)
Parks is famous for her role in sparking the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, but had a long history of engaging in the struggle for civil rights.
Combines two earlier collections of songs and participant memoirs, We Shall Overcome (1963) and Freedom is a Constant Struggle (1968). Compiled by veterans of the Highlander Folk School (later Center), Tennessee – the adult education centre described as an ‘incubator’ for the Civil Rights movement.
Rustin was an influential adviser to MLK and the coordinator of the 1963 March on Washington. These writings on civil rights and gay politics from 1942 to 1986 include his important 1964 essay ‘From Protest to Politics’ arguing for a policy shift towards mainstream politics through voter registration and involvement with trade unions. Rustin’s later attempts to achieve his goals through the Democratic Party made him a contentious figure in some radical circles.
Makes case for black separatism in the struggle for equality, to enable black people to lead their own organisations and create their own power bases. Describes the attempts to achieve these aims through the Mississippi Freedom Democrats in 1964, and the role of SNCC in voter registration 1965-66. There is also a chapter on the northern ghettoes.
Admired study of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) by an activist in the Civil Rights Movement.
Comprises documents, speeches and firsthand accounts of from the black freedom struggle during this period. Published to accompany Eyes on the Prize TV series.
Compares two contrasting African-American leaders. Initially totally opposed, they moved closer together in the later 1960s, as King came out against the Vietnam War and Malcolm X moved away from black messianic separatism. They also worked with different constituencies: the black communities of the south and the alienated residents of the northern ghettoes.
Articles presented at 1988 conference.
Shows how Rustin’s gay lifestyle was repeatedly brought up by public enemies intent on discrediting the movement and by political rivals wanting to marginalize him.
Central figure in CORE outlines its origins and later campaigns (chapters 9, 10 and 19).
Memoirs of SNCC Executive Secretary, 1961-65.
Documents emergence of armed self-defence groups in Louisiana and Mississippi in the mid-1960s to counter the Klan and enforce civil rights legislation.
Account of year-long 1955 bus boycott which heralded a new stage of nonviolent direct action against segregation and launched King’s leadership.
Answer to critics during the major campaign to desegregate Birmingham Alabama. President Kennedy intervened to get King released.
Answer to white leaders urging less militant confrontation and greater patience.
Insider account by white woman working in SNCC office. Meticulously detailed, with extensive quotes from key documents.
Lewis, who was born in Alabama, played a major role in the Freedom Rides and sit-ins, in the 1963 March on Washington and in the March on Selma that led to the Voting Rights Act. He also helped to found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
A detailed study of SNCC’s Mississippi summer project in 1964.
McAdam, a leading social movement theorist, has written widely on various aspects and interpretations of the Civil Rights Movement, including McAdam, Doug , The US Civil Rights Movement: Power from Below and Above, 1945-70 In Roberts; Garton Ash, Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements)Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 58-74 . His influential article McAdam, Doug , Tactical Innovation and the Pace of Insurgency American Sociological Review, 1985, pp. 735-754 (reprinted in McAdam; Snow, Readings on Social Movements: Origins, Dynamics and Outcomes (A. 7. Important Reference Works and Websites) ) highlights how innovative tactics of mass action broke through institutionalised powerlessness.
Extensive analysis of rise and fall of CORE drawing on interviews with key members and CORE archives. Covers the 1960 sit-ins, 1961 Freedom Ride, mass campaigns in 1963 to desegregate Southern cities, and the impact of black power ideology.
(reprinted in McAdam; Snow, Readings on Social Movements: Origins, Dynamics and Outcomes (A. 7. Important Reference Works and Websites) )
Describes the expansion of organisational capacity for direct action between 1956 and 1960.
Details continuity with pre-civil rights movement generations of protest, and studies organisational infrastructure of protest in black communities.
Thorough study of grass-roots activism in Mississippi, with useful bibliographical essay.
See also commentary by Francesca Polletta in Goodwin; Jasper, Contention in Context: Political Opportunities and the Emergence of Protest (A. 6. Nonviolent Action and Social Movements) , pp. 133-152.
Firsthand account by white activist who participated in both in the 1947 ‘Journey of Reconciliation’ organised jointly by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and CORE, and the 1961 Freedom Ride organised by CORE at the height of the Civil rights Movement.
(reprinted in McAdam; Snow, Readings on Social Movements: Origins, Dynamics and Outcomes (A. 7. Important Reference Works and Websites) ).
Discusses the contagious impact of the sit-ins and the spirit they generated among participants.
A range of recollections from 1955 to MLK’s assassination in 1968.
Recounts the life and work of black woman activist who played key role in three major organisations: the NAACP, SCLC and SNCC.
See also: Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements New York, Grove Press, , 1966, pp. 226 .
Oral histories from Holmes County, Mississippi, voter registration campaign, which Payne (above) says ‘suggests what we may hope for’ in future historical research, identifying ‘themes important from an organising perspective’ and based on the collective work of teenagers – ‘a powerful reminder of what the movement’s values were’.
The immediate popular resistance to the military coup in 2009, that ousted the democratically elected President Manuel Zelava, did not defeat the coup, but a sustained and impressive movement continued under the National Front for Popular Resistance, which brought together trade unions, church leaders, academics and teachers and others, despite violent repression by the military and police. Frank also examines the role of the US government in supporting the coup and describes the support offered to the resisters by the US organization she founded.
See also: Main, Alexander, 'Honduras: The Deep Roots of Resistance', Dissent, Spring 2014,
Focuses particularly on role of the National Front of Popular Resistance in creating in 2011 a new political party Liberty and Refoundation with the aim of winning power and creating a new constitution. Main sets this development in the context of socialist parties winning power through elections in other Latin American countries.
See also: Portillo, Suyapa, ''Honduran Social Movements: Then and Now', Oxford Research Encylopedia of Politics, 28 September 2020.
Examines historic bases of social movements: political parties, both moderate and radical unionism and land struggles, the reaction against neoliberal economic policies of the 1990s undermining earlier economic and political gains. The article concludes by assessing the remarkable mobilization against the 2009 coup by almost all sections of society, including feminists, Black and indigenous groups.
Gorbachev’s own brief account of the attempted coup against him and his reformist programme in August 1991, with some appended documents.
The attempt by the previous president, Blaise Compaore (forced to resign a year earlier) to topple President Kafando. was defeated within a week. The role of neighbouring states, the African Union and UN in condemning the coup and threatening sanctions played a part. But the immediate resistance by young people and civil society groups, together with unions calling a ten day general strike, played a key role. (For further analysis of wider struggle for democracy in Burkina Faso see Vol.1. E.1.2.3.)
(also in Martin, Nonviolent Struggle and Social Defence (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements) ), Ch. 5.
Studies military rebellions after return to civilian government in 1982.
See also: Lopez Levy, Marcela , We Are Millions: Neo-Liberalism and New Forms of Political Action in Argentina London, Latin America Bureau, , 2004 . Includes brief reference to millions demonstrating in support of President Alfonsin after a military uprising in a barracks in Argentina, Easter 1987, against trials of military for the ‘Dirty War’ (pp. 41 and 122), and explains broader context.
Part 4, pp. 433-90, covers the August Coup, emphasizing popular support for the resistance as well as the mistakes of the plotters. For a contrasting interpretation see:
Discusses resistance to Kapp Putsch in Germany 1920 and attempted coup in France by generals based in Algeria in 1961.
Summary analysis of potential for popular nonviolent resistance to defeat coup attempts, recommendations for organised strategy and advance preparations to prevents coups, and with very brief description of resistance to Kapp Putsch in 1920, the Algerian Generals in 1961 and to attempt to overthrow Gorbachev in 1991.
Chapter 4, pp. 59-70, gives an eye witness account of the coup and stresses the inefficiency of the plotters and the limited popular response to Yeltsin’s call for popular defiance and a general strike.
Ch. 9 examines the generals’ putsch in 1961 and notes responses to it both by the left and by De Gaulle, and their conflicting claims to have quashed the coup.
Zunes provides detailed case studies of civil resistance to military coups in recent decades. His aim is to advance an analysis of the role of civil society and nonviolent movements in resisting such takeovers, and the role of international pressure and solidarity by both governments and activists. Eight coup attempts defeated by popular resistance are analyzed, including Bolivia, 1978, the USSR 1991, Thailand 1992 and Burkina Faso 2015, as well as four in which resistance did not succeed. Available in PDF at: https://www.nonviolent-conflict.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ICNC-Mono...
See also Vol.1. E.II.1.c. Burma: Resisting the 2021 Coup, which covers the mass popular mobilization against the February 2021 coup by the Burmese military junta.
Chapter 7 ‘Strategies against occupation: 2. Defence by civil resistance’, pp. 208-48, analyses the implications and applicability of nonviolent defence and its applicability to Britain.
Originally commissioned by the Danish Department of Foreign Affairs, this examines the theory of nonviolent defence, strategic and organisational issues, historical examples and the possibility of combining nonviolent and military forms of defence.
Reinterprets Clausewitz’s classic work on war and discusses nature of power underlying nonviolent strategy, the concept of ‘human needs’ and the potential for social change.
Traces peace movement debates on social defence, including critiques.
Standard work covering all aspects of the internal German resistance, including various forms of nonviolent protest, though with a major focus on the 1944 Generals’ Plot.
Expert on the Danish resistance extends his scholarship to other resistance movements in Occupied Europe.
Issue devoted to reconsideration of nonviolent defence with contributions by leading exponents, including Sharp, Roberts and Galtung, and articles on its role in Sweden’s Total Defence strategy, and on a Dutch government research project.
Two authors with a longstanding interest in nonviolent alternatives to military force restate the case for social defence, given the damage caused by military systems, and summarize examples of popular resistance in the past to coups and invasions. They also consider the relevance of political changes and social movements since the end of the Cold War.
Anarchist perspective on civilian (nonviolent) defence.
The author draws on existing literature to summarise a wide range of hidden, semi-open and overt nonviolent forms of resistance to Nazism inside Germany itself and in German-occupied Europe. Examples range from hiding and rescuing Jews (on an individual basis inside Germany and elsewhere, but also rescuing almost all the Jewish population in Denmark), graffiti, leaflet distribution, underground newspapers, boycotts, and the demonstration by non-Jewish wives of Jews against the deportation of their husbands. Not a scholarly treatise, but a source for important examples of courageous resistance (though their effectiveness is sometimes debatable). Paxton argues success would have been most likely if resistance tactics had been adopted at an early stage in the rise of Nazism.
[Previously The Strategy of Civilian Defence]
Discusses campaigns of national unarmed resistance to military occupation (e.g. the Ruhr in 1923) and to both Nazi and Communist regimes. Basil Liddell Hart (pp. 228-46) compares guerrilla and nonviolent resistance to occupation. The 1969 edition analyses Czechoslovak resistance to Soviet occupation.
A generally sceptical assessment of social defence as an alternative to military preparations against a putative Soviet attack. Concludes that it could supplement but not replace nuclear deterrence or military defence. Useful discussion of 10 conditions favourable to (or crucial for) success of social defence.
Examines theoretical case for relying on the power of society to deter and defend, rather than weaponry, cites examples of Ruhr 1923 and Czechoslovakia 1968-69 as examples of improvised civilian defence, and explores strategy and possibility of ‘transarmament’. Sharp’s 72-page Self-reliant Defense Without Bankruptcy or War, 1992, written for Soviet successor states (especially the Baltic states) can be downloaded from http://aeinstein.org.
In February 1943, Nazis rounded up 2,000 Jews married to Aryans and held them in Rosenstrasse, Berlin, pending deportation to Auschwitz. This sparked an initially successful campaign of public protest for their release. (A summary account appears in Thalhammer; O’Loughlin; Glazer; Glazer; McFarland; Shepela; Stoltzfus, Courageous Resistance: The Power of Ordinary People (A. 1.c. Small Scale, Hidden, Indirect and 'Everyday' Resistance) )
Examines the main traits of Nazi occupation of Europe, the complexities of non-cooperation, and the role of social cohesion and public opinion in mounting effective opposition. Chapter on civilian resistance to genocide considers why the Final Solution was hampered, or even prevented, in certain countries.
Collection of news reports, web-logs and diaries of International Solidarity Movement activists engaged in nonviolent resistance to Israeli military action in the occupied territories, including contributions relating to Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall, who were both killed.
Account by participants of transnational team which went to Iraq to try to intervene between the two sides in the 1991 Gulf War. (See also Robert J. Burrowes, ‘The Persian Gulf War and the Gulf Peace Team’ in Moser-Puangsuwan and Weber, Nonviolent Intervention Across Borders, pp. 305-18 – 209 below.)
Covers both ‘partisan’ nonviolent action, e.g. against extension of a military camp on Larzac plateau in France, and ‘nonpartisan’ nonviolent intervention to try to prevent violent conflict, e.g. the role of the Gandhian peace brigade (Shanti Sena) in the Ahmedabad riots of 1969. Parts 3 and 4 analyse examples of partisan and nonpartisan intervention by international teams operating a transnational level. Several chapters are listed later in the bibliography. Part 5 analyses processes of change through the third party approach. With extensive bibliographical guide, pp. 288-341.
Chapters on Christian Peacemaker Team, Voices in the Wilderness project in Iraq, Peace Brigades International and the International Solidarity Movement. Descriptions by participants of work done by these groups, who runs them and what is involved in joining them.
See also Coy, Patrick G., Cooperative Accompaniment in Sri Lanka with Peace Brigades International In Smith, Jackie ; Chatfield, Charles ; Pagnucco, Ron , Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity Beyond the State Syracuse NJ, Syracuse University Press , , 19971997 .
Account of border and conflict monitoring in Nicaragua in 1980s (in attempt to restrain the US-backed Contras and gather evidence on impact of foreign policy), and also of accompaniment of Guatemalan refugees returning home in 1989. (Extract in Moser-Puangsuwan; Weber, Nonviolent Intervention Across Borders: A Recurrent Vision (A. 5. Nonviolent Intervention and Accompaniment) , pp. 279-304 – see 209 below). The approach adopted in Nicaragua was extended to other parts of Central America and to Colombia in the 1990s. See also: Witness for Peace, Ten Years of Accompaniment, Washington DC, Witness for Peace, 1994.
Kelly participated in the Gulf Peace Team and later co-founded Voices in the Wilderness, breaking sanctions against Iraq. See also: ‘Kathy Kelly and Milan Rai, ‘Voices in the Wilderness: Campaigning against Sanctions on Iraq 1995-2005’, in Clark, People Power: Unarmed Resistance and Global Solidarity (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements) , pp.143-49.
Authoritative account by former-volunteers-turned-researchers of work of Peace Brigades International (PBI) in countries in Central and South America and in Asia. The authors interviewed generals connected with the Guatemala death squads to see how far PBI had inhibited the squads. See also: Liam Mahony, Human Rights Defenders Under Attack, London, Peace Brigades International-UK, pp. 20, marking PBI’s 25th anniversary, downloadable from: http://www.peacebrigades.org/publications/books-from-pbi/. For one volunteer’s more recent account; Louise Winstanley, ‘With Peace Brigades International in Colombia’, Clark, People Power: Unarmed Resistance and Global Solidarity (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements) , pp.108-11.
Analyses different kinds of ‘intervention’ and notes history of earlier 20th century attempts. It provides accounts of transnational actions round the world designed to mobilize protest, provide assistance, promote reconciliation and development, witness human rights violations and ‘accompany’ endangered individuals, highlight danger (e.g. of nuclear testing), demonstrate solidarity, or to prevent or halt war. Includes chronology and summary of actions with suggestions for further reading.
Examines different types of interventions, including nonviolent direct action, and reviews some relevant books.
The World Peace Brigade was founded in 1962 to develop the potential of transnational action. Its first project in Central Africa was planning a march in support of Zambian claims to independence (the march became unnecessary); the second was the Delhi Peking Friendship March to promote understanding at the time of the brief border war between India and China.
For more on the Brigade, see Prasad, Devi, War is a Crime Against Humanity: The Story of War Resisters’ International, London, War Resisters’ International, 2005, pp. 325-31.
Also available (with discussion of issues raised) as ‘Nonviolent intervention’ in Randle, Challenge to Nonviolence (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements) , pp. 51-74 (online at http://civilresistance.info).
On more recent interventions in Palestine (excluding International solid-arity) see also Ann Wright, ‘The Work of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)’ and Angie Zelter ‘International Women’s Peace Service in Palestine’ in Clark, People Power: Unarmed Resistance and Global Solidarity (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements) , pp. 135-42.
Exploration of discourses that legitimate violence and importance of challenging them in the practice of nonviolent intervention. The author focuses on the civil war in Sri Lanka between the Government and the Tamil Tigers, and then analyzes the peacekeeping role of the Nonviolent Peaceforce Sri Lanka in 2008.
Foreword by Elise Boulding.
Examines how the Gandhian movement in India developed Gandhi’s idea that nonviolent volunteers should act in place of armed police (for example to quell riots) and provide a nonviolent alternative to the army. Includes substantial bibliography pp. 267-84.
See also Burgmann, Verity , Power, Profit and Protest: Australian Social Movements and Globalization Crows Nest NSW, Allen and Unwin, , 2003, pp. 393 .
Essays examining aspects of indigenous peoples’, women’s, labour, religious and Islamic movements, as well as human rights, environmental and peace movements.
Collection of essays exploring globalization and its varying impact on social movements, comparing today’s movements with earlier movements and examining specific examples.
Covers environmental/peace/feminist protest in the USA, analysing key ideas and organising methods, as well as evolution of some major campaigns, for example against the Seabrook nuclear energy plant and the Livermore nuclear weapons laboratory.
Essays on conceptualizing and understanding social movements in Latin American context, as well as on indigenous, peasant and urban protests, and feminist and ecology movements. See also: Oxhorn, P. , From human rights to citizenship rights: Recent trends in the study of Latin American social movements Latin American Research Review, 2001, pp. 163-182 .
Designed as a series of ‘empirical tests’ to identify the role of political opportunities in the rise of protest movements.
Investigates this historical tradition of resistance to involvement in armed conflict. In particular, it discusses peacemaking efforts in the United States. It also examines the entirety of American history, from the colonial era to modern times and reveals the multiple religious and secular motivations of peace seekers in the US. Finally, it examines how war and those who oppose war have been portrayed in popular media over the centuries.
Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall, ‘Nonviolent Power in the Twentieth Century’; Doug McAdam and Sidney Tarrow, ‘Nonviolence as Contentious Politics’; Ted Robert Gurr, ‘Nonviolence in Ethnopolitics: Strategies for the Attainment of Group Rights and Autonomy’; Gay W. Seidman, ‘Blurred Lines: Nonviolence in South Africa’; Allison Calhoun-Brown, ‘Upon This Rock: The Black Church, Nonviolence, and the Civil Rights Movement’; Anne N. Costain, ‘Women’s Movements and Nonviolence’; Stephen Zunes, ‘Nonviolent Action and Human Rights’.
Takes up the challenge that ‘most academic theories of social movements are not prepared to explain the full range of protest goals and activities, especially those of privileged rather than oppressed citizens’, specifically drawing on the US environmental, anti-nuclear energy, and animals rights movements.
Derives propositions about social movements and political change from detailed analyses of the US Civil Rights Movement compared with movements against nuclear power.
The 1966 anthology included writings by opponents of slavery, anarchists and ‘progressives’ in the 19th century, and trade unionists, conscientious objectors and peace campaigners in the 20th century, up to the Civil Rights Movement and anti-Vietnam War protests. The revised edition covers radical Catholic resistance, nonviolent trade unionism, resistance to US imperialism in Central America in the 1980s and assistance to Central American refugees, opposition to the 1991 Gulf War and environmental protests.
Book by three important authors in the field of social movements who also have some interest in nonviolent action – they address the role of nonviolent action more directly in their contribution to the ‘Symposium on Nonviolence’ (see below).
Examines feminism, pacifism and nonviolence and anti-nuclear protests in the USA.
Compares the efficacy of defiance and disruption with constitutional methods in four US movements.
Introduces radical geography perspective on spatial components to sites of resistance. Chapter 1 looks at the developing resistance to aspects of economic development (industrialization, dams, deforestation) and the numerous movements since independence among tribal peoples, peasants, women and squatters. Chapters 3 and 4 analyse the Baliapal movement against a missile testing range, and the Chipko movement against logging.
Brief personal reflections on activism and the potential for change, touching on Zapatistas, the social justice movement, indigenous peoples’ actions and the transnational opposition to war in Iraq. No index.
A survey by one of the major theorists of social movements, that includes some reference to the role of civil resistance.
A classic of the social movement literature and the developing concepts of ‘repertoire’ and ‘contentious politics’.
Examines how a small group of radical pacifists (such as Dave Dellinger, A.J. Muste and Bayard Rustin) played a major role in the rebirth of US radicalism and social protest in the 1950s and 1960s, applying nonviolence to social issues and developing an experimental protest style.
Annotated bibliography, with an emphasis on recently published books and articles, compiled by two researchers in the field of nonviolent resistance, organised under useful analytical subheads. These include: 'Power and People: The Consent-Based View of Political Power', 'Structure, Agency and Civil Resistance Movements', 'Repression, Backfire and Defections', 'External Actors, Civil Resistance and International Law' 'Civil Resistance against Extreme Violence and Violent Nonstate Actors' and Civilian-Based Defense against Foreign Invasion and Coups' d 'Etat'. Ends with a list of multimedia resources.
An exhaustive, annotated, bibliography, very strong on earlier history of nonviolent action, but also including many recent nonviolent campaigns up to the mid-1990s. Part I covers cases of nonviolent action. Part II the methods and dynamics of nonviolent action and theories of conflict, power and violence. NB the index is seriously flawed (a correct version should be available on the Albert Einstein Institution website), but it is possible to trace campaigns through the list of contents.
Valuable guide to both the theory and practice of nonviolence, summarizing 104 nonviolent campaigns and actions, listing methods of protest, and examining relevant organisations and personalities.
Introductory essay by Randle on training and another by Sharp on civilian-based defence.
Although wide ranging in its theoretical approach to peace and in content, the Encyclopedia includes a strong focus on nonviolence, nonviolent action and groups and movements employing nonviolent methods.
Analytical article with extensive references to literature on nonviolent struggle, examining definitions and strategy of nonviolent action, and covering a wide range of relevant topics. These include the Gandhian legacy, comparison of violent and nonviolent struggles, theories of power and dependency relationships, backfire and security force defections, nonviolent third party intervention, democratization, transnational networks, and collections of case studies and data bases.
Republished by Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies, International Studies Association and Oxford University Press.
See also: Steinweg, Reiner with Saskia Thorbecke, Gewaltfreie Aktion, Ziviler Ungehorsam, Sociale Vertedigung (Nonviolent Action, Civil Disobedience, Social Defence), 2011, online. It is primarily a bibliography of German writings, but includes some titles in English and other languages. For more detail on contents and online link see: Vol.2. Addendum 2. German Titles.