Since the 1950s nonviolent forms of protest such as boycotts, civil disobedience, sit-ins, occupation of public spaces and forming of human chains have become central to a wide range of social movements, including those against racial, ethnic and gender discrimination, resistance to wars and conscription, environmental campaigns, opposition to government or corporate corruption and mobilization against economic injustice. In response to the range and significance of these movements and their tactics many books and articles have been published. These include personal and more scholarly accounts of particular movements. Analysts of nonviolent action have also noted the imaginative extension of the already wide range of possible methods of protest developed in earlier centuries.
A specific academic literature has also developed since the 1970s that analyses and compares particular movements, debates the underlying social trends encouraging their emergence, their social composition, organisational modes and tactics, and transmission of protest ‘repertoires’. This literature has developed a variety of theoretical frameworks and a new vocabulary to explain what is now often called ‘contentious politics’. Theorists of social movements have not generally shown much interest in the theory and strategy of nonviolent action per se, but a younger generation of scholars has begun to bridge this gap: see for example Schock, Unarmed Insurrections: People Power Movements in Nondemocracies (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements) , Chapter Two ‘Political Process and Nonviolent Action Approaches to Political Contention’.
Whilst some of the social movement literature does encompass national resistance to political oppression (people power), much of it focuses on protest for more specific causes. The primary criterion for inclusion in this section is a focus on the role of nonviolent tactics, but the books here range from ‘insider’ accounts of social movements, collections of documents on such movements, comparative studies of movements and a few key contributions to the academic theory of social movements that do take account of nonviolent campaigns. It includes a few references on the impact of globalisation and the increasing role of transnational activist networks and movements. Specific studies of the US Civil Rights Movement are excluded because they are covered in section A.3. Literature on specific movements is listed in section G of the first edition of this bibliography and will be included in Volume 2 of the revised version when published.