Civil resistance

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Civil resistance is political action that relies on the use of nonviolent resistance by civil groups to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. [1] Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and coercion: it can involve systematic attempts to undermine the adversary's sources of power, both domestic and international. Forms of action have included demonstrations, vigils and petitions; strikes, go-slows, boycotts and emigration movements; and sit-ins, occupations, and the creation of parallel institutions of government. Civil resistance movements' motivations for avoiding violence are generally related to context, including a society's values and its experience of war and violence, rather than to any absolute ethical principle. Cases of civil resistance can be found throughout history and in many modern struggles, against both tyrannical rulers and democratically elected governments. [2] The phenomenon of civil resistance is often associated with the advancement of democracy. [3]

Nonviolent resistance Practice of achieving goals through nonviolent methods

Nonviolent resistance is the practice of achieving goals such as social change through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, satyagraha, or other methods, while being nonviolent. This type of action highlights the desires of an individual or group that feels that something needs to change to improve the current condition of the resisting person or group.

In politics, a regime is the form of government or the set of rules, cultural or social norms, etc. that regulate the operation of a government or institution and its interactions with society.


Historical examples

Civil resistance is a long-standing and widespread phenomenon in human history. Several works on civil resistance adopt a historical approach to the analysis of the subject. [4] Cases of civil resistance, both successful and unsuccessful, include:

Indian independence movement Indian struggle for freedom from British

The Indian Independence movement was a series of activities whose ultimate aim was to end the British rule in India. The movement spanned a total of 90 years (1857–1947).

Martin Luther King Jr. U.S. civil rights movement leader

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. Born in Atlanta, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire.

The Northern Ireland civil rights movement dates to the early 1960s, when a number of initiatives emerged which challenged inequality and discrimination in Northern Ireland. The Campaign for Social Justice (CSJ) was founded by Conn McCluskey and his wife, Patricia. Conn was a doctor, and Patricia was a social worker who had worked in Glasgow for a period, and who had a background in housing activism. Both were involved in the Homeless Citizens League, an organisation founded after Catholic women occupied disused social housing. The HCL evolved into the CSJ, focusing on lobbying, research and publicising discrimination. The campaign for Derry University was another mid-1960s campaign.

Egypt, 25 January 2011: marchers in Cairo with 'OUT' signs on the 'Day of Anger' against President Mubarak. On 11 February he left office. Day of Anger marchers with out signs.jpg
Egypt, 25 January 2011: marchers in Cairo with ‘OUT’ signs on the 'Day of Anger' against President Mubarak. On 11 February he left office.
Arab Spring Protests and revolutions in the Arab world in the 2010s

The Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across North Africa and the Middle East in the early 2010s. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low standard of living, starting with protests in Tunisia. In the news, social media has been heralded as the driving force behind the swift spread of revolution throughout the world, as new protests appear in response to success stories shared from those taking place in other countries. In many countries, the governments have also recognized the importance of social media for organizing and have shut down certain sites or blocked Internet service entirely, especially in the times preceding a major rally. Governments have also scrutinized or suppressed discussion in those forums through accusing content creators of unrelated crimes or shutting down communication on specific sites or groups, such as through Facebook.

Tunisia Country in Northern Africa

Tunisia, officially the Republic of Tunisia, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, covering 163,610 square kilometres. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is the northernmost point on the African continent. It is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia's population was 11.435 million in 2017. Tunisia's name is derived from its capital city, Tunis, which is located on its northeast coast.

Syrian Civil War Ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria

The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria fought between the Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combinations. The war is currently the 2nd deadliest of the 21st century.

Numerous other campaigns, both successful and unsuccessful, could be included in a longer listing. In 1967 Gene Sharp produced a list of 84 cases. [5] He followed this with further surveys. [6] In 2013 Maciej Bartkowski authored a long list of cases in the past 200 years, arranged alphabetically by country. [7]

Gene Sharp was the founder of the Albert Einstein Institution, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study of nonviolent action, and a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He was known for his extensive writings on nonviolent struggle, which have influenced numerous anti-government resistance movements around the world. Unofficial sources have claimed that Sharp was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015, and had previously been nominated three times, in 2009, 2012 and 2013. Sharp was widely considered the favorite for the 2012 award. In 2011, he was awarded the El-Hibri Peace Education Prize. In 2012, he was a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award for "developing and articulating the core principles and strategies of nonviolent resistance and supporting their practical implementation in conflict areas around the world", as well as the Distinguished Lifetime Democracy Award.


It is not easy to devise a method of proving the relative success of different methods of struggle. Often there are problems in identifying a given campaign as successful or otherwise. In 2008 Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth produced a widely-noted article on "Why Civil Resistance Works", the most thorough and detailed analysis (to that date) of the rate of success of civil resistance campaigns, as compared to violent resistance campaigns. After looking at over 300 cases of both types of campaign, from 1900 to 2006, they concluded that "nonviolent resistance methods are likely to be more successful than violent methods in achieving strategic objectives". Their article (later developed into a book) noted particularly that "resistance campaigns that compel loyalty shifts among security forces and civilian bureaucrats are likely to succeed". [8]

Erica Chenoweth is an American political scientist as well as Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Formerly, she was a faculty member and Ph.D. program co-director at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Chenoweth was the Director of the university's Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research. She is also a researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Within the international relations community, she is known for her work on civil resistance movements and political violence.

On the other hand, the evidence of several of the 2011 uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa appears to provide contrasting pathways by which this logic may fail to materialise, with splits in the armed forces contributing towards civil war in Libya and Syria, and a shift in armed forces loyalty in Egypt failing to contribute towards enduring democratic reform. [9] Criticisms of the central thesis of the book on Why Civil Resistance Works have included:

  1. Forming judgements about whether a campaign is a success or failure is inherently difficult: the answer may depend on the time-frame used, and on necessarily subjective judgments about what constitutes success. Some of the authors' decisions on this are debatable. Similar difficulties arise in deciding whether a campaign is violent or non-violent, when on the ground both strategies may co-exist in several ways. [10]
  2. Regimes transitioning from autocracy to democracy tend to be highly unstable, so an initial success for a movement may be followed by a more general failure. [11]
  3. Perhaps, more generally, sufficient account is not taken of the possibility that violence often takes place in circumstances that were already violent and chaotic, stacking the odds against any successful outcome for violence. [12]

Reasons for choosing to use civil resistance

Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese pro-democracy leader, greeting supporters from Bago State, Burma, 14 August 2011. She has stated that she was attracted to non-violent civil resistance, not on moral grounds, but "on practical political grounds". Photo: Htoo Tay Zar Aung San Suu Kyi greeting supporters from Bago State.jpg
Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese pro-democracy leader, greeting supporters from Bago State, Burma, 14 August 2011. She has stated that she was attracted to non-violent civil resistance, not on moral grounds, but "on practical political grounds". Photo: Htoo Tay Zar

Some leaders of civil resistance struggles have urged the use of non-violent methods for primarily ethical reasons, while others have emphasized practical considerations. Some have indicated that both of these types of factor have to be taken into account – and that they necessarily overlap.

In his chapter on "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence" Martin Luther King gave a notably multi-faceted account of the various considerations, experiences and influences that constituted his "intellectual odyssey to nonviolence". By 1954 this had led to the intellectual conviction that "nonviolent resistance was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their quest for social justice." [13]

Some have opted for civil resistance when they were in opposition to the government, but then have later, when in government, adopted or accepted very different policies and methods of action. For example, in one of her BBC Reith Lectures, first broadcast in July 2011, Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy campaigner in Myanmar (formerly Burma), stated: "Gandhi's teachings on non-violent civil resistance and the way in which he had put his theories into practice have become part of the working manual of those who would change authoritarian administrations through peaceful means. I was attracted to the way of non-violence, but not on moral grounds, as some believe. Only on practical political grounds." [14] Subsequently, as State Counsellor of Myanmar from 2016 onwards, she incurred much criticism, especially in connection with the failure to prevent, and to condemn, the killings and expulsions of the Rohingya people in Rakhine State.

Relationship to other forms of power

The experience of civil resistance suggests that it can at least partially replace other forms of power. Some have seen civil resistance as offering, potentially, a complete alternative to power politics. The core vision is of non-violent methods replacing armed force in many or all of its forms. [15]

Several writers, while sharing the vision of civil resistance as progressively overcoming the use of force, have warned against a narrowly instrumental view of non-violent action. For example, Joan V. Bondurant, a specialist on the Gandhian philosophy of conflict, indicated concern about "the symbolic violence of those who engage in conflict with techniques which they, at least, perceive to be nonviolent." She saw Gandhian satyagraha as a form of "creative conflict" and as "contrasted both to violence and to methods not violent or just short of violence". [16]

It is generally difficult in practice to separate out entirely the use of civil resistance and power-political considerations of various kinds. One frequently-encountered aspect of this problem is that regimes facing opposition taking the form of civil resistance often launch verbal attacks on the opposition in terms designed to suggest that civil resistance is simply a front for more sinister forces. It has sometimes been attacked as being planned and directed from abroad, and as intimately connected to terrorism, imperialism, communism etc. A classic case was the Soviet accusation that the 1968 Prague Spring, and the civil resistance after the Soviet-led invasion of August 1968, were the result of Western machinations. [17] Similarly, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, in March 2011, accused "enemies" of using "very sophisticated tools" to undermine Syria's stability; and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, in speeches in 2014, described events in Ukraine and the Arab countries as foreign-influenced. [18] Such accusations of sinister power-political involvement are often presented without convincing evidence.

There can be some more plausible connections between civil resistance and other forms of power. Although civil resistance can sometimes be a substitute for other forms of power, it can also operate in conjunction with them. Such conjunction is never problem-free. Michael Randle has identified a core difficulty regarding strategies that seek to combine the use of violent and non-violent methods in the same campaign: "The obvious problem about employing a mixed strategy in the course of an actual struggle is that the dynamics of military and civil resistance are at some levels diametrically opposed to each other." [19] However, the connections between civil resistance and other forms of power are not limited to the idea of a "mixed strategy". They can assume many forms. [20] Eight ways in which civil resistance can in practice relate to other forms of power are identified here, with examples in each case:

  1. Civil resistance is often a response to changes in constellations of power. Leaders of civil resistance campaigns have often been acutely aware of power-political developments, both domestic and international. [21] In some countries there has been a growth of civil opposition after, and perhaps in part because of, an occupying or colonial state's internal political turmoil or setbacks in war: for example, this was a key factor in the Finnish struggle of 1898–1905 against Russian control. [22] In other countries the problems faced by their own armed forces, whether against conventional armies or guerrillas, played some part in the development of civil resistance: for example, in the People Power Revolution in the Philippines in 1983–86. [23]
  2. Civil resistance campaigns frequently lead to a situation of partial stalemate, in which negotiation between civil resisters and those in positions of governmental power is perceived as essential. Hence, "round table talks" were critically important in the Indian independence struggle up to 1947, in Solidarity's campaign in Poland up to 1989, and in Ukraine in 2004. [24]
  3. The relation between civil resistance and the military coup d'état can be especially multi-faceted. In some cases a civil resistance campaign has been an effective response to a military coup. [25] In other cases a campaign could succeed in its final objective—e.g. the removal of a hated regime—only when there was the reality or the threat of a military coup to bring about the desired change. Thus, the 1963 Buddhist crisis in South Vietnam a long civil resistance campaign against the government resulted in change only when the South Vietnamese army coup of 1–2 November 1963 toppled President Ngo Dinh Diem. [26] In Egypt in June–July 2013, a civil resistance movement in effect called for a military coup: peaceful demonstrators and a petition supported by millions of signatures demanded the replacement of the elected Muslim Brotherhood government, and provided a degree of revolutionary legitimacy for the army take-over of 3 July 2013. [27] At least one non-violent campaign, the Revolution of the Carnations in Portugal in 1974–75, was in support of a military coup that had already occurred: this campaign helped to steer Portugal in a democratic direction. [28]
  4. Some non-violent campaigns can be seen as reluctant or unwitting harbingers of violence. They may be followed by the emergence of groups using armed force and/or by military intervention from outside the territory concerned. This can happen if, for example, they (a) are perceived as failures, or (b) are repressed with extreme violence, or (c) succeed in removing a regime but then leave a power vacuum in its place. Processes of the first two of these kinds happened, for example, in Northern Ireland in 1967–72 and in Kosovo in the 1990s. [29] Processes of the third kind, involving some forms of power vacuum, included Libya from 2011 onwards, and Yemen from 2012 onwards. [30] The possibility of such developments can be an inducement to a government to bargain with a non-violent movement before things get out of hand. However, in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011 and after, campaigns by civil resistance movements were followed by violent internal conflict and civil war, often with the involvement of external forces: Syria is the most tragic case. [31]
    Vaclav Havel, impresario of civil resistance in the years leading up to the 1989 Velvet Revolution. In April 1991, as President of post-Communist Czechoslovakia, he praised the NATO military alliance; and on 12 March 1999 the Czech Republic (with Havel still as President) joined the alliance. He is seen here on 26 September 2000. Photo: IMF Vaclav Havel IMF.jpg
    Václav Havel, impresario of civil resistance in the years leading up to the 1989 Velvet Revolution. In April 1991, as President of post-Communist Czechoslovakia, he praised the NATO military alliance; and on 12 March 1999 the Czech Republic (with Havel still as President) joined the alliance. He is seen here on 26 September 2000. Photo: IMF
  5. There have also been some cases of certain uses of force by civil resistance movements, whether against their adversaries, or to maintain internal discipline. For example, on 2 February 2011, in the generally peaceful Egyptian struggle against President Mubarak, some groups among the crowds in Tahrir Square in Cairo did use certain forms of force for a defensive purpose when they were attacked by pro-regime thugs, some of whom were riding on horses and camels. [32] In the subsequent days the crowds in Tahrir Square reverted to using non-violent methods.
  6. Some civil resistance movements have sought, or welcomed, a measure of armed protection for their activities. Thus in the American civil rights movement of the 1960s, the Freedom Ride of May 1961, having been opposed violently, received armed protection for part of its hazardous journey; [33] and the Selma to Montgomery March of March 1965 only succeeded in reaching Montgomery, Alabama, at the third attempt, when it was protected by troops and federal agents. [34]
  7. Some campaigns of civil resistance may depend up the existence of militarily defended space. A life-saving example of an effective civil resistance enabling threatened people to reach a defended space occurred with the Rescue of the Danish Jews in 1943 when thousands of Jews were spirited out of German-occupied Denmark and across a narrow stretch of sea (the Sound) to Sweden. [35]
  8. When leaders of even the most determinedly non-violent movements have come to power in their countries, they have generally accepted the continued existence of armed forces and other more or less conventional security arrangements. For example, in 1991 Václav Havel who had been a leading figure in civil resistance in communist Czechoslovakia from the founding of Charter 77 to the Velvet Revolution of 1989, in his new capacity as President of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic paid tribute to the NATO alliance. [36] On 12 March 1999 the Czech Republic, along with Poland and Hungary, became a member of NATO.

Proposals for defence by civil resistance

The promise of civil resistance as a means of opposing oppressive rule has led to many proposals that countries might rely, in whole or in part, on civil resistance as a means of defence against external attack (for example, invasion) and internal usurpation (for example, coup d'état). Preparations for such resistance are sometimes seen as potentially helping to deter such threats in the first place. Various terms have been used to describe either the policy of relying on such non-military action by a society or social group, or the general phenomenon of sustained country-wide campaigns against outside attack or dictatorial rule. These terms - all near-synonyms - include "defence by civil resistance", "non-violent defence", "civilian defence", "civilian-based defence", and "social defence". For further information and references to some relevant literature, see social defence.

The term "civil resistance": merits and concerns

Gandhi in South Africa in about 1906-1909. Referring to his years there, he later wrote: "... I found that even civil disobedience failed to convey the full meaning of the struggle. I therefore adopted the phrase civil resistance." Gandhi suit.jpg
Gandhi in South Africa in about 1906–1909. Referring to his years there, he later wrote: "... I found that even civil disobedience failed to convey the full meaning of the struggle. I therefore adopted the phrase civil resistance."

The term is not new. Gandhi used it in many of his writings. [37] In 1935 he wrote: "... I found that even civil disobedience failed to convey the full meaning of the struggle. I therefore adopted the phrase civil resistance." [38] It is a near-synonym for nonviolent resistance, civil disobedience, people power and satyagraha. While each of these terms has its uses and connotations, "civil resistance" is one appropriate term to use in cases where the resistance has a civic quality, relating to a society as a whole; where the action involved is not necessarily disobedience, but instead involves supporting the norms of a society against usurpers; where the decision not to use violent methods is not based on a general philosophy of nonviolence, but on a wide range of prudential, ethical and legal considerations; and where the technical and communications infrastructure of modern civil societies provides a means of organizing resistance. [39] Because of such considerations, the term has been used in this century in many analyses in academic journals. [40]

What exactly are the advantages of the term "civil resistance", as distinct from its near-synonyms "non-violent action" and "non-violent resistance"? All these terms have merits, and refer to largely the same phenomena. Indeed, there is a long history, in many languages, of using a wide variety of terms to describe these phenomena. The term "civil resistance" has been used increasingly for two main reasons:

  1. It emphasises the positive (civic goals; widespread civil society involvement; and civil as distinct from uncivil conduct) rather than the negative (avoidance of the use of violence).
  2. It conveys, more effectively perhaps than such terms as "nonviolent resistance", that a movement's avoidance of violence in pursuit of a particular cause is not necessarily tied to a general belief in "nonviolence" in all circumstances, nor to a philosophy of "Gandhism", but rather arises from the particular values and circumstances of the society concerned.

There have been concerns that the term "civil resistance" might on occasion be misused, or at least stretched in a highly controversial way, to encompass acts of violence. Thus, arising from experience within the anti-globalization movement, one participant-observer has seen "new forms of civil resistance" as being associated with a problematic departure from a previously more widely shared commitment to maintaining non-violent discipline. [41] Because of these concerns, those who have used the term "civil resistance" have tended to emphasise its non-violent character, and to use it in addition to – and not in substitution of – such terms as "non-violent resistance".

See also

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Pacifism is opposition to war, militarism, or violence. The word pacifism was coined by the French peace campaigner Émile Arnaud (1864–1921) and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress in Glasgow in 1901. A related term is ahimsa, which is a core philosophy in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. While modern connotations are recent, having been explicated since the 19th century, ancient references abound.

Anarchism and violence have become closely connected in popular thought, in part because of a concept of "propaganda of the deed". Propaganda of the deed, or attentát, was espoused by leading anarchists in the late nineteenth century, and was associated with a number of incidents of violence. Anarchist thought, however, is quite diverse on the question of violence. In the name of coherence some anarchists have opposed coercion, while others have supported it, particularly in the form of violent revolution on the path to anarchy. Anarchism includes a school of thought which rejects all violence (anarcho-pacifism).

Satyaagraha or holding onto truth or truth force – is a particular form of nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. It is not the same as passive resistance, and advocates resisting non-violently over using violence, but at the same time advocates using violence over cowering in fear. Resisting non-violently, without feeling fear, is thus considered the summit of bravery. Someone who practices satyagraha is a satyagrahi.

Nonviolence philosophy, personal or collective attitude, refusing to legitimate violence and promoting the respect of others in conflicts

Nonviolence is the personal practice of being harmless to self and others under every condition. It comes from the belief that hurting people, animals or the environment is unnecessary to achieve an outcome and refers to a general philosophy of abstention from violence. This may be based on moral, religious or spiritual principles, or it may be for purely strategic or pragmatic reasons.

Anarcho-pacifism is a tendency within anarchism that rejects the use of violence in the struggle for social change, the abolition of capitalism and the state. The main early influences were the thought of Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy while later the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi gained importance. Pacifist anarchism "appeared mostly in the Netherlands, Britain, and the United States, before and after the Second World War and has continued since then in the anarchist involvement in the protests against nuclear armament.".

Protest expression of objection

A protest is an expression of bearing witness on behalf of an express cause by words or actions with regard to particular events, policies or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations. Protesters may organize a protest as a way of publicly making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy, or they may undertake direct action in an attempt to directly enact desired changes themselves. Where protests are part of a systematic and peaceful nonviolent campaign to achieve a particular objective, and involve the use of pressure as well as persuasion, they go beyond mere protest and may be better described as cases of civil resistance or nonviolent resistance.

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Nonresistance is "the practice or principle of not resisting authority, even when it is unjustly exercised". At its core is discouragement of, even opposition to, physical resistance to an enemy. It is considered as a form of principled nonviolence or pacifism which rejects all physical violence, whether exercised on individual, group, state or international levels. Practitioners of nonresistance may refuse to retaliate against an opponent or offer any form of self-defense. Nonresistance is often associated with particular religious groups.

Richard Bartlett Gregg (1885–1974) was an American social philosopher said to be "the first American to develop a substantial theory of nonviolent resistance" and an influence on the thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr, Aldous Huxley, civil-rights theorist Bayard Rustin, and pacifist and socialist reformer Jessie Wallace Hughan. Gregg's ideas also influenced the Peace Pledge Union in 1930s Britain, although by 1937 most of the PPU had moved away from Gregg's ideas.

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Diversity of tactics Tactics used by Anarchists and other Militant groups to provoke revolution.

Diversity of tactics is a phenomenon wherein a social movement makes periodic use of force for disruptive or defensive purposes, stepping beyond the limits of nonviolence, but also stopping short of total militarization. It also refers to the theory which asserts this to be the most effective strategy of civil disobedience for social change. Diversity of tactics may promote nonviolent tactics, or armed resistance, or a range of methods in between, depending on the level of repression the political movement is facing. It sometimes claims to advocate for "forms of resistance that maximize respect for life".


  1. Examples of the use of the term "civil resistance" include Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, Columbia University Press, New York, 2011; Howard Clark, Civil Resistance in Kosovo, Pluto Press, London, 2000; Sharon Erickson Nepstad, Nonviolent Revolution: Civil Resistance in the Late 20th Century, Oxford University Press, New York, 2011; Michael Randle, Civil Resistance, Fontana, London, 1994; Adam Roberts, Civil Resistance in the East European and Soviet Revolutions, Albert Einstein Institution, Massachusetts, 1991.
  2. This is abstracted from the longer definition of "civil resistance" in Adam Roberts, Introduction, in Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash (eds.), Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 2–3. See also the short definition in Gene Sharp, Sharp's Dictionary of Power and Struggle: Language of Civil Resistance in Conflicts, Oxford University Press, New York, 2011, p. 87.
  3. See e.g. the report by Peter Ackerman, Adrian Karatnycky and others, How Freedom is Won. From Civil Resistance to Durable Democracy, Freedom House, New York, 2005
  4. Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash (eds.), Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present, Oxford University Press, 2009. Include chapters by specialists on nineteen movements between 1917 and 2007.
  5. Gene Sharp, "The Technique of Non-violent Action", in Adam Roberts (ed.), The Strategy of Civilian Defence: Non-violent Resistance to Aggression, Faber, London, 1967, at pp. 98–104.
  6. See for example his discussion of "Illustrations from the Past" in Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action (see article), Porter Sargent, Boston, 1973, pp. 75–97; and his short accounts of numerous cases in Gene Sharp and others, Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential, Porter Sargent, Boston, 2005, pp. 69–356.
  7. "Appendix: Conflict Summaries", in Maciej J. Bartkowski (ed.), Recovering Nonviolent History: Civil Resistance in Liberation Struggles, Lynne Rienner, Boulder, Colorado, 2013, pp. 355–405.
  8. Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth, "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict", International Security, vol. 33, no. 1 (Summer 2008), p. 42. ISSN   0162-2889 . (See also their 2011 book, Why Civil Resistance Works, listed below in the bibliography.)
  9. T. R. Davies, "The failure of strategic nonviolent action in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya and Syria: ‘political ju-jitsu’ in reverse", Global Change, Peace and Security, vol. 26, no. 3 (2014), pp. 299–313. ISSN   1478-1158 doi : 10.1080/14781158.2014.924916.
  10. Juan Masullo Jimenez, review of Why Civil Resistance Works on Global Policy website, 29 November 2013. .
  11. David Cortright, review on E-International Relations website, 17 January 2013.
  12. Adam Roberts, "Terrorism Research: Past, Present and Future", Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, vol. 38, no. 1, January 2015, pp. 62–74.
  13. Martin Luther King, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, Ballantine Books, New York, 1960, p. 81.
  14. Aung San Suu Kyi, second BBC Reith Lecture, "Dissent", first broadcast 5 July 2011, transcript available at BBC website.
  15. Gene Sharp, Social Power and Political Freedom, Porter Sargent, Boston, 1980, xi.
  16. Joan V. Bondurant, "Creative Conflict and the Limits of Symbolic Violence" in Bondurant (ed.), Conflict: Violence and Nonviolence, Aldine, Chicago, 1971, pp. 121–22.
  17. See for example Roberts and Garton Ash, Civil Resistance and Power Politics, pp. 21–23 (chapter by Roberts), 93 (Kramer) and 386n. (Garton Ash).
  18. These accusations by Presidents Assad and Putin are cited and discussed in Adam Roberts, Michael J. Willis, Rory McCarthy and Timothy Garton Ash (eds.), Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring: Triumphs and Disasters, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016, pp. 277–80, 314–17 (chapter by Roberts).
  19. Randle, Civil Resistance, p. 168.
  20. A pioneering exploration of certain examples of connections between non-violent resistance and other forms of power is in Kurt Schock, Unarmed Insurrections: People Power Movements in Nondemocracies, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005, especially at pp. 153–62. A more general discussion of this question is in Adam Roberts, "Introduction", in Roberts and Garton Ash, Civil Resistance and Power Politics, especially at pp. 13–20.
  21. Schock, Unarmed Insurrections, pp. 154–56.
  22. Steven Duncan Huxley, Constitutional Insurgency in Finland: Finnish "Passive Resistance" against Russification as a Case of Nonmilitary Struggle in the European Resistance Tradition, SHS, Helsinki, 1990, p. 225, where Jonas Castrén, a key figure in the constitutional insurgency, is cited as emphasizing the central importance of understanding current events in Russia and their importance for the Finnish struggle. "He exclaimed that now was the time for Finns to rise up in mass struggle."
  23. Amado Mendoza, "‘People Power'" in the Philippines, 1983–86’ in Roberts and Garton Ash, Civil Resistance and Power Politics, pp. 179–96, where he discusses at pp. 186–89 the competitive relationship between the violent and non-violent anti-dictatorship movements.
  24. These three cases of round table talks are outlined by Judith Brown, Alexander Smolar and Andrew Wilson respectively in Roberts and Garton Ash, Civil Resistance and Power Politics, pp. 47, 55 (India), 136–43 (Poland), and 350–53 (Ukraine).
  25. Roberts, Adam (1975). "Civil Resistance to Military Coups". Journal of Peace Research. 12 (1): 19–36. doi:10.1177/002234337501200102. JSTOR   422898.
  26. Shaplen, Robert (1966). The Lost Revolution: Vietnam 1945–1965. London: Andre Deutsch. pp. 188–212.
  27. M. Cherif Bassiouni, Egypt Update no. 27, 19 February 2014, paragraphs 8–9, 18.
  28. Kenneth Maxwell, ‘Portugal: "The Revolution of the Carnations", 1974–75’, in Roberts and Garton Ash, Civil Resistance and Power Politics, pp. 144–61.
  29. Cases of perceived failure of civil resistance being followed by armed campaigns and military intervention are outlined by Richard English and Howard Clark in Roberts and Garton Ash, Civil Resistance and Power Politics, pp. 75–90 (Northern Ireland) and 277–94 (Kosovo).
  30. Cases of armed interventions in areas where there had been an absence of governance in at least parts of a country are outlined by George Joffé and Helen Lackner in Roberts, Willis, McCarthy and Garton Ash, Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring: Triumphs and Disasters, pp. 134–40 (Libya) and 160–68 (Yemen).
  31. International Institute for Strategic Studies, Strategic Survey 2013, London, 2013, pp. 179–84.
  32. Mustafa Khalili, ‘The two sets of protesters were left to fight it out,’ The Guardian, London, 3 February 2011, provides an eye-witness account of the events of 2 February. Also available at .
  33. James Peck, Freedom Ride, Grove Press, New York, 1962, p. 107.
  34. Juan Williams, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965, Viking Press, New York, 1987, p. 279.
  35. Jacques Semelin, Unarmed Against Hitler: Civilian Resistance in Europe, 1939–1943, Praeger, Westport, Connecticut, 1993, pp. 151–54.
  36. Václav Havel, address to NATO Council, 21 March 1991, NATO Review, Brussels, April 1991, p. 31.
  37. Mohandas K. Gandhi, "The Momentous Issue", Young India, 10 November 1921; in Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, electronic edition, vol. 25, pp. 76–78.
  38. Mohandas K. Gandhi, letter to P. Kodanda Rao, 10 September 1935; in Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, electronic edition, vol. 67, p. 400.
  39. Fabien Miard, Mobile Phones as a Tool for Civil Resistance: Case Studies from Serbia and Belarus, DigiActive Research Series, June 2009.
  40. For example, by Stephan, Maria J.; Chenoweth, Erica (2008). "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict". International Security. 33 (1): 7–44. doi:10.1162/isec.2008.33.1.7. ISSN   0162-2889. And Ackerman, Peter; Rodal, Berel (2008). "The Strategic Dimensions of Civil Resistance" (PDF). Survival. 50 (3): 111–25. doi:10.1080/00396330802173131.
  41. Conway, Janet (2003). "Civil Resistance and the 'Diversity of Tactics' in the Anti-Globalization Movement: Problems of Violence, Silence, and Solidarity in Activist Politics" (PDF). Osgoode Hall Law Journal. 41 (2 & 3): 505–17.


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