This course addresses the challenges and issues that arise after a civil resistance movement has won. How do movements sustain and build on the gains they have made?

Unrest in Kenya surrounding human rights. Photo Courtesy of The New York Times/Evelyn Hockstein
Unrest in Kenya surrounding human rights. Photo courtesy of The New York Times/Evelyn Hockstein

Course Overview

The rise of nonviolent, people power movements around the world has become a defining feature of the 21st century. Organized citizen campaigns and movements using nonviolent methods are challenging formidable opponents: unaccountable governance, systemic corruption, institutionalized discrimination, environmental degradation, dictatorship, foreign military occupation, and violent extremism. Their “weapons” are not guns or bombs but rather protests, boycotts, sit-ins, civil disobedience, building of alternative institutions, and hundreds of other nonviolent tactics. Combined with the use of traditional political and legal means, these movements have and continue to shape political, social and economic change across the globe.

This course, part 3 of our civil resistance series, examines how nonviolent movements can sustain and build on the gains they have made and how to transition into stable, sound, and inclusive governance.

Learning Objectives

Participants in this course will:

  • Learn from a diverse set of activists, scholars and practitioners through stories, research, and exercises.
  • Transform how they analyze and think about conflict – its value, mode, and outcomes.
  • Engage with a growing community of learners and experts enrolled in the course through a continuous series of live, interactive, and collaborative online events.
  • Co-create new knowledge and insights to enhance and update the course as the field evolves.

Activists, civil society leaders, scholars, regional experts, policymakers from governments and international organizations, journalists, religious figures, educators/trainers, and those with a keen interest in how ordinary people are transforming conflicts through nonviolent action are encouraged to enroll and join this powerful global conversation.

If you cannot view the video, click here to download it.

Agenda

Chapter 1 - Post-Conflict Governance

This chapter introduces the challenges activists face after the movement and in sustaining their message. It discusses the role nonviolent campaigns have in establishing post-conflict democracy, highlighting the importance of good governance. It presents the strategic framework for stabilization and reconstruction.

Chapter 2 - From Protest to Politics

The purpose of this chapter is to examine the different types of actors that work to establish or re-establish a system of good governance and identify tensions that may arise in a post-conflict environment. It provides insight on sustaining civic engagement and how groups work to fight corruption, while examining case studies in India and Brazil.

Chapter 3 - Gender, Intersectionality, and Nonviolent Resistance

This chapter defines gender and examines the influence of gender dynamics on women’s contributions to nonviolent movements. It discusses the contributions intersectionality adds to a movement and why both gender and intersectionality are necessary to reflect on.

Chapter 4 - Conclusion

This chapter discusses the impact of Mohandas Gandhi’s work provided the framework for and inspired change in Poland. This chapter will assess the learner’s understanding of key concepts presented throughout this course and provide a space for learners to reflect on the course material.

Course Instructors

Maria J. Stephan

Maria J. Stephan

Guest Experts

  • Althea Middleton-Detzner, Director, Peacebuilding Engineers Program, PeaceTech Lab
  • Shaazka Beyerle, Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Kathleen Kuenhast, Director, Gender Policy and Strategy, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Illana Lancaster, Senior Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Debra Liang-Fenton, Senior Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Alison Milofsky, Director, Curriculum and Training Design, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Ann-Sofie Jesperson, Board Member, Rhize

Related Publications

What Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Movement Can Learn from the Past

What Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Movement Can Learn from the Past

Thursday, January 21, 2021

By: Miranda Rivers; Carlos Mendoza

Guatemalans have once again risen up by the thousands to demand major changes in how their country is governed. Their demands are intended to usher in reforms that will improve quality of life for citizens reeling from the impacts of two deadly hurricanes, as well as health and economic crises that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The demonstrations are reminiscent of the 2015 protests that prompted the resignations of top officials, including the country’s president. However, that movement fell short of broader, structural change. This time around, protesters can draw on lessons learned from the past to achieve long-term reform and target Guatemala’s persistent systems of corruption.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action; Democracy & Governance

2021 Will See More Global Protest: Can It Remain Peaceful?

2021 Will See More Global Protest: Can It Remain Peaceful?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

By: Jonathan Pinckney; Emmanuel Davalillo Hidalgo

After years of steadily rising nonviolent action movements from 2009 to 2019, the eruption of the coronavirus 10 months ago forced an initial lull. But movements in virtually every region of the world soon rebounded—and while destructive riots periodically seized headlines, data show that public demonstrations in 2020 remained overwhelmingly peaceful. Evidence suggests that 2021 will continue to see high levels of mass mobilization. If anything, pandemic-driven economic recession and deepening inequalities are likely to spur increased demonstrations. It will be up to governments to respond in ways that can keep mass action peaceful and engage movements to redress their grievances.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action

Combatting Corruption Amid the Pandemic

Combatting Corruption Amid the Pandemic

Thursday, December 10, 2020

By: Anthony Navone

As the world deploys unprecedented measures to stem the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the assistance that many struggling people see as a beacon of hope also raises the risk for unchecked corruption. Without a strong counterbalance demanding transparency and accountability, built at the grassroots level, anti-corruption agendas could face a debilitating blow as the pandemic wears on. However, despite the acute vulnerability of the current moment, there is emerging hope that the urgency of the pandemic could also help jumpstart solutions to perennial problems in the anti-corruption space.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action; Global Health

View All Publications