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

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

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In South Sudan, the Hope and Pain of Nonviolence

In South Sudan, the Hope and Pain of Nonviolence

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

By: Yeng Lambo

After 3 a.m., my cellphone rang with the voices of relatives shouting that South Sudan’s spasms of violence had struck our family. In the night, armed youths of a rival community had ambushed a cattle camp of my clan, killing my cousins and other young cowherds as they slept, and stealing more than 400 cattle. Men from of my clan were gathering guns to race into the darkness to counterattack. If my country is ever to have peace, we must break such cycles of vengeance. So, I pleaded with my elder aunts and uncles to prevent that battle. I still do not know if we have truly succeeded.

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In South Sudan, Civic Activists Take On COVID

In South Sudan, Civic Activists Take On COVID

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

By: Nelson Kwaje; Nicholas Zaremba

For South Sudan, COVID-19 is simply the newest plague. The world’s youngest country already faces civil war, repression, displacement, economic collapse, climate change, hunger—even swarming locusts. South Sudan’s people enter the fight against COVID under nearly the worst conditions of human development, and with 39 percent of them displaced by warfare. With a government that has been unable to provide even basic services, South Sudanese must rely on their emerging civil society, and international partnerships, to organize much of their response to the pandemic. Yet COVID now threatens vital international help for such grassroots campaigns.

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COVID Raises the Stakes for Zimbabwe’s Civil Society Movement

COVID Raises the Stakes for Zimbabwe’s Civil Society Movement

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

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Countries worldwide that suffer or risk violent conflicts face a new hazard amid the COVID-19 pandemic: governments’ use of the disease as a pretext to curtail democratic freedoms and punish opposition. As COVID has spread across Africa, Zimbabwe is emerging as one of the countries most vulnerable to the disease—and most illustrative of its threat to peace and democratization efforts on the continent. Two and a half years after a military coup installed President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his government has used the health crisis to arrest members of the opposition and journalists, and divert humanitarian aid to ruling party supporters.

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People Power’s Transformative Role in America’s National Reckoning

People Power’s Transformative Role in America’s National Reckoning

Monday, June 22, 2020

By: Miranda Rivers; Nicholas Zaremba; Maria J. Stephan

Since the murder of George Floyd, protests against police brutality and anti-Black racism have shaken the United States, with shockwaves reverberating around the world. Demonstrators have come out in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and over 1,600 towns and cities across the country, representing the broadest protests in U.S. history. Elsewhere, there have been global solidarity protests for Black Lives Matter and demonstrations calling for an end to racism in Tunis, Pretoria, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, and dozens of other cities around the world. The Black-led popular uprising has led to a national reckoning on the issue of systemic racism and police brutality against Black people in the United States.

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