Civilians are often assumed to be victims or passive agents in civil war. However, civil society actors and nonviolent movements are far more active than is often acknowledged and they have used a vast array of nonviolent action tactics to foster peace — from forming local peace communities to organizing protests and strikes to demanding warring parties come to the negotiating table. Civil society actors have also participated in negotiation processes, either as negotiation delegations themselves or as observers, and have played active roles in the monitoring and implementation stages of peace processes as well. But what civilian nonviolent action strategies are effective in promoting peaceful conflict resolution in civil war?

To better understand the intersections of nonviolent action and peacebuilding processes, join USIP for the second in a series of four events on people power, peace, and democracy. The event series will highlight multiple groundbreaking research projects and feature insights from activists and international practitioners and policymakers to provide viewers with actionable takeaways.  

This event will present new research from USIP that explores effective strategies for civilian nonviolent action amid civil war and offers lessons learned for activists working to achieve their goals in conflict-affected environments — as well as for policymakers and donors to aid peace processes and achieve sustainable peace. 

Learn more about the first event in the series. Take part in the conversation on Twitter with #PeoplePower4Peace.

Panelists

Jonathan Pinckney, moderator 
Senior Researcher, Nonviolent Action, U.S. Institute of Peace  

Jacob Bul Bior 
Cofounder and Media Coordinator, Anataban Arts Initiative 

Luke Abbs 
Researcher, BLG Data Research Centre, University of Essex

Esra Cuhadar 
Senior Expert, Dialogue and Peace Processes, U.S. Institute of Peace

Marina Petrova 
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Università Bocconi 

Waheed Zaheer 
Journalist and Peacebuilding Trainer

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We are in one of the largest waves of nonviolent resistance in history. Even the COVID-19 pandemic could not stop massive uprisings in Thailand, Belarus, Myanmar and elsewhere as ordinary citizens use nonviolent tactics to challenge entrenched authoritarians and demand reform. Yet, even as more and more people have hit the streets to push for change, the Varieties of Democracy project reports that global democracy has never been weaker and the long trend of growing autocracy has only accelerated. What can be done to turn this around?

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In India, Women Propel World’s Largest Protest Movement

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