Literature Nonviolent action Resistance research

Collection of civil resistance literature

A new guide for all that is interested in the existing research on civil resistance:

Posted by Stellan Vinthagen on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Effective Nonviolent action Repression Resistance research Revolution

Nonviolent resistance spreads globally – but is it effective?

Nonviolent resistance is nowadays spreading globally. As in Macedonia and Guatemala, mass protests are happening in the…

Posted by Stellan Vinthagen on Monday, September 7, 2015

Resistance research

Activism is no quick-fix

This op-ed by a seasoned civil society leader is not saying anything new but it does highlight key problems with the…

Posted by Stellan Vinthagen on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Nonviolent action Resistance research

The backfire of repression

It is vital for us to try to understand how violent repression of oppositional movements by authoritarian regimes…

Posted by Stellan Vinthagen on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Humour Literature Resistance research

It is fun but what is it?

This is a humours political stunt of some kind. It is done in Brazil and is directed against those that tend to park on parking lots reserved for disabled people.

On the same theme, other activists somewhere else did this creative action (that most probably created anger and frustration, which was the whole point with the action):

Posted by Stellan Vinthagen on Wednesday, July 29, 2015


A year ago Majken Jul Sörensen defended her dissertation at the University of Wollongong  with the PhD “Humours Political Stunts”. It is an excellent analysis of the role of humour in resistance, a book a very much recommend. It is now available through the publishing house Irene that specialises in literature on nonviolent activism and resistance research. Check it out!

A year ago Majken Jul Sörensen defended her dissertation at the University of Wollongong with the PhD "Humours…

Posted by Stellan Vinthagen on Monday, August 17, 2015

Literature Nonviolent action Resistance research

Monograph series on nonviolent action

The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) has started a series of publications on nonviolent action and the…

Posted by Stellan Vinthagen on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Resistance research

The urban struggle for public spaces

The urban ethnographer Garrett is mapping the public spaces in London and look for how activists are subverting private space by creating temporary autonomous zones.

Posted by Stellan Vinthagen on Saturday, August 15, 2015

Activist event Resistance research

A proposal for the largest civil disobedience action in world history

On Friday June 5, Stellan Vinthagen, the Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance and Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was invited to give a talk for Greenpeace via a streamed meeting with the office of Greenpeace Sweden Nordic, in Stockholm. The talk was on “Civil Disobedience, Mass Action and Climate Justice” and focused on the problems and possibilities of doing nonviolent civil disobedience in mass mobilizations. Based on existing research Stellan outlined factors that facilitate mass mobilizations, the risks when organizing mass actions, as well as the experiences of and methods applied by those that have done civil disobedience with thousands of participants. For each of the different problems presented, at least one possibility was suggested. Stellan used the opportunity to also give a specific proposal: that some world leading organization with enough legitimacy and capacity needs to take the initiative to organize the world’s largest civil disobedience action in connection to the COP21 conference in Paris. A way to do this is modeled after how the Catholic Pope is elected – the, hopefully, hundreds of thousands of activists should encircle the conference building and “lock-in” the delegates, until they find an agreement on climate justice that the world needs. The idea is to do the opposite to what activists did in Seattle 1999 at the World Trade Organisation summit. Instead of disturbing the meeting of the representatives of the world, as in Seattle, the idea is that the people shall be waiting outside, gathering on the streets and refusing to let any of the delegates out (but of course letting food inside when needed) until the politicians do their job and act as the representatives of the people and the world by making sure to stop the climate change. After the talk, there was a discussion with the participants, and those that attended the After Work session at the office in Stockholm continued with discussions for several hours. The talk exists online with open access for all interested through Greenpeace Greenwire, or on YouTube: