A: Introduction to Nonviolent Action

People Power and Protest since 1945: a bibliography of nonviolent action
compiled by April Carter, Howard Clark and Michael Randle

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Section A: Introduction to Nonviolent Action

Section Contents



A. Introduction to Nonviolent Action

1. Nonviolent Action: Theory, Methods and Examples

The aim here is to indicate some classic works on the theory and practice of nonviolent action/resistance, introduce authors contributing to the literature from a variety of ideological perspectives, and to note recent studies of people power.  

Theoretical writings analyse the nature and dynamics of nonviolent action and discuss political, sociological and psychological explanations for the impact of nonviolent protest. The interpretation of power is a key issue, and a few of the titles listed are chosen partly for this reason; some of them have also inspired those engaging in resistance.  

Nonviolent action has (as noted in the Introduction) become closely associated with the concept of ‘direct action’ since the 1950s, although direct action with its syndicalist roots is still open to interpretations which endorse some forms of violence. Several titles on direct action are therefore included.  

Nonviolent action is even more closely associated with the concept of ‘civil disobedience’. The justification for disobeying unjust laws, or illegally challenging unjust regimes, has been elaborated (with different emphases) by key practitioners of civil disobedience such as Henry Thoreau, who went to jail for refusing to pay tax which would support slavery and the war on Mexico, Gandhi and Martin Luther King. These classic statements are frequently reprinted in various collections on nonviolent action or on civil disobedience listed below. The US Civil Rights Movement, civil disobedience against nuclear weapons and draft resistance to the Vietnam war sparked an academic debate among jurists and political theorists (referred to in some of the titles below). The most notable examination of the circumstances in which civil disobedience is justified within parliamentary democracies was provided by John Rawls, who in his landmark book A Theory of Justice (1972) explored the issue in depth in Chapter Six. Briefer summaries of Rawls’ position (which is similar to Gandhi’s) are available elsewhere, perhaps most accessibly in H.A. Bedau (ed.), Civil Disobedience (see below).  

There is now a growing literature on nonviolent action and people power, so although the movements of the 1950s and 1960s prompted a number of books, many titles are quite recent and reflect the manifold examples of people power in the last 30 years. There are also quite a few edited collections which introduce key texts and/or provide a wide range of
examples of the use of nonviolent action, and many of these are listed below. See also A.2, A.3, and A.4.  

1. Ackerman, Peter and Jack Duvall, A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict, New York and Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2000, pp. 544.

2. Ackerman, Peter and Christopher Kruegler, Strategic Nonviolent Conflict: The Dynamics of People Power in the Twentieth Century, Westport CT, Praeger, 1993, pp. 366.  

Traces the emergence of strategic nonviolent conflict, discusses the principles involved and relates these to some of the major nonviolent struggles in the 20th century.  

3. Arendt, Hannah, On Violence, London, Allen Lane, 1970, pp. 106.  

A critical examination by major political theorist of the nature of power and violence (with examples from contemporary movements), in which Arendt concludes that violence is not only different from power, as she defines it, but its opposite. 

4. Bedau, Hugo Adam (ed.), Civil Disobedience: Theory and Practice, Indianapolis, Bobbs Merrill, 1969, pp. 282.  

Provides wide range of contributions on the case for and against civil disobedience, including classic essays by Henry Thoreau and Martin Luther King, Bertrand Russell on civil disobedience against nuclear weapons, and Noam Chomsky and others on draft resistance to the Vietnam war and John Rawls’ ‘Justification for civil disobedience’.  

5. Benewick, Robert and Trevor Smith (eds.), Direct Action and Democratic Politics, London, Allen and Unwin, 1972, pp. 324.  

Part 1 surveys historical and theoretical issues related to direct action and role of political violence – Benewick stresses that they are distinct, but most contributors do not. There is no specific discussion of nonviolence. Part 2 provides descriptive analyses of particular campaigns in Britain, and Part 3 includes reflections on the role of the state, political parties and the media.  

6. Bleiker, Roland, Popular Dissent, Human Agency and Global Politics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 289. 

Theorizes transnational ‘transversal’) dissent, looking back to De Boetie’s renaissance theory of power and tracing evolution of modern collective action, and draws on Foucault to explore a ‘discursive’ concept of power. Provides a critique of Sharp’s ‘consent’ theory of power, illustrated by analysis of East German political and cultural dissent culminating in the collapse of the Berlin Wall.  

7. Carter, April, Direct Action and Democracy Today, Cambridge, Polity, 2005, pp. 298.  

Focuses on links between democracy and nonviolent direct action; chapters 1 & 3 in particular refer to a wide range of predominantly nonviolent campaigns and chapter 4 covers the recent resistance to multinationals and global neoliberalism. The second part of the book raises theoretical issues and refers inter alia to liberal debates about civil disobedience. Her earlier book, Direct Action and Liberal Democracy (London, Routledge, 1973, pp. 169), made a case for nonviolent direct action in parliamentary systems. 

8. Case, Clarence Marsh, Non-Violent Coercion: A Study in Methods of Social Pressure [1923] New York, Garland, 1972, pp. 423.  

Early sociological study of nonviolent action in social movements and of Gandhian strategy.  

9. Cohen, Carl, Civil Disobedience: Conscience, Tactics and the Law, New York, Columbia University Press, 1971, pp. 222.  

Considers arguments for, and objections to, the use of civil disobedience. Argues that it is important to take tactical considerations into account when deciding whether or not to engage in civil disobedience.  

10. Cooney, Robert and Helen Michalowski, The Power of the People: Active Nonviolence in the United States, Culver City CA, Peace Press Inc, 1977, pp. 240.  

Traces the nonviolent tradition from the Colonial period, with sections on women’s suffrage, the labour movement, anti-conscription and anti-war campaigns during both World Wars, the Civil Rights Movement and the opposition to nuclear weapons and the war in Vietnam. Well illustrated and with thumbnail sketches of several leading activists.  

11. Deming, Barbara, Revolution and Equilibrium, New York, Grossman, 1971, pp. 269.  

Collection of essays by feminist nonviolent activist and journalist, covering wide range of protests. Includes an important theoretical essay, from which the book takes its title, in which Deming confronts the case for violence made by Frantz Fanon, in his critique of colonialism, and by many US militants in the late 1960s, and argues that radical nonviolent action can be an alternative. The title essay is available as a separate pamphlet from A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012, USA.  

12. Epstein, Barbara, Political Protest and Cultural Revolution: Nonviolent Direct Action in the 1970s and 1980s, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1991, pp. 327.  

Covers environmental/peace/feminist protest in the USA, analysing key ideas and organizing methods as well as evolution of some major campaigns, for example against the Seabrook nuclear energy plant and the Livermore nuclear weapons laboratory.  

13. Gregg, Richard B., The Power of Nonviolence [1935] London, James Clark, 1960, pp. 192.  

Classic analysis of ‘moral jujitsu’ as the basis of nonviolent resistance, and in particular of Gandhi’s interpretation and strategy of nonviolent action (‘satyagraha’).  

14. Hare, A. Paul and Herbert H. Blumberg (eds.) Nonviolent Direct Action: American Cases: Social-Psychological Analyses, Washington DC, Corpus Books, 1968, pp. 575.  

Combines earlier and contemporary theoretical analyses of nonviolence (with a social-psychological emphasis) with examples of nonviolent action in Civil Rights and peace campaigns in the USA. 

15. Havel, Vaclav, ‘The power of the powerless’ in Jan Vadislav (ed.), Vaclav Havel: Living in Truth, London, Faber, 1987, pp. 36-122. (Also available in several other collections of Havel’s essays.)  

Influential analysis of ‘post-totalitarian’ society in the Soviet bloc in the 1970s, and eloquent argument for individual integrity and acts of dissent, by leading Czechoslovak playwright and dissident who became
President after 1989. This text inspired many activists in Eastern Europe at the time and others around the world, including Aung San Suu Kyi, key figure in nonviolent resistance in Burma.  

16. Helvey, Robert L., On Strategic Nonviolent Conflict: Thinking about Fundamentals, Boston MA, The Albert Einstein Institution, 2004, pp. 178. Downloadable from: http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/OSNC.pdf  

Written by a retired Colonel with the US army, this study, in the Gene Sharp school of thought, examines the basis of political power, and the methods and strategy of nonviolent struggle.  

17. Holmes, Robert L (ed.), Nonviolence in Theory and Practice, Belmont, Wadsworth, 1990, pp. 208.  

Reader with excerpts on religious roots of nonviolence, and classic essays on nonviolence and pacifism – including Thoreau, Tolstoy, Gandhi and King, and William James on ‘The moral equivalent of war’. The final sections give examples of nonviolent resistance in Occupied Europe, India, the USA, the Middle East and the Philippines. (Some essays also noted in relevant sections.)  

18. Lakey, George, Powerful Peacemaking: A Strategy for a Living Revolution, Philadelphia PA, New Society Publishers, 1987, pp. 246. Revised edition of Strategy for a Living Revolution, New York, Grossman and San Francisco, W.H. Freeman, 1973.  

Lakey analyses revolutionary popular movements (such as El Salvador and Guatemala 1944 and France 1968) and issues of cultural preparation, organization, leadership and tactics from a committed nonviolent standpoint. He also discusses how to develop and defend revolution by decentralizing power and use of nonviolent civilian defence.  

19. De Ligt, Bartelemy, The Conquest of Violence: An Essay on War and Revolution [1935], New York, Garland 1972, pp. 306, and London, Pluto Press, 1989 (with introduction by Peter van den Dungen), pp. 306.  

Classic anarchist argument for nonviolent resistance.  

20.Lynd, Staughton and Alice Lynd (eds.), Nonviolence in America: A Documentary History, Maryknoll,NY, Orbis Books, 1995, pp. 530.  

(This is a revised and extended edition of Staughton Lynd, (ed.), Nonviolence in America, Indianapolis, Bobbs Merrill, 1966.)  

Anthology includes writings by opponents of slavery, anarchists and ‘progressives’ in the 19th century, and trade unionists, conscientious objectors and peace campaigners in the 20th century. Includes the Civil Rights campaign and anti-Vietnam War protests. The revised edition covers radical Catholic resistance, nonviolent trade unionism, resistance to US imperialism in Central America in the 1980s and assistance to Central American refugees, opposition to the 1991 Gulf War and environmental protests.  

21. McAllister, Pam (ed.), Reweaving the Web of Life: Feminism and Nonviolence, Philadelphia PA, New Society, 1982, pp. 440.  

Examines feminism, pacifism and nonviolence and anti-nuclear protests in the US.  

22. Martin, Brian, and others, Nonviolent Struggle and Social Defence, ed. Shelley Anderson and Janet Larmore, London, War Resisters' International, 1991, pp. 141.  

Analysis of nonviolent action, and case studies of people power in Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Central and South America and South Africa. (Based
on a conference organised by WRI at the Bradford School of Peace Studies.) See also: Brian Martin, Wendy Varney and Adrian Vickers, ‘Political jiu-jitsu against Indonesian repression: Studying lower profile resistance’, Pacifica Review, vol. 13 no. 2 (June 2001), pp. 143-56.  

23. Miller, William Robert, Nonviolence: A Christian Interpretation, London, Allen and Unwin, 1965, 380pp.  

Discusses the nature and dynamics of nonviolent action and several nonviolent campaigns.  

24. Powers, Roger S, William B. Vogele, Christopher Kruegler and Ronald M. McCarthy (eds.), Protest, Power and Change: An Encyclopaedia of Nonviolent Action from ACT-Up to Women’s Suffrage, New York, Garland, 1997, pp. 610.  

Valuable guide to both the theory and practice of nonviolence, summarizing 104 nonviolent campaigns or actions, listing methods of protest, and examining relevant organizations and personalities.  

25. Randle, Michael, Civil Resistance, London, Fontana, 1994, pp. 259.  

Chapters 1-4 focus on the history and dynamics of nonviolent resistance and its increasing use in recent decades, with an emphasis on national resistance to oppressive regimes. The second half of the book analyses civilian (nonviolent) defence. The author deals specifically with issues of nonviolent direct action in a democracy in his monograph: Direct Action: A Threat to Democracy?, University of Bradford, Dept of Peace Studies, Peace Studies Papers Fourth Series, Working Paper 5 (May 2002.)  

26. Schell, Jonathan, The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence and the Will of the People, Allen Lane/Penguin, London, 2004, pp. 435.  

An argument by leading US intellectual on historical trends promoting nonviolence as a potential alternative to war. Part 2 ‘Nonviolence’, pp. 103-231, focuses in particular on Gandhi and dissent in Eastern Europe.  

27. Schock, Kurt, Unarmed Insurrections: People Power Movements in Nondemocracies, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2005, pp. 228.  

Seeks to address lack of explicitly comparative analysis of how nonviolent methods promote political transformation. Examines success of the
anti-apartheid movement in South Africa (1983-90), and pro-democracy movements in the Philippines (198386), Nepal (1990) and Thailand (1991-92), and explores failure of such movements in China (1989) and Burma (1988). Useful tables list major actions in each movement. Includes analysis and criticisms of ‘consent’ theory of power.  

28. Scott, James C. Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1990, pp. 251. 

Study of the more or less clandestine ‘discourse’ of subordinate groups subjected to structural domination, noting ‘hidden transcripts’ often expressed in disguised forms, e.g. rumours, songs, gesture or jokes. Argues most insubordination occurs at the level of ‘infrapolitics’, but that there are occasions when ‘the hidden transcript is spoken directly and publicly in the teeth of power’, which can lead to open protest or rebellion, as in Romania December 1989 or Chile June 1988. Chapter 8 explores these breakthroughs.

29. Sharp, Gene, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Boston, Porter Sargent, 1973, 3 volumes, pp. 902.  

Now classic analysis of theory and dynamics of nonviolent action and exhaustive list of methods with examples. Includes extensive bibliographical
references. Sharp’s consent theory of power has been debated and criticized: see Brian Martin, ‘Gene Sharp’s theory of power’, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 26, no 2 (May 1989), pp. 213-222; and Kate McGuinness, ‘Gene Sharp’s theory of power: A feminist critique of consent’, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 30, no 1 (1993), pp. 101-15.  

30. Sharp, Gene (with collaboration of Joshua Paulson and assistance of Christopher A. Miller and Hardy Merriman), Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice and
21st Century Potential
, Boston, Porter Sargent, 2005, pp. 598.  

This volume draws on Sharp’s extensive earlier work on both the theory and practice of nonviolent action. It includes 23 brief case studies of campaigns from the Russian revolution of 1905 to the Serbian people power of 2000, many well known but some (for example ‘Saving Jewish husbands in Berlin in 1943’) less so. Some of these case studies are based on research by Sharp’s collaborators. The final section looks to the future, discussing strategic guidelines and the applications of nonviolent struggle to today’s world.  

31. Sibley, Mulford Q (ed.), The Quiet Battle: Writings on the Theory and Practice of Nonviolent Resistance, New York, Doubleday, 1963, pp. 390.  

Includes extracts from variety of writings on nonviolence and accounts of nonviolent campaigns, together with a bibliography.  

32. Solnit, Rebecca, Hope in the Dark: The Untold History of People Power, London, Cannongate Books, 2005, pp. 181.  

Brief personal reflections on activism and the potential for change, touching on Zapatistas, the social justice movement, indigenous peoples’ action and the transnational opposition to war in Iraq. No index.  

33. Thompson, Mark R., Democratic Revolutions: Asia and Eastern Europe, London, Routledge, 2004, pp. 180.  

Examines popular uprisings which overthrow authoritarian regimes, assessing what conditions make popular revolt possible and are conducive to success. Includes examples from China, East Germany, the Philippines and Serbia.  

34. United Reformed Church, Nonviolent Action: A Report Commissioned for the United Reformed Church, London, SCM Press, 1973, pp. 84.  

Report by an ecumenical group whose brief was to consider whether civil and international tensions could be resolved by nonviolent methods. The
report looks at the problem of violence from a Christian perspective, summarizes some of the better known historical examples of nonviolent action, and considers related issues. Includes a chapter on ‘Nonviolent methods and international conflict’ where the possibilities of nonviolent defence are mentioned.  

35. Wehr, Paul, Heidi Burgess and Guy Burgess (eds.), Justice Without Violence, Boulder CO, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1994, pp. 301.  

This book arises out of the US Conflict Resolution Consortium’s ‘Justice Without Violence’ project. Starts with four theoretical chapters analysing literature on nonviolence and approaches to power. There are also eight varied case studies (not all of nonviolent action campaigns) exploring relations between violence and nonviolence (which is broadly defined).  

36. Zinn, Howard, Disobedience and Democracy: Nine Fallacies on Law and Order, New York, Vintage Books, 1968. Reissued by London, Pluto, 2003, pp. 148.  

Zinn is a well known radical historian and contributor to the literature on nonviolence and civil disobedience.  

37. Zunes, Stephen, Lester R. Kurtz, and Sarah Beth Asher (eds.), Nonviolent Social Movements: A Geographical Perspective, Oxford, Blackwell, 1999, pp. 330.  

Starts with brief essay on power by Kenneth Boulding and a discussion by Pam McAllister of women and nonviolent action, which critiques the masculinist bias of many works on nonviolence. The rest of the book contains well documented accounts of nonviolent action around the world, mostly focusing on the period since 1970s, though a few essays look back to earlier 20th century examples. (Individual chapters are also cited in the appropriate sections.)  

2. Gandhi and Gandhian Campaigns

Gandhi is the best known theorist and practitioner of nonviolent action, who developed his distinctive theory of ‘satyagraha’ (truth force); and the success of the movement for Indian independence has enhanced the prestige of nonviolent resistance (though not all the resistance remained nonviolent). There is a huge literature by and about Gandhi and his campaigns both in South Africa up to 1914 and in India from 1917 to 1948. M.K. Gandhi, Collected Works run to 90 chronologically arranged volumes and 10 supplementary volumes. Here a few key sources only are listed, including some well known critical assessments. (See also bibliographies under H.)

38. Bondurant, Joan V., Conquest of Violence: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict, London, Oxford University Press, 1958, pp. 269. (Revised edition University of California Press, 1969.)

Analysis of Gandhi’s approach and three campaigns in India: the 1918 Ahmedabad textile workers’ dispute, the 1919 resistance to the Rowlatt Bills and the 1930-31 Salt March.  

39. Brown, Judith M. Gandhi and Civil Disobedience: The Mahatma in Indian Politics, 1928-1934, Cambridge, Cambridge Univesity Press, 1977, pp. 414. 

Leading Gandhi scholar examines crucial phase of independence struggle from standpoint of both Congress Party and British Government.  

40. Brown, Judith M. Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1989, pp. 440.  

Sympathetic but objective biography with an emphasis on political tactics and organization.  

41. Brown, Judith M. Gandhi’s Rise to Power: Indian Politics 1915-1922, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1972, pp. 382.  

42. Chatfield, Charles, The Americanisation of Gandhi: Images of the Mahatma, New York, Garland, 1976, pp. 802.  

Contemporaneous reports and assessments of Gandhi and his campaigns published in US newspapers and political and religious journals at various periods of his life. Final sections deal with Gandhi’s impact on US society, including notably his influence on the struggle for racial justice.  

43. Copley, Antony, Gandhi: Against the Tide, Oxford, Blackwell, 1987, pp. 118.  

Brief Historical Association study giving historical context and referring to historiographical debates, noting ‘Cambridge school’ argument that internal weaknesses of British Administration main cause of independence, and ‘subaltern studies’ school which stresses autonomous resistance of peasants and workers.  

44. Dalton, Dennis, Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Power in Action, New York, Columbia University Press, 1993, pp. 279.  

Analysis of Gandhi’s concept of satyagraha, political leadership and of the 1931 Salt Satyagraha and 1947 fast, as well as covering critiques by
contemporaries and making comparisons with Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.  

45.Fischer, Louis, The Life of Mahatma Gandhi, London, Jonathan Cape 1950, pp. 593. Reissued by Granada (London) 1983.  

Lively sympathetic biography used as the basis for Richard Attenborough’s 1982 film ‘Gandhi’.  

46. Gandhi, Mohandas K. Satyagraha in South Africa, Ahmedabad, Navajivan, [1928] 1950, pp. 348.  

His own account of the seminal civil disobedience campaigns against legislation discriminating against the Indian population, and the evolution of his
strategy and theory of ‘satyagraha’.  

47. Gandhi, Mohandas K. Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, ed. Shriman Narayan, Ahmedabad, Navajivan, 1968, 6 volumes: pp. 375, 379-794, 471, 464, 514, 555.  

Includes Satyagraha in South Africa (vol. 3) as well as Gandhi’s highly personal Autobiography published 1927 (vols 1-2), important pamphlets, such as his translation of Ruskin’s Unto This Last (vol. 4), letters on key issues (vol. 5) and speeches on historic occasions (vol. 6).  

48. Hardiman, David, Gandhi in his Time and Ours: The Global Legacy of his Ideas, London, Hurst, 2003, pp. 356.  

Sympathetic but not uncritical assessment of Gandhi’s style of politics, his conflicts with the Raj and with opposing groups and critics within India, and his impact on later movements. The author has studied Gandhi, and also
‘subaltern’ movements in India, for many years.  

49. Moore, Barrington, Jr. The Social Origins of Dicatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World, London, Allen
Lane, 1967.  

Chapter 6 ‘Democracy in Asia: India and the price of peaceful change’ argues Gandhi ‘was the spokesman of the Indian peasant and village artisan’ (p. 378) and comments critically on Gandhi’s desire to return to an
‘idealized past’ of the village community purged of untouchability, and failure to challenge interests of landed aristocracy.  

50. Nanda, Bal R., Gandhi and His Critics, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 178.  

Nanda, who has also written a balanced biography of Gandhi, and studies of other Indian leaders close to Gandhi (including Gandhi’s mentor Gokhale), here examines controversial aspects of Gandhi’s life and thought.  

51. Orwell, George, ‘Reflections on Gandhi’, Partisan Review, 16 (January 1949), pp. 85-92. Reprinted in A Collection of Essays, New York, Harcourt, 1953.  

A frequently cited critical view of many aspects of Gandhi’s philosophy and life, which nevertheless recognizes his positive contribution as a politician.  

52. Overy, Bob, ‘Gandhi as a political organiser’ in Michael Randle (ed.), Challenge to Nonviolence, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, 2002, pp. 132-62.  

This is a chapter from his unpublished PhD thesis (see H.c.).  

53. Parekh, Bhikhu, Gandhi, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 111. (Past Masters series.)  

Brief account of Gandhi’s life and work and critical assessment of his ideas by political theorist and Gandhi scholar.  

54. Parekh, Bhikhu, Gandhi’s Political Philosophy: A Critical Examination, Notre Dame IN, University of Notre Dame Press, 1989, pp. 284.  

55. Sharp, Gene, Gandhi Wields the Weapon of Moral Power: Three Case Histories, Ahmedabad, Navajivan, 1960, pp. 316.  

Analyses Champaran 1917-1918, the 1930-31 Salt Satyagraha and independence campaign, and Gandhi’s last fast against Hindu-Muslim rioting, in Delhi in 1948.  

56. Shridharani, Krishnalal, War Without Violence: A Study of Gandhi’s Method and its Accomplishments, London, Gollancz, 1939, pp. 288. Reprinted by New York, Garland, 1972, pp. 351.  

Respected analysis of satyagraha. Includes final comments on role of nonviolent action in democratic states in resisting an invasion.  

57. Woodcock, George, Gandhi, London, Fontana/Collins, 1972, pp. 108. (Fontana Modern Masters Series.) 


3. Nonviolent (Civilian) Resistance and National Defence

Nonviolent action has been primarily a means of protest or of popular resistance to unjust and repressive regimes. But the effectiveness of some national campaigns of nonviolent resistance seeking national independence suggested the possibility of planning for mass noncooperation and resistance to deter aggression or undermine an occupying power. Proposals for nonviolent or ‘civilian’ defence go back to the 1920s and 1930s, but it became a subject of more thorough political and academic debate from the 1950s in the light of the new strategic situation posed by nuclear weapons. Commander Sir Stephen King Hall proposed a nonviolent defence policy for Britain in his book Defence in the Nuclear Age, London, Gollancz, 1958. Later studies drew on earlier historical campaigns, in particularly the movement for Indian independence, and examples of nonviolent resistance to Nazism (especially in Norway and Denmark), and elaborated the strategic implications of nonviolent defence. Academic analyses of nonviolent defence were commissioned in the 1970s by the Danish, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish governments, and it was discussed by Baltic governments after they achieved independence from the Soviet Union. Radical pacifists have also debated this approach using the concept of ‘social defence’. nbsp;

Advocates of civilian resistance have in addition stressed its relevance as a means of countering the threat quite often posed by the military to democracy in their own countries – that of a coup d’etat. The literature often notes the general strike against the Kapp Putsch in Germany in 1920, French civil resistance to the generals in Algeria in 1961, and (more recently) the popular opposition to the attempted Moscow coup in 1991. A less well known, and less successful, example of gradually emerging nonviolent resistance to coups occurred in Fiji after the two coups in 1987.  

58. Alternative Defence Commission, Defence Without the Bomb, London, Taylor and Francis, 1983. Chapter 7, ‘Strategies against Occupation: 2. Defence by civil resistance’, pp. 208-48, analyses the meaning and implications of nonviolent defence and considers it applicability to Britain.  

59. Boserup, Anders and Andrew Mack, War Without Weapons: Nonviolence in National Defence, London, Frances Pinter, 1974, pp. 194.  

Originally published in Danish and commissioned by the Danish government, this study examines the theory of nonviolent defence, strategic and organizational issues, historical examples and the possibility of combining nonviolent and military forms of defence.  

60. Bulletin of Peace Proposals, vol. 9, no 4 (1978).  

Issue devoted to reconsideration of nonviolent defence with contributions by leading exponents, including Sharp, Roberts and Galtung, and articles on its role in Sweden’s Total Defence strategy and on the Dutch government research project.  

61. Burrowes, Robert, The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach, Albany NY, State University of New York Press, 1996, pp. 367.  

Draws on a reinterpretation of Clausewitz’s classic work on war and discusses nature of power underlying nonviolent strategy and potential for social change.  

62. Galtung, Johan, ‘On the strategy of nonmilitary defense’ in Peace, War and Defence: Essays in Peace Research, vol. 2, Copenhagen, Christian Ejlers, 1976, pp. 378-426.  

63. Keyes, Gene, ‘Strategic non-violent defense: The construct of an option’, Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 4, no 2 (June 1981), pp. 125 -51.  

64. Martin, Brian, Social Defence, Social Change, London, Freedom Press, 1993, pp. 157.  

Anarchist perspective on civilian (nonviolent) defence. Chapter 5 is an abbreviated version of: Brian Martin, ‘Lessons in nonviolence from the
Fiji coups’, Gandhi Marg., vol. 10 no. 2 (Sept. 1988), pp. 326-39.  

65. Roberts, Adam, ‘Civil resistance to military coups’, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 12 no. 1 (1975), pp. 19-36.  

Discusses resistance to Kapp Putsch in Germany 1922 and attempted coup in France by generals based in Algeria 1961.  

66. Roberts, Adam (ed.), Civilian Resistance as a National Defence, Hardmondsworth, Penguin, 1969. (Originally published as The Strategy of Civilian Defence, London, Faber and Faber, 1967.)  

Chapters 4-8 cover the technique of nonviolent action and campaigns of national nonviolent resistance to occupation and to Nazi or Communist regimes, the Introduction discusses the Czechoslovak resistance to Soviet occupation in 1968, and Chapter 9 by Basil Liddell Hart compares guerrilla and nonviolent resistance.  

67. Schmid, Alex P, Social Defence and Soviet Military Power: An Inquiry into the Relevance of an Alternative Defence Concept, Leiden, Centre for the Study of Social Conflict, State University of Leiden, 1985, pp. 469.  

A generally sceptical assessment of social (nonviolent) defence as an alternative to military preparations against putative Soviet aggression. Concludes that it is not a
substitute for nuclear deterrence or military defence, but could supplement them. Useful discussion of 10 conditions favourable to (or crucial for) success of social defence.  

See also Howard Clark, Civil Resistance in Kosovo (D III 1.b.) who discusses Schmid’s conditions.  

68. Semelin, Jacques, Unarmed Against Hitler: Civilian Resistance in Europe, 19391943, Westport CT, Praeger, 1993, pp. 198. (Translation of Sans armes face a Hitler, Paris, editions Payot, 1989.)  

Examines the main traits of Nazi occupation in Europe, the complexities of noncooperation, and the role of social cohesion and public opinion in
mounting an effective opposition. Includes a chapter on civilian resistance to genocide and considers why the Final Solution was hampered or even prevented in certain countries. Final chapter on ‘The new field of civilian-based defence strategies’.  

69. Sharp, Gene and Bruce Jenkins, The Anti-Coup, Boston MA, The Albert Einstein Institution, 2003, pp. 64.  

Sets out in short accessible form a nonviolent strategy for defeating or deterring military coups.  

70. Sharp, Gene, Civilian-Based Defense: A Post-Military Weapons System, Princeton NJ, Princeton University Press, 1990, pp. 166.  

A strategic analysis by leading exponent of civilian defence.  

71. Summy, Ralph, ‘Nonviolence and the case of the extremely ruthless opponent’, Pacifica Review (May/June 1994), pp. 1-29. Also available in M. Kumar and P. Low (eds.), Legacy and Future of Nonviolence, New Delhi, Gandhi
Peace Foundation, 1996, pp. 141-57.  

72. Varney, Wendy and Brian Martin, ‘Lessons from the 1991 Soviet coup’, Peace Research, vol. 32 no 1 (Feb 2000), pp. 52-68.  

See also: de Ligt, Conquest of Violence, chapter 12; Martin et al, Nonviolent Struggle and Social Defence (esp. Griffen, Vanessa, ‘Social defence against coups: The case of Fiji’, pp. 59-67); and Randle, Civil Resistance, chapters 5 and 6 and Appendix listing sources on civilian defence (A.1.) A further reference on resistance to the attempted 1961 general’s coup in France is: Talbott, The War Without a Name, chapter 9 (see G.3.d.) For analysis of mass popular resistance thwarting right wing coup attempt in 2002 in Venezuela, see section D.IV. Introduction.  

An important website for research on nonviolent resistance to military coups, occupation or dictatorship is: www.aeinstein.org  

(The Anti-Coup and two other pamphlets by Gene Sharp, There Are Realistic Alternatives and From Dictatorship to Democracy are all
available on this site.) 


4. Nonviolent Intervention and Accompaniment

Peace movement activists have frequently tried to intervene either to resist particular forms of militarism, injustice or oppression, or to express
solidarity with those suffering. Some acts of protest (for example sailing into nuclear test areas, see G.3.) have resulted in widespread publicity. Intervention to demonstrate transnational solidarity (for example with Palestinians resisting Israeli military action – see section D.V.2.) has also sometimes increased international awareness of the issue.  

Intervening to prevent war – Maude Royden’s proposal for a ‘Peace Army’ to create a barrier against Japanese aggression in China in the 1930s is an early example – has proved difficult to implement for political, strategic and practical reasons. But there are some interesting examples. Interventions with more limited objectives, such as monitoring conflict or protective accompaniment of individuals under threat, have yielded rather more promising results. The ‘non-partisan’ interventions
organized by Peace Brigades International, and now also envisaged by the Nonviolent Peace Force, are intended to ‘create space’ for civil society actors. While raising human rights concerns with the local authorities, and also internationally, those intervening avoid making condemnatory statements.  

This section includes a number of comparative studies of intervention, and accounts of some specific cases.  

A major source only available in electronic form is:  

Schweitzer, Christine with Donna Howard, Mareike Junge, Corey Levine, Carl Stieren and Tim Wallis, Nonviolent Peace Force Feasibility Study 2002, available at www.nvpf.org  

This study provides the most thorough record of the practices of existing and recent peace teams in the field, as well as of the selection, training and support of personnel. Christine Schweitzer, the first coordinator of the Balkan Peace Team and later programme director of the Nonviolent Peace Force, has written widely on this subject, including: Christine Schweitzer and Howard Clark, Balkan Peace Team Final Evaluation (BPT, Bund fur Soziale Verteidigung, 2002), downloadable from www.Soziale-verteidigung.de 

73. Blincoe, Nicholas and others, Peace Under Fire: Israel, Palestine and the International Solidarity Movement, London, Verso, 2004, pp. 240.
 

Collection of news reports, web-logs and diaries of International Solidarity Movement activists engaged in peaceful resistance to Israeli military action in the occupied territories, including contributions relating to Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall, who were both killed.  

74. Boardman, Elizabeth F., Taking a Stand: A Guide to Peace Teams and Accompaniment Projects, Philadephia PA, New Society Publishers, 2005, pp. 177.  

Description by participants of work done by peace and accompaniment groups, who runs them and what is involved in joining them. Chapters on Christian
Peacemaker Team, Voices in the Wilderness project in Iraq, Peace Brigades International and the International Solidarity Movement (involved in Palestine).  

75. Bhatia, Bela, Jean Dreze and Kathy Kelly, War and Peace in the Gulf: Testimonies of the Gulf Peace Team, Nottingham, Spokesman Books, 2001, pp. 181.  

Account by participants of transnational team which went to Iraq to try to intervene between the two sides in the 1991 Gulf War. (See also Robert J. Burrowes ‘The Persian Gulf War and the Gulf Peace Team’ in Moser-Puangsuwan and Weber, Nonviolent Intervention Across Borders, pp. 305-18 – see below in this section.)  

76. Griffin-Nolan, Ed., Witness for Peace: A Story of Resistance, Westminster, John Knox Press, 1991, pp. 237.  

Account of border and conflict monitoring in Nicaragua in 1980s (in attempt to restrain the US-backed Contras and gather evidence on impact of US foreign policy), and also of accompaniment of Guatemalan refugees returning home in 1989. (Extracts from this book available in Moser-Puangsuwan and Weber, Nonviolent Intervention Across Borders, pp. 279-304 – see below in this section.) The approach adopted in Nicaragua was extended to other parts of Central America and to Colombia in the 1990s. See also: Witness for Peace, Ten Years of Accompaniment, Washington DC, Witness for Peace, 1994.  

77. Hare, A. Paul and Herbert H. Blumberg, (eds.), Liberation Without Violence: A Third Party Approach, London, Rex Collings, 1977, pp. 368.  

Covers both ‘partisan’ nonviolent resistance, for example resistance to extension of a military camp on the Larzac plateau in France, and ‘nonpartisan’ nonviolent intervention to try to prevent violent conflict, for example the role of the Gandhian peace brigade (Shanti Sena) in the Ahmedabad riots of 1969. Parts 3 and 4 analyse examples of partisan and nonpartisan intervention by international teams at a transnational level. Several chapters are listed in later sections. Part 5 analyses processes of change and applying the third-party approach. There is an extensive bibliographic guide, pp. 288-341.

78. Mahony, Liam and Enrique Eguren, Unarmed Bodyguards: International Accompaniment for the Protection of Human Rights, West Harford CT, Kumarian, 1997, pp. 288

Authoritative account of work of Peace Brigades International in a number of countries in both Central and South America and in Asia by former
volunteers. The authors interviewed generals connected with Guatemalan death squads to discover how far Peace Brigades International had inhibited the squads. See also: Coy, Patrick G., ‘Cooperative accompaniment in Sri Lanka with Peace Brigades International’ in Charles Chatfield, Ron Pagnucco and Jackie Smith (eds.), Solidarity Beyond the State: The Dynamic of Social Movements, Syracuse NJ, Syracuse University Press, 1997.

79. Moser-Puangsuwan, Yeshua and Thomas Weber, (eds.), Nonviolent Intervention Across Borders: A Recurrent Vision, Honolulu, Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace, 2000, pp. 369.

Analyses different kinds of ‘intervention’ and notes history of earlier 20th century attempts. It provides accounts of transnational actions around the world designed to mobilize protest, provide assistance, promote reconciliation and development, witness human rights violations and ‘accompany’ endangered
individuals, highlight danger (e.g. of nuclear testing), demonstrate solidarity, or to prevent or halt war. Includes chronology and summary of actions with suggestions for further reading, pp. 343-56.

80. Olson, Theodore, ‘The World Peace Brigade: Vision and failure’, Our Generation Against Nuclear War, vol.3, no. 1 (1964), pp. 34-41.  

The World Peace Brigade was founded in 1962 to develop the potential of transnational action. Its first project in Central Africa was planning a march in support of Zambian claims to independence (the march became unnecessary); the second was the Delhi Peking Friendship March to promote understanding at the time of the brief border war between India and China. For more on World Peace Brigade, see Prasad, War is a Crime Against Humanity (G.3.a.), pp. 325-331.  

81. Peace News, no. 2441 (December 2000-February 2001) Special issue on ‘Interventions’ examines different types of intervention, including nonviolent direct action, and reviews some relevant books.  

82. Rigby, Andrew, ‘Unofficial nonviolent intervention: Examples from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 32, no.4 (November 1995), pp. 453-67. Also available (with discussion of issues raised) as ‘Nonviolent intervention’ in Michael Randle (ed.), Challenge to Nonviolence, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, 2002, pp. 51-74.  

83. Weber, Thomas, ‘From Maude Royden’s Peace Army to the Gulf Peace Team: An assessment of unarmed interpositionary peace forces’, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 30, no. 1 (1993), pp. 45-64. See also: Keyes, Gene, ‘Peacekeeping by unarmed buffer forces: Precedents and proposals’, Peace and Change, vol. 5, no 2/3 (1978), pp. 3-10.  

84. Weber, Thomas, Gandhi’s Peace Army: The Shanti Sena and Unarmed Peacekeeping, Syracuse NY, Syracuse University Press, 1996, pp. 293. Foreword Elise Boulding.  

Examines how the Gandhian movement in India developed Gandhi’s idea that nonviolent volunteers should act in place of armed police (for example to quell riots) and provide a nonviolent alternative to the army. Includes substantial bibliography pp. 267-84.  

See also Arrowsmith, To Asia in Peace (G.2.a), and section G.3.d.


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