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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Throughout human history, nonviolent social movements have pursued publicly claimed goals by exerting social, political, economic, psychological, and cultural forms of power against targeted groups or rulers. Voluntarily organizing campaigns that intentionally abstain from violence, or its threat, groups, and societies have pursued their aims through sustained collective action. Noncooperation—the withholding of obedience—is fundamental to such unarmed power, which seeks to obtain correctives when standard institutionalized political processes fail to redress grievances. Strategy and tactics are enacted through a large inventory of discrete nonviolent methods (such as boycotts, delegations, marches, vigils), sequentially applying pressure with ascending potency. Rather than favouring utopian thinking, theoreticians of civil resistance assume that political conflict cannot be eradicated. They also consider that the means determines the end—hence the importance of maintaining nonviolent discipline. During the past century, use of this technique of struggle has succeeded more often than violence.

Keywords: civil resistance, nonviolent resistance, nonviolent struggle, nonviolent movements, nonviolent methods, noncooperation, nonviolent sanctions

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