Civil Resistance in Contemporary Thought and Practice


Course description

North American society has entered a new age of civil resistance. The unprecedented anti-pipeline protests at Standing Rock galvanized activist solidarity across intersectional lines and captivated news and social media, but were quickly eclipsed by the civic unrest that followed the election of Donald Trump. The Women’s March was the largest protest in US history, and airports across the country were disrupted in defiance of Trump’s Muslim ban. American society has become increasingly polarized, with rival movements escalating violence in the streets.

In this course, you will learn about these developments through the conceptual framework of civil resistance theory. According to the research literature, unarmed struggles for rights and justice—even against oppressive regimes—have proven increasingly effective in comparison to armed movements. Among the general public, however, the record of civil resistance is little known. These classes aim to provide you with an overview of the field and a conceptual framework for understanding contemporary movements.

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