IGA-388M: The Strategic Application of Nonviolent Action

Semester: January

Credit: 0.5

Syllabus: Click here for syllabus

Faculty: Douglas Johnson

Schedule

Day Time Location
First Day
Meet Day HKS
Review

Description

Why were Arab Spring revolutionaries able to topple deep-seated autocrats while the American Occupy movement failed to achieve its stated goals? It is commonly believed that popular uprisings occur spontaneously and that bringing crowds to the streets is enough to achieve social change. However, impactful campaigns require skills and strategies. Nonviolent opposition movements have challenged governmental tyranny and electoral fraud using a variety tactics -- from demonstrations and strikes to boycotts and civil disobedience -- and achieved success. This course brings together theory and practice of strategic nonviolence to evaluate the nature of nonviolent social change. Students will study the principles and practicalities of nonviolent conflict through analysis of historical and contemporary cases of civilian-led struggles. These include movements for civil and political rights, struggles against dictatorships and authoritarian regimes, and movements for self-determination against foreign occupations.Doug Johnson, the course instructor, will be assisted by Srdja Popovic and Slobodan Djinovic, two of the founders and leaders of Otpor!, the movement that is largely credited with bringing down Serbian President Slobodan Milosovic. They currently lead an NGO, CANVAS, that advises and consults with non-violent movements around the world.