Avoiding Violence: Eleven Ways Activists Can Confine Violence in Civil Resistance Campaigns

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Nonviolent resistance is a powerful tool but can also turn into civil war when repressed. Based on interviews with activists from Bahrain, Tunisia, and Syria and experts on nonviolent resistance, this article investigates how activists can reduce violence in demonstrations. Five approaches to countering regime violence are proposed: (a) disrupting violent action, (b) constructing dilemma situations, (c) avoiding direct confrontation, (d) inviting civilian peacekeepers, and (d) respecting the opponent's traditions, as well as six ways of reducing activist violence: (a) delegitimizing violence, (b) managing material availability, (c) managing emotions, (d) providing alternatives, (e) changing practices of violence, and (f) enhancing cohesion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalConflict Resolution Quarterly
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

ID: 215133037