Call for Research Proposals on Civil Resistance Movements and Material Resources
Waging effective nonviolent struggle depends on the voluntary mobilization and coordinated efforts of ordinary people. The size, capacity, knowledge and skills of a movement’s human resources are key. Yet movements also strive to harness material resources in order to propel themselves and maintain momentum. There is relatively less research about how nonviolent activists and movements around the world gain, secure, manage, and use these material resources to help them wage sustained and successful campaigns.
ICNC is interested in supporting quantitative and/or qualitative research that will shed light on this under-explored aspect of civil resistance practice. Material resources include:
- financial resources;
- non-monetary material assets such as equipment, physical infrastructure; and other movement resources (including materials such as posters, t-shirts, banners, and movement literature);
- in-kind contributions such as donated printing services or room and board for activists.
Nonviolent movements and campaigns may experience several challenges in their efforts to gain, secure, manage, and use such resources. These include:
- Many campaigns and movements do not have a traditional organizational infrastructure that is designed to systematically acquire and allocate material resources across various individuals, groups, structures and campaigns;
- Addressing the issue of who gets to make decisions about how movement resources are allocated can be challenging if formal structures and leadership are not developed, and if trust among different groups is not strong. Yet many movements are forced to function without formal structures and leadership, and mobilizing groups may only have weak ties to each other;
- Many campaigns and movements do not have formal mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of how their resources are used;
- In non-democratic contexts, resources may have to be acquired, stored, managed, distributed, and used in a clandestine manner. Sometimes resources must be hidden to stave off a government’s crackdown and then tapped at the right moment and with a degree of efficiency that maximize their impact.