Civil Resistance and Conflict Transformation: Transitions from armed to nonviolent struggle, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Civil Resistance and Conflict Transformation

Transitions from armed to nonviolent struggle, 1st Edition

Edited by Véronique Dudouet


262 pages

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This book investigates the decision-making process, rationale and determining factors which underlie the strategic shifts of armed movements from violent to nonviolent resistance.

The revival of global interest in the phenomenon of nonviolent struggle since the 2011 Arab Spring offers a welcome opportunity to revisit the potential of unarmed resistance as an alternative pathway out of armed conflicts, in cases where neither military (or counter-insurgency) nor negotiated solutions have succeeded. This volume brings together academics from various disciplinary traditions and offers a wide range of case studies – including South Africa, Palestine and Egypt – through which to view the changes from violence to nonviolence within self-determination, revolutionary or pro-democracy struggles.

While current historiography focuses on armed conflicts and their termination through military means or negotiated settlements, this book is a first attempt to investigate the nature and the drivers of transitions from armed strategies to unarmed methods of contentious collective action on the part of non-state conflict actors. The text concentrates in particular on the internal and relational factors which underpin the decision-making process, from a change of leadership and a pragmatic re-evaluation of the goals and means of insurgency in the light of evolving inter-party power dynamics, to the search for new local or international allies and the cross-border emulation or diffusion of new repertoires of action.

This book will be of interest to students of security studies, peace and conflict studies, political sociology and IR in general.


"Civil Resistance and Conflict Transformation is clearly groundbreaking and I am convinced that a new sub-field of civil resistance has been shaped." -- Stellan Vinthagen, Editor of Journal of Resistance Studies

Table of Contents

1.Introduction, Véronique Dudouet 2. Western Sahara: Nonviolence as a last resort, Jacob Mundy and Stephen Zunes 3. From the mountains and jungles to the villages and streets: transitions from violent to nonviolent resistance in West Papua, Jason MacLeod 4. Evolution of armed to unarmed resistance in Palestine, Mazin Qumsiyeh 5. South Africa: The Townships Rise Up, Stephen Zunes 6. From Armed Struggle to Interaction with Civil Society: Chiapas’ Zapatista National Liberation Army, Guiomar Rovira Sancho 7. Two Sides of the Same Coin: Indigenous Armed Struggle and Indigenous Nonviolent Resistance in Colombia, José Armando Cárdenas Sarrias and Katrin Planta 8. Egypt’s Revolution and the Transformation of Armed Islamist Movements towards unarmed activism, Omar Ashour 9. Nepal’s Maoists: Violent Revolution and Non-Violent Political Activism, Manish Thapa 10.Conclusion, Véronique Dudouet

About the Editor

Véronique Dudouet is senior researcher and programme director at the Berghof Foundation in Berlin, Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution

The field of peace and conflict research has grown enormously as an academic pursuit in recent years, gaining credibility and relevance amongst policy makers and in the international humanitarian and NGO sector. The Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution series aims to provide an outlet for some of the most significant new work emerging from this academic community, and to establish itself as a leading platform for innovative work at the point where peace and conflict research impacts on International Relations theory and processes.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security