FSI is an intense, six day exploration of nonviolent conflict and civil resistance. At times participants may feel overwhelmed by the number of ideas, concepts, theories and case studies with which you will be presented. They probably feel like one amazing conversation will start before another one has ended.

To help keep their thoughts and learning organized we have laid out 15 guiding questions to keep in mind during each of the presentations and during conversations throughout the week. Our goal is, at the end of six days, for every participant to be able to answer or provide an informed response to each of these 15 questions:

  1. What is civil resistance and what is it not?
  2. What theory of power explains how civil resistance is used against authoritarian governments?
  3. What are the three most important determinants of success in a nonviolent movement?
  4. What are the main categories of nonviolent tactics and examples of specific tactics that can be found in each of these categories?
  5. What is the difference between strategy and tactics?
  6. How does the success rate of nonviolent civil resistance compare and contrast to the success rate of violent resistance?
  7. What is “constructive work” and how does it affect the sustainability of civil resistance movements?
  8. What are the “emergent properties” in a society or nation that has undergone a broad movement of civil resistance? How does it change more than just who holds power?
  9. How can or should civil resistance movements react or respond to violent repression?
  10. How can or should civil resistance movements deal with those who are fighting for the same cause but doing so through violent insurrection or tactics?
  11. How has media coverage typically misinterpreted or misrepresented civil resistance when reporting on such conflicts? Why does this occur?
  12. What are ways in which civil resistance movements separate unjust or oppressive power-holders from their economic support and/or police and military?
  13. In what ways are external sanctions an effective way to weaken the control of repressive governments and helping movements for freedom and independence? How can external sanctions be used so as not to hurt ordinary people?
  14. Beyond public space for physical protests, what are other kinds of “space” movements need for other kinds of actions? How can space and action be combined to give a movement range for enlarging participation?
  15. How do these questions apply to your work? How do you plan to share this knowledge with your networks?