New Volume on Nonviolent Resistance

Devoted to nonviolent conflict and civil resistance, the new issue of Research in Social Movements, Conflict, and Change is available now. The volume provides a wide range of case studies around the world including Northern Ireland, Turkey, Iran, Post-Communist States, and Palestine. The articles are also engaging with new conceptual paradigms. In our article, Thou Shall Not Protest!, Mary Bernstein and I utilized Multi-Institutional Perspective approach to explain non-confrontational strategies of some Islamic activists. The issue editors, Sharon Nepstad and Lester Kurtz, introduced Thou Shall Not Protest! as the following:

Another chapter in this volume addresses Sharp’s singular focus on the state and political power. Mustafa Gurbuz and Mary Bernstein examine two Islamic movements in Turkey that responded differently to a conflict over a politician’s decision to wear a headscarf in parliament. The National Outlook movement mobilized demonstrations while the Gulen movement did not. Gurbuz and Bernstein argue that the latter group’s decision was rooted in their belief that power is dispersed throughout civil society and therefore the state should not be the sole target for resistance activities. Instead of directly confronting political authorities, Gulen organizers chose “strategic nonconfrontation” so that they could pursue their goals through other avenues such as contesting everyday cultural practices. Thus, the authors reveal how new forms of nonviolent resistance become evident when we expand our view beyond the state and challenges to political authorities.

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