It always seems impossible until it’s done
– Nelson Mandela

How can ordinary people work together to win rights, democratic reforms, and social justice without resorting to violence, which research has shown limits a movement’s effectiveness? How can we combine efforts at lobbying, litigation, and elections (where available) with powerful nonviolent civil resistance strategies and tactics for maximum effectiveness?

The Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action offers both practitioners and academics access to global knowledge and experience in the theory, history and practice of effecting needed political change through nonviolent means.

This course is designed for those unwilling to tolerate injustice and human rights violations and are committed to finding evermore effective nonviolent strategies for change. It is meant for activists, scholars, and professionals who want to better understand how to change their communities, cities, countries, and even the world.

If you want to make history, the Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action will help you utilize the power of strategic nonviolent action campaigns to counter outrage and fight for truth, democracy and liberty.

In six days you will learn:

How strategic nonviolent action works – and its theory of both power and change

Why nonviolent civil resistance campaigns succeed or fail

What is the record of civil resistance compared to armed struggle or movements with organized violent flanks

What kinds of nonviolent strategies and tactics can be innovated and used to reach your goals

What are the key lessons of a wide range of cases of civil resistance movements and campaigns from the region and around the world.

August 19 – August 25

Kyiv, Ukraine

The total cost of the program is $400. The cost includes activities, meals, and overnight accommodation for participants. You can apply for a scholarship if needed.

Deadline for applications is 23.59 (Kyiv time) June 10, 2018.

ATTENTION! Dealine for the applicants from Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Poland and the countries of the South Caucasus is extended until 23.59 June 15.

Who Should Apply
Those of you who study or are engaged in civil resistance and activism, representatives of civil society organizations, specialists from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, journalists, and all concerned citizens who are curious about how nonviolent civil resistance movements and campaigns are especially welcome to apply.

How to Apply and Register

  1. Read this webpage carefully
  2. Fill out and submit the Application form
  3. If selected, pay a deposit of $50
  4. If needed, make a formal request to receive a scholarship to cover training, accommodation, and meals, the cost of which is $400
  5. Make travel arrangements, arrange for VISA if necessary, and stay in touch with Action institute organizers by phone or email.

Institute Sponsors

The Institute is a joint education effort by the four local and international partners listed below. This collaboration will also be reflected in the Institute’s program and the instructors. A number of local faculty, practitioners and activists will present at the Institute in addition to the staff of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. The Institute is also a participant-driven effort where those who join it will have an opportunity to work in collaborative groups to engage in strategic planning for grassroots campaigns in the areas of their interest.

The four groups sponsoring the Action Institute are:

The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) is an independent, non-profit educational foundation that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies aimed at establishing and defending human rights, democratic self-rule and justice worldwide. The purpose of ICNC is to develop and share knowledge related to nonviolent civil resistance and its practice with interested recipients throughout the world. This includes citizens and activists living under conditions of repression, injustice and corruption, and also educators, nongovernmental organizations, media professionals and members of the policy community.

The Taurida National Vernadsky University is the leading higher educational and scientific institution in Crimea, founded in 1918. In 2014, the university was evacuated from the territory of the annexed Crimea to the Ukrainian capital, together with a significant part of its students and teachers.

Free Russia House in Kyiv is an independent and open platform for the dialogue and research on modern Russia and its influence on international community, about Russian and Ukrainian relations, the conflict in the Donbass and the annexation of Crimea.

The Laboratory of Democratic Transformations is a Ukrainian NGO whose mission is the development of a society of responsible citizens and accountable authority in Ukraine.

ICNC Trainers

Dr. Maciej Bartkowski, Senior Director of Education and Research

Dr. Maciej Bartkowski is Senior Director for Education & Research at ICNC. He joined ICNC in 2009 and prior to that he held managerial and teaching positions at Adelphi University and Bard College.

At ICNC, he directs various academic programs for students, faculty, and educators from around the world to support teaching, research, and study on civil resistance. He is also spearheading ICNC efforts to build infrastructure for and expand distance education and online learning. He is also an editor of the ICNC Monographs and special reports series.

He holds an adjunct faculty position at Krieger School of Arts and Sciences of Johns Hopkins University where he teaches strategic nonviolent resistance. In 2016, he was appointed an adjunct professor at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Dr. Bartkowski is a book editor of Recovering Nonviolent History. Civil Resistance in Liberation Struggles and Nation-Making published by Lynne Rienner in 2013.

More information about Dr. Bartkowski can be accessed here.

Steve Chase, Manager of Academic Initiatives, ICNC

Steve Chase, a long-time activist, educator, and writer, is ICNC’s Manager of Academic Initiatives and a Regular Contributor to «Minds of the Movement». blog. His work supports academic research, curriculum development, classroom and online learning, and other educational efforts, with the aim of connecting practitioners and scholars.

During his doctorate work at Antioch University, Steve completed a curriculum action research dissertation entitled, Activist Training in the Academy: Developing a Master’s Program in Environmental Advocacy and Organizing. The dissertation served as the conceptual blueprint for Antioch University’s master’s program in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability and inspired the five-point curriculum framework of The Change Agency, a national nonviolent activist training network in Australia.

As a result of this research, Steve served as the founding Program Director of Antioch University’s Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability master’s program for twelve years. He taught blended online/on-campus courses in Organizing Social Movements and Campaigns; Leadership for Change; Political Economy and Sustainability; Corporate Power and Democracy; Diversity, Justice, and Inclusion; as well as several all-online classes in Nonprofit Leadership.

Andrii Kruglashov, Ph.D. in Political Science, Associate Professor at the National Academy for Public Administration.

He led Civil Movement “CHESNO” – the watchdog for Ukrainian Parliament and Local Councils to filter out 1000+ incumbents with poor attendance, gather the records of 90000+ candidates for political memory, and set new standards for transparency and accountability with Follow the Money campaign and voter education products “Why we need a councilor/mayor”

Mr. Kruglashov took a part in protest against election fraud in Russia in 2011, Orange Revolution in 2004 and Euromaidan – the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in 2014.

He advised 15 political parties and helped hundreds of candidates and thousands of activists in Ukraine, Russia, Czech Republic, Kyrgyzstan, SXM, Canada and US. He is a speaker of the Iinternational and European Associations of Political Consultants; and judge of the Polaris and Pollie Awards for best advocacy and political campaigns.

Ivan Marovic
was one of the leaders of Otpor, the student resistance movement that played an important role in the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia in rallies and marches.

Marovic became Otpor’s representative in the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition where he took part in planning and preparations for elections and protests that took place after Milosevic attempted to falsify ballots.

After the successful democratic transition in Serbia, Marovic began consulting with various prodemocracy groups worldwide and became one of the leading practitioners in the field of strategic nonviolent conflict. He helped produce two video games that teach people how to use civil resistance in their struggle for social change: A Force More Powerful (2006) and People Power (2010), both supported by ICNC.

Marovic holds a BSc in process engineering from Belgrade University and an MA in international relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He currently lives in Nairobi, Kenya with his wife and son.

Janjira Sombatpoonsiri
is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Thammasat University, Thailand, where she teaches violence and nonviolence in politics, peace and conflict studies, international relations theories, and international security.

Her research has focused on the politics of nonviolent action and pro-democracy social movements. Her dissertation-turned-book is Humor and Nonviolent Struggle in Serbia (New York: Syracuse University Press, 2015). In addition, she has published journal articles in Global Change, Peace & Security, Journal of Peace & Policy, Journal of Resistance Studies, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, and Asian Journal of Peace Building, and several book chapters. She has also published op-eds in Matichon newspaper, 101.com, Opendemocracy.org, and The Conversation Global. Currently, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is supporting her research exploring issues such as new civic activism and civic networks against democracy in Thai.

Janjira served as the co-Secretary General of the Asia Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA) in 2014-2017, and she is currently a board committee member for the International Peace Research Foundation (IPRAF). She has been a member of the editorial board for Asian Political & Policy Journal, Journal of Resistance Studies and Journal of South Asian Studies. She was a research fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study and the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses in India.