I work in the field of civil resistance and am president of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. I study, present, and write about grassroots movements nonviolently fighting for human rights and political change around the world. I lead workshops for activists and organizers in these movements; speak about these movements with academics, journalists, and members of NGOs; and develop resources for practitioners and researchers.
My primary interest is in how ordinary people organize themselves, strategize, and mobilize to overcome adverse conditions, hold powerholders accountable, and win rights, freedom, and justice. I often focus on “the tough cases” where conventional wisdom states that successful nonviolent resistance would be impossible. Yet history is replete with cases where unarmed resistance was successful against powerful and entrenched adversaries. The questions that guide my work involve understanding what makes such cases successful and how to apply these lessons to nonviolent movements today.