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Fri, Sep 30, 2011

Global Nonviolent Action Database

George Lakey and student researchers from Swarthmore College have now launched the Global Nonviolent Action Database. The creative-commons-licensed database is publicly searchable online.  The research team has cataloged hundreds of nonviolent campaigns from around the world and across history going back as far as the 12th century BCE. The focus is on completed campaigns rather than ongoing ones, and a great deal of thought has been put into categorizing the cases so that comparative research can be conducted. Issue clusters include campaigns struggling about democracy, economic justice, environment, human rights, national/ethnic identity and peace and coding includes information on location, start year,  tactics used, and outcomes. The 198 different tactics that have been coded for correlate with Gene Sharp’s methods of nonviolent resistance. The outcomes scores provided are based on the stated goals of the protagonist with scores provided in three areas: goal attainment, survival and growth. Also included is a listing of primary actors involved in each campaign coded into three groups: leaders, partners and allies.  The advanced search features make it easy to dig down into the database on these various criteria. In addition to the database fields for each case, a narrative is provided describing the struggle as an unfolding story.

You can browse for waves of campaigns wherein a series of campaigns were part of a larger ongoing struggle.  Currently included waves are:

African Democracy Campaigns (early 1990s) (5 cases)
Arab Awakening (2011) (4 cases)
Asian Democracy Campaigns (1980s) (7 cases)
Colour Revolutions (2000s) (6 cases)
Soviet Bloc Independence Campaigns (1989-) (11 cases)
U.S. Civil Rights Movement (27 cases)

This impressive service learning project has resulted in a great and enduring contribution to the field. Way to go team!


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2011 09 30 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  Research Tools  

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