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Principles of SNVC

Principles of SNVC

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Principles of Strategic Nonviolent Conflict

adopted from Ackerman & Kruegler, 1994

PRINCIPLES OF DEVELOPMENT 1. Formulate objectives 2. Strengthen organization 3. Gather materials 4. Get external help 5. Choose methods PRINCIPLES OF ENGAGEMENT 6. Attack control 7. Mute violence 8. Alienate support 9. Maintain nonviolence PRINCIPLES OF CONCEPTION 10. Assess at all levels 11. Offense/defense 12. Maintain continuity

PRINCIPLES OF DEVELOPMENT

STEP 1: FORMULATE FUNCTIONAL OBJECTIVES
Definition: Objectives (ultimate goals) are important for keeping the campaign focused and for maintaining morale in the case of defeat of specific actions. Qualities of good objectives 1. concrete, attainable in reasonable time frame (to build confidence in successes) 2. use diverse array of nonviolent sanctions 3. preserve group's vital (not marginal) interests 4. attract widest possible public support 5. appeal to external group's interests (to get their support) 6. focus on attaining something (i.e., a democratic government) rather than removal of something (i.e. ousting a dictator) (my addition)

STEP 2: DEVELOP ORGANIZATIONAL STRENGTH
Definition: An efficient organization needs to be able to respond quickly to evolving situations, to conceal and/or disperse people, information, and materials, and to surprise their opponents. Levels of organization

Roles
make decisions, serve as rallying figure should be layered (so loss does not cripple org.) communicates decisions, events to general population instructs, boosts morale, supports general population, troubleshoots dissenters (opportunists, free-riders, collaborators, enthusiasts who go too far, peacemakers who cave too soon) gathers intelligence have ability to do the more dangerous work participate in mass actions use strengths of preexisting networks and associations

leadership
• • •

operational corps
• • •

civilian population

STEP 3: SECURE ACCESS TO CRITICAL RESOURCES
Definition: In order to conduct a successful campaign, material resources need to be obtained and secured. Groups need to keep an ongoing inventory, prioritize, and and conduct risk/benefit analysis for all materials obtained to maximize use of limitied resources.

Material Type

Examples

essentials needed for survival and food, clothing, medical, funds for victims, to maintain morale out-of work people materials needed for nonviolent actions communications supplies, transportation

STEP 4: CULTIVATE EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE
Definition: Involving a third party in the movement can help spread some of the responsibility and effort. A third party may have a direct material interest, or a principled interest in the conflict. The amount of energy invested into recruiting should be proportional to the third party's motivation to reach your objectives.

What 3rd parties can do for a movement • • • • • • enhance legitimacy of objectives add to organizational strength add to direct material aid add to sanctions against opposition cause damage to opponent within or outside conflict's vital interests simply not interfere with conflict

STEP 5: EXPAND REPERTOIRE OF METHODS
Definition: Choosing a variety of methods of nonviolence ensures that the failure of one method does not mean the failure of the movement. Using Sharp's list of methods of nonviolence, evaluate which ones the organization has experience with, and which others they can adopt. Questions to evaluate usefulness of sanction • • • • • To what extent will this sanction help us seize and attain the initiative? Is this sanction easily replicable (so we can threaten to use it again?) Can this sanction be performed in different times and places without a lot of training, and dispersed and/or amassed at will? Does using this sanction make sense when considering the cost? (cost/benefit/risk analysis). Will using this sanction build momentum and maximize adverse impact on the opponents? (snowball effect)

II PRINCIPLES OF ENGAGEMENT

STEP 6: ATTACK THE OPPONENT'S STRATEGY FOR CONSOLODATING CONTROL

Steps
• •

Examples told to continue life as normal laws passed to cease and desist from certain activities populace being asked to collaborate with oppressor military force/violence used as deterrent elicit popular noncooperation with oppressor active recruitment of defectors (esp. govt., military) dispersing activities (oppressor can't be everywhere at once)

1. Determine methods used by oppressor to maintain control

• •

2. Determine which methods can be carried out to undermine specific controls, and the potential cost/benefit of such actions

STEP 7: MUTE THE IMPACT OF THE OPPONENT'S VIOLENT WEAPONS
Definition: Even if the opponent resorts to violence, there are actions the non-violent organization can do to lessen the effects. Actions to lessen the effects of oppressor's violence • • • • • Get out of harm's way "Take the sting out of the agents of violence" - play on the sympathies of the oppressor's minions Disable weapons (nonviolently - weapons only, not people) Prepare people for the worst effects of violence: damage to morale, terror, depletion of materials, can prompt some to lash out violently. Convince people to carry on (provided cost/benefit still favorable). Negate long-term significance of things lost to violence: replace material resources, medical and family support, etc.

STEP 8: ALIENATE OPPONENTS FROM EXPECTED BASES OF SUPPORT

Methods of alienation
• • •

Determine sources of support (i.e. internal - govt. agents, general populace; external - third party allies) and encourage defection Use violence perpetrated by oppressor to alienate support Raise the cost of helping the opponent (ie. economic sanctions)

STEP 9: MAINTAIN NONVIOLENT DISCIPLINE
Definition: Maintaining a nonviolent discipline is difficult, particularly when the oppressor utilizes violence. However, it is crucial to remain nonviolent in order to take advantage of the power it wields. Organizations dedicated to using nonviolent methods should distance themselves from violent independent groups, so that both supporters and oppressors understand they are not related to your organization's cause.

Temptations to violence cathartic retribution for oppressors' violent actions

Reasons to abstain use of violence undermines efforts for gaining popular support (and thus, power)

to bring about "speedy" end to oppressive regime usually better equipped for conflict violent conflict taking out the main oppressor power vacuum left by removed oppressor easily filled with something worse

opponent has no more outside violent overthrow requires violence to protect support new government from members of old regime

PRINCIPLES OF CONCEPTION

STEP 10: ASSESS EVENTS AND OPTIONS AT ALL LEVELS OF STRATEGIC DECISION-MAKING
Definition: Planning needs to occur at all levels of organization before the conflict, and the plan should be consulted throughout the conflict for tweaking (or in response to reaction from the opposition).

Level
• • • • • • •

Questions for evaluating effectiveness What are we fighting for? Are we fighting at all? How do we know we won? (or lost?) What are acceptable terms for settlement? What losses are we willing to bear to achieve our goals? What specific sanctions will be used? How well are we (and the populace) prepared to carry them out? What tasks will be important for strategy, tactics, and logistics, and who is responsible for them? What are the precise steps for reaching the objectives? By what mechanisms will the opposition be defeated, and the regime replaced? How will the group arrange its assets (both material and human) during the actual campaign against the opponent? How will each individual encounter be carried out, and what contingencies will be made based on results? What physically needs to happen to conduct each activity?

Policy

Operational planning

• • •

Strategic Tactical Logistical
• •

STEP 11: ADJUST OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE OPERATIONS ACCORDING TO THE OPPONENT'S VULNERABILITIES
Definition: A balance of offensive and defensive actions are needed for a successful campaign. Offensive Purpose Activities designed to attack the opponents center of gravity with the purpose of diminishing their power Defensive Activities that protect group's ability to stay in the fight

Risks

Too much defensive allows Too much offensive drains resources, oppressor time to gather strength, makes group vulnerable to counterattack entrench position
• • •

Examples

strikes waged to cripple economy increasing numbers of dissenters attacks on weaknesses of the regime adding third parties

• •

dispersion of resources reduction in number of encounters constructive work

STEP 12: SUSTAIN CONTINUITY BETWEEN SANCTIONS, MECHANISMS AND OBJECTIVES
Definition: The organization needs to determine if the chosen sanctions are the best to achieve the desired mechanism of change, and if the chosen mechanism of change the best one for achieving the objective the group has set.

Mechanisms of change conversion accommodation coercion disintegration

Description Oppressors change their minds. Oppressors decide settlement is better than continued exchange of actions . Oppressors are forced into changing (no longer have a choice). Oppressors go away (severe form of coercion).

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