Civil Resistance: Causes and Consequences

Please note: This page refers to a course that has already taken place.

11 - 13 Feb 2020

PRIO, Hausmanns gate 3, Oslo

Charles Butcher, NTNU

Equals 5 ECTS (with approved essay) according to standards of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Marte Nilsen:

Charles Butcher, NTNU
Marianne Dahl, PRIO

Other lecturers TBA

This course will introduce students to the literature and latest findings in the study of civil resistance and nonviolent action.

Application deadline: 1 December 2019 - The application form is now closed.

The accepted applicants will be notifed by mid December.

Course Description:

The number of ongoing nonviolent campaigns for goals of regime change and territorial change have increased dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Civil resistance movements have driven democratization processes in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas and the Middle East, but have also preceded armed conflicts in places such as Syria and Libya, and have resulted in renewed authoritarianism in countries such as Egypt. 

This course will explore explanations for the rise of civil resistance and explanations for why some succeed and some fail, and why some create durable democracies while others do not.  The course will draw upon guest lecturers from the ‘Securing the Victory: Democratization After Civil Resistance” project and will focus on the link between nonviolent contention and democratization, but through an understanding of why civil resistance movements start and why they succeed in the short term. The morning course sessions will involve lectures on key topics as they relate to the onset, dynamics and outcomes of civil resistance movements. The afternoon sessions will be more open discussion where students can engage in dialogue with morning’s lecturers.  

Day 1 looks at the onset of civil resistance movements. Day II covers the dynamics of civil resistance from ‘backfire’ to ‘regime change’ and Day III examines explanations for democratization after civil resistance movements. The final session is an open discussion on the frontiers of civil resistance research. 


​Deadline for applications: 1 December. 


​Upon full participation and the satisfactory completion of a course essay, the course equals 5 ECTS according to the standards of the University of Oslo. 


There is no participation fee, but the costs of travel and accommodation must be covered by the participants. 

Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application within two weeks after the deadline.