Making Nonviolent Struggle More Powerful: Framing Strategies

by Lang Visiting Professor of Issues for Social Change George Lakey "We live in a breakthrough period for 'nonviolent struggle,' when pro-democracy movements are using it to overthrow dictators and human rights advocates are using it to save lives during civil unrest," Lakey says. "My question is: how can this social technology be made even more powerful for achieving justice, democracy and peace? "I argue that it's time to view nonviolent action not just as an overall concept but to break it into three different applications, and I'll argue further that these applications are different from each other in important ways. By 'nonviolent struggle' I mean an approach to waging conflict in which the protagonist uses methods of protest, intervention and/or noncooperation without the use or threat of injurious force. It's often called 'people power.' Researchers are struggling to keep up with the increased use of people power around the world, the better to understand it."