Gene Sharp

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action (2014)


Far too often people struggling for democratic rights and justice are not aware of the full range of methods of nonviolent action. Wise strategy, attention to the dynamics of nonviolent struggle, and careful selection of methods can increase a group’s chances of success. Gene Sharp’s researched and catalogued these 198 methods and provided a rich selection of historical examples in his seminal work, The Politics of Nonviolent Action (3 Vols.) Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973.

In-summary by Heading:

The Methods of Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion:

  • Formal Statements
  • Communications with a Wider Audience
  • Group Representations
  • Symbolic Public Acts
  • Pressures on Individuals
  • Drama and Music
  • Processions
  • Honoring the Dead
  • Public Assemblies
  • Withdrawal and Renunciation

The Methods of Social Noncooperation:

  • Ostracism of Persons
  • Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
  • Withdrawal from the Social System

The Methods of Economic Noncooperation: Economic Boycotts:

  • Actions by Consumers
  • Action by Workers and Producers
  • Action by Middlemen
  • Action by Owners and Management
  • Action by Holders of Financial Resources
  • Action by Governments

The Methods of Economic Noncooperation - The Strike:

  • Symbolic Strikes
  • Agricultural Strikes
  • Strikes by Special Groups
  • Ordinary Industrial Strikes
  • Restricted Strikes
  • Multi-Industry Strikes
  • Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures

The Methods of Political Noncooperation:

  • Rejection of Authority
  • Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government
  • Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience
  • Action by Government Personnel
  • Domestic Governmental Action
  • International Governmental Action

The Methods of Nonviolent Intervention:

  • Psychological Intervention
  • Physical Intervention
  • Social Intervention
  • Economic Intervention
  • Political Intervention

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