To introduce this special issue, I provide a brief overview of nonviolence or civil resistance research. I explain the origins and development of the field starting with its Gandhian roots, through the pragmatic Sharpian period, to the current state of empirical testing and development of nonviolence theories. I also summarize the field's main findings to date, particularly in the areas of campaign outcomes, long-term consequences of nonviolent revolutionary movements, and tactical shifts from nonviolence to violence and vice versa. Pointing out the civil resistance research questions and findings that complement social movement studies, I call for greater dialogue between these two fields that have largely developed in parallel with few points of crossover. I conclude by overviewing the articles in this special issue, noting how they extend our knowledge, make new contributions, and offer a timely reflection on this burgeoning field—particularly its theoretical blind spots and omissions.
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Sharon Erickson Nepstad; Nonviolent Resistance Research. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 1 December 2015; 20 (4): 415–426. doi: https://doi.org/10.17813/1086-671X-20-4-415
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