Western scholars dominating the field generally suggest that civil resistance struggles involve public contention with unjust states to expand political rights and civil liberties. We argue that this perspective is an example of Eurocentric universalism, which has three blind spots: it tends to ignore struggles seeking to subvert rather than join the liberal world system, as well as coloniality's effects on nonviolent action, and emerging subjugated knowledges. We propose going beyond these limitations by learning from social movements focusing on human dignity, material self-sufficiency, and local autonomy, especially in the Global South. Our essay examines two classic decolonizing thinkers (Gandhi and Fanon) and two contemporary decolonizing struggles (the Zapatistas in Mexico and the Abahlali in South Africa). Each emphasizes coloniality, constructive over contentious resistance, transformations in political subjectivity, and emancipatory visions that go beyond Western ideals. We call for further research on the many different stories of civil resistance across the worldwide coloniality line.
Research Article| December 01 2015
Decolonizing Civil Resistance*
Mobilization: An International Quarterly (2015) 20 (4): 517–532.
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Sean Chabot, Stellan Vinthagen; Decolonizing Civil Resistance. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 1 December 2015; 20 (4): 517–532. doi: https://doi.org/10.17813/1086-671X-20-4-517
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