The anarchist’s cookbook, updated, without the explosives, and for international audiences

The actual title is The Outsider’s Guide to Supporting Nonviolent Resistance to Dictatorship. My alternate title was suggested by a colleague.

The manual comes with a disclaimer:

The following pages are designed to kick start a global conversation on how—and how not—to support democratic activists around the world. Included below are more than 120 nonviolent resistance tools and tactics available to governments, diplomats, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, corporations, IT experts, and ordinary citizens across the globe.

As can be seen, some of these methods are tried and trusted; some have never been put into practice. A few tools could do great harm, while others may do a great deal of good. The authors of this document are not so bold as to suggest that we know which is best. Instead, we aim simply to provide an overview of the tools and techniques those outside repressive regimes can and are employing to counteract authoritarianism. We do not offer a list of instructions for how to do so.

I cannot vouch for everything in the manual but my browsing suggests there are good ideas for daring but radical readers.

I’m actually more and more interested in protest movements in Africa, or even developing countries in general. Reader recommendations on what to read or who to look out for or contact would be welcome.

Any pointers to interesting organizations mobilizing and organizing? Or suggestions of ones that do not but should?

10 thoughts on “The anarchist’s cookbook, updated, without the explosives, and for international audiences

  1. Perhaps my favorite organization working on this subject is the International Center for Non-Violent Conflict (ICNC). They offer trainings to activists, as well as seminars on non-violence and civil resistance (culminating in a summer session at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy). They are also very well-connected to various activists and practitioners on this subject. Their resource library and educational initiatives are terrific, as is the rest of their site:

    My favorite writer on the topic of non-violent civil resistance/change movements is Erica Chenoweth, who has co-authored How Civil Resistance Works with Maria Stephan. They also provide a phenomenal overview of who is talking about this topic in the early chapters of their book.

    I’m currently researching similar topics at Fletcher (and looking at why nonviolent movements in Africa are understudied in the general discourse on nonviolence) and would love to be in touch.

  2. One of the most interesting, if less successful, has been the Grifina movement in Sudan, which worked to mobilize students opposed to the Bashir regime. From (fairly close) second-hand observation, they were effectively able to use expatriate contacts to help provide strategy and coordination for demos and protests, which I think might be a fairly interesting avenue to pursue.

  3. To tell whether it retains its integrity, one has only to look to see whether it still contains Richard Nixon’s Social Security Number, which it advised using when people asked for yours….