Nonviolent resistance has been found to be more effective in bringing about societal and political transformation than violent insurgency.
Nonviolent resistance as a nonconventional form of engagement in conflict, furthermore attracts more people, encourages diversity in participation, has the moral high ground and has positive longterm effects on a society, in terms of citizenship skills, civilian peace and democratisation. However, a discourse of militarism and violence can be said to dominate the world today. Macropolitical incompatibilities are often confronted with arms and violence, whether by political leaders or civilians.
This thesis aspires to challenge this violent discourse, and encourage the move towards nonviolent approaches to confronting and circumventing power and authority, by exploring the mechanisms at work in nonviolent resistance movements, and attain a deeper understanding of which elements of nonviolent resistance movements may be supportive of achieving the aim of the collective action for change.
The methodological approach is conducting a qualitative, deductive study within the framework of a structured, focused cross-case comparison of four nonviolent, anti-regime movements in the Middle East and North Africa, which have taken place in the 21st century.
The findings reveal the ambiguous and context-dependent nature of most of the elements scrutinised for their operativeness, and yield suggestive tendencies of few - while they offer a nuanced insight into the dynamics within which these elements work in nonviolent conflict. This study explores the phenomenon of nonviolent resistance, provides an understanding of the complexity of the mechanisms and dynamics involved, and suggests the need for further research into nonviolent resistance, to improve the understanding and utilisation of it.