Seminar 24/1: ‘Resistance’ and ‘Democratization’ – Contradiction or Collaboration?

24 januari, 2017 - kl. 14:00 till 15:30

It is International IDEA’s and FUF’s pleasure to invite you to a lecture by Mr Stellan Vinthagen at the occasion of his visit to Stockholm University:

‘Resistance’ and ‘Democratization’ – Contradiction or Collaboration?

What are the contributions and the weaknesses of unarmed popular resistance movements in relation to democratization? How can party politics and non-violent resistance be combined in order to strengthen democratization, both in liberal democracies and autocracies?

Vinthagen argues that we need to rethink the relationship between resistance and democratization in order to understand what is going on with ordinary people in peaceful protest that brings down dictators. There is a connection between popular mobilization of unarmed resistance and democratization, but it varies in the different contexts of liberal democracies, hybrid democracies, and autocracies. Other variables include strategies, training, and dynamics.

‘Democratization’ is embraced by almost everyone and viewed as a process focused on state reforms, educational programs, institutional renewal, etc. The story is quite the opposite when it comes to ‘resistance’. It is a contentious concept and conventionally associated with obstruction, destruction and violence – not necessarily with democratization. It is therefore interesting to note that recent research shows how particular forms of resistance, i.e. popular mass mobilizations of unarmed resistance, has been shown to matter for democratization, especially in resistance to autocracies and the creation of regime change.

Mr Stellan Vinthagen is the Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance, Professor of Sociology at UMass, Amherst,

When: Tuesday, 24 January 2017 14:00-15:30
Where: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Strömsborg, Stockholm (map), meeting room ‘Democracy’
How: Please RSVP no later than 16:00 on 21 Jan 2017 by email to

For queries, please contact Ms Helena Bjuremalm at International IDEA, The seminar will be recorded and made available at

Warmly welcome!

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