198 Methods of Nonviolent Action! Gene Sharp

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action!  

These methods were compiled by Dr. Gene Sharp and first published in his 1973 book, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action. (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973). The book outlines each method and gives information about its historical use.   [Editor’s Note:  these methods are discussed in-depth in the book, not just listed.]

The Albert Einstein Institution.   You may also download this list of methods. 

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION 

Formal Statements 
1. Public Speeches 
2. Letters of opposition or support 
3. Declarations by organizations and institutions 
4. Signed public statements 
5. Declarations of indictment and intention 
6. Group or mass petitions 

Communications with a Wider Audience 
7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols 
8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications 
9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books 
10. Newspapers and journals 
11. Records, radio, and television 
12. Skywriting and earthwriting 

Group Representations 
13. Deputations 
14. Mock awards 
15. Group lobbying 
16. Picketing 
17. Mock elections 

Symbolic Public Acts 
18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors 
19. Wearing of symbols 
20. Prayer and worship 
21. Delivering symbolic objects 
22. Protest disrobings 
23. Destruction of own property 
24. Symbolic lights 
25. Displays of portraits 
26. Paint as protest 
27. New signs and names 
28. Symbolic sounds 
29. Symbolic reclamations 
30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals 
31. “Haunting” officials 
32. Taunting officials 
33. Fraternization 
34. Vigils 

Drama and Music 
35. Humorous skits and pranks 
36. Performances of plays and music 
37. Singing 

Processions 
38. Marches 
39. Parades 
40. Religious processions 
41. Pilgrimages 
42. Motorcades 

Honoring the Dead 
43. Political mourning 
44. Mock funerals 
45. Demonstrative funerals 
46. Homage at burial places 

Public Assemblies 
47. Assemblies of protest or support 
48. Protest meetings 
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest 
50. Teach-ins 

Withdrawal and Renunciation 
51. Walk-outs 
52. Silence 
53. Renouncing honors 
54. Turning one’s back 

THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION 

Ostracism of Persons 
55. Social boycott 
56. Selective social boycott 
57. Lysistratic nonaction 
58. Excommunication 
59. Interdict 

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions 
60. Suspension of social and sports activities 
61. Boycott of social affairs 
62. Student strike 
63. Social disobedience 
64. Withdrawal from social institutions 

Withdrawal from the Social System 
65. Stay-at-home 
66. Total personal noncooperation 
67. “Flight” of workers 
68. Sanctuary 
69. Collective disappearance 
70. Protest emigration (hijrat

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: (1) ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS 

Actions by Consumers 
71. Consumers’ boycott 
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods 
73. Policy of austerity 
74. Rent withholding 
75. Refusal to rent 
76. National consumers’ boycott 
77. International consumers’ boycott 

Action by Workers and Producers 
78. Workmen’s boycott 
79. Producers’ boycott 

Action by Middlemen 
80. Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott 

Action by Owners and Management 
81. Traders’ boycott 
82. Refusal to let or sell property 
83. Lockout 
84. Refusal of industrial assistance 
85. Merchants’ “general strike” 

Action by Holders of Financial Resources 
86. Withdrawal of bank deposits 
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments 
88. Refusal to pay debts or interest 
89. Severance of funds and credit 
90. Revenue refusal 
91. Refusal of a government’s money 

Action by Governments 
92. Domestic embargo 
93. Blacklisting of traders 
94. International sellers’ embargo 
95. International buyers’ embargo 
96. International trade embargo 

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: (2)THE STRIKE 

Symbolic Strikes 
97. Protest strike 
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike) 

Agricultural Strikes 
99. Peasant strike 
100. Farm Workers’ strike 

Strikes by Special Groups 
101. Refusal of impressed labor 
102. Prisoners’ strike 
103. Craft strike 
104. Professional strike 

Ordinary Industrial Strikes 
105. Establishment strike 
106. Industry strike 
107. Sympathetic strike 

Restricted Strikes 
108. Detailed strike 
109. Bumper strike 
110. Slowdown strike 
111. Working-to-rule strike 
112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in) 
113. Strike by resignation 
114. Limited strike 
115. Selective strike 

Multi-Industry Strikes 
116. Generalized strike 
117. General strike 

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures 
118. Hartal 
119. Economic shutdown 

THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION 

Rejection of Authority 
120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance 
121. Refusal of public support 
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance 

Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government 
123. Boycott of legislative bodies 
124. Boycott of elections 
125. Boycott of government employment and positions 
126. Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies 
127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions 
128. Boycott of government-supported organizations 
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents 
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks 
131. Refusal to accept appointed officials 
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions 

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience 
133. Reluctant and slow compliance 
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision 
135. Popular nonobedience 
136. Disguised disobedience 
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse 
138. Sitdown 
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation 
140. Hiding, escape, and false identities 
141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws 

Action by Government Personnel 
142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides 
143. Blocking of lines of command and information 
144. Stalling and obstruction 
145. General administrative noncooperation 
146. Judicial noncooperation 
147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents 
148. Mutiny 

Domestic Governmental Action 
149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays 
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units 

International Governmental Action 
151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations 
152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events 
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition 
154. Severance of diplomatic relations 
155. Withdrawal from international organizations 
156. Refusal of membership in international bodies 
157. Expulsion from international organizations 

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION 

Psychological Intervention 
158. Self-exposure to the elements 
159. The fast 
a) Fast of moral pressure 
b) Hunger strike
c) Satyagrahic fast 
160. Reverse trial 
161. Nonviolent harassment 

Physical Intervention 
162. Sit-in 
163. Stand-in 
164. Ride-in 
165. Wade-in 
166. Mill-in 
167. Pray-in 
168. Nonviolent raids 
169. Nonviolent air raids 
170. Nonviolent invasion 
171. Nonviolent interjection 
172. Nonviolent obstruction 
173. Nonviolent occupation 

Social Intervention 
174. Establishing new social patterns 
175. Overloading of facilities 
176. Stall-in 
177. Speak-in 
178. Guerrilla theater 
179. Alternative social institutions 
180. Alternative communication system 

Economic Intervention 
181. Reverse strike 
182. Stay-in strike 
183. Nonviolent land seizure 
184. Defiance of blockades 
185. Politically motivated counterfeiting 
186. Preclusive purchasing 
187. Seizure of assets 
188. Dumping 
189. Selective patronage 
190. Alternative markets 
191. Alternative transportation systems 
192. Alternative economic institutions 

Political Intervention 
193. Overloading of administrative systems 
194. Disclosing identities of secret agents 
195. Seeking imprisonment 
196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws 
197. Work-on without collaboration 
198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government 

Source: Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973).

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