Nonviolent Action in the Era of Digital Authoritarianism: Hardships and Innovations


In the late 2000s and early 2010s, nonviolent action movements employed social media and other digital tools to orchestrate pro-democracy uprisings that took regimes by surprise. Those euphoric early days have since given way to digital repression, restricted online freedoms, and democratic backsliding as authoritarian regimes leverage new technologies to surveil the opposition and sow misinformation. This report documents how nonviolent activists are adapting to digital repression and suggests ways the United States and its allies can slow the pace of autocratic innovation in the use of these technologies.

United States Institute of Peace Special Report 506
Jonathan Pinckney
Jonathan Pinckney
Assistant Professor

My research interests include civil resistance, democratization, and peacebuilding.