DRG E&L Talk Series: From Anti-Corruption to Human Rights to Democracy: How Donors Can Support Nonviolent Collective Action

April 16, 2024

Tue | 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM EDT


Shaazka Beyerle, Senior Fellow with the Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center (TraCCC), George Mason University, presented her new US Institute of Peace (USIP) publication, Supporting Nonviolent Action and Movements: A Guide for International Actors. The guide provides strategic questions, considerations, and practices to inform donor policy and operationalization to support peaceful citizen-driven change, including in fragile and rapidly changing political contexts typified by corruption, poor governance, poverty, violent conflict, and democratic erosion. In this session, Ms. Beyerle discussed how nonviolent collective action is a core strategy of civic engagement. Shaazka noted the importance of a "sandwich strategy" for anti-corruption efforts that links top down and bottom up efforts. This includes linking formal and informal civic actors. We discussed how nonviolent collective action inspires dignity, agency, as well as three collectives - collective responsibility, collective ownership, and collective identity. Shaazka noted that this work is sometimes done by NGOs but is often undertaken by collectives, small scale associations, unions, and informal/unregistered civic actors. She concluded by noting that donor readiness to effectively support these civic actors is critical. 

You can access the recording here and the PowerPoint slides here.

Additional resources: Here are two additional publications: Citizens as Drivers of Change: How Citizens Practice Human Rights to Engage with the State and Promote Transparency and Accountabilitypublished by the World Bank Group and a book chapter titled, "Enabling Civil Society and Social Movements." Additionally, the following are links to USIP field research examining the effects of external support for anti-corruption related social movements in Guatemala, Kenya, Myanmar, NigeriaUkraine, and Zimbabwe as well as a synthesis report. Links are also included to the report Shaazka mentioned titled, Citizen Action Against Corruptionher earlier book Curtailing Corruption: People Power for Accountability and Justice, and a Carnegie Endowment report titled, Bridging the Elite-Grassroots Divide Among Anticorruption Activists.

Shaazka Beyerle is a senior fellow with the Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center, George Mason University. She's a researcher, writer, and educator in nonviolent action, focusing on anti-corruption, accountability, peacebuilding, gender, and human rights. She was previously a senior research scholar and Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow with the Program on Nonviolent Action at the U.S. Institute of Peace. She's the author of Curtailing Corruption: People Power for Accountability and Justice (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2014) and author of numerous articles, reports and book chapters, including enabling civil society and social movements in Untapped Power: Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion for Conflict and Development (Oxford University Press, 2022). Ms. Beyerle has taught at George Mason University, Georgetown University, and the University for Peace, Costa Rica.