Resources

Over time this space will be filled with lots of the content that has inspired our thinking and the thinking of successful mass popular movements. If you engage with this material do Contact Us and let us know how it is inspiring you!

Thirteen Key Texts on Movement Building:

 1. This is an Uprising – Paul & Mark Engler

This book puts forward a comprehensive theory of building mass popular nonviolent uprising based on combining two traditions – mass mobilising & building strong and stable organisations.

2. Blueprint for Revolution – Srđa Popović

This tells the story of the Serbian Uprising which toppled the Dictator Milosovic. This is an entertaining read and a great introductory text outlining some key principles of effective organising including unity, strategy, nonviolence and humour.

3. Hegemony: How To – Jonathan Smucker

This is probably the best book reflecting strategically on Occupy Wall Street, written by somebody who was actively involved. Don’t worry about the dense title, the book is very readable, it particularly speaks about how to get out of the activist bubble and engage the population to build a broad mass movement.

4. How To Win! Successful Procedures and Mechanisms for Radical Campaign Groups – Roger Hallam

Details a number of approaches to organising which will get people participating and active in your movement. The ideas in this text formed a basis for a lot of the strategy in the now global Extinction Rebellion movement.

5. Why Civil Resistance Works – Erica Chenoweth & Maria Stephens

This book engages in a comprehensive analysis of past social movements and demonstrates the effectiveness of nonviolent civil resistance and shuts down the violent vs nonviolent debate.

a. The book is perhaps a bit academic for most, but here is a digestable Ted Talk which is worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJSehRlU34w

6. From Dictatorship to Democracy – Gene Sharp

This strategic text by Gene Sharp has found its way into the hands of many a revolutionary. It lays out a strategic framework for building mass movements and his work has been so widely influential and regarded that Gene Sharp has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on four separate occasions.  .

7. Don’t Think of an Elephant – George Lakoff

This book is an essential text on how to frame your movements goals & demands to speak to liberal and conservative audiences.

8. Leadership As The new Science – Margaret J. Wheatley

Explores how to build organisational structures and leadership approaches that do not rely on traditional command and control methods of organising but instead actively increase the power and participation of everyone in the network in order to maximise creativity and responsiveness of the movement.

9. Reinventing Organisations – Frederick Laloux

Looks at examples of organisations around the world that have implemented the ‘holocratic’ organisational structures which seek to maximise participation and spread freedom and power across organisations.

10. Swarmwise – Rick Falkvinge

Goes deep into how to build effective organisational structures capable of absorbing large amounts of people into the movement, written by the founder of the Pirate Party.

11. How Organisations Develop Activists – Hahrie Han

This book details how to get people actively engaged in social justice movements and empower them to take on roles of high responsibility, increasing capacity of the movement and the power and agency of the individuals within it.

12. Rules for Revolutionaries – Becky Bond and Zack Exley

This book is written by members of the ‘distributed organising team’ in the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Employing principles of ‘big organising’ they were able to organise a people powered campaign where hundreds of thousands of volunteers to take concrete action in support of Bernie’s candidacy and empower thousands to take on lots of responsibility. This book gives you the tools to mobilise thousands of people when they all suddenly get interested in your movement or campaign!

13. Towards Collective Liberation – Chris Crass

This book shares the lessons from years engaging in feminist and anti-racist organising with practical lessons about building inclusive movements with transformative cultures.


Like these books, or think we’re missing some? Contact Us and let us know!