This article needs to be improved:
- ⚠️ Please clarify the purpose of the page, otherwise it may be deleted (all content will still be saved in our version history, so potentially useful pieces of information can still be copied to other pages). All content on Activist Handbook is organised by topic. Any case studies can be added to their relevant topic pages. For example, a case study on communication, can be added to the communication chapter. Consider adding a section to pages where you think case studies may be relevant instead.
What works, when it comes to activism? This is the case studies homepage.
We want to encourage activists and ex-activists to share their experiences and knowledge of particular cases of activism. These could be relating to recent events (as recent as earlier today) or events far back in history. If the case study is experience-based, please only use your experience as a gateway to a more scientific understanding, complete with as many references you can find.
A case study template to help guide activists to record case studies does not yet exist, but feel free to create one.
The tactic template page is for describing different tactics that activists can use, whereas this page is to describe particular cases of tactics, strategies, organisational models, types of movement, etc etc, which could be from earlier today, or hundreds of years ago.
Please keep case studies objective and scientific, and not about adulating or blaming individuals or groups for things going right or wrong.
Personal, emotional, and expressive accounts of your experiences of activism are extremely valuable for movement building and learning lessons about ourselves and the successes and mistakes of actions, groups and movements, but please record these on the Personal Accounts pages.
- What are the exact dates, times, and locations of the case in question? Please be as specific and accurate as possible.
- What was happening in the wider culture at the time which could have influenced events? (Feel free to use a PESTLE-style assessment).
- Did the personalities or skills of just one or two individuals have a decisive effect? Is this a problem? (It may be but it doesn't have to be).
- What are the good points? Can you attribute ‘success’ to the subject of the case study, or ‘partial success’?
- If there was ‘no success’ how can we learn from it? (let's remember, nothing is a failure if we learn from it).
- How does the case study relate to other case studies of similar and different subjects?
- How would this case unfold / have unfolded differently in different places, cultures and times?
- What are the main ‘take-aways’ from this case-study? I.e. what should we replicate, and what should we be careful to avoid? (Case studies can be good warnings against certain behaviours / methods etc)
- Beginnings; case studies of how activist groups, political parties, NGO's, revolutionary civil disobedience movements or any other type of group, formed.
- Endings; case studies of how different types of groups ended, either voluntarily or involuntarily. (And did they end because they succeeded, failed, or evolved into something else?)
- Theories of change and desirable outcomes case studies; what ToC have different groups operated by -in other words what have different groups assumed about the way change happens in society? Also, what are the desirable outcomes for the group in question? What is their vision for an ideal society, if they have one?
- Strategies case studies; what strategies have groups used, or are groups currently using? What has worked? How is success defined?
- Campaigns; what specific campaigns are worthy of study, for their success or ‘failure’ or ‘nearly-success’?
- Tactics / actions; what worked, and what didn't, and why? And what nearly worked? What else may have worked?
- Organisation case studies; what methods and types of organisation have been used, and why, and how successful have they been? Has direct democracy or some other form of horizontal organising method been used? If not, why? Includes studies of leadership.
- Mobilisation case studies; how have people been mobilised, and retained / integrated within movements and organisations?
- Communications case studies; how have / do activist groups communicate(d) amongst their members, and with potential new members and members of the public? What works? This can include technology and also human skills such as NVC.
- Media case studies; how has the established and independent media, as well as media platforms in general, such as the internet, including social media platforms, been used by activists? This can include case studies of image.
- Arts case studies; how have the arts been used in activism?
- Regenerative cultures and well being: what case studies can you provide of real-life good and bad examples of activists taking care of themselves and others, and also more profoundly developing regenerative, supportive cultures in activist groups and movements? This can include good examples of conflict resolution.
- Finance case studies; what fund-raising worked or didn't work in particular cases?
- Litigation & legal; what legal aspects have there been to groups and their actions, especially in the case of civil disobedience? What fines or custodial sentences have been given to activists in different countries? What new laws threaten us as activists in different parts of the world?
- Security and surveillance case studies; which groups and movements were infiltrated and / or surveilled by police and authorities, and did this matter, and could this infiltration have been prevented? Which ‘secure’ software (e.g. communications software) has helped or hindered groups?
- State oppression case studies; how does State oppression affect activist groups in different countries? What can we learn from this?