Stellan Vinthagen (SV) lectures and researches in Peace and Development studies at School of Global Studies in Gothenburg. He has been engaged with social movements, civil disobedience and non-violent resistance for decades, both as a scholar and through activism across the world. Utblick’s editor-in-chief Anna Reumert met with Stellan for an afternoon talk on non-violent resistance and mass mobilization.
A printed version of the entire will figure in the printed magazine, but you can listen to the entire interview already today through this podcast: …
[audio:http://www.utblick.org/wp-content/uploads/Interview-with-Stellan-Vinthagen.mp3|titles=Interview with Stellan Vinthagen]
Questions for Stellan:
– How did you first get involved with non-violent resistance?
– How do you see the potential for non-violent civil movements in creating social change today?
– Do you see the times as changing in terms of mainstream society’s attitude towards the ability of masses and collective power?
– But even if organized, the plurality that comes with movements always implies a fragmentation or decentralization of power and ideas, which seems to frighten people since it doesn’t cohere with our bureaucratic interpretation of democracy?
– Will there not always be formed new power struggles and resistances within the counter-hegemonic movement?
– Do we simply stop protesting when we become too materially well-off?
– Does it present a moral problem if the ‘privileged’ mobilize as part of a fashionable wave, without really ‘needing’ the struggle?
– Can violence be entirely avoided in non-violent movements?
– Does it not dismantle the very project of non-violent resistance if you allow for violence?
– Do you think the heavy social media streaming of revolts and uprisings benefit the goal of these movements in the end?
– Would you encourage the Swedish youth to engage in non-violent struggles?
Interview by Anna Reumert