Dr. Stellan Vinthagen, Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance, Professor of Sociology and Adjunct Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Stellan Vinthagen is a Professor of Sociology and a scholar-activist. Vinthagen is the Inaugural Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance and Director of the Resistance Studies Initiative at The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, U.S.A.. He is also a researcher in his native Sweden at The Department of Social and Behavioral Studies, University West, and at The School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, where he is leading the Resistance Studies Program. He is an academic advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) with a PhD in Peace and Development Research from University of Gothenburg (2005),
Vinthagen researches resistance, power, social movements, nonviolent action and social change. He has written or edited ten books, the latest being A Theory of Nonviolent Action – How Civil Resistance Works (ZED Books, 2015). Vinthagen is also author or co-author of numerous articles, e.g. “Sovereign Power, Disciplinary Power and Biopower: Resisting What Power With What Resistance?” 2014 (with M. Lilja) in Journal of Political Power; and “Dimensions of Everyday Resistance: An Analytical Framework”, Critical Sociology 2014 (with A. Johansson), and “Legal Mobilization and Resistance Movements as Social Constituents of International Law”, Finnish Yearbook of International Law 2013.
Having been active in many different social movements since 1980 (environmental, migrant rights, anti-arms trade, peace, Palestine solidarity, etc.), he has participated in more than 30 nonviolent civil disobedience actions. He has been an educator, organizer and activist in several countries, and has served in prison totaling more than one year in Sweden, Germany and the UK, among other nations. Between 1986-2000 he was one of the key organizers of the European Plowshares Movement, a movement that carries out nonviolent direct disarmament actions at military bases or arms factories.
Vinthagen became a member of the Council of War Resisters’ International (WRI) in 2010. He is one of the initiators of the Swedish Ship to Gaza 2008, a coalition member of the Freedom Flotilla. The world-renowned journalist John Pilger says “The Freedom Flotilla is one of the most important direct actions of my lifetime”. Vinthagen was responsible for the nonviolent action trainings of the Flotilla in 2011 and 2012. Among those seized by the Israeli military in international waters in October 2012, he was subsequently jailed and deported from Israel.