Benjamin S. Case

Resistance Studies Affiliate

Benjamin S. Case

Benjamin S. Case is a researcher, educator, and organizer living in Pittsburgh, PA. He studies protests, riots, and movement strategy, as well as Jewish identity, antisemitism, and decolonization. His research and writing aims to help expand our understandings of resistance in service of the collective work of building a liberated society.

Case has been involved in community, labor, and political organizing since he attended a Free Mumia rally as a teenager. Since then, he has organized in a variety of projects including anti-war protests and the campaign to close the prison in Guantanamo, restaurant worker organizing and working to build cadre organizations, student power and university labor organizing, Jewish community building and the struggle to end the occupation in Palestine, antifascist actions and racial justice coalition-building. Case was an Occupant in Zuccotti Park in 2011, and after Occupy was dispersed, he joined the sociology department at the University of Pittsburgh to study social movement strategy. He received his doctorate in 2020 and is currently an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Sociology at UMass Amherst.

In his academic work, Case has designed and conducted research projects and published work on an array of movement-related subjects such as the impacts of nonviolent strategies; property destruction and rioting; anarchist organizing structures; the metaphors that we use to conceptualize resistance; media strategies in guerrilla warfare; and protest strategies targeting private corporations. He has also written on Jewish identity, the intersections of antisemitism and white supremacy, digital security, climate justice, unionizing higher education, sports protest, and more. His work has appeared in peer reviewed journals such as Sociological ForumTheory in ActionJournal of Resistance Studies, and Berkeley Journal of Sociology, in edited volumes by Hank Johnston, Cindy Milstein, and Shane Burley, in policy-oriented venues like Political Violence at a Glance, and in movement-facing venues such as ROAR Magazine, Waging Nonviolence, Tikkun, New Politics, Popular Resistance, and Truthout. Case’s book, When Yelling Isn’t Good Enough: Beyond Nonviolence in the Age of Street Rebellion, is forthcoming from AK Press.

In addition to writing and teaching, Case has been deeply involved in community and popular education. He has given talks and trainings to activists and organizing groups and has designed curricula around understanding the intersections between antisemitism and white supremacy.

Outside of his academic and movement work, Case is a retired Muay Thai boxer, and won several championship titles as an amateur and professional. He continues to train and coach fighters, and is a judge and referee with the US Muaythai Federation.

The Thailand uprising: rubber ducks against royalty  by Benjamin S. Case  December 17, 2020 in ROAR Magizine 

Speaking of Riots: The Complicated Reality of Violence vs. Nonviolence  by Benjamin S. Case  February 8, 2021 in Political Violence @ A Glance

Molotov Cocktails to Mass Marches: Strategic Nonviolence, and the Mobilizing Effect of Riots by Benjamin S. Case