2. Analyzing power in society/Pillars of support/Powergraph

The pluralistic theory of power defines a basis for viewing political power and some of its sources. A “relational view” of power argues that power rests on popular consent, and that no system can stand without the cooperation of the people. Activists will study “pillars of support,” a concept that helps to identify what key groups may support a nonviolent movement’s opposition and what key groups are available to support nonviolent mobilizations.  

This will be followed by a discussion of how to shift the loyalties of your target group’s supporters so they can be mobilized by you. Then, the module will explore how power graphs visually depict societies so that participants can discern patterns in societal behavior, achievements of nonviolent movements and mobilizations, and practical plans for future campaigns.


  1. Understand the sources of power and how they work
  2. List the key groups within the society that can support the campaign or a movement
  3. Determine patterns in behavior over the certain period on time during important events to be able to understand and predict how loyalties change

2.1 Exercise 

In part one of this exercise, participants will list the most important pillars within their society and then visually present how pillars change their ranking during certain events in the past. In part two, participants will analyze and rank specific institutions/organizations that need to be converted or influenced in order for positive change to take place. The aim is to have them use the given format for strategic and tactical planning in a nonviolent struggle, then analyze and present detailed overview of future strategic approach towards selected pillars of support.