The Resistance Studies Network is a joint initiative of the Universities of Gothenburg (Sweden), Sussex (UK) and Massachusetts (Amherst, USA) , and is now administered with the support of the Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT) at Sussex. The network was launched in 2006 by scholars at the School of Global Studies at University of Gothenburg to facilitate exchange and collaboration around the study of resistance at the contemporary juncture of global transformation. Here is the original Resistance Studies Network Mission statement.

In 2013, scholars from Sussex launched the ‘Resisting Theory’ network through CAIT, following two linked symposia on Subjects and Practices of Resistance: Counter-Conduct in Global Politics and Discipline(s), Dissent and Dispossession. This initiative had a much longer lineage in an international collaborative project on Disciplining Dissent, involving a series of panels, workshops and a conference and special issue/book.

In 2015  a generous donation from a Quaker activist family helped set up the UMass Amherst Resistance Studies Initiative and created an Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance. The initiative is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and its aims are to support unarmed struggles against all forms of exploitation and violence.

The three initiatives came together in mid-2015. In late 2016 San Francisco State University’s College of Ethnic Studies (the only College of its kind in the US) joined the steering group of the RSN. SFSU brings a long tradition of teaching and research on Race and Resistance Studies.

Activities continue at all four institutions. A sizeable research group in Gothenburg meets regularly at School of Global Studies, while at Sussex recent work included the organisation of workshops supported by the British International Studies Association (BISA) and the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) on rights and political struggle. At UMass Amherst the Initiative offers academic courses in Resistance Studies and hosts a series of resistance-themed workshops, lecture series, and symposiums.