Mining the Past to Inform the Future.

Jack W. Peltason Center for the Study of Democracy
UCI Student Center - Emerald Bay CDE
University of California, Irvine
February 16, 2024.

Almost from the very beginning of the nuclear age, some people and organized groups have worked to limit the development and use of nuclear weapons. Sometimes, antinuclear weapons movements have affected public policy, stopping some weapons systems and effectively encouraging arms control measures.

But all the movements of the past have left work to be done. Can today’s activists learn anything from the movements of the past, or is every successive protest generation doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, at best, relearning old lessons?

We have assembled a group of scholars to draw lessons from the past that can inform future activism, ideally leading to more effective campaigns that promote peace and democracy.

Supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, we have assembled a diverse group of scholars who have studied different aspects of citizen activism on nuclear weapons, and will present original research. Each paper will be followed by commentary from a UCI professor.






 8:00am - 9:15am: BREAKFAST


 9:15am - 9:45am: WELCOME AND CHARGE

 David S. Meyer, University of California, Irvine,

 “How to Save the World: Learning from Citizen Engagement on Nuclear Weapons.


 9:45am - 10:30am

 David Cortright, University of Notre Dame,

 “Peace Movements and Policy: Strategies and Methods for Opposing War and Nuclear Weapons.


 10:30am - 10:45am: BREAK


 10:45am - 12:15pm

 Laura Reed, University of Massachusetts, Amherst,

 “Transnational Cooperation and Effective Activism: Lessons from Three Campaigns.

 Michael Heaney, University of Glasgow,

 “Nuclear Weapons, Protest,and American Political Parties, 1944-2020.
Discussion: Edwin Amenta


 12:15pm - 1:30pm: LUNCH


 1:30pm - 3:00pm

 Lisa Leitz, Chapman University,

 “Lessons of Framing.

 Kelsy Kretschmer, Oregon State University,

 “Conflict and Factionalism in Peace Movements.
Discussion: Francesca Polletta


 3:00pm - 3:15pm: BREAK


 3:15pm - 5:00pm

 Sharon Erickson Nepstad, University of New Mexico,

 “Moral Witness and Political Instrumentality in U.S. Peace Movements.

 Shana Gadarian, Syracuse University,

 “Emotion, Politics, and Social Movements.”
Discussion: Jordie Davis


 5:00pm - 8:00pm: DINNER







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