Parallel Institutions

Parallel institutions are one of the most crucial forms of constructive program.  They are the social, cultural, and governance structures that a nonviolent movement builds of its own accord without reference to or even as a comprehensive replacement for the often oppressive existing institutions. Examples include: alternative governments, media, unions, agriculture, clubs, professional associations, civic organizations, and religious organizations. These institutions are vital to creating organizational space for the entire nonviolent campaign to coalesce. Some nonviolence theorists such as Gene Sharp believe these should be built at the end of a campaign, but Gandhi claims that what for Gene Sharp is step four in the campaign should in fact be step one.