Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


International Affairs

First Advisor

Lucy Chester

Second Advisor

Benjamin Teitelbaum

Third Advisor

Vicki Hunter


This thesis takes a deep historical look at the adaptation of Mohandas Gandhi’s nonviolent ideology and strategy in the civil rights movement in the American South in order to understand the composition, construction, and behavior of the modern nonviolent movement known as 15M in Spain. The complete translation of Gandhi’s repertoire resulted in the formation of subversive groups, or contentious communities, which shared the common goal of desegregation and cultural integration of the southern black population. These contentious communities regrouped in nonviolent efforts, and interacted as a groupuscule with the same ideology.

This adaptation of nonviolent ideology and strategy also recently occurred in what is known as the 15M movement in Spain. The 15M movement is similarly composed of many diverse contentious communities whose collective purpose is economic equality and increased representation in government.