Mark Engler

Mark Engler is a writer based in Philadelphia, an editorial board member at Dissent, and co-author of “This Is An Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-first Century” (Nation Books). He can be reached via the website


Changing the ‘world as it is’ into the ‘world as it should be’

Resolving the conflict between being visionary and being pragmatic is critical for those who want to transform society.

December 19, 2022


What’s the problem with taking state power?

Should we maintain independence and function as a critical force outside of mainstream politics, or should we attempt to take hold of the levers of institutional power in order to create change?

October 27, 2022

People's Action meeting in 2000

Movements are vying for political power — is ‘co-governance’ the answer?

Those promoting co-governance describe it as a new relationship between social movements and the candidates they help win office — a partnership in which activists and elected officials work to maintain a long-term relationship, closely coordinate strategy and advance grassroots priorities.

May 27, 2022

MST blockade

How movements can maintain their radical vision while winning practical reforms

Ever since it launched its first audacious land occupations in the mid-1980s, in which groups of impoverished farmers took over unused estates in Southern Brazil and turned them into cooperative farms, the Landless Workers Movement has stood as one of the most innovative and inspiring social movements in the world.

April 19, 2022

Occupy Wall Street protest

Should we disrupt the Democratic Party or try to take it over?

When trying to figure out how they should interact with political parties, social movements face a common challenge: Should they push from without or seek to operate from within?

February 1, 2022

Gandhi’s Strategy for Success — Use More than One Strategy

In serving as a figure who was able to bridge different organizing traditions, Gandhi provided a model of a complex social movement ecosystem. This model illuminates a critical idea: that transformation is most likely to come about not through any one single approach to creating social change — but through the integration of many.

March 24, 2017

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