This aspect of nonviolence is generally called a constructive program. In the long term, a constructive program provides the glue that keeps movements together, building on the spontaneous energy that may erupt in the face of some severe injustice and preventing that energy from melting away when the injustice has been addressed or the movement meets with unexpected resistance. These are strategic advantages that rest on the fact that nonviolence, as a positive force, lends itself even more natively to “cooperating with good” as King would say, than to “noncooperating with evil,” though that, too, has its place.
Other strategic advantages follow from this principle. For instance, working together for an overriding goal makes for an effective and enduring bond among people. Constructive work also can reassure the public, which may be frightened by even nonviolent resistance to an established authority, and it can undermine a repressive regime without provoking the reaction that confrontation does. Most importantly, a well-developed constructive program builds the infrastructure for a new society before the old society crumbles, preventing the emergence of a power vacuum into which new repressive elements often rush…
Confrontational nonviolence, or what I like to call “obstructive program,” can be very effective, indeed dramatically so, but it requires that we maintain momentum and group solidarity until an opportune moment arrives. It also requires that we make progress without provoking undue hostility from our opponents and that we demonstrate our underlying commitment to the well-being of all, so as to leave the least possible legacy of bitterness, neither of which is always easy. Finally, oppression operates on the false assumption that the oppressed are helpless and dependent, but confrontational nonviolence does not always help to convince ourselves, our people, and in time the oppressor that we can govern and provide for ourselves….
Nagler, N. Michael (2014) The nonviolence handbook: a guide for practical action. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, p.33-38.