Civil Resistance and Power Politics

Civil Resistance and Power Politics : The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present

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This widely-praised book identified peaceful struggle as a key phenomenon in international politics a year before the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt confirmed its central argument. Civil resistance - non-violent action against such challenges as dictatorial rule, racial discrimination and foreign military occupation - is a significant but inadequately understood feature of world politics. Especially through the peaceful revolutions of 1989, and the developments in
the Arab world since December 2010, it has helped to shape the world we live in.

Civil Resistance and Power Politics covers most of the leading cases, including the actions master-minded by Gandhi, the US civil rights struggle in the 1960s, the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, the 'people power' revolt in the Philippines in the 1980s, the campaigns against apartheid in South Africa, the various movements contributing to the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989-91, and, in this century, the 'colour revolutions' in Georgia and Ukraine. The chapters, written by
leading experts, are richly descriptive and analytically rigorous.

This book addresses the complex interrelationship between civil resistance and other dimensions of power. It explores the question of whether civil resistance should be seen as potentially replacing violence completely, or as a phenomenon that operates in conjunction with, and modification of, power politics. It looks at cases where campaigns were repressed, including China in 1989 and Burma in 2007. It notes that in several instances, including Northern Ireland, Kosovo and, Georgia, civil
resistance movements were followed by the outbreak of armed conflict. It also includes a chapter with new material from Russian archives showing how the Soviet leadership responded to civil resistance, and a comprehensive bibliographical essay.
Illustrated throughout with a remarkable selection of photographs, this uniquely wide-ranging and path-breaking study is written in an accessible style and is intended for the general reader as well as for students of Modern History, Politics, Sociology, and International Relations.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 162 x 229 x 23mm | 782g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Over 70 photographs
  • 0199691452
  • 9780199691456
  • 599,371

Table of contents

Foreword on the Arab Spring ; Preface ; Acknowledgements ; Contents ; List of Illustrations ; List of Contributors ; List of Initial Questions ; 1. Civil Resistance and Power Politics ; 2. People Power and Protest: The Literature on Civil Resistance in Historical Context ; 3. Gandhi and Civil Resistance in India, 1917-47: Key Issues ; 4. The US Civil Rights Movement: Power from Below and Above, 1945-70 ; 5. The Interplay of Non-violent and Violent Action in Northern Ireland, 1967-72 ; 6. The Dialectics of Empire: Soviet Leaders and the Challenge of Civil Resistance in East-Central Europe, 1968-91 ; 7. Civil Resistance in Czechoslovakia: From Soviet Invasion to 'Velvet Revolution', 1968-89 ; 8. Towards 'Self-Limiting Revolution': Poland, 1970-89 ; 9. Portugal: 'The Revolution of the Carnations', 1974-75 ; 10. Mass Protests in the Iranian Revolution, 1977-79 ; 11. 'People Power' in the Philippines, 1983-86 ; 12. Political Mass Mobilization against Authoritarian Rule: Pinochet's Chile, 1983-88 ; 13. The Interplay of Non-violent and Violent Action in the Movement against Apartheid in South Africa, 1983-94 ; 14. The Intersection of Ethnic Nationalism and People Power Tactics in the Baltic States, 1987-91 ; 15. The 1989 Demonstrations in Tiananmen Square and Beyond: Echoes of Gandhi ; 16. Civil Resistance and Civil Society: Lessons from the Collapse of the German Democratic Republic in 1989 ; 17. The Limits of Prudence: Civil Resistance in Kosovo, 1990-98 ; 18. Civil Society versus Slobodan Milosevic: Serbia, 1991-2000 ; 19. Georgia's 'Rose Revolution' of 2003: A Forceful Peace ; 20. Ukraine's 'Orange Revolution' of 2004: The Paradoxes of Negotiation ; 21. The Moment of the Monks: Burma, 2007 ; 22. A Century of Civil Resistance: Some Lessons and Questions
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Review quote

a highly informative compilation of differing quests for political, economic, and social change over the past half-century ... The great value of Civil Resistance and Power Politics is to provide relatively succinct accounts of these diverse events in such a way as to underline both their differences and their similarities. * Brian Urquhart, New York Review of Books * Roberts and Garton Ash succeed in their task magnificently. Seldom has a collective work displayed such coordinated research; seldom has the selection of authors been so successful...; and seldom have the introductory and concluding essays in an edited work been so effective... indispensable book * Pierre Hassner, Survival, International Institute for Strategic Studies * This book is a timely reminder that realpolitik is by no means always the best way to consolidate power. And this may prompt a rethink as to the very nature of power itself. * David Wedgwood Benn, International Affairs * A book full of thought-provoking stories and arresting statistics...a valuable contribution to our understanding of a phenomenon that history has too often ignored - and a political tactic that looks set to become even more potent in the years ahead. * Andrew Lynch, Sunday Business Post *
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About Adam Roberts

Professor Sir Adam Roberts is Senior Research Fellow, Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University, and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. His main academic interests are in the fields of international security, international organizations, and international law (including the laws of war). He has also worked extensively on the role of civil resistance against dictatorial regimes and foreign rule, and on the history of thought about
international relations. In 1968-81 he was Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). In 1981-6 he was Alastair Buchan Reader in International Relations and Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford. In 1986-2007 he was Montague Burton Professor of
International Relations at Oxford University and Fellow of Balliol College.

Professor Timothy Garton Ash is the author of eight books of political writing or 'history of the present' which have charted the transformation of Europe over the last quarter-century. He is Professor of European Studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His essays appear regularly in the New York Review of Books and he writes a weekly column in the Guardian which is
widely syndicated in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Throughout the nineteen eighties, he reported and analysed the emancipation of Central Europe from communism in contributions to the New York Review of Books, the Independent, the Times, and the Spectator.
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