Humor and Nonviolent Struggle in Serbia

Humor and Nonviolent Struggle in Serbia

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3 (1 rating by Goodreads)
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If I had no sense of humour, I should long ago have committed suicide," wrote the late Mahatma Gandhi, expressing the potent power of humour to sustain and uplift. Less obvious is humour's ability to operate as a cunning weapon in nonviolent protest movements. Over the last few decades, activists are increasingly incorporating subversive laughter in their protest repertoires, realizing the ways in which it challenges the ruling elite's propaganda, defuses antagonism, and inspires both participants and the greater population.

In this highly original and engaging work, Sombatpoonsiri explores the nexus between humour and nonviolent protest, aiming to enhance our understanding of the growing popularity of humour in protest movements around the world. Drawing on insights from the pioneering Otpor activists in Serbia, she provides a detailed account of the protesters' systematic use of humour to topple Slobadan Milosevi? in 2000. Interviews with activists, protest newsletters, and documentaries of the movement combine to illustrate how humour played a pivotal role by reflecting the absurdity of the regime's propaganda and, in turn, by delegitimizing its authority. Sombatpoonsiri highlights the Otpor activists' ability to internationalize their nonviolent crusade, influencing youth movements in the Ukraine, Georgia, Iran, and Egypt. Globally, Otpor's successful use of humour became an inspiration for a later generation of protest movements.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20.83mm | 508g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 9 blac and white illustrations
  • 0815634072
  • 9780815634072
  • 1,109,890

Review quote

This study is an important contribution to understanding nonviolent social movements within Serbia's modern history.-- "The Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe"
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About Janjira Sombatpoonsiri

Janjira Sombatpoonsiri is lecturer of political science at Thammasat University in Thailand.
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