The Centre for International Studies, jointly with The European Studies Centre at St Antony's College, is conducting an interdisciplinary research project on Civil Resistance and Power Politics: Domestic and International Dimensions. A landmark international conference on Civil Resistance and Power Politics was held in Oxford on 15-18 March 2007. A major scholarly edited book resulting from this conference is featured below.
Over a year before the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt confirmed its central argument, this widely-praised book, edited by Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash and published by Oxford University Press in 2009, identified peaceful struggle as a key phenomenon in international politics.
The fall of the Berlin Wall. The end of apartheid in South Africa. The US civil rights movement that inspired a young Barack Obama. The toppling of Augusto Pinochet in Chile and of Slobodan Miloševic in Serbia. ‘People Power’ in the Philippines and ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine.
What all these dramatic and disparate historical developments have in common is the often decisive presence of civil resistance. This pathbreaking volume describes and analyses most of the major cases of the use of civil resistance across nearly a hundred years, from Gandhi’s salt march in 1930 to Buddhist monks marching through the streets of Rangoon in 2007. Written by leading specialists, and illustrated throughout with historic photographs, it asks why some attempts at mass non-violent action succeeded in attaining their objectives while others failed. And it explores, rigorously and comparatively, the complex relationships between civil resistance and other factors of power, including war, economic failure and external intervention.
Civil Resistance and Power Politics is essential reading for anyone interested in this momentous and under-studied phenomenon of our time. A paperback edition, with a new foreword on the Arab Spring, has been published by Oxford University Press (September 2011).