Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to Start a Revolution

A recent article in Foreign Policy profiles Otpor, a Serbian group which overthrew Slobodon Milosevic, and which now organizes workshops on the tactics of nonviolent revolution. Otpor has taken a page from the work on the tactics of nonviolent revolution by the American political scientist Gene Sharp.

It's encouraging that today's revolutions seem to be led by liberal and social democrats and not by the communists and socialist anarchists of old; today's revolutions seem less likely to just give rise to new authoritarian regimes of a differing ideological pedigree from the old. There are probably many reasons for this shift, but Gene Sharp has argued that the use of violent tactics makes it more likely that a revolution will result in an authoritarian regime instead of a genuinely liberal and democratic one.
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