From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation

From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation

by Gene Sharp


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595588500
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 09/04/2012
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 367,129
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Gene Sharp advises governments and resistance movements around the world and is considered the most influential living promoter of nonviolent resistance to autocratic governments. He is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He currently resides in East Boston.

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From Dictatorship to Democracy 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gene Sharp has succeeded in laying out a usable, sensible and sensitive enough document to make it an essential read for anyone interested in confronting authoritarian power structures. He makes no emotional pleas, no over arching vlaue prescriptions and lays out a convincing case for how and why a non-violent movement can win power back for a people seeking liberty. This isn't going to be a page turner for anyone who isn't already fundamentally interested in the subject, but those who are will find it thought provoking, well organized and with well thought out proposals.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really clear and easy to understand, an excellent, essential resource for any movement
jcbrunner on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Gene Sharp offers the keen insight that if war is the continuation of politics with other means, then dictators bring the bigger sticks to the fight. Using violence against dictators is both a very bloody and often futile approach, as the chosen battlefield (violence) is a dictatorship's main source of strength. A successful challenge thus must come from other, more patient and more cautious means: Non-violent resistance á la Gandhi, targeting a dictatorship's weaknesses and putting stress upon its bureaucracy. A dictatorship is, by definition, a highly centralized organization that can bear little information and control overload. Lessening its grip on society and control over information by establishing parallel (informal and formal) institutions dismantles a dictatorship step by step.The second big message of the book is the importance of planning and logistics. Caution is the word. Manning the barricades and organizing demonstrations without the legwork and underlying strategy result only in futile bloodshed. While the media promote the images of the brave young revolutionaries, the important work has to be done in meetings, hopefully long prior to the actual revolution. Otherwise, just as in Hungary 1956, winning the tactical fight on the barricades is traded for the strategic loss against the powers of repression.Sharp's concise manual and checklist of non-violent political measures needs to be fleshed out and adapted to the individual struggle. The biggest omission in my view is the colonial outlook of the manual. It basically assumes either a colonial or local oppressor set against the people. In many current conflicts, however, there are ethnic fault lines where the question is less about dictatorship vs democracy but which clan/ethnic group rules over other clans/ethnic groups. If resources (and wealth) come from a single source (such as oil or diamonds), is there a chance of decentralized democracy or are such countries doomed to fall to strongmen?In any case, Gene Sharp is an inspiration to the world and this booklet a guide to freedom.
jeanlewis More than 1 year ago
was a really good book love reading it gary jodrey
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RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Political scientist Gene Sharp wrote this powerful essay in 1993 to support the resistance movement in Burma, where the government sentenced people who owned this booklet to seven years in jail. Since then, opponents of oppression - most notably in the Arab uprisings of 2011 - have distributed this text widely to political and social activists who want to apply Sharp's 40 years of research, experience and writing about nonviolent struggles, dictatorships and resistance movements. Sharp distills his work on political theory and sociology into a readable, tight, practical volume. Its appendix lists dozens of specific tactics for organizers who want to mount peaceful campaigns against established oppressive forces. getAbstract recommends this influential pamphlet to everybody interested in understanding how peaceful revolutions work.
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