An innovative study that examines how peaceful, domestic tactics by individual human rights activists and organizational activists, with public support, can force an authoritarian regime to make key concessions. Robert Press explores the creation and impact of a culture of resistance. He examines how domestic pressure can be more important than foreign pressure for political reform, especially in underdeveloped, authoritarian states. This study of contemporary Kenya fills a gap in traditional social movement theory to show how a resistance movement actually starts. Contrary to long-dominant theory, the book shows how the initiative for such a movement can come from activists themselves in the face of severe obstacles in society. With its unique findings on the effects of individual activism and peaceful resistance, this book will attract a broad audience in the study and practice of international relations, comparative politics, sociology, interest groups, peace and conflict, and human rights.
About the Author
Robert M. Press grew up in Missouri, USA, where he graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism. After working in Africa for the U.S. Agency for International Development, he and his wife, Betty Press, hitch-hiked and flew around the world for two years. He then worked as a staff writer for The Christian Science Monitor in various locations, including eight years based in Kenya (1987-1995), travelling across East and West Africa with his wife, a photographer. He was a Visiting Professor at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, USA, and an Adjunct Professor at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, USA, before moving to Mississippi. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, International Affairs and International Development at the University of Southern Mississippi, USA.
Table of Contents
Contents: About the author; Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Establishing a culture of resistance: theoretical perspectives; Repression and resistance in Kenya: historical perspectives; Knocking at the door: individual activism; Opening the door: organizational activism; Entering the bastille (peacefully): from resistance to elected power; Mass public support: a key element in a culture of resistance; Conclusion. Appendices: A: methodology; B: human rights treaties in Kenya; C: socio-economic profiles of Kenya; D: repression and torture in Kenya; Select bibliography; Index.