From Dictatorship to Democracy, by Gene Sharp

Re: From Dictatorship to Democracy, by Gene Sharp

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:07 am


The cumulative effect of well-conducted and successful political defiance campaigns is to strengthen the resistance and to establish and expand areas of the society where the dictatorship faces limits on its effective control. These campaigns also provide important experience in how to refuse cooperation and how to offer political defiance. That experience will be of great assistance when the time comes for noncooperation and defiance on a mass scale.

As was discussed in Chapter Three, obedience, cooperation, and submission are essential if dictators are to be powerful. Without access to the sources of political power, the dictators' power weakens and finally dissolves. Withdrawal of support is therefore the major required action to disintegrate a dictatorship. It may be useful to review how the sources of power can be affected by political defiance.

Acts of symbolic repudiation and defiance are among the available means to undermine the regime's moral and political authority -- its legitimacy. The greater the regime's authority, the greater and more reliable is the obedience and cooperation which it will receive. Moral disapproval needs to be expressed in action in order to seriously threaten the existence of the dictatorship. Withdrawal of cooperation and obedience are needed to sever the availability of other sources of the regime's power.

A second important such source of power is human resources, the number and importance of the persons and groups that obey, cooperate with, or assist the rulers. If noncooperation is practiced by large parts of the population, the regime will be in serious trouble. For example, if the civil servants no longer function with their normal efficiency or even stay at home, the administrative apparatus will be gravely affected.

Similarly, if the noncooperating persons and groups include those that have previously supplied specialized skills and knowledge, then the dictators will see their capacity to implement their will gravely weakened. Even their ability to make well-informed decisions and develop effective policies may be seriously reduced.

If psychological and ideological influences -- called intangible factors -- that usually induce people to obey and assist the rulers are weakened or reversed, the population will be more inclined to disobey and to noncooperate.

The dictators' access to material resources also directly affects their power. With control of financial resources, the economic system, property, natural resources, transportation, and means of communication in the hands of actual or potential opponents of the regime, another major source of their power is vulnerable or removed. Strikes, boycotts, and increasing autonomy in the economy, communications, and transportation will weaken the regime.

As previously discussed, the dictators' ability to threaten or apply sanctions -- punishments against the restive, disobedient, and noncooperative sections of the population -- is a central source of the power of dictators. This source of power can be weakened in two ways. First, if the population is prepared, as in a war, to risk serious consequences as the price of defiance, the effectiveness of the available sanctions will be drastically reduced (that is, the dictators' repression will not secure the desired submission). Second, if the police and the military forces themselves become disaffected, they may on an individual or mass basis evade or outright defy orders to arrest, beat, or shoot resisters. If the dictators can no longer rely on the police and military forces to carry out repression, the dictatorship is gravely threatened.

In summary, success against an entrenched dictatorship requires that noncooperation and defiance reduce and remove the sources of the regime's power. Without constant replenishment of the necessary sources of power the dictatorship will weaken and finally disintegrate. Competent strategic planning of political defiance against dictatorships therefore needs to target the dictators' most important sources of power.

Escalating freedom

Combined with political defiance during the phase of selective resistance, the growth of autonomous social, economic, cultural, and political institutions progressively expands the "democratic space" of the society and shrinks the control of the dictatorship. As the civil institutions of the society become stronger vis-a-vis the dictatorship, then, whatever the dictators may wish, the population is incrementally building an independent society outside of their control. If and when the dictatorship intervenes to halt this "escalating freedom," nonviolent struggle can be applied in defense of this newly won space and the dictatorship will be faced with yet another "front" in the struggle.

In time, this combination of resistance and institution building can lead to de facto freedom, making the collapse of the dictatorship and the formal installation of a democratic system undeniable because the power relationships within the society have been fundamentally altered.

Poland in the 1970s and 1980s provides a clear example of the progressive reclaiming of a society's functions and institutions by the resistance. The Catholic church had been persecuted but never brought under full Communist control. In 1976 certain intellectuals and workers formed small groups such as K.O.R. (Workers Defense Committee) to advance their political ideas. The organization of the Solidarity trade union with its power to wield effective strikes forced its own legalization in 1980. Peasants, students, and many other groups also formed their own independent organizations. When the Communists realized that these groups had changed the power realities, Solidarity was again banned and the Communists resorted to military rule.

Even under martial law, with many imprisonments and harsh persecution, the new independent institutions of the society continued to function. For example, dozens of illegal newspapers and magazines continued to be published. Illegal publishing houses annually issued hundreds of books, while well-known writers boycotted Communist publications and government publishing houses. Similar activities continued in other parts of the society.

Under the Jaruselski military regime, the military-Communist government was at one point described as bouncing around on the top of the society. The officials still occupied government offices and buildings. The regime could still strike down into the society, with punishments, arrests, imprisonment, seizure of printing presses, and the like. The dictatorship, however, could not control the society. From that point it was only a matter of time until the society was able to bring down the regime completely.

Even while a dictatorship still occupies government positions it is sometimes possible to organize a democratic "parallel government." This would increasingly operate as a rival government to which loyalty, compliance, and cooperation are given by the population and the society's institutions. The dictatorship would then consequently, on an increasing basis, be deprived of these characteristics of government. Eventually, the democratic parallel government may fully replace the dictatorial regime as part of the transition to a democratic system. In due course then a constitution would be adopted and elections held as part of the transition.

Disintegrating the dictatorship

While the institutional transformation of the society is taking place, the defiance and noncooperation movement may escalate. Strategists of the democratic forces should contemplate early that there will come a time when the democratic forces can move beyond selective resistance and launch mass defiance. In most cases, time will be required for creating, building, or expanding resistance capacities, and the development of mass defiance may occur only after several years. During this interim period campaigns of selective resistance should be launched with increasingly important political objectives. Larger parts of the population at all levels of the society should become involved. Given determined and disciplined political defiance during this escalation of activities, the internal weaknesses of the dictatorship are likely to become increasingly obvious.

The combination of strong political defiance and the building of independent institutions is likely in time to produce widespread international attention favorable to the democratic forces. It may also produce international diplomatic condemnations, boycotts, and embargoes in support of the democratic forces (as it did for Poland).

Strategists should be aware that in some situations the collapse of the dictatorship may occur extremely rapidly, as in East Germany in 1989. This can happen when the sources of power are massively severed as a result of the whole population's revulsion against the dictatorship. This pattern is not usual, however, and it is better to plan for a long-term struggle (but to be prepared for a short one).

During the course of the liberation struggle, victories, even on limited issues, should be celebrated. Those who have earned the victory should be recognized. Celebrations with vigilance should also help to keep up the morale needed for future stages of the struggle.

Handling success responsibly

Planners of the grand strategy should calculate in advance the possible and preferred ways in which a successful struggle might best be concluded in order to prevent the rise of a new dictatorship and to ensure the gradual establishment of a durable democratic system.

The democrats should calculate how the transition from the dictatorship to the interim government shall be handled at the end of the struggle. It is desirable at that time to establish quickly a new functioning government. However, it must not be merely the old one with new personnel. It is necessary to calculate what sections of the old governmental structure (as the political police) are to be completely abolished because of their inherent anti-democratic character and which sections retained to be subjected to later democratization efforts. A complete governmental void could open the way to chaos or a new dictatorship.

Thought should be given in advance to determine what is to be the policy toward high officials of the dictatorship when its power disintegrates. For example, are the dictators to be brought to trial in a court? Are they to be permitted to leave the country permanently? What other options may there be that are consistent with political defiance, the need for reconstructing the country, and building a democracy following the victory? A blood bath must be avoided which could have drastic consequences on the possibility of a future democratic system.

Specific plans for the transition to democracy should be ready for application when the dictatorship is weakening or collapses. Such plans will help to prevent another group from seizing state power through a coup d'etat. Plans for the institution of democratic constitutional government with full political and personal liberties will also be required. The changes won at a great price should not be lost through lack of planning.

When confronted with the increasingly empowered population and the growth of independent democratic groups and institutions -- both of which the dictatorship is unable to control -- the dictators will find that their whole venture is unravelling. Massive shut-downs of the society, general strikes, mass stay-at-homes, defiant marches, or other activities will increasingly undermine the dictators' own organization and related institutions. As a consequence of such defiance and noncooperation, executed wisely and with mass participation over time, the dictators would become powerless and the democratic defenders would, without violence, triumph. The dictatorship would disintegrate before the defiant population.

Not every such effort will succeed, especially not easily, and rarely quickly. It should be remembered that as many military wars are lost as are won. However, political defiance offers a real possibility of victory. As stated earlier, that possibility can be greatly increased through the development of a wise grand strategy, careful strategic planning, hard work, and disciplined courageous struggle.
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Re: From Dictatorship to Democracy, by Gene Sharp

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:08 am


The disintegration of the dictatorship is of course a cause for major celebration. People who have suffered for so long and struggled at great price merit a time of joy, relaxation, and recognition. They should feel proud of themselves and of all who struggled with them to win political freedom. Not all will have lived to see this day. The living and the dead will be remembered as heroes who helped to shape the history of freedom in their country.

Unfortunately, this is not a time for a reduction in vigilance. Even in the event of a successful disintegration of the dictatorship by political defiance, careful precautions must be taken to prevent the rise of a new oppressive regime out of the confusion following the collapse of the old one. The leaders of the pro-democracy forces should have prepared in advance for an orderly transition to a democracy. The dictatorial structures will need to be dismantled. The constitutional and legal bases and standards of behavior of a durable democracy will need to be built.

No one should believe that with the downfall of the dictatorship an ideal society will immediately appear. The disintegration of the dictatorship simply provides the beginning point, under conditions of enhanced freedom, for long-term efforts to improve the society and meet human needs more adequately. Serious political, economic, and social problems will continue for years, requiring the cooperation of many people and groups in seeking their resolution. The new political system should provide the opportunities for people with varying outlooks and favored measures to continue constructive work and policy development to deal with problems in the future.

Threats of a new dictatorship

Aristotle warned long ago that " ... tyranny can also change into tyranny...." [14] There is ample historical evidence from France (the Jacobins and Napoleon), Russia (the Bolsheviks), Iran (the Ayatollah), Burma (SLORC), and elsewhere that the collapse of an oppressive regime will be seen by some persons and groups as merely the opportunity for them to step in as the new masters. Their motives may vary, but the results are often approximately the same. The new dictatorship may even be more cruel and total in its control than the old one.

Even before the collapse of the dictatorship, members of the old regime may attempt to cut short the defiance struggle for democracy by staging a coup d'etat designed to preempt victory by the popular resistance. It may claim to oust the dictatorship, but in fact seek only to impose a new refurbished model of the old one.

Blocking coups

There are ways in which coups against newly liberated societies can be defeated. Advance knowledge of that defense capacity may at times be sufficient to deter the attempt. Preparation can produce prevention. [15]

Immediately after a coup is started, the putschists require legitimacy, that is, acceptance of their moral and political right to rule. The first basic principle of anti-coup defense is therefore to deny legitimacy to the putschists.

The putschists also require that the civilian leaders and population be supportive, confused, or just passive. The putschists require the cooperation of specialists and advisors, bureaucrats and civil servants, administrators and judges in order to consolidate their control over the affected society. The putschists also require that the multitude of people who operate the political system, the society's institutions, the economy, the police, and the military forces will passively submit and carry out their usual functions as modified by the putschists' orders and policies.

The second basic principle of anti-coup defense is to resist the putschists with noncooperation and defiance. The needed cooperation and assistance must be denied. Essentially the same means of struggle that was used against the dictatorship can be used against the new threat, but applied immediately. If both legitimacy and cooperation are denied, the coup may die of political starvation and the chance to build a democratic society restored.

Constitution drafting

The new democratic system will require a constitution that establishes the desired framework of the democratic government. The constitution should set the purposes of government, limits on governmental powers, the means and timing of elections by which governmental officials and legislators will be chosen, the inherent rights of the people, and the relation of the national government to other lower levels of government.

Within the central government, if it is to remain democratic, a clear division of authority should be established between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Strong restrictions should be included on activities of the police, intelligence services, and military forces to prohibit any legal political interference.

In the interests of preserving the democratic system and impeding dictatorial trends and measures, the constitution should preferably be one that establishes a federal system with significant prerogatives reserved for the regional, state, and local levels of government. In some situations the Swiss system of cantons might be considered in which relatively small areas retain major prerogatives, while remaining a part of the whole country.

If a constitution with many of these features existed earlier in the newly liberated country's history, it may be wise simply to restore it to operation, amending it as deemed necessary and desirable. If a suitable older constitution is not present, it may be necessary to operate with an interim constitution. Otherwise, a new constitution will need to be prepared. Preparing a new constitution will take considerable time and thought. Popular participation in this process is desirable and required for ratification of a new text or amendments. One should be very cautious about including in the constitution promises that later might prove impossible to implement or provisions that would require a highly centralized government, for both can facilitate a new dictatorship.

The wording of the constitution should be easily understood by the majority of the population. A constitution should not be so complex or ambiguous that only lawyers or other elites can claim to understand it.

A democratic defense policy

The liberated country may also face foreign threats for which a defense capacity would be required. The country might also be threatened by foreign attempts to establish economic, political, or military domination.

In the interests of maintaining internal democracy, serious consideration should be given to applying the basic principles of political defiance to the needs of national defense. [16] By placing resistance capacity directly in the hands of the citizenry, newly liberated countries could avoid the need to establish a strong military capacity which could itself threaten democracy or require vast economic resources much needed for other purposes.

It must be remembered that some groups will ignore any constitutional provision in their aim to establish themselves as new dictators. Therefore, a permanent role will exist for the population to apply political defiance and noncooperation against would-be dictators and to preserve democratic structures, rights, and procedures.

A meritorious responsibility

The effect of nonviolent struggle is not only to weaken and remove the dictators but also to empower the oppressed. This technique enables people who formerly felt themselves to be only pawns or victims to wield power directly in order to gain by their own efforts greater freedom and justice. This experience of struggle has important psychological consequences, contributing to increased self-esteem and self-confidence among the formerly powerless.

One important long-term beneficial consequence of the use of nonviolent struggle for establishing democratic government is that the society will be more capable of dealing with continuing and future problems. These might include future governmental abuse and corruption, maltreatment of any group, economic injustices, and limitations on the democratic qualities of the political system. The population experienced in the use of political defiance is less likely to be vulnerable to future dictatorships.

After liberation, familiarity with nonviolent struggle will provide ways to defend democracy, civil liberties, minority rights, and prerogatives of regional, state, and local governments and nongovernmental institutions. Such means also provide ways by which people and groups can express extreme dissent peacefully on issues seen as so important that opposition groups have sometimes resorted to terrorism or guerrilla warfare.

The thoughts in this examination of political defiance or nonviolent struggle are intended to be helpful to all persons and groups who seek to lift dictatorial oppression from their people and to establish a durable democratic system that respects human freedoms and popular action to improve the society.

There are three major conclusions to the ideas sketched here:

• Liberation from dictatorships is possible;
• Very careful thought and strategic planning will be required to achieve it; and
• Vigilance, hard work, and disciplined struggle, often at great cost, will be needed.

The oft quoted phrase "Freedom is not free" is true. No outside force is coming to give oppressed people the freedom they so much want. People will have to learn how to take that freedom themselves. Easy it cannot be.

If people can grasp what is required for their own liberation, they can chart courses of action which, through much travail, can eventually bring them their freedom. Then, with diligence they can construct a new democratic order and prepare for its defense. Freedom won by struggle of this type can be durable. It can be maintained by a tenacious people committed to its preservation and enrichment.
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Re: From Dictatorship to Democracy, by Gene Sharp

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:12 am



Formal statements

1. Public speeches
2. Letters of opposition or support
3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
4. Signed public statements
5. Declarations of indictment and intention
6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a wider audience

7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
10. Newspapers and journals
11. Records, radio, and television
12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group representations

13. Deputations
14. Mock awards
15. Group lobbying
16. Picketing
17. Mock elections

Symbolic public acts

18. Display of flags and symbolic colors
19. Wearing of symbols
20. Prayer and worship
21. Delivering symbolic objects
22. Protest disrobings
23. Destruction of own property
24. Symbolic lights
25. Displays of portraits
26. Paint as protest
27. New signs and names
28. Symbolic sounds
29. Symbolic reclamations
30. Rude gestures

Pressures on individuals

31. "Haunting" officials
32. Taunting officials
33. Fraternization
34. Vigils

Drama and music

35. Humorous skits and pranks
36. Performance of plays and music
37. Singing


38. Marches
39. Parades
40. Religious processions
41. Pilgrimages
42. Motorcades

Honoring the dead

43. Political mourning
44. Mock funerals
45. Demonstrative funerals
46. Homage at burial places

Public assemblies

47. Assemblies of protest or support
48. Protest meetings
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and renunciation

51. Walk-outs
52. Silence
53. Renouncing honors
54. Turning one's back


Ostracism of persons

55. Social boycott
56. Selective social boycott
57. Lysistratic nonaction
58. Excommunication
59. Interdict

Noncooperation with social events, customs, and institutions

60. Suspension of social and sports activities
61. Boycott of social affairs
62. Student strike
63. Social disobedience
64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the social system

65. Stay-at-home
66. Total personal noncooperation
67. Flight of workers
68. Sanctuary
69. Collective disappearance
70. Protest emigration (hijrat)


Action by consumers

71. Consumers' boycott
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
73. Policy of austerity
74. Rent withholding
75. Refusal to rent
76. National consumers' boycott
77. International consumers' boycott

Action by workers and producers

78. Workmen's boycott
79. Producers' boycott

Action by middlemen

80. Suppliers' and handlers' boycott

Action by owners and management

81. Traders' boycott
82. Refusal to let or sell property
83. Lockout
84. Refusal of industrial assistance
85. Merchants' "general strike"

Action by holders of financial resources

86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
89. Severance of funds and credit
90. Revenue refusal
91. Refusal of a government's money

Action by governments

92. Domestic embargo
93. Blacklisting of traders
94. International sellers' embargo
95. International buyers' embargo
96. International trade embargo


Symbolic strikes

97. Protest strike
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural strikes

99. Peasant strike
100. Farm workers' strike

Strikes by special groups

101. Refusal of impressed labor
102. Prisoners' strike
103. Craft strike
104. Professional strike

Ordinary industrial strikes

105. Establishment strike
106. Industry strike
107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted strikes

108. Detailed strike
109. Bumper strike
110. Slowdown strike
111. Working-to-rule strike
112. Reporting "sick" (sick-in)
113. Strike by resignation
114. Limited strike
115. Selective strike

Multi-industry strikes

116. Generalized strike
117. General strike

Combinations of strikes and economic closures

118. Hartal
119. Economic shutdown


Rejection of authority

120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
121. Refusal of public support
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens' noncooperation with government

123. Boycott of legislative bodies
124. Boycott of elections
125. Boycott of government employment and positions
126. Boycott of government departments, agencies and other bodies
127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens' alternatives to obedience

133. Reluctant and slow compliance
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
135. Popular nonobedience
136. Disguised disobedience
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
138. Sitdown
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
140. Hiding, escape and false identities
141. Civil disobedience of "illegitimate" laws

Action by government personnel

142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
143. Blocking of lines of command and information
144. Stalling and obstruction
145. General administrative noncooperation
146. Judicial noncooperation
147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by
enforcement agents
148. Mutiny

Domestic governmental action

149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International governmental action

151. Changes in diplomatic and other representation
152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
154. Severance of diplomatic relations
155. Withdrawal from international organizations
156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
157. Expulsion from international organizations


Psychological intervention

158. Self-exposure to the elements
159. The fast
(a) Fast of moral pressure
(b) Hunger strike
(c) Satyagrahic fast
160. Reverse trial
161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical intervention

162. Sit-in
163. Stand-in
164. Ride-in
165. Wade-in
166. Mill-in
167. Pray-in
168. Nonviolent raids
169. Nonviolent air raids
170. Nonviolent invasion
171. Nonviolent interjection
172. Nonviolent obstruction
173. Nonviolent occupation

Social intervention

174. Establishing new social patterns
175. Overloading of facilities
176. Stall-in
177. Speak-in
178. Guerrilla theater
179. Alternative social institutions
180. Alternative communication system

Economic intervention

181. Reverse strike
182. Stay-in strike
183. Nonviolent land seizure
184. Defiance of blockades
185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
186. Preclusive purchasing
187. Seizure of assets
188. Dumping
189. Selective patronage
190. Alternative markets
191. Alternative transportation systems
192. Alternative economic institutions

Political intervention

193. Overloading of administrative systems
194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
195. Seeking imprisonment
196. Civil disobedience of "neutral" laws
197. Work-on without collaboration
198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government
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Re: From Dictatorship to Democracy, by Gene Sharp

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:13 am

A Note About Translations and Reprinting of this Publication

To facilitate dissemination of this publication it has been placed in the public domain. That means that anyone is free to reproduce it or disseminate it.

The author, however, does have several requests that he would like to make, although individuals are under no legal obligation to follow such requests.

• The author requests that no changes be made in the text, either additions or deletions, if it is reproduced.
• The author requests notification from individuals who intend to reproduce this document. Notification can be given to the Albert Einstein Institution (contact information appears in the beginning of this publication immediately before the Table of Contents).
• The author requests that if this document is going to be translated, great care must be taken to preserve the original meaning of the text. Some of the terms in this publication will not translate readily into other languages, as direct equivalents for "nonviolent struggle" and related terms may not be available. Thus, careful consideration must be given to how these terms and concepts are to be translated so as to be understood accurately by new readers.

For individuals and groups that wish to translate this work, the Albert Einstein Institution has developed a standard set of translation procedures that may assist them. They are as follows:

• A selection process takes place to select a translator. Candidates are evaluated on their fluency in both English and the language into which the work will be translated. Candidates are also evaluated on their general knowledge surrounding the subject area and their understanding of the terms and concepts present in the text.
• An evaluator is selected by a similar process. The evaluator's job is to thoroughly review the translation and to provide feedback and criticism to the translator. It is often better if the translator and evaluator do not know the identities of each other.
• Once the translator and evaluator are selected, the translator submits a sample translation of two or three pages of the text, as well as a list of a number of significant key terms that are present in the text.
• The evaluator evaluates this sample translation and presents feedback to the translator.
• If major problems exist between the translator's sample translation and the evaluator's evaluation of that translation, then either the translator or the evaluator may be replaced, depending upon the judgement of the individual or group that is sponsoring the translation. If minor problems exist, the translator proceeds with the full translation of the text, keeping in mind the comments of the evaluator.
• Once the entire text is translated, the evaluator evaluates the entire text and gives feedback to the translator.
• Once the translator has considered this feedback and made any necessary changes, the final version of the text is complete and the translated book is ready to be printed and distributed.
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Re: From Dictatorship to Democracy, by Gene Sharp

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:13 am


Gene Sharp, D. Phil. (Oxon.), is Senior Scholar at the Albert Einstein Institution in Boston, Massachusetts. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Ohio State University and a D. Phil. in political theory from Oxford University. He has also been awarded honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws from Manhattan College and Doctor of Humanitarian Service from Rivier College. Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, he has also taught at the University of Oslo, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and for nearly thirty years held a research appointment at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs. His books in English include The Politics of Nonviolent Action (1973), Gandhi as a Political Strategist (1979), Social Power and Political Freedom (1980), Making Europe Unconquerable (1985), and Civilian-based Defense: A Post-Military Weapons System (1990). A new major book is now in preparation (2003) Waging Nonviolent Struggle: Twentieth Century Practice and Twenty-First Century Potential. His writings have appeared in more than thirty languages.
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Re: From Dictatorship to Democracy, by Gene Sharp

Postby admin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:13 am


1. The term used in this context was introduced by Robert Helvey. "Political defiance" is nonviolent struggle (protest, noncooperation, and intervention) applied defiantly and actively for political purposes. The term originated in response to the confusion and distortion created by equating nonviolent struggle with pacifism and moral or religious "nonviolence." "Defiance" denotes a deliberate challenge to authority by disobedience, allowing no room for submission. "Political defiance" describes the environment in which the action is employed (political) as well as the objective (political power). The term is used principally to describe action by populations to regain from dictatorships control over governmental institutions by relentlessly attacking their sources of power and deliberately using strategic planning and operations to do so. In this paper, political defiance, nonviolent resistance, and nonviolent struggle will be used interchangeably, although the latter two terms generally refer to struggles with a broader range of objectives (social, economic, psychological, etc.).

2. Freedom House, Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties, 1992-1993 (New York: Freedom House, 1993), p. 66 (1993 figures are as of January 1993). See pp. 79-80 for a description of Freedom House's categories of "free," "partly free," and "not free."

3. Freedom House, Freedom in the World, p. 4.

4. Patrick Sarsfield O'Hegarty, A History of Ireland Under the Union, 1880-1922 (London: Methuen, 1952), pp. 490-491.

5. Krishnalal Shridharani, War Without Violence: A Study of Gandhi's Method and Its Accomplishments (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1939, and reprint New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1972), p. 260.

6. Aristotle, The Politics, transl. by T. A. Sinclair (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England and Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin Books 1976 [1962]), Book V, Chapter 12, pp. 231 and 232.

7. This story, originally titled "Rule by Tricks" is from Yu-li-zi by Liu Ji (1311-1375) and has been translated by Sidney Tai, all rights reserved. Yu-li-zi is also the pseudonym of Liu Ji. The translation was originally published in Nonviolent Sanctions: News from the Albert Einstein Institution (Cambridge, Mass.), Vol. IV, No. 3 (Winter 1992-1993), p. 3.

8. Karl W. Deutsch, "Cracks in the Monolith," in Carl J. Friedrich, ed., Totalitarianism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1954), pp. 313-314.

9. John Austin, Lectures on Jurisprudence or the Philosophy of Positive Law (Fifth edition, revised and edited by Robert Campbell, 2 vol., London: John Murray, 1911 [1861]), Vol. I, p. 296.

10. Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy," in The Discourses of Niccolo Machiavelli (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1950), Vol. I, p. 254.

11. See Gene Sharp, The Politics of Non violent Action (Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973), p. 75 and passim for other historical examples.

12. Robert Helvey, personal communication, 15 August 1993.

13. Recommended full length studies are Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action (Boston, MA: Porter Sargent, 1973) and Peter Ackerman and Christopher Kruegler, Strategic Nonviolent Conflict (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1994). Also see Gene Sharp, Waging Nonviolent Struggle: Twentieth Century Practice and Twenty First Century Potential. Forthcoming.

14. Aristotle, The Politics, Book V. Chapter 12, p. 233.

15. For more information on anti-coup resistance, see Gene Sharp, The Anti-Coup (Boston, MA: The Albert Einstein Institution, 2003).

16. See Gene Sharp, Civilian-Based Defense: A Post-Military Weapons System (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990).

17. This list, with definitions and historical examples, is taken from Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Part Two, The Methods of Nonviolent Action (Boston, MA: Porter Sargent, 1973).
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