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Sharp, Gene (b. 1928)

Abel Polese


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Gene Sharp is a senior scholar at the Albert Einstein Institution of Boston, which he founded in 1983 to encourage research on non-violent action methods to fight dictatorship and oppression in the world and promote democracy. Strongly influenced by Gandhi's organized labor strikes and boycott, Sharp has codified non-violent action methods and elaborated a complete theory of power in which he clearly argues that the population is the only source of power of the authorities; thus, the most natural way to get rid of authoritarian rule is to stop supporting the ruling elites. His 1973 The Politics of Nonviolent Action is an extensive description of the theory of power that inspired protest movements in most countries with authoritarian regimes. His books have been published in an extremely wide range of languages, from Chinese to Khmer to Farsi and Tibetan, and are behind most non-violent protest strategies all over the world. The desire to elaborate a strategy accessible and easy to transmit prompted Sharp to write the book From Dictatorship to Democracy (1993). This book became the proverbial Bible for non-violent revolution movements and in particular for the organizers of “color revolution” movements which occurred in post-socialist spaces from 2000 on. Born in 1928, Gene Sharp completed a BA in social sciences at the Ohio State University in 1949 and an MA in sociology ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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