Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present

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We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days When will my order arrive? Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. Civil Resistance and Power Politics: Description This widely-praised book identified peaceful struggle as a key phenomenon in international politics a year before the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt confirmed its central argument.

Civil resistance - non-violent action against such challenges as dictatorial rule, racial discrimination and foreign military occupation - is a significant but inadequately understood feature of world politics. Especially through the peaceful revolutions of , and the developments in the Arab world since December , it has helped to shape the world we live in. Civil Resistance and Power Politics covers most of the leading cases, including the actions master-minded by Gandhi, the US civil rights struggle in the s, the Islamic revolution in Iran in , the 'people power' revolt in the Philippines in the s, the campaigns against apartheid in South Africa, the various movements contributing to the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in , and, in this century, the 'colour revolutions' in Georgia and Ukraine.

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The chapters, written by leading experts, are richly descriptive and analytically rigorous. This book addresses the complex interrelationship between civil resistance and other dimensions of power. It explores the question of whether civil resistance should be seen as potentially replacing violence completely, or as a phenomenon that operates in conjunction with, and modification of, power politics.

It looks at cases where campaigns were repressed, including China in and Burma in It notes that in several instances, including Northern Ireland, Kosovo and, Georgia, civil resistance movements were followed by the outbreak of armed conflict. It also includes a chapter with new material from Russian archives showing how the Soviet leadership responded to civil resistance, and a comprehensive bibliographical essay.

Illustrated throughout with a remarkable selection of photographs, this uniquely wide-ranging and path-breaking study is written in an accessible style and is intended for the general reader as well as for students of Modern History, Politics, Sociology, and International Relations.

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The Best Books of Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of Looking for beautiful books? Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more. A World History is a valuable and unique resource, exploring the long history of peace- making. It provides readers with an understanding of the trials, errors and successes of peace and peacemaking in the past, from which they can gain insight and practical knowledge to guide peacemaking in the future.

This broadens his focus beyond the cessation of violent conflict and towards the development of positive peace. In challenging the notion of peace as the absence of war, Adolf also challenges the assumption that writing history is the exclusive privilege of the militarily mightiest. He argues instead that without the peacemakers, there would not only be no history to write, but likely no world in which to write it. First, that sensitivity to cultural contingen- cies and diversities is integral to understanding the history of peace, and the attention given to the complexities of the cultural contexts in which peace has been made over history reflects this concern.

However, while the book offers a strong and detailed account of peace in Europe, the Middle East, South and East Asia, and, to a lesser extent, the Americas, the history of peace and peacemaking in African contexts is noticeably absent. This is particularly problematic given the current high prevalence of violent conflict in that continent, and therefore this book has limited applicability to peacemakers working there. Second, Adolf identifies three distinct arenas of peace, which have a dynamic and mutually reinforcing relationship: This classification guides his analysis, and informs the pyramid of peace presented in the conclusion in order to summarise and give a pragmatic character to the salient peace principles and practices explored in preceding chapters.

On the base level of the pyramid lies corporeal peace, achieved through education, healthcare, nutrition, shelter and sanitation. It is followed by sanctuarial peace, which involves the elimination of structural violence, inter-personal violence and harm against nature, and can be built upon to achieve socio-economic peace, which entails the reduction of inequal- ities in wealth, the elimination of discrimination, and full and free employment. In terms of structure, Peace: A World History follows the history of peace from primordial times.

This chapter also outlines the move to political secularism as a means of achieving peace, and the development of anti-war and non-violence theory by Renaissance and Reformation scholars. Adolf argues that individuals and groups have played key roles in making and maintaining peace despite nation-states, and his account of those actors is picked up in later chapters. While the analysis of globalisation presented is not groundbreaking, there is a tangible value in the explicit outlining of how changing contexts impact upon the way that peace and con- flict play out, thereby improving our capacity to tailor our responses to them.

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A World History often fails to analyse the implications of various actions or struc- tures for peace. For instance, while the discussion of the UN and its limitations to making peace is detailed, it offers no insightful analysis on what those limitations actually mean, how they interact with other international processes and structures, or how they could be addressed p.

However, detailed empirical studies show that foreign policies in post-colonial states are both produced in domestic politics and are themselves discursively productive of regime consolida- Downloaded By: Rather than simply being the product of a national sovereign entity, foreign policy itself produces that entity as sovereign and its regime as hegemonic.

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Furthermore, foreign policy is one force which generates this intertwining of regime and state security which itself challenges the notion of a sovereign state autonomous from society. Yet, despite this appar- ent relegation of the sovereign state to the realm of a discursive effect of political power, empiri- cal studies also show that this discursive effect, the sovereign state, is remarkably enduring. The author is quite explicit that his focus is neither an assessment of the success of Turkmen foreign policy nor its reception domestically, but a consideration of the sources and objectives of foreign policy.

Nevertheless it is not clear that the author has spent any time in Turkmenistan and this is a weakness of the book. However, the text is clear and very well-organised, placing Turkmen foreign policy in the context of Turkmen nation-building — the consolidation of its authoritarian regime under the idiosyncratic Sapuramat Niyazov from to and his successor, the blander Gurban- guly Berdymuhammedov since Three chapters on respectively foreign economic policy, relations with Russia and Western pressure with regard to human rights highlight the key vectors of Turkmen foreign policy since independence.

Moreover, the book is remarkably up-to-date, with a brief chapter on the Berdymuhammedov era and a conclusion which assesses foreign policy continuity and change following the death of Niyazov. Through- out one key objective of foreign policy remained: As would be expected, many of the per- sonnel and practices of foreign affairs remain from the Soviet era. Furthermore, despite the assertion of neutrality, the Soviet metropole of Moscow remained the key external sponsor of the Turkmen regime, and indeed became more significant from the late s pp.

This rhetoric is very much the product of a late-Soviet era where offi- cial pronouncements were cynically and formulaically reproduced. The astonishingly rapid and painless reformation of the Turkmen regime, and Downloaded By: This puzzle is raised by the book but unfortunately lies beyond its scope.


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Second, Anceschi raises questions of comparison with the foreign policies of other states in the region. Foreign policies in Central Asian states are primarily about the expression of independence and sovereignty in order to legitimise the incumbent regime within its extant territorial boundaries.


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Thus, in considering the performative dimension of foreign policy for nation-building discourse the book reveals points of comparison within and beyond the region that would be invisible to a behaviouralist approach. However, these com- parisons are never fully explored in the text. Here his use of the concept of sul- tanism is both familiar, being a path trodden by other scholars of Turkmenistan, and yet ulti- mately unconvincing. As Anceschi notes p. Yet ideologically-saturated discourse, formed from the crude intellectual resources of a late-Soviet scientific objectivism and materialism, charac- terises post-Soviet political communication.

Equally, these highly personalised regimes do not necessarily collapse when their sultan perishes — as the Turkmenistan case seems to show.


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Battles for power largely stay behind closed doors and the state ultimately provides the frame- work within which power is contested. The formalities of foreign policy are themselves consti- tutive of that framework: John Heathershaw University of Exeter E-mail: This very topical volume is highly relevant to Europe and, as such, represents a welcome addition to the emerging literature on piracy and its impact on inter- national relations. It is also an informative and practical contribution to the already extensive literature on Somalia and its violent past.

Civil Resistance and Power Politics : Sir Adam Roberts :

It also includes a chapter with new material from Russian archives showing how the Soviet leadership responded to civil resistance, and a comprehensive bibliographical essay. Illustrated throughout with a remarkable selection of photographs, this uniquely wide-ranging and path-breaking study is written in an accessible style and is intended for the general reader as well as for students of Modern History, Politics, Sociology, and International Relations. General readers interested in international issues. Scholars and students of political science, international relations, sociology, and history.

Civil Resistance and Power Politics: