By Dr. Stephen Zunes

Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution

[With co-author Jacob Mundy]
The Western Sahara conflict has proven to be one of the most protracted and intractable struggles facing the international community. Pitting local nationalist determination against Moroccan territorial ambitions, the dispute is further complicated by regional tensions with Algeria and the geo-strategic concerns of major global players… Zunes and Mundy examine the origins, evolution, and resilience of the conflict, deploying a diverse array of sources and firsthand knowledge of the region gained from multiple research visits. Shifting geographical frames—local, regional, and international—provide for a robust analysis of the stakes involved.
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Nonviolent Social Movements: A Geographical Perspective

Nonviolent Social Movements is the first book to offer a truly global overview of the dramatic growth of popular nonviolent struggles in recent years. From the civil rights movement in the United States, and the ‘People Power’ movement in the Philippines, to the pro-democracy movements of Asia, Latin America, and Europe, nonviolent action has emerged as a key element of political change in recent decades. Despite its widespread diffusion as a conscious movement around the world, we still understand little about nonviolence as a technique for social change. This volume seeks to provide an understanding of the extent to which organized nonviolent action can be used to replace violent struggle and the conditions under which it can succeed. Nonviolent Social Movements brings together case studies from around the world to demonstrate how nonviolent action works and what possibilities and limitations it holds for achieving social change and deterring aggressors.
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Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. Also in French as:
La Poudrière : La Politique américaine au Moyen-Orient et les Racines du terrorisme

“In the aftermath of 9/11, it was apparent that there were large numbers of people who wanted a readable overview of the recent history of the U.S. role in the Middle East and current U.S. policies, a study that would critically challenge certain aspects of the U.S. role in the region but would not simply be a left-wing polemic. I wrote Tinderbox in the hope that–in addition to raising some of the important ethical and legal question regarding U.S. policy–it would primarily address how current U.S. policy actually threatens U.S. security.

“In covering such areas as human rights, the arms trade, U.S. military intervention, terrorism, Islamic movements, Iraq, Iran, the Arabian peninsula, Israel and Palestine, Afghanistan and related concerns, Tinderbox encourages readers to recognize that it has not been American values of freedom, democracy and rule of law that has created such an anti-American backlash in the Middle East, but the fact that U.S. policy has ignored these values through support for dictatorships and occupation armies and other violations of international law. In noting how increased U.S. militarization of the region has actually made us less secure, I conclude the book with proposed alternative policies that would create a more peaceful and stable Middle East and enhance American security in these dangerous times.”
– Stephen Zunes
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Sudan’s 2019 Revolution: The Power of Civil Resistance

By Stephen Zunes (2021), ICNC Press, VOL. 5 APRIL 2021
This report reviews the chronology of the resistance struggle in Sudan, the critical role of nonviolent discipline, other factors contributing to the movement’s success, and the current political situation. It seeks to explain how the movement was able to succeed

This report reviews the chronology of the resistance struggle in Sudan, the critical role of nonviolent discipline, other factors contributing to the movement’s success, and the current political situation. It seeks to explain how the movement was able to succeed despite enormous odds against it and what lessons could be learned by those facing similarly difficult circumstances.

Given the serious challenges facing the new civilian-led government, there is a real possibility that—as was the case following successful pro-democracy struggles decades earlier—the military could again seize power. However, as will be elaborated below, there are also reasons for hope that this time democratic forces will indeed remain successful in the long run… Purchase or Download Free.

Civil Resistance Against Coups: A Comparative and Historical Perspective

By Stephen Zunes,  December 2017.
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Nations are not helpless if the military decides to stage a coup. On dozens of occasions in recent decades, even in the face of intimidated political leaders and international indifference, civil society has risen up to challenge putschists through large-scale nonviolent direct action and noncooperation. How can an unarmed citizenry mobilize so quickly and defeat a powerful military committed to seizing control of the government? What accounts for the success or failure of nonviolent resistance movements to reverse coups and consolidate democratic gains?

This monograph presents in-depth case studies and analysis intended to improve our understanding of the strategic utility of civil resistance against military takeovers; the nature of civil resistance mobilization against coups; and the role of civil resistance against coups in countries’ subsequent democratization efforts (or failure thereof). It offers key lessons for pro-democracy activists and societies vulnerable to military usurpation of power; national civilian and military bureaucracies; external state and non-state agencies supportive of democracy; and future scholarship on this subject.