Stephen Zunes : Nonviolent Action


Iran’s History of Civil Insurrections
19 June 2009

The growing nonviolent insurrection in Iran against the efforts by the ruling clerics to return the ultra-conservative and increasingly autocratic incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinjead to power is growing. Whatever the outcome, it represents an exciting and massive outpouring of Iranian civil society for a more open and pluralistic society….


Remembering Tiananmen Square
4 June 2009

Twenty years ago, on June 4, I was at Camp Thoreau in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Though I had already become a full-time academic, I was still involved in the topical folk music circles in which I had hung out for much of the previous decade and had come down from Ithaca to join this annual gathering of politically-conscious folk musicians for a weekend of workshops, jam sessions and performances….


Presentation: Nonviolent Action in the Islamic World
11 March 2009

Dr. Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, discusses the long history of strategic nonviolent action throughout the Islamic world, in the Middle East and beyond. Based in part on the social contract implied in Islamic teachings which advocate the withdrawal of obedience from unjust authority, nonviolent civil insurrections have played a major role in the struggle for freedom and human rights for more than a century. Dr. Zunes, looks at case studies from Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Mali, Western Sahara, Indonesia, Pakistan, and others.


Fighting Corruption through Nonviolent Action
23 December 2008

The dramatic growth in democratic governance in recent decades from Latin America to Eastern Europe as well as large parts of Africa and Asia rarely came from outside forces or top-down initiatives, but primarily from democratic civil society organizations engaging in strategic nonviolent action. There appears to be a growing recognition that endemic corruption needs to be addressed the same way.


The Power of Protest in the Maldives
9 December 2008

The recent ousting of the corrupt and autocratic president of the Maldive Islands, Mahmoud Gayoom, marks another victory in the global struggle for rights and democracy. Gayoom was defeated in a nationwide election on 28 October after ruling the tiny Indian Ocean archipelago as his personal fiefdom for more than thirty years….


The Cooties Effect
3 November 2008

During the McCarthy era of the 1950s, in what became known as “guilt by association,” simply being friends with someone suspected of being a Communist could ruin your career. Today that’s been extended to guilt by spatial proximity, which could appropriately be called the “cooties effect.” If you sit on the same board, have appeared on the same panel, or otherwise have been in close physical proximity to someone deemed undesirable, you therefore must have been infected by their politics or, at minimum, have no problems with things they may have done in their past….


Haidar’s Struggle
9 October 2008

Aminatou Haidar, a nonviolent activist from Western Sahara and a key leader in her nation’s struggle against the 33-year-old U.S.-backed Moroccan occupation of her country, won this year’s Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award….


Sharp Attack Unwarranted
27 June 2008

Gene Sharp, an 80-year-old scholar of strategic nonviolent action and veteran of radical pacifist causes, is under attack by a number of foreign governments that claim that he and his small research institute are key players in a Bush administration plot against them….


Estonia’s Singing Revolution
4 June 2008

There is an infamous line from the Nazi era, which Hermann Goring adapted from a play performed on Hitler’s birthday: “When I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my gun.” By contrast, the people of Estonia, when faced with many guns, reached for their culture….


A Reply to Stephen Gowans’ False Allegations against Stephen Zunes
24 February 2008

[Stephen Gowans has written an article, “Stephen Zunes and the Struggle for Overseas Profits.” This is Zunes’ reply.]

Stephen Gowans’ February 18 article, “Stephen Zunes and the Struggle for Overseas Profits,” is filled with demonstrably inaccurate and misleading statements about both me and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), with whom I serve as chair of the board of academic advisors. Below is a 13-point refutation which only begins to challenge the lies and misinformation.