CDN$ 37.95
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Civil Resistance and Powe... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present Paperback – Oct 5 2011

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 37.95
CDN$ 37.95 CDN$ 45.55

Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping for Six Months When You Try Amazon Student

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (Oct. 5 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199691452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199691456
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 2.5 x 15.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #693,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"Highly informative compilation of different quests for political, economic, and social change over the past half-century. The great value of Civil Resistance and Power Politics is to provide relatively succinct accounts of these diverse events in such a way as to underline both their differences and their similarities."--New York Review of Books

"Roberts and Garton Ash succeed in their task magnificently. Seldom has a collective work displayed such coordinated research; seldom has the selection of authors been so successful...and seldom have the introductory and concluding essays in an edited work been so effective...indispensable book"--Survival

"This book is a timely reminder that realpolitik is by no means always the best way to consolidate power. And this may prompt a rethink as to the very nature of power itself."--International Affairs

"A book full of thought-provoking stories and arresting statistics...a valuable contribution to our understanding of a phenomenon that history has too often ignored--and a political tactic that looks set to become even more potent in the years ahead." --Sunday Business Post

About the Author

Professor Sir Adam Roberts is Senior Research Fellow, Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University, and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. His main academic interests are in the fields of international security, international organizations, and international law (including the laws of war). He has also worked extensively on the role of civil resistance against dictatorial regimes and foreign rule, and on the history of thought about international relations. In 1968-81 he was Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). In 1981-6 he was Alastair Buchan Reader in International Relations and Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford. In 1986-2007 he was Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at Oxford University and Fellow of Balliol College. Professor Timothy Garton Ash is the author of eight books of political writing or 'history of the present' which have charted the transformation of Europe over the last quarter-century. He is Professor of European Studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His essays appear regularly in the New York Review of Books and he writes a weekly column in the Guardian which is widely syndicated in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Throughout the nineteen eighties, he reported and analysed the emancipation of Central Europe from communism in contributions to the New York Review of Books, the Independent, the Times, and the Spectator.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa841f5c4) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa85f0960) out of 5 stars A very powerful book May 7 2012
By ewaffle - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book describes and critiques non-violent civil resistance movements from throughout the world including those that succeeded - such as the struggle for Indian independence and the U.S. civil rights movement - as well as those that did not such as in Northern Ireland from 1967 to 1972 or the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in the People's Republic of China. The authors of the essays identify some of the more typical non-violent tactics, strategies and concepts which I will overly simplify into three areas.

First there is non-violence as a deeply felt commitment, as good itself and something to strive for no matter what the outcome. Gandhi in British India and Martin Luther King in the United States are two of the most obvious examples. Both men understood that the power of the repressive state rests on the obedience of their citizens (or subjects) and that the active withdrawal of this consent will cause increasing instability in the regime. The "Saffron Revolution" led by Buddhist monks in Burma may be the purest example: Theravada Buddhism, followed by 90% of the Burmese population, permits only a non-violent approach to problem-solving. Monks are instructed that any word they speak and any action they take not only does no harm to others but also can bring about a positive change in reaction in even the most implacable enemies.

Secondly is non-violence as a tactic that had to be adopted due to a precarious military, economic or political situation. Lech Walesa in Poland understood that surrounded by Warsaw Pact troops and with the 1968 intervention into Czechoslovakia fresh in memories throughout eastern and central Europe that he and the strikers at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk had to walk a very fine line to keep the tanks on the other side of the Polish border. They succeeded although they had to endure the imposition of martial law by Polish general Wojciech Jaruzelski which resulted in the extra-judicial incarceration of many Solidarity leaders and cadres but which a majority of people in Poland still think was the only way to stop intervention by surrounding troops. Northern Ireland in the years prior to the 1969 decision to send the British Army into Derry and Belfast was a very different story. Inspired by the U.S. civil rights movement the non-IRA resistance in Northern Ireland tried marches, demonstration, sit-ins and strikes but the fierce opposition of the entrenched establishment to any change and that of the Provisional IRA to anything other than immediate and complete change meant they would fail. The numbers tell the story: in 1967 no one was killed in Ulster as a result of political violence; 497 people were killed in 1972 in the conflict.

The third reason for non-violent resistance to an oppressive regime is as part of establishing a moral basis for a new society. This takes an even longer view than the first two, projecting past the end of the oppressive government to its replacement with a more just society with guarantees of individual rights. Chile from 1983 to 1988 is a good example. Chile has been committed to the rule of law and a robust, independent civil society since independence in 1830 with elected civilian governments interrupted only twice--from 1927 to 1931 and then in 1973 when Pinochet overthrew the socialist government. The Communist Party and the Socialist Party put aside their differences in the face of the extreme repression and terror from the Pinochet military rulers when the economy shuddered to a halt in 1982. They mobilized their constituencies among workers, students and professionals while working with grassroots organizations created by the Catholic Church during the worst of the security crackdowns following the coup, creating a very broad base for elections which the government called and that, to its dismay, lost. The coalitions that were built during the underground and then open organizing were the basis of a policy of truth and justice for crimes committed during the Pinochet administration for the elected governments that came after the end of the dictatorship.

These three sets of concepts and strategies of non-violent resistance are not, of course, exhaustive or mutually exclusive but are methods and reasons for opposition to repression that were identified by the authors of the essays in "Civil Resistance and Power Politics". It is a book well worth owning for its breadth of coverage, hitting not only the most famous rebellions but others that we can learn from such as the Carnation Revolution in Portugal of 1975 that ended several decades of fascist rule or the unusual intersection of ethnic nationalism and peaceful protest in the Baltic nations during the breakup of the Soviet Union.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa85ac99c) out of 5 stars Great Resource Feb. 28 2015
By Harvest McCampbell - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I find that I generally don't agree with the conclusions drawn in this book, but it provides many resources of other relevant material that should prove very fruitful for anyone studying nonviolent resistance. Generally speaking, instead of comparing non-violent resistance to other forms of resistance in judging its effectiveness, it judges these resistance movements against an idealized outcome of the writers own imagination. This narrative tends to minimize the over all goals and visions of these movements and their leaders and focuses instead on short term political outcomes only. While thought provoking, the analysis thus provided is flawed at best. I knew all this before I purchased the book. The works cited, further reading, and bibliography are worth the cost of a good used copy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa85ac7a4) out of 5 stars Provocative and useful Sept. 3 2013
By eugene hynes - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I paired this as a textbook with Gene Sharp's _ From Dictatorship to Democracy_ in a course on Social Dissent. The two work very well together, and contribute to insights and excellent discussions about ongoing conflicts.