Civil resistance seizes the moment

28 February, 2011

The momentous political developments in North Africa and the Middle East have brought the use of civil resistance into the spotlight as a tool for challenging oppression.

Civil resistance – popular movements challenging oppression: policy issues for the international community

Wednesday 30 March – Friday 1 April 2011 (WP1032)

Our forthcoming conference, Civil resistance – popular movements challenging oppression: policy issues for the international community, will be held on 30 March – 1 April with momentous political ferment sweeping through North Africa and the Middle East.  

 

Egyptian demonstrators protest in Cairo'

Image: Khaled Desouki

 

Discussion of these developments will run through most of the conference sessions. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a leading Egyptian political dissident and Co-Founder of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, is amongst the confirmed conference speakers, as is Maria Stephan, who edited a 2010 book entitled “Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization, and Governance in the Middle East”. Professor Sir Adam Roberts, President of the British Academy and co-editor of a recent volume on the political impact of civil resistance movements from Gandhi to the present, is chairing the conference and will be the opening speaker. 

Wilton Park’s partner for the conference is the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) in Washington DC. The centre’s mission is to analyse and disseminate knowledge of strategy and tactics for nonviolent civil resistance, and it has very much been in the news of late (New York Times and The Atlantic).

The conference discussions should be both fascinating and timely, situating the current political ferment in North Africa and the Middle East within the context of the rich history of civil resistance movements and their impact as drivers of political change, and considering how the international community might effectively and properly assist these movements.

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