How Nonviolent Struggle Works

by Sharp, Gene

1 pages

Brief explanation of how nonviolent struggle works based on the theory of Gene Sharp. Nonviolent struggle works by undermining the opponent's power at its source. A government's political power, for example, ultimately depends on the consent and cooperation of its citizens. Rulers of governments and political systems are not omnipotent, nor do they possess self generating power. On the contrary, all dominating elites and rulers depend for their sources of power upon the cooperation of the population and of the institutions of the society they would rule. If the population rejects the rulers' right to rule and to command, they are withdrawing the general agreement, or group consent, which makes the existing government possible. This loss of authority sets in motion the disintegration of the rulers' power. That power is reduced to the degree that the rulers are denied authority. Where the loss is extreme, the existence of that particular government is threatened.

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Title
How Nonviolent Struggle Works
Identifier
IIP0050F01
Rights
Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 4.0)
Author
Locality
Cambridge, MA
Country
Language
English
Collection
Nonviolence International
Type
Abstract
Brief explanation of how nonviolent struggle works based on the theory of Gene Sharp. Nonviolent struggle works by undermining the opponent's power at its source. A government's political power, for example, ultimately depends on the consent and cooperation of its citizens. Rulers of governments and political systems are not omnipotent, nor do they possess self generating power. On the contrary, all dominating elites and rulers depend for their sources of power upon the cooperation of the population and of the institutions of the society they would rule. If the population rejects the rulers' right to rule and to command, they are withdrawing the general agreement, or group consent, which makes the existing government possible. This loss of authority sets in motion the disintegration of the rulers' power. That power is reduced to the degree that the rulers are denied authority. Where the loss is extreme, the existence of that particular government is threatened.
Pages
1