Democracy Now

Erica Chenoweth 08-25-2011

Could nonviolent resistance have succeeded in Libya? Here are four points worth considering:

1) The movement was fairly spontaneous, unlike the highly coordinated campaign in Egypt. As Peter Ackerman consistently points out, planning is an essential element to a successful nonviolent revolution. As with any battlefield, a nonviolent campaign requires extensive preparation. But reports seem to indicate that Libyans began protesting in earnest around Feburary 15th, likely inspired by events in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia. Gadhafi seemed prepared for this and immediately cracked down using overwhelming violence. By February 19th, the movement had become violent in response to these crackdowns. Four days of civil resistance doesn't give it much time to work. Egyptian pro-democracy activists struggled for years before seeing Mubarak fall. Syrian oppositionists, thousands of whom have been killed by Bashar al-Assad's regime, have toiled along for the past six months. So, we can't really say whether or not nonviolence would have worked in Libya. It never had a chance to materialize in the first place.

Karen Lattea 09-10-2010

In 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter announced the installation of solar panels on the White House roof.

Randall Amster 01-29-2010
A number of commentators have questioned the accepted logic that disasters bring out the worst in people, directly challenging the pervasive "looters run amok" imagery often perpetuated by the medi
Ryan Beiler 10-31-2008
I'm pretty sure I have more sympathy for Shane and his treatment of what I'll call "alternative voting" (principled non-voters, minor par