Policy Forum

Civil Resistance and Revolution in the Arab World

April 18, 2011 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM EDT

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring Peter Ackerman, Founding Chair, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, Coauthor, A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict; and Jack Goldstone, Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University Editor, The Encyclopedia of Political Revolutions; moderated by David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute.

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What explains the swift collapse of what were considered some of the most stable regimes in the Arab world? Drawing on scholarship and his Center’s experience in supporting pro‐​democracy activists in Egypt and around the world, Peter Ackerman will describe factors — such as strategy and careful planning — that are common to successful civil resistance movements. According to Ackerman, nonviolent campaigns have a better record at bringing down dictators than violent confrontations. Jack Goldstone will describe the conditions that give rise to revolutions, highlight the vulnerabilities of “sultanistic” dictatorships, and identify which Middle Eastern regimes are most likely to retain power.