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Gene Sharp

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Year of Publication: 2012

Sharp, Gene, Sharp’s Dictionary of Power and Struggle: Language of Civil Resistance in Conflicts, New York, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 345

Offers a set of definitions of the range of terms associated with (and relevant to) nonviolent action and mass unarmed resistance. Includes a brief introductory essay on power, and short summaries of the civil resistance in Serbia 2000 and Tunisia 2011.

Year of Publication: 2011

Sharp, Gene, From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation, [1993], London, Housmans Bookshop, 2011, pp. 94

Also published by London, Serpent’s Tail, 2012, and available from the Albert Einstein Institution (see website).

Written at the request of a Burmese dissident, this is now widely known as a succinct analysis of how nonviolent resistance can overthrow tyrannical regimes.

Translations: Spanish | Italian | French

Year of Publication: 2005

Sharp, Gene, Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential, Boston, Porter Sargent, 2005, pp. 598

An abbreviated and slightly modified version of Sharp’s general argument in The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Includes 23 brief case studies of campaigns from the Russian Revolution of 1905 to the Serbian people power of 2000 (some written by Sharp’s collaborators: Joshua Paulson, Christopher A. Miller and Hardy Merriman).

Year of Publication: 2003

Sharp, Gene ; Jenkins, Bruce, The Anti-Coup, Cambridge MA, Albert Einstein Institution, 2003, pp. 64

Summary analysis of potential for popular nonviolent resistance to defeat coup attempts, recommendations for organised strategy and advance preparations to prevents coups, and with very brief description of resistance to Kapp Putsch in 1920, the Algerian Generals in 1961 and to attempt to overthrow Gorbachev in 1991.

Year of Publication: 1997

McCarthy, Ronald M. ; Sharp, Gene, Nonviolent Action: A Research Guide, New York, Garland, 1997, pp. 720

An exhaustive, annotated, bibliography, very strong on earlier history of nonviolent action, but also including many recent nonviolent campaigns up to the mid-1990s. Part I covers cases of nonviolent action. Part II the methods and dynamics of nonviolent action and theories of conflict, power and violence. NB the index is seriously flawed (a correct version should be available on the Albert Einstein Institution website), but it is possible to trace campaigns through the list of contents.

Year of Publication: 1990

Sharp, Gene, Civilian-Based Defense: A Post-Military Weapons System, Princeton NJ, Princeton University Press, 1990, pp. 166

Examines theoretical case for relying on the power of society to deter and defend, rather than weaponry, cites examples of Ruhr 1923 and Czechoslovakia 1968-69 as examples of improvised civilian defence, and explores strategy and possibility of ‘transarmament’. Sharp’s 72-page Self-reliant Defense Without Bankruptcy or War, 1992, written for Soviet successor states (especially the Baltic states) can be downloaded from

Year of Publication: 1989

Sharp, Gene, The Intifada and nonviolent struggle, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 19, no. 1, 1989, pp. 3-13

See in same journal: Sharp, Gene ; Safieh, Afif , Gene Sharp: Nonviolent struggle Journal of Palestine Studies, 1987, pp. 37-55 .

Year of Publication: 1987

Sharp, Gene ; Safieh, Afif, Gene Sharp: Nonviolent struggle, interview with Afif Safieh, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 17, no. 1 (autumn), 1987, pp. 37-55

Year of Publication: 1981

Randle, Michael ; Sharp, Gene, Annotated Bibliography on Training for Nonviolent Action and Civilian-Based Defence, In UNESCO Yearbook on Peace and Conflict Studies, Westport CT and Paris, Greenwood Press and UNESCO, pp. 63-180

Introductory essay by Randle on training and another by Sharp on civilian-based defence.

Year of Publication: 1980

Sharp, Gene, Gandhi as Political Strategist, Boston, Porter Sargent, 1980, pp. 384

Sharp, Gene, Social Power and Political Freedom, Introduction by Senator Mark. O. Hatfield, Boston, MA, Porter Sargent , 1980

Sharp, whose 1973 three volume The Politics of Nonviolent Action is now a standard reference work on the theory and strategy of civil resistance has here brought together a collection of writings from over 20 years to address key themes relating to social power and popular empowerment. Other topics covered include several essays on civilian-based defence, reflections on the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa (written as a series of articles in 1963), civil disobedience in a democracy, and review essays of Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, and On Revolution.

Year of Publication: 1973

Sharp, Gene, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Boston, Porter Sargent, 1973, 3 volumes, pp. 902

Part 1 of this now classic analysis explores political and sociological theories underlying nonviolent resistance, including Sharp’s much-debated consent theory of power. Part 2 (‘Methods’) and Part 3 (‘Dynamics’) are noted below ( Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action (A. 1.b. Strategic Theory, Dynamics, Methods and Movements) ).

Translations: Italian
Sharp, Gene, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Parts 2 ‘The Methods of Nonviolent Action’ and Part 3 ‘Strategy and Dynamics of Nonviolent Action’, Vol. 2 & 3, Boston, Porter Sargent, 1973, 3 volumes, pp. 902

Part 1 of this now classic analysis explores the political and sociological theories underlying nonviolent resistance to develop a 'consent theory of power'; this has since been much debated. Part 1 also discusses nonviolent action as an 'active technique of struggle' and contextualizes Gandhi's contribution within a much wider historical context of major resistance movements dating from the later 18th century to 1968. Part 2 categorises and illustrates the now famous list of 198 methods, while the longest volume, Part 3, elaborates Sharp’s strategic approach.

Year of Publication: 1960

Sharp, Gene, Gandhi Wields the Weapon of Moral Power: Three Case Histories, Ahmedabad, Navajivan, 1960, pp. 316

Main focus on 1930-31 independence campaign, but also covers peasant struggle in Chamaparan 1917-18, and Gandhi’s 1948 fast in Delhi against inter-communal killings linked to partition.