What Egypt can learn from Ukraine

If the leaders of the new regime are serious about promoting competitive democracy in Egypt, they could do well by fulfilling this promise and writing a new constitution that devolves a substantial share of power to separately elected provincial governments. Supporters of democracy in Egypt should watch carefully what they do on this dimension.

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Shy U.S. Intellectual Created Playbook Used in a Revolution

Based on studies of revolutionaries like Gandhi, nonviolent uprisings, civil rights struggles, economic boycotts and the like, he has concluded that advancing freedom takes careful strategy and meticulous planning, advice that Ms. Ziada said resonated among youth leaders in Egypt. Peaceful protest is best, he says — not for any moral reason, but because violence provokes autocrats to crack down. “If you fight with violence,” Mr. Sharp said, “you are fighting with your enemy’s best weapon, and you may be a brave but dead hero.”

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Reading Gandhi in Cairo

Reading Gandhi in Cairo

The nonviolent campaigns erupting across the Muslim world today, largely based among the middle class, clearly indicate the practical success of an ethical commitment to norms of transparency, negotiation, compromise and mutual respect. Their links to the networks of global civil society, tied together by information technologies from Facebook to YouTube, reinforce a universal ethic, as Gandhi preached, which transcends religious and cultural particularities even as it is channeled through local grassroots movements.

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Martin Luther King: An American Gandhi

Martin Luther King: An American Gandhi

Both Gandhi and King present us with attractive proposals for thinking the two concepts of “emancipation” and “reconciliation” in postmodern times. Ultimately, for both of them, the path toward emancipation and reconciliation in a global world must embrace the radicality of “fellowship” and “neighborliness” as the window that makes reconciliation possible. By taking Gandhi beyond India, King hoped to achieve a fundamental change in the structures of American society.

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“I Have a Dream”

“I Have a Dream”

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

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Iran and Peace Activists: Clarifying the Confusion

We’re pleased to have received several thoughtful responses to our recent blog post “Why Peace Activists Should Take an Active Interest in the Green Movement in Iran”. One reader asked what we meant by our claim that there is considerable …

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Politics of Reconciliation: Secularism and Tolerance

Any essentialist ideology, including secularism, taken as universal beyond all context-specific conditions, or absolute good in itself, endangers hopes for the non-violent democratic organization of society on pluralist lines. This is a problem of the modern state and its unique capacity for organized violence. All such traditions take on their moral character within a specific context, pointing to the need to privilege the ethical and practical implications of ideas.

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BUDDHISM AND NONVIOLENT GLOBAL PROBLEM-SOLVING

BUDDHISM AND NONVIOLENT GLOBAL PROBLEM-SOLVING

The effectiveness of Buddhist contributions to disarmament can be measured by such things as abolition of nuclear, biochemical, and other weapons; removal of foreign bases; reduction of armed forces; reduction of military budgets; legal recognition of the right of conscientious objection to military service; and the building up of alternative nonviolent forces for domestic and international security.

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Abdul Ghaffar Khan : Faith, Love, and Nonviolence in Islam

Today's world is traveling in some strange direction. You see that the world is going toward destruction and violence. And the specialty of violence is to create hatred among people and fear. I am a believer in nonviolence and I say that no peace or tranquility will descend upon the people of the world until nonviolence is practiced, because nonviolence is love and it stirs courage in people.

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The Place of Tolerance in Islam

It would be disingenuous to deny that the Quran and other Islamic sources offer possibilities of intolerant interpretation. Clearly these possibilities are exploited by the contemporary puritans and supremacists. But the text does not command such intolerant readings. Historically, Islamic civilization has displayed a remarkable ability to recognize possibilities of tolerance, and to act upon these possibilities. Islamic civilization produced a moral and humanistic tradition that preserved Greek philosophy, and generated much science, art, and socially benevolent thought

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