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Book Launch: The Iron Cage of Liberalism: International Politics and Unarmed Revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa by Daniel Ritter (OUP)

Monday, 16th February, 2015    
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves Bookshop*
14a Long Row, Nottingham, NG1 2DH

Over the last forty years the world has witnessed the emergence and proliferation of a new political phenomenon – unarmed revolution. On virtually every continent, citizens have ousted their authoritarian leaders by employing nonviolent tactics such as strikes, demonstrations, boycotts, and civil disobedience against them. At the same time however, similar movements elsewhere have been brutally crushed by autocrats determined to cling to power.

In this book, Daniel Ritter seeks to understand unarmed revolutions by posing two interrelated questions: Why do nonviolent revolutionary movements in some countries topples autocratic regimes while similar movements elsewhere falter, and why has the world witnessed the proliferation of unarmed revolutions in the last forty years? Through a comparative historical analysis of the Iranian, Tunisian, and Egyptian revolutions, he argues that close and friendly international relations between democratic states in the West and authoritarian regimes elsewhere constitute a plausible explanation for nonviolent revolutionary success.

Daniel Ritter is an Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. His main area of research is contentious politics, in particular revolutions and social movements, and international relations. Prior to joining the School, Daniel spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University, and before that two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. He earned his PhD in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2010.

Admission: free, refreshments available. In association with the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice.