The 2010-11 Tunisian Revolution
The role of Nonviolence
In 2011, one of the first explanations posited for the apparently peaceful nature of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ was the influence of Gene Sharp’s work. Although this initial focus may well be consigned, as with various other explanations and generalisations, to the scrambling for reasons for the revolutions during their early stages, understanding the role of nonviolence during these events can effectively inform its theory and practice.
This discussion draws on research findings regarding the dynamics and methods of protest during the 2010/11 Tunisian revolution, based on interviews with participants. The use of nonviolence by opponents of the Ben Ali regime, its relationship to violence, the relationship of ‘means’ with the outcomes of the revolution and the implications for a revolutionary nonviolence will all be explored.