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Professor Adam Roberts Awarded Funds for the project, Civil Resistance and Power Politics

Professor Adam Roberts has been awarded funds for the project, ‘Civil Resistance and Power Politics`. The project is being generously funded by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, Washington DC; the United States Institute of Peace; the Zeit-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Hamburg; the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Human Security Programme; the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Conflict Issues Group and Research Analysts; and the British Academy. Other funding is being sought.

Highlights of the project include a landmark international conference on ‘Civil Resistance and Power Politics’ to be held at St Antony’s College, Oxford, from 15 to 18 March 2007, followed by a major scholarly edited book.

The project will asses the nature and significance of civil resistance in the period since the 1960s. The mode of political action has been of demonstrable importance in the past hundred years and more, yet there has been far too little serious study of many of its aspects. A focus on this phenomenon and its roles in international politics challenges the view that only the exercise of power by military means can bring about fundamental changes in authoritarian societies. The project will explore this phenomenon in a rigorous and open-minded way, asking a number of hard questions that are often avoided, and exploring a wide range of relevant historical evidence. The resulting book and other output will have as an aim to assist a better understanding of civil resistance on the part of governments, activists, members of the public and scholars.

Professor Adam Roberts, Montague Burton Professor of International Relations and Fellow, Balliol College.