The Iron Cage of Liberalism: International Politics and Unarmed Revolutions in the Middle East and…

Hardcover | January 18, 2015

byDaniel Ritter

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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, andcivil 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 unarmedrevolutions 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 explanationfor nonviolent revolutionary success. In an original conceptualization of revolutionary dynamics, Ritter argues that Western-aligned autocrats eventually find themselves restrained by their strong links to the democratic world through a mechanism he refers to as "the iron cage of liberalism." Having committed rhetorically to the West'sfundamental political discourse of democracy and human rights, the dictators in Tehran, Tunis, and Cairo found themselves paralyzed when nonviolent crowds challenged them with tactics and demands fully compatible with the political ideals the regimes claimed as their own.

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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, andcivil disobedience against them. At the same t...

Daniel Ritter is Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. In the past he has held postdoctoral appointments at the European University Institute in Florence and at Stockholm University. His primary research interests are in the areas of contentious politics and international relation...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.86 inPublished:January 18, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199658323

ISBN - 13:9780199658329

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Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction1. Toward a Theory of Unarmed RevolutionPart II: International Relations2. Friendly International Relations: Benefit or Burden?3. Facade Democracy: Managing AuthoritarianismPart III: Domestic Politics4. Survival of the Fittest: Challenging Facade Democracies5. Ousting the Dictator: Unarmed Revolutions and Disarm ed RegimesPart IV: Further Comparisons and Conclusions6. Confrontational States: Outside of the Iron Cage of Liberalism7. Rights, Rhetoric, and Revolutions