"Leon Trotsky once wrote that the fate of every revolution is ultimately decided by the loyalties of the armed forces. Sharon Erickson Nepstad shows that Trotsky was right. Since Nepstad's book went to press the wisdom of her analysis has been reconfirmed by the success of nonviolent uprisings against dictators in Tunisia and Egypt-mass rebellions that convinced armed forces to jump ship. Explaining past rebellions is hard enough, but successfully predicting the success of future uprisings is genius!" --Jeff Goodwin, Professor of Sociology, New York University
"Using six cases of nonviolent revolutions, Sharon Nepstad uncontroversially, but importantly, shows that mass grievances and elite divisions played an important role in supporting the three successful cases; controversially, and just as importantly, international intervention did not. As American leaders are engaged in intervening in the Middle Eastern revolutions of 2011, decision-makers as well as scholars will want to weigh carefully the results of Nepstad's analyses." --Sidney Tarrow, Professor of Government and Sociology, Cornell University, and author of Power in Movement
"Sharon Erickson Nepstad has written a timely and concise treatment of social movement strategy and political change in Nonviolent Revolutions: Civil Resistance in the Late 20th Century
... Nepstad has written a profoundly useful book which should serve as a model for experts seeking to design a tightly-argued comparative project, as well as a reference for movement practitioners and advocates of nonviolence. The book would also be an excellent teaching tool for undergraduates in social movements and methods courses, and will certainly spark discussion for anyone interested in latter-day events like the Arab Spring." --Contemporary Sociology
"Examining six cases of 'nonviolent revolution' that occurred in the 1980s, three of which succeeded and three of which failed, and explicitly applying J. S. Mill's (1967) method of difference, Erickson Nepstad seeks to explain the success of some as opposed to the failure of other non-violent civil resistance against highly repressive regimes." --Political Studies Review
About the Author
Sharon Erickson Nepstad is Professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of Convictions of the Soul (O.U.P. 2004) and Religion and War Resistance in the Plowshares Movement, which won the 2009 Outstanding Book Award from the American Sociological Association's section on Peace, War, and Social Conflict.