Thursday, Feb 2, 2012, 7 PM

Nonviolent Resistance: What Makes It Work?

With Dmitri Makarov, Voronezh (Russia); Dalia Ziada, Cairo (Egypt).
Moderator: Mischa Gabowitsch, Potsdam


What makes nonviolent resistance work? Why does it bring about peaceful evolution and bloodless regime change in some cases and repression or civil war in others? Does nonviolence have the same meaning under authoritarian regimes as in democracies? Are there significant similarities between the Arab Spring and the Colored Revolutions in post-Soviet countries, and can the democracy movements in the two regions learn from each other? Two activists born in 1982 will discuss the conditions for nonviolent protest to be successful: Dalia Ziada, an Egyptian blogger and politician, and Dmitri Makarov, a lawyer with the International Youth Human Rights Movement.


Dmitri Makarov is a member of the coordinating council of the International Youth Human Rights Movement, the largest such network in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He has initiated a legal team to support human-rights activists and has traveled across the former Soviet Union as an OSCE election observer. Since Ukraine’s Orange Revolution he has been monitoring the post-electoral protest movements that were brutally crushed in some cases (e.g. Belarus) and ushered in ethnic clashed in others (e.g. Kyrgyzstan). He also studies nonviolent techniques that, while they may go virtually unnoticed by the broader public, can initiate peaceful change even in repressive political systems. These include online communities, civic control over police forces, and environmentalist or human rights work.
Dalia Ziada was born in Cairo, where she now works as the North Africa Bureau director of the American Islamic Congress. She studied English Literature at Ain Shams University and also holds an MA in International Relations from Tufts University. She has campaigned for girls’ and women’s rights since her undergraduate years, and has been active in peaceful resistance against the Mubarak regime since 2006. In particular, she trained activists in nonviolent techniques and translated a comic book about Gandhi and Martin Luther King into Arabic. She is currently a candidate for the new Egyptian parliament. Dalia Ziada was honored by Newsweek as one of 150 most influential women in the world, selected by Daily Beast as one of world’s 17 bravest bloggers, and named by Time magazine as rights champion.

The event will be held in English

Public event in context of the Berliner Colloquien zur Zeitgeschichte