Youth for Democracy Anthology

In this anthology, international activists and scholars offer an insight to the nonviolent struggle across cultural, linguistic and even political barriers. It takes on history, strategy, economy, statistics, technology, society, culture and democracy when depicting why and how nonviolence is pursued - or can be pursued - as a means to bring democratic change.

Humanity in Action Denmark is grateful to the authors that have contributed to the Youth for Democracy Anthology. 

You are welcome to download the Youth for Democracy Anthology for free. A guide for teachers will be published soon.

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Abstracts from the Youth for Democracy Anthology

Steve Crawshaw
"A Chronicle of Nonviolence" presents a historic wide variety of examples of non-violent struggle. The article takes the reader beyond nationality, local politics and borders. Steve Crawshaw includes a number of the untold historical non-violent actions that prove the universality of non-violence strategi. The stories, emphasizes the moral high-ground that the non-violent method rightfully takes and works well to inspire and encourage everybody to join the non-violent movements in the fight for a democratic future!

Srdja Popovic, Jordan Maze, Slobodan Djinovic
"Become the Change You Want to Be: How to become a Succesful Non-Violent Movement" presents the ABC of how to develop a non-violent strategy and how to implement it. The authors use their own experiences from the revolution in Serbia and their work for the Center For Applied Nonviolent Actions and Strategies (CANVAS). It serves a simple and easy read guideline to get up to speed on nonviolent strategies.

Dorothea Smith & Dahlia Hassanien, International Labour Organisation
"Youth in Africa in Need of a Furture: Causes and consequences of High Youth Unemployment - the Case of North Africa." In 2011, the world watched in awe as young people in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa began a series of uprisings that came to be known as the start of the ‘Arab Spring’. After having lived for many decades under oppressive regimes, the youth in the region took to the streets demanding their rights, democracy, and their entitlement to a decent job that would allow them to live economically independent lives with dignity in the future. Why did the Arab Spring happen now? Why are young people in the region suddenly speaking out and defending their rights, even with their lives? And why did this especially occur in North Africa? The answers to these questions are manifold with many contributing factors. But one common feature in the Arab world is that young people’s futures looked increasingly grim with decent job opportunities being (and continuing to be) very limited. This article tries to make the case that a bleak-looking future frustrated young people and triggered the revolutions and uprisings in North Africa and other regions.

Erica Chenoweth
"Think Again: Nonviolent Resistance" is centered on the basic premise that nonviolence generally is more effective than violent means. Chenoweth argues by way of examples from history and statistics showing that a nonviolent approach is the most sensible approach and that it can be applied universally. Nonviolent resistance is a kind of "asymmetric warfare"; however, the demonstrators often have the greatest advantages: "people power, unpredictability, adaptability and creativity."

Dr. Massoumeh Torfeh
Internet and Mobilization in Defense of Human Rights, seeks to explain the phenomenon of social media and its role in recent democratic uprisings, in particularly the post-election protests in Iran in 2009. It attempts to shatter the illusion that social media alone brought about the protests and instead provide a realistic explanation of how blogs and other channels of communication may aid the struggle for basic human rights.

Click here to read a case study that is not included in the print version of the anthology.

"The Internet Movement for Women’s Rights in Iran" deals with the fact that women in Iran do not enjoy the same rights as men do; however, by organizing themselves on various internet platforms they have found a new way of reaching out and empowering each other. The article provides an overview of the situation in Iran from a female perspective, and regards the use of social media as a tool for mobilizing the people in the hope of equal rights.

Anders Nierp
"Rethinking Democratic Development" tells the story of how civil society organizations in Burma/Myanmar have flourished in recent years; quietly challenging and undermining the government and its involvement with the military. Anders Nierp reports from his travels to small villages around the country and explains how local farmers take matters into their own hands and unite through the hope of improving their lives and eventually see their country develop into democracy.

Aisha Fukushima
"Arab Rappers in Solidarity with Uprisings in the Middle East & North Africa" discusses the origins and expansion of the Arab hip hop scene from the 1990’s until the present; lately, a large number of rappers have embraced the democratic uprisings that have taken place and Aisha Fukushima argues, that rappers throughout the region have played a considerable role in the transition from dictatorship to democracy fuelling their lyrics with political messages.

Lars Engberg Pedersen
"Supporting the Democratisation of Others" reflects on the status of development cooperation; for the last 15 years, we have experienced a tremendous increase in the size of and number of activities from civil society and NGOs, helping also with the implementation of democratic elements in various countries. However, as Lars Engberg Pedersen argues, the introduction of formal democratic institutions does not guarantee a democratic society.