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The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the…

The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy (edition 2013)

by William J. Dobson

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Title:The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy
Authors:William J. Dobson
Info:Doubleday (2012), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Gene Sharp, Strategy

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The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy by William J. Dobson

  1. 00
    From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation by Gene Sharp (brianjungwi)
    brianjungwi: Gene Sharp's work is profiled in The Dictator's Learning Curve

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The Dictator’s Learning Curve provides an insightful view of the new face of tyranny. Many modern dictators have learned to preserve their power by more subtle means than concentration camps or massacres in the street. Seemingly reasonable bureaucratic requirements for the media or for receiving government assistance can be just as effective as more brutal means at stifling open dissent.
For example, Putin’s elections, free but structured so that the opposition cannot win, are just as effective as Stalin’s Gulag in keeping the regime in power, but are much less disruptive of Russian society. Dissident media offices are shut down, not by club-wielding thugs, but by having their computers confiscated because they contain unlicensed software.
Dobson’s provides many examples from Russia, China, Serbia, the Middle East, and Venezuela. He also illustrates the ways democracy advocates oppose these new tactics, such as the Egyptian riot policeman who clandestinely publishes a guide for protestors, showing how to stymy his colleagues’ tactics.
Dobson also provides a good introduction to the work of Gene Sharp, the American professor who has developed creative ways around these new techniques of repression. ( )
1 vote WaltNoise | Feb 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385533357, Hardcover)

In this riveting portrait of authoritarianism in peril, acclaimed journalist William Dobson takes us inside the relentless battle between dictators and the people challenging their rule.

We are witnessing an incredible moment in the war between dictators and democracy—waves of protests are sweeping Syria and Yemen, and despots have fallen in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. But the Arab Spring is only the latest front in a worldwide battle between freedom and repression, a battle that also rages in a dozen other countries from Venezuela to China, Russia to Malaysia. It is a struggle that, until recently, dictators have been winning hands-down. The reason is that today’s authoritarian regimes are nothing like the frozen-in-time government of North Korea. They are ever-morphing, technologically savvy, and internationally connected, and they have replaced more brutal forms of intimidation with seemingly “free” elections and talk of human rights. Facing off against modern dictators is an unlikely army of democracy advocates—students, bloggers, environmentalists, lawyers, activists, and millionaires—who are growing increasingly savvy themselves. The result is a global game of cat-and-mouse, where the future of freedom hangs in the balance. Dobson takes us behind the scenes in both camps, and reveals how each side is honing its strategies for the war that will define our age.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:02 -0400)

An esteemed Foreign Affairs editor and journalist analyzes the ongoing battle between dictatorships and those who oppose them, tracing uprisings in such nations as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya while exploring the sophisticated resources and methods used by modern dictators to maintain their power.… (more)

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