Gene Sharp

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Person.png Gene Sharp   Amazon SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Scientist)
Gene Sharp.jpg
BornJanuary 21, 1928
DiedJanuary 28, 2018 (Age 90)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materOhio State University
Member ofWeatherhead Center for International Affairs
InterestsNon-violent resistance
Political scientist credited with writing handbooks for non-violent resistance, which are also used in color revolutions.

Gene Sharp was an American political scientist. He was the founder of the Albert Einstein Institution,[1] a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study of nonviolent action, and professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

He was known for his extensive writings on nonviolent struggle, which have influenced numerous anti-government resistance movements around the world.

Criticism

Gene Sharp has been accused by Thierry Meyssan of having strong links with a variety of US institutions including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, and Republican-related institutions, such as International Republican Institute, RAND Corporation, and the National Endowment for Democracy.[2]

There has been debate around Sharp's works influencing the Arab Spring,[3] and a US embassy cable published by WikiLeaks cable mentioned Syrian dissidents using his work to train non-violent protestors,[4] but As'ad AbuKhalil rejected such claims.[5]

Sharp consistently denied these claims and, after a period of sustained attacks in June 2008, notable left wing writers Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, among others, defended Sharp in a letter which was circulated by US and internationally based scholars and activists, including the statement,

Rather than being a tool of imperialism, Dr. Sharp’s research and writings have inspired generations of progressive peace, labor, feminist, human rights, environmental, and social justice activists in the United States and around the world.

The Albert Einstein Institution has never received any money from any government or government-funded entity. Nor does Dr. Sharp or the Albert Einstein Institution collaborate with the CIA, the NED, or any U.S. government or government-funded agencies; nor has Dr. Sharp or the Albert Einstein Institution ever provided financial or logistical support to any opposition groups in any country; nor has Dr. Sharp or the Albert Einstein Institution ever taken sides in political conflicts or engaged in strategic planning with any group.

The Albert Einstein Institution operates with a very minimal budget out of Dr. Sharp's home with a staff consisting of two people – Dr. Sharp and a young administrator – and is quite incapable of carrying out the foreign intrigues of which it has been falsely accused.[6]

More recently Sharp has been criticised by George Ciccariello-Maher and Michael A. Lebowitz, the latter describing his activities in Venezuela as "marketing regime change" to willing consumers.[7][8] Anarchist Peter Gelderloos accuses Sharp of overstating his theory's relevance to the 2011 Egyptian revolution for personal aggrandizement.[9] In Jacobin, economist Marcie Smith has stated that Sharp's theories are "ideologically incoherent" and put "protest movements in a position where they can be easily co-opted" by neoliberal capitalism.[10]

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References