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The Iron Cage of LiberalismInternational Politics and Unarmed Revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa$
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Daniel Ritter

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658329.001.0001

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Ousting the Dictator

Ousting the Dictator

Unarmed Revolutions and Disarmed Regimes

(p.135) 5 Ousting the Dictator
The Iron Cage of Liberalism

Daniel P. Ritter

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 focuses on the unarmed revolutions in Iran, Tunisia, and Egypt. It shows how nonviolent movements in the three countries put sufficient pressure on their respective government—and indirectly the regimes’ Western patrons—to paralyze the leadership and thereby permit the movements to become unarmed revolutions. By employing tactics that were by definition fully compatible with the West’s and the three regimes’ liberal rhetoric, nonviolent protesters in each country trapped their leaders in the iron cage of liberalism and thus prevented them from brutalizing the crowds. The chapter concludes that the popular use of nonviolent tactics forced the three regimes’ international and domestic allies to abandon them in their hours of crisis.

Keywords:   unarmed revolution, nonviolent movement, international context, iron cage of liberalism, rhetoric, allies

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