Gene Sharp, a lifelong advocate of nonviolent resistance, passed away on January 28 at age 90. He died at his home in East Boston, which also served as the office of the Albert Einstein Institution that Sharp founded 35 years ago.
“Sharp devoted his life to studying nonviolent struggle, deeply researching and documenting its use in human history, analyzing how the technique operates cross-culturally, and sharing the results of his research with other scholars, practitioners, and organizers, government institutions, and citizens and civil-society groups on every continent,” the Boston-based institution said in a statement. “His numerous books and articles on the subject have been translated into more than 50 languages, and are disseminated worldwide. His work continues to inspire and enable people engaged in struggle to wield social power by building on and learning from the experience, results, bravery, and sacrifice of those who have come before them.”
As Stephen Zunes writes, “[s]ince Sharp began writing about nonviolence, over fifty autocratic governments have been toppled through unarmed civil resistance movements, many of which were influenced by his writings.”
“Virtually everyone in the field [of civil resistance] owes him a great intellectual debt,” Zunes said.
In tribute to Sharp, the Editors at Waging Nonviolence have collected and shared remembrances and reflections from scholars and activists whose lives he touched. Read them here.