Books and reports

01 Jan 2001
English
Vesna Terselic

Buzz words. You catch them here and there--in peace, environmental or women's initiatives and United Nations documents. They change from season to season, from year to year. "Empowerment" has appeared in the language of my colleagues who are working on social change as an attempt to explain to ourselves and to others what we are actually doing.

01 Jan 2001
English
Cecilia Moretti

It isn't easy to think about the kind of power we want, especially when we believe in a freedom that is opposed to any kind of authoritarianism. It becomes even more difficult because, over the centuries of human history, the word power itself has been contaminated with notions of authority and domination.

01 Jan 2001
English
Andreas Speck

Collective identities--"we" as queers, or whatever group you like--are often perceived as empowering by providing a sense of belonging. At the same time, by the very existence of these collective identities produce new boundaries of "in" and "out" and new norms of behavior that limit people's freedom to be and to do. Thus, identity can be disempowering and even threaten people's lives, in the case of nationalist or homophobic attacks.

01 Jan 2001
English
Howard Clark

Look back at an experience of empowerment. I wonder if the experience now seems that it was just a passing feeling you had at the time. Back then, you or your group somehow gathered the strength to make a difference--or at least feel that you made a difference. You may have changed something permanently, but the feeling was ephemeral. It wore off. A sense of empowerment is something that needs to be recreated continually.

01 Jan 2001
English
Andreas Speck

Although international cooperation among political movements is as old as the movements themselves, it has become more important in times of economic globalization. Since the UN Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, solidarity has entered official discourse in discussion of an international "civil society." Rather than add to that discussion and the growing NGO-ization of popular movements, I want to examine the experience of one movement--War Resisters' International (WRI)--with international cooperation through the lens of empowerment.

01 Jan 2001
English
Roberta Bacic

As a participant in an action of the "Sebastian Acevedo Movement Against Torture" shortly before the plebiscite in 1988, we gathered in front of the National Library located in the heart of Santiago, the capital of Chile. The action was planned for 12 o'clock sharp and it was supposed to last not longer that 3 minutes. It all started perfectly and, as soon as we started, we heard the police cars and the doors of the library closing up. Fear was immense. What would happen?

01 Jan 2001
English
Kris Hakena

Background to Bougainville

Bougainville is in the South Pacific, approximately 1,000 km. northeast of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and is part of the Solomon Islands group in Melanesia. It has a land area of some 10,620 sq. kms. Bougainville comprises two large islands, Buka to the north and Bougainville less than a kilometer to the south, and about 168 smaller groups of islands and atolls scattered over 450,000 sq. kms. of the Solomon Sea. At its southern end, Bougainville is barely 20 km.

01 Jan 2001
English

Bojan Aleksov

The turning point in my life came when I joined the Yugoslav People's Army in September 1990 to do my compulsory military service. I had neither a genuine understanding of the political situation in Yugoslavia nor developed pacifist beliefs. Soon after I enlisted, the state of military preparedness of my unit, based in Osijek, Croatia, was raised. I could feel and would soon participate in the dissolution of--and bloody war in--former Yugoslavia.

01 Jan 2001
English
Robert L. Rabin Siegel

Around 7:00 on the evening of April 19, 1999, a U.S. Navy pilot launched two 500-pound live bombs from his FA-18 jet at a target on the Navy bombing range in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The bombs missed their target, destroying the Navy's observation post and killing David Sanes, a civilian Navy security employee, and injuring several others.

01 Jan 2001
English

Jørgen Johansen

The best-prepared and most successful large-scale civil disobedience action in Scandinavian history never took place.

In 1996 the Norwegian Parliament decided to build two large power stations to produce electricity from natural gas. With a company ready to build and a decision made by the authorities, it seemed almost impossible to prevent it. Natural gas had for years been presented as "clean" and "friendly to nature." To promote the project the company behind the plans took the name "Naturkraft" (The Power of Nature). Who could protest "The Power of Nature?"