Right-Livelihood Award 2012: Gene Sharp
The Jury of what is also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize this year recognises Gene Sharp (USA) “for developing and articulating the core principles and strategies of nonviolent resistance and supporting their practical implementation in conflict areas around the world”.
Gene Sharp is the world´s foremost expert on nonviolent revolution and has been described as the "Machiavelli of nonviolence". In a lifetime of academic work, he has established nonviolent action and people power as a successful means of political change. Sharp’s writings on nonviolent struggle have been used by social movements around the world, from the jungles of Burma to the streets of Serbia and Tahrir Square in Egypt during the Arab Spring.
Despite operating with modest funding for the past 8 years and working out of his home in East Boston, Gene Sharp has made From Dictatorship to Democracy and other key texts available for free online from the Albert Einstein Institution website. These texts have been studied by groups including Egypt’s April 6 Movement, Serbia’s Otpor, Georgia's Kmara, Kyrgyzstan's KelKel and Belarus' Zubr in their efforts to effect change in their societies without the use of violence. Oleh Kryenko, one of the leaders of Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution”, said in 2004: “The bible of PORA has been the book of Gene Sharp, also used by OTPOR, it’s called From Dictatorship to Democracy.“ (source: Right Livelihood Award website)