Organizing for Human Rights Change
Teddy Roosevelt claimed that the only two ways to get somebody to do what you wanted them to do was to "shoot 'em or talk 'em to death." Saul Alinsky, the great community organizer, had a bit more sophisticated view.
Among his "Rules for Radicals" was this one: "Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have." This course will range in focus from the theoretical and strategic to the detailed and practical. It will critically examine the major resources available for bringing about human rights change, from public exposure to economic sanctions, from legal challenges to military intervention, and it will help students learn to formulate and evaluate organizing efforts to foster change at the global, regional, national and local levels. By the end of the course we will have added a myriad of techniques to Roosevelt's two and learned how, a la Alinsky, to exploit our adversaries' misperceptions as readily as we do their strategic blunders.