Foreign Relations & International Law

Chatter: Lessons from the Decade of Mass Protests, with Vincent Bevins

David Priess, Vincent Bevins
Thursday, January 4, 2024, 9:00 AM
What have mass protests during this decade so often fallen short of their objectives?

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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From the protests in Brazil initially focused on bus fares to the protests in Hong Kong seeking to stop an extradition bill to the protests across the Middle East now collectively referred to as the "Arab Spring," the political and economic mass demonstrations from 2010 to 2020 made it a decade of public protest like no other. Yet the vast majority of these efforts failed to bring about their desired changes--and many of them actually led to the opposite of what they wanted. Vincent Bevins, author of the new book If We Burn: The Mass Protest Decade and the Missing Revolution, has chronicled this decade with stories from his on-the-ground reporting and extensive interviews with activists in ten countries around the globe.

David Priess spoke with Vincent about why mass protests during this decade so often fell short of their objectives, the principle of horizontalism, the role of social media in mobilization and action, and other themes as they relate to the mass protests in Brazil, Turkey, Hong Kong, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, South Korea, and other countries.

Among the works mentioned in this episode:

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Noam Osband and Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

David Priess is Director of Intelligence at Bedrock Learning, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. He served during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations as a CIA officer and has written two books: “The President’s Book of Secrets,” about the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, and "How To Get Rid of a President," describing the ways American presidents have left office.
Vincent Bevins is an American journalist and writer.

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