Abstract: Understanding What Sparks Civil Rights Movements

by reillymccambridge on May 15, 2014 - 10:07am


                Civil rights and liberties are the threads that hold together Western society as we know it. Even still, we read about many civil rights being infringed upon in the daily news. Without the basic rights and freedoms we enjoy in a democratic society we would feel trapped and held prisoner from our potential. Over the course of human history it has been nearly impossible to master the concept that is civil rights; most believe that a society where nobody’s rights are disrespected is a matter of fiction and far from achievable in the near future. In order to achieve a more peaceful society we must educate ourselves on civil rights movements across the globe so that history doesn’t repeat itself. This is exactly what led me to pursue my research in regards to the topic. During the Arab Spring movement, citizens from Libya, Egypt and Tunisia chose to challenge their respective governments and demand the basic rights and liberties they felt they were not granted. Leading one to ask, “What was the straw that broke the camel’s back?” There are 8 specific socio-political and economic factors outlined by Ufiem Ogbonnaya in an issue of the Turkish Journal of International Relations that are said to be the main causes of the civil unrest in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Reading this led me to inquire about the accuracy of this study in other situations. Therefore I chose to look at two other civil rights movements (Ireland, & India) and compared them to the study done on the Arab spring movement. Taking an in-depth look at these movements allowed me to see just how influential the eight factors as outlined by Ogbonnaya really are. If we can use these factors as a criteria to predict and prevent future revolutions, it will be useful in eventually achieving the utopian society that seems so far from our grasp.


Sources Used Within Essay:

Hopkinson, Michael. The Irish War of Independence. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002.

Mehta, Uday S. “Gandhi and the Burden of Civility.” Raritan, Vol 33, Issue 1 (Summer 2013): p37-49. May 12th 2014. http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=ab711b2b-27d1-43ac-a8a8-aedb982a4e9a%40sessionmgr4003&vid=1&hid=4207&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=aph&AN=90431198

N.A. “Michael Collins’ Fight for Irish Independence.” Military History, Vol 30, Issue 6, (Mar 2013): p50-51. 2p http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=b9af1105-de59-4cde-9670-aaf1556da1c9%40sessionmgr4003&vid=1&hid=4207&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=aph&AN=93321086

Ogbonnaya, Ufiem. “Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya: A Comparative Analysis of Causes and Determinants.” Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol 12. Issue 3 (Fall 2013): p4-16. May 13th 2014. http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=fabf83b4-c233-4192-b6bc-aeeca249ffd0%40sessionmgr4001&vid=1&hid=4207&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=aph&AN=94988598

Sharma, Sandeep. Civil Rights Movements. Delhi: Global Media, 2010.

About the author