The Power of Peace: A Reflection on the Shifting Methods, Strategies, and Philosophies of Peaceful Protest Within Dharamsala’s Community of Activists Post-2008

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Paris, Christian Bormann; Muhlenberg College
Asian Studies; Community-Based Research; Inequality and Stratification; Leadership Studies; Organization Development; Place and Environment; Politics and Social Change; Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance; Sociology of Culture; Work, Economy and Organizations
paper description
In the words of Chinese military philosopher, Sun Tzu, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”1 Since the renewal of the Tibetan socio-political movement within Tibet during 2008 and its eventual subdual by Chinese security forces, the community of activists operating outside of Tibet are now faced with the challenge of invigorating a refugee population stricken with complacency to join their brothers and sister up north. However, the community must accomplish this utilizing the tools of peace rather than the weapons of war and oppression. This document will serve as a reflection on the current state of the many movements-in-exile, having been completed in the most active community of all: Dharamsala. By investigating into the concrete strategic approaches to activism utilized by the multitude of NGO’s in Mcleodganj as well as unpacking the many philosophical approaches adopted by the activists, this paper will strive to give clarity to the contemporary battle for Tibet, and especially the organizations operating on its front line.