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Cynthia Boaz
Dr. Cynthia Boaz is associate professor of political science at Sonoma State University, where she specializes in political development, quality of democracy, political communication, civil resistance, and nonviolent strategy. She is also an analyst and consultant on nonviolent action and has contributed to Truthout, Open Democracy, Common Dreams, Alternet, and Waging Nonviolence. She is on the board of directors of the Sonoma Independent and is an affiliated scholar with the UNESCO International Master in Peace, Conflict, and Development Studies in Castellon, Spain. She's also on the academic advisory board for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

Entries by Cynthia Boaz

Why Vote Fraud Is Possible and What To Do About It

(5) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 3:02 PM

This article follows on an earlier article published at Huffington Post on the eve of the 2008 election: "Is the Election About to Be Stolen in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Elsewhere?"

The consensus is that this presidential election may all come down to Ohio...

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Nonviolent Revolution Clarified: Five Myths and Realities Behind Egypt's Uprising

(6) Comments | Posted July 14, 2011 | 1:07 PM

The fall of the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt has produced prolific analysis by media commentators across the spectrum. Some of this analysis has been excellent, but much of the conventional media interpretation of the why, how and what behind these events leaves much to be desired. There are a...

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The Obligations of Independence

(2) Comments | Posted July 5, 2011 | 6:23 PM

Reposted with acknowledgement to

"Please use your liberty to promote ours." -- Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Burma's National League for Democracy

As I got ready to celebrate this Independence Day by barbecuing and watching fireworks with my family this evening, I couldn't help but...

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Why Egypt's Nonviolent Victory Is a Win for Us All

(24) Comments | Posted February 11, 2011 | 5:35 PM

I was interviewed today by Bryan Farrell of Waging Nonviolence on the meaning and significance of the events in Egypt.

Bryan Farrell: What first came into your mind when you saw the announcement that Mubarak had stepped down?

Cynthia Boaz: I was not surprised (but very pleased!). It...

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A Citizen's Reflections on Race, Violence and Power

(1) Comments | Posted December 8, 2010 | 4:52 PM

Originally published on December 16, 2007 at In recognition of International Human Rights Day, upcoming on December 10th.

Three years ago, on December 10, 2007, the social justice community in Rochester, New York commemorated the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The themes...

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Red Lenses on a Rainbow of Revolutions

(10) Comments | Posted November 17, 2010 | 4:38 PM

Reposted from, series on Civil Resistance and the New Global Ferment

Given continued strikes in Iran and the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, neither the Burmese nor Iranian struggle for democracy is a story that should be characterized as an example of a failed...
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Burma's Revolution: Goodbye, Generals (with Shaazka Beyerle)

(1) Comments | Posted October 23, 2010 | 7:02 PM

In honor of the upcoming elections in Burma, here is a re-post of an article published at Truthout by me and Shaazka Beyerle in October of 2007. The junta has been able to drag out their demise, but with no remaining political legitimacy, the presence...

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Are Progressives Fiddling While Rome Burns?

(11) Comments | Posted October 21, 2010 | 5:20 PM

If fall of 2008 was "silly season", then what does that make this election cycle?

We are in a critical moment (yes, I know someone says that every election year) where the legitimacy of the system itself is being tested. Take this example: although it produced just a minor...

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Remembering Serbia's Nonviolent Victory

(1) Comments | Posted October 9, 2010 | 2:35 AM

In the United States, the first week of October passed by without much fanfare. However, for about 10 million Serbian citizens, it was a time to celebrate. This past week was the tenth anniversary of the Serbian people's victory over communist tyrant Slobodan Milosevic and of the moment the country...

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A Reality (and Sanity) Check for Progressives- Speech to Petaluma Progressive Festival

(30) Comments | Posted September 27, 2010 | 3:05 AM

Transcript of my comments to the annual Progressive Festival in Petaluma, CA, September 26, 2010:

First of all, thank you to the organizers of this event- the Sonoma County Peace and Justice Center, the Center for Immigrant Rights, KPFA, and specifically to Attila Nagy- for inviting me to speak to...

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Separating Church and Hate: Irrationality and Anti-Muslim Stereotyping

(106) Comments | Posted July 6, 2010 | 7:41 PM

Reposted from

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.
-M. K. Gandhi

Within minutes of learning that last November's Fort Hood shooter had an Arab name and an Islamic background, commentators at the major media outlets were engaging in wild speculation that the killer's motive...

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The Burmese Elections: Prolonging the Misery and Postponing the Inevitable

(5) Comments | Posted June 28, 2010 | 10:13 PM

Burma (aka Myanmar) is of the world's most brutal regimes, and unfortunately, it is also amongst the least well understood. In terms of trade and communications, the country is as closed as North Korea and nearly as isolated as Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Its human rights abuses are...

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One Year Later: The Green Movement Goes On

(15) Comments | Posted June 26, 2010 | 3:12 PM

I was one of millions around the world who watched last summer's Green Revolution unfolding on the streets of Iran with high hopes for a swift and bloodless victory. Alas, the regime behaved predictably with its merciless crackdowns on thousands of nonviolent protesters. At the first sign of the repression,...

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On the Moral Depravity of Capitalism in 21 Tweets

(22) Comments | Posted June 23, 2010 | 3:18 PM

I've thought a lot about it & have concluded that market capitalism is actually conducive to evil. It's not just a talking point.

Here's why. The system requires winners AND losers. It is- by design- zero sum. This creates two serious moral problems.

The 1st moral dilemma of capitalism...

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To John Lewis: An Open Letter to an American Hero

(34) Comments | Posted March 22, 2010 | 5:42 AM

Dear Representative Lewis,

I imagine this will come off as a bit corny -- please indulge me. When I heard what happened on Saturday outside the Capitol building, I was brought to tears. And now I feel compelled to apologize for the behavior of my fellow citizens. When I heard...

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The New Grassroots: Social Media and the Post-Post Modern Campaign

(4) Comments | Posted February 22, 2010 | 3:14 AM

I'm currently consulting for a friend's political campaign, which is for a position (county supervisor) that while extremely important, is one about which constituents know next to nothing. When we had our first campaign steering committee meeting last summer, my first suggestion was to build a Facebook page. "We have...

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Women and the Struggle for Democracy in Iran: A Discussion with a Nobel Laureate- Part II

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2009 | 7:46 PM

Reposted from Truthout.

"The Iranian women's movement is not simply demanding equal rights alone. It is demanding a larger universal reality, which is democracy." - Shirin Ebadi, October 9, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, I had the rare chance to sit down with Nobel Laureate Dr. Shirin...

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A Discussion with a Nobel Laureate: Shirin Ebadi and the Struggle for Democracy in Iran, Part I

(11) Comments | Posted October 9, 2009 | 6:08 PM

"A victory for women paves the way for democracy in Iran." -Shirin Ebadi, October 9, 2009

Yesterday morning I had the unique opportunity to sit down with 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi, the prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and global activist for justice, democracy, and the rule...

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What if the Right was Right? A Reflection on the "Christian States of America." (Updated)

(125) Comments | Posted August 19, 2009 | 4:22 AM

Edited and re-posted to reflect recent events.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. -MK Gandhi

A major theme emerging from the "tea party" protests is the indivisibility of American patriotism and Christian morality in the minds of many...

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Shannon's Story: Health Care and Our Need for Cultural Healing

(4) Comments | Posted August 14, 2009 | 5:46 PM

Originally posted in August 2009.

We must rapidly begin the shift from a 'thing-oriented' society to a 'people-oriented society.' -Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know that everyone has a personal story related to health care. This is mine. Well, actually it's my sister-in-law's. I started to write this piece...

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