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Gandhi's nonviolent approach offers lessons for peace movements, Stanford scholar says

Mohandas Gandhi's organizational innovations were instrumental to the success of India's independence movement, Stanford scholar Saumitra Jha says.

The organizational innovations behind Mohandas Gandhi's nonviolent movement in India offer lessons for contemporary peace movements, a Stanford scholar argues.

In a new paper that reinterprets Gandhi's legacy, Stanford's Saumitra Jha, an associate professor of political economy, examines the potential and pitfalls of non-violent disobedience. His co-author is Rikhil Bhavnani, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Too often, nonviolent civil disobedience fails, they wrote. "The key lesson of India's successful movement is sometimes reduced to the simple but rather unhelpful admonition, 'Find another Gandhi,' who can lead through individual charisma," Jha said in an interview.

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