Overcoming the Impossible: Democratic Advocates, Authoritarian Leaders, and the Tools for Success

Spring 2022 Grant Recipient

Steve Parks (English)

Recent scholarship has indicated that more than outside aid, the success of an non-violent campaign fror democratic rights depends on the skills of the campaign leadership. Building off that research, the Democratic Futures Working Group (DFWG) will research the Oslo Freedom Forum Fellows, where fellows are chosen for their ability to initiate broad campaigns for democratic change in their nations. The DFWG will conduct extensive interviews with the Freedom Fellows, the program’s instructional leaders, and UVA faculty collaborators to explore what skills/concepts enabled more effective practices as well as what skills/concepts need to be added to the program. The results of this research will then be used to support the work of the Freedom Fellow Program as well as be circulated through scholarly journals and academic monograph publications by DFWG members. An edited collection of advocate interviews is also under consideration.