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Michael D. Kennedy


Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and Historical Frames: 2011, 1989, 1968

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Activists and analysts increasingly join the Arab Spring with Occupy Wall Street. And some now recognize this historical juncture to have more in common with the transformative social movements of 1968 than with 1989, the year in which east European dictatorships were overturned by democratically driven civil societies.  Shifting comparative frames for 2011 from 1989 to 1968 is helpful on a number of scores for thinking historically, theoretically, and ...

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Kosova, Libya, and the Question of Intervention

[Public Art in Pristina. Image by Michael Kennedy]

Kosova and Libya are juxtaposed nowadays in suggesting what humanitarian intervention can do. Hashim Thaci, Kosova’s prime minister and former resistance fighter, celebrates what NATO did to defend Kosovars in 1999 when they bombed Serbia and its forces for 78 days to prevent genocide. Few if any Kosovars would decry that intervention, leading some in the newly independent state to find sympathy for airstrikes in Libya. Perhaps that is why Kosova is again in the news, for ...

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Michael D. Kennedy


Michael Kennedy is Professor of Sociology and International Studies at Brown University. He is the author of Cultural Formations of Postcommunism (2002) and Professionals, Power and Solidarity in Poland (1991). He has co-edited  Globalizations and Social Movements: Culture, Power, and the Transnational Public Sphere (2000) and Responsibility in Crisis: Knowledge Politics and Global Publics (2004).