For more than a century, from 1900 to 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts in achieving their stated goals. By attracting impressive support from citizens, whose activism takes the form of protests, boycotts, civil disobedience, and other forms of nonviolent noncooperation, these efforts help separate regimes from their main sources of power and produce remarkable results, even in Iran, Burma, the Philippines, and the Palestinian Territories. Combining statistical analysis with case studies of specific countries and territories, Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan detail the factors enabling such campaigns to succeed and, sometimes, causing them to fail. They find that nonviolent resistance presents fewer obstacles to moral and physical involvement and commitment, and that higher levels of participation contribute to enhanced resilience, greater opportunities for tactical innovation and civic disruption (and therefore less incentive for a regime to maintain its status quo), and shifts in loyalty among opponents' erstwhile supporters, including members of the military establishment. Chenoweth and Stephan conclude that successful nonviolent resistance ushers in more durable and internally peaceful democracies, which are less likely to regress into civil war. Presenting a rich, evidentiary argument, they originally and systematically compare violent and nonviolent outcomes in different historical periods and geographical contexts, debunking the myth that violence occurs because of structural and environmental factors and that it is necessary to achieve certain political goals. Instead, the authors discover, violent insurgency is rarely justifiable on strategic grounds.
This widely-praised book identified peaceful struggle as a key phenomenon in international politics a year before the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt confirmed its central argument. Civil resistance - non-violent action against such challenges as dictatorial rule, racial discrimination and foreign military occupation - is a significant but inadequately understood feature of world politics. Especially through the peaceful revolutions of 1989, and the developments in the Arab world since December 2010, it has helped to shape the world we live in. Civil Resistance and Power Politics covers most of the leading cases, including the actions master-minded by Gandhi, the US civil rights struggle in the 1960s, the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, the 'people power' revolt in the Philippines in the 1980s, the campaigns against apartheid in South Africa, the various movements contributing to the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989-91, and, in this century, the 'colour revolutions' in Georgia and Ukraine. The chapters, written by leading experts, are richly descriptive and analytically rigorous. This book addresses the complex interrelationship between civil resistance and other dimensions of power. It explores the question of whether civil resistance should be seen as potentially replacing violence completely, or as a phenomenon that operates in conjunction with, and modification of, power politics. It looks at cases where campaigns were repressed, including China in 1989 and Burma in 2007. It notes that in several instances, including Northern Ireland, Kosovo and, Georgia, civil resistance movements were followed by the outbreak of armed conflict. It also includes a chapter with new material from Russian archives showing how the Soviet leadership responded to civil resistance, and a comprehensive bibliographical essay. Illustrated throughout with a remarkable selection of photographs, this uniquely wide-ranging and path-breaking study is written in an accessible style and is intended for the general reader as well as for students of Modern History, Politics, Sociology, and International Relations.
Civil resistance is a method of conflict through which unarmed civilians use a variety of coordinated methods (strikes, protests, demonstrations, boycotts, and many other tactics) to prosecute a conflict without directly harming or threatening to harm an opponent. Sometimes called nonviolent resistance, unarmed struggle, or nonviolent action, this form of political action is now a mainstay across the globe. It was been a central form of resistance in the 1989 revolutions and in the Arab Spring, and it is now being practiced widely in Trump's America. If we are going to understand the manifold protest movements emerging around the globe, we need a thorough understanding of civil resistance and its many dynamics and manifestations. In Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Erica Chenoweth -- one of the world's leading scholars on the topic--explains what civil resistance is, how it works, why it sometimes fails, how violence and repression affect it, and the long-term impacts of such resistance. Featuring both historical cases of civil resistance and more contemporary examples such as the Arab Awakenings and various ongoing movements in the United States, this book provides a comprehensive yet pithy overview of this enormously important subject.
In the past quarter century the world has witnessed dramatic social and political transformations, due in part to an upsurge in civil resistance. There have been significant uprisings around the globe, including the toppling of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, the Color Revolutions, the Arab Spring, protests against war and economic inequality, countless struggles against corruption, and demands for more equitable distribution of land. These actions have attracted substantial scholarly attention, reflected in the growth of literature on social movements and revolution as well as literature on nonviolent resistance. Until now, however, the two bodies of literature have largely developed in parallel—with relatively little acknowledgment of the existence of the other. In this useful collection, an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars takes stock of the current state of the theoretical and empirical literature on civil resistance. Contributors analyze key processes of nonviolent struggle and identify both frictions and points of synthesis between the narrower literature on civil resistance and the broader literature on social movements and revolution. By doing so, Civil Resistance: Comparative Perspectives on Nonviolent Struggle pushes the boundaries of the study of civil resistance and generates social scientific knowledge that will be helpful for all scholars and activists concerned with democracy, human rights, and social justice.
In this ground-breaking and much-needed book, Stellan Vinthagen provides the first major systematic attempt to develop a theory of nonviolent action since Gene Sharp's seminal The Politics of Nonviolent Action in 1973. Employing a rich collection of historical and contemporary social movements from various parts of the world as examples - from the civil rights movement in America to anti-Apartheid protestors in South Africa to Gandhi and his followers in India - and addressing core theoretical issues concerning nonviolent action in an innovative, penetrating way, Vinthagen argues for a repertoire of nonviolence that combines resistance and construction. Contrary to earlier research, this repertoire - consisting of dialogue facilitation, normative regulation, power breaking and utopian enactment - is shown to be both multidimensional and contradictory, creating difficult contradictions within nonviolence, while simultaneously providing its creative and transformative force. An important contribution in the field, A Theory of Nonviolent Action is essential for anyone involved with nonviolent action who wants to think about what they are doing.
Why do some nonviolent revolutions lead to successful democratization while others fail to consolidate democratic change? What can activists do to push toward a victory over dictatorship that results in long-term political freedom? This book explores these questions, offering takeaways for a variety of readers interested in supporting movements.
Civil resistance, especially in the form of massive peaceful demonstrations, was at the heart of the Arab Spring-the chain of events in the Middle East and North Africa that erupted in December 2010. It won some notable victories: popular movements helped to bring about the fall of authoritarian governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Yet these apparent triumphs of non-violent action were followed by disasters—wars in Syria, anarchy in Libya and Yemen, reversion to authoritarian rule in Egypt, and counter-revolution backed by external intervention in Bahrain. Looming over these events was the enduring divide between the Sunni and Shi'a branches of Islam. Why did so much go wrong? Was the problem the methods, leadership and aims of the popular movements, or the conditions of their societies? In this book, experts on these countries, and on the techniques of civil resistance, set the events in their historical, social and political contexts. They describe how governments and outside powers—including the US and EU—responded, how Arab monarchies in Jordan and Morocco undertook to introduce reforms to avert revolution, and why the Arab Spring failed to spark a Palestinian one. They indicate how and why Tunisia remained, precariously, the country that experienced the most political change for the lowest cost in bloodshed. This book provides a vivid illustrated account and rigorous scholarly analysis of the course and fate, the strengths and the weaknesses, of the Arab Spring. The authors draw clear and challenging conclusions from these tumultuous events. Above all, they show how civil resistance aiming at regime change is not enough: building the institutions and the trust necessary for reforms to be implemented and democracy to develop is a more difficult but equally crucial task.
This volume covers how regime changes, political movements and nonviolent unrest develop and then shape the political decisions of both civil society and the state. Chapter discussions include the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland, youth movements in Post-Communist states, and the efforts of nonviolent INGOs.
This book explores distinct forms of civil resistance in situations of violent conflict in cases across Latin America, drawing important lessons learned for nonviolent struggles in the region and beyond. The authors analyse campaigns against armed actors in situations of internal armed conflict, against private sector companies that seek to exploit natural resources, and against the state in defence of housing rights, to cite only some scenarios of violent conflict in which people in Latin America have organized to resist imposition by powerful actors and/or confront violence and oppression. Each of the nine cases studied looks at the violent context in which civil resistance took place, its modality, its results and the factors that influenced these, as well as the challenges faced, offering useful insights for scholars and practitioners alike.
This book investigates the decision-making process, rationale and determining factors which underlie the strategic shifts of armed movements from violent to nonviolent resistance. The revival of global interest in the phenomenon of nonviolent struggle since the 2011 Arab Spring offers a welcome opportunity to revisit the potential of unarmed resistance as an alternative pathway out of armed conflicts, in cases where neither military (or counter-insurgency) nor negotiated solutions have succeeded. This volume brings together academics from various disciplinary traditions and offers a wide range of case studies – including South Africa, Palestine and Egypt – through which to view the changes from violence to nonviolence within self-determination, revolutionary or pro-democracy struggles. While current historiography focuses on armed conflicts and their termination through military means or negotiated settlements, this book is a first attempt to investigate the nature and the drivers of transitions from armed strategies to unarmed methods of contentious collective action on the part of non-state conflict actors. The text concentrates in particular on the internal and relational factors which underpin the decision-making process, from a change of leadership and a pragmatic re-evaluation of the goals and means of insurgency in the light of evolving inter-party power dynamics, to the search for new local or international allies and the cross-border emulation or diffusion of new repertoires of action. This book will be of interest to students of security studies, peace and conflict studies, political sociology and IR in general.
Sharp's Dictionary of Power and Struggle is a groundbreaking book by the "godfather of nonviolent resistance." In nearly 1,000 entries, the Dictionary defines those ideologies, political systems, strategies, methods, and concepts that form the core of nonviolent action as it has occurred throughout history and across the globe, providing much-needed clarification of language that is often mired in confusion.
"Under what conditions will successful nonviolent revolutions lead to democratization? While the scholarly literature has shown that nonviolent resistance has a positive effect on a country's level of democracy, little research to date has disaggregated this population to explain which cases of successful nonviolent resistance lead to democracy and which do not. This book presents a theory of democratization in transitions initiated by nonviolent resistance based on the successful resolution of two central strategic challenges: maintaining high transitional mobilization and avoiding institutionally destructive maximalism. I test the theory first on a dataset of every transition from authoritarian rule in the post-World War II period and second with three in-depth case studies informed by interviews with key decision-makers in Nepal, Zambia, and Brazil. The testing supports the importance of high mobilization and low maximalism. Both have strong, consistent effects on democratization after nonviolent resistance"--
From Gandhi's salt march to the US civil rights movement and Occupy Wall Street, nonviolent campaigns to promote democracy, human rights and social justice have long played an important transformative role in local, national and global politics. Some have succeeded, some have failed; but nonviolent action remains a very effective means of achieving significant social and political change. In this authoritative book Kurt Schock expertly guides readers through the changing terrain of nonviolent struggle, exploring the historical roots and development of modern civil resistance and its proliferation in recent decades. Discussing movements against economic and social injustice as well as political oppression, he explains how resistance happens and unpacks the complex interactions between state and non-state actors that affect the trajectories and outcomes of nonviolent campaigns. Drawing on a wealth of empirical data and comparative research, Civil Resistance Today will be an essential "one stop shop" for anyone keen to learn more about the methods, objectives and outcomes of civil resistance in the contemporary world.
In discussions about people power or nonviolent action, most people will immediately think of Gandhi or Martin Luther King, a few will recall the end of the Marcos regime in the Philippines in the mid-1980s, and some others will remember or have heard of the Prague Spring nearly two decades earlier. Moreover, for most activists and others involved in peace action and movements for social change, there will be little knowledge of the theories of nonviolent action and still less of the huge number of actions taken in so many countries and in such different circumstances across the world. Even recent events across the Middle East are rarely put in a broader historical context. Although the focus of this book is on post-1945 movements, the opening section provides a wide-ranging introduction to the history and theoretical bases of nonviolent action, and reflects the most recent contributions to the literature, citing key reference works.
In Nonviolent Revolutions, Sharon Erickson Nepstad analyzes civilian insurrections in China, East Germany, Panama, Chile, Kenya, and the Philippines.
This work discusses the defense of civil disobedience cases in the United States on the basis of international law. The Supreme Court has held that international law is binding on American law and the strategies of international law arguments in cases of arrests for non-violent resistence are examined.
"An emerging empirical literature on civil resistance has demonstrated that nonviolent campaigns have a higher probability of achieving their political objectives than groups that opt for armed violence against the government. However, existing research has not considered the extent to which the effectiveness of nonviolent versus violent strategies is related to the duration of each type of campaign. This thesis expands upon current understandings of civil resistance to explicitly consider the relevance of campaign duration to the outcome of an uprising. The findings suggest that the strategic advantage of nonviolent resistance over armed rebellion is time-dependent rather than absolute. Nonviolent campaigns, while more likely to succeed overall, become increasingly less likely to realize their objectives as time goes on. The main mechanisms that explain the waning effectiveness of nonviolent campaigns are a gradual demobilization of participants and a decreasing likelihood of defections from the security forces. An analysis of the tactics and outcomes of 250 violent and nonviolent insurrections between 1945 and 2006 provides support for these claims. Concerns about selection bias are addressed using an instrumental variable approach and illustrative case studies provide evidence of the hypothesized causal mechanisms. " --