By Jonathan Pinckney, 2018
Abstract: Why do nonviolent movements often lead to democracy? Why do they sometimes not? While several existing studies have pointed to a strong connection between successful campaigns of civil resistance and a greater likelihood of democratization, prominent failures of democratization, as in many of the Arab Spring cases, raise questions about this finding. Furthermore, little literature has examined the dynamics of civil resistance campaigns following the initial democratic breakthrough to trace the mechanisms whereby civil resistance can encourage or undermine democratic prospects. In When Civil Resistance Succeeds: Building Democracy After Popular Nonviolent Uprisings, the author presents a theory of civil resistance transitions, focusing on a series of strategic challenges faced by nonviolent movements after their initial democratic breakthrough. The monograph argues that resolving three challenges: transitional mobilization, the problem of leftovers, and depolarization, is crucial for a successful transition to democracy. The monograph supports this argument with a quantitative analysis of all transitions from authoritarianism initiated by civil resistance from 1945-2011 and several qualitative case studies.
About the author: Dr. Jonathan Pinckney is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Sociology and Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and an external associate at the Peace Research Institution of Oslo (PRIO). He previously worked as a research fellow at the Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy, where he supervised data collection for the Social Conflict Analysis Database (SCAD) and the Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes (NAVCO) 3.0 data project. Jonathan researches resistance movements in non-democracies. His work has been published in the Journal of Peace Research, Foreign Policy’s Democracy Lab, and the edited volume Wielding Nonviolence in the Midst of Violence. Jonathan received his PhD in International Relations from the University of Denver in March 2018. He was a 2012 recipient of the Korbel School’s Sie Fellowship and a 2016 recipient of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict’s PhD fellowship.