A powerful autocratic wave is sweeping the globe. Over the last 17 years, no country remains untouched.
Fostering a Fourth Democratic Wave builds on a growing body of literature that finds that civil resistance movements—using tactics such as strikes, boycotts, civil disobedience, and a range of other nonviolent tactics—are one of the most powerful forces for democracy worldwide and therefore are central to countering the authoritarian threat.
It advances a three-part strategy to do so by:
1. Proposing new approaches and tools to support civil resistance movements.
2. Advancing a new international norm — the “Right to Assistance” to pro-democracy movements.
3. Outlining strategic and tactical options to constrain authoritarian regimes and drive up the cost of their repression.
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About the Authors:
Hardy Merriman is President of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and was a Principal Investigator (PI) on the Fostering a Fourth Democratic Wave Project.
He has worked in the field of civil resistance for over two decades, presenting at workshops for activists and organizers from around the world; developing programs and grantmaking for practitioners and scholars; publishing commentary; and speaking widely about civil resistance movements with academics, journalists, and members of international organizations.
In addition to his leadership of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, he also taught as an adjunct lecturer at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University from 2016-8.
His writings have been translated into numerous languages. Recent publications include coauthoring the book Glossary of Civil Resistance: A Resource for Study and Translation of Key Terms (2021), and the report Preventing Mass Atrocities: From a Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) to a Right to Assist (RtoA) Campaigns of Civil Resistance (2019).
Patrick Quirk, Ph.D. is Vice President for Strategy, Innovation, and Impact at the International Republican Institute (IRI), a non-partisan organization dedicated to supporting democracy worldwide. In this role, Dr. Quirk provides the leadership, management, and vision to ensure that IRI
is addressing global challenges to democracy by devel- oping innovative and evidence-based programs, tools, and resources. Concurrent to serving at IRI, Dr. Quirk is a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. From 2019-2021, he was a Nonresident Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program of the Brookings Institution.
Before joining IRI, Dr. Quirk served on the U.S. Secretary of State’s Policy Planning staff in the Department of State as the lead advisor for fragile states, conflict and stabilization, and foreign assistance. Prior to Policy Planning, he served in State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) as Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy. During his government service, Dr. Quirk received several Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.
Prior to joining the Department of State, he was a Research Fellow at the German Marshall Fund as well as designed and implemented conflict prevention and democracy strengthening foreign assistance interventions overseas. His analysis has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Financial Times, The National Interest, NPR, and Real Clear Defense, among other outlets. Dr. Quirk earned a B.A. in History from Bates College and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University.
Ash Jain is director for democratic order with the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, where he oversees the Atlantic Council’s Democratic Order Initiative and D-10 Strategy Forum. His work focuses on strengthening cooperation among democracies and advancing a rules-based, democratic order. He previously served as a member of the secretary of state’s policy planning staff, focusing on US alliances and partnerships, international norms, and chal- lenges to the democratic order — including those posed by Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Mr. Jain was a Bosch public policy fellow with the German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Academy and executive director for the Project for a United and Strong America, where he coor- dinated a bipartisan foreign policy task force to produce a blueprint for a values-based national security strategy. He also served as an adviser for the White House Office of Global Communications and with the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Mr. Jain has also taught as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He earned a JD/ MS in foreign service from Georgetown University and a BA in political science from the University of Michigan.