Presented by Erica Chenoweth & Maria J. Stephan, March 3, 2021
In this webinar, Professor Erica Chenoweth and Dr. Maria Stephan discuss their groundbreaking new study on external support to civil resistance movements, which is published in ICNC Press’s latest monograph: The Role of External Support in Nonviolent Campaigns: Poisoned Chalice or Holy Grail?
Using both quantitative and qualitative research methods, Chenoweth and Stephan examine and will speak about:
• A wide variety of forms of external support to civil resistance campaigns.
• A range of providers of external support.
• Diverse recipients of movement-related external support
• Considerations related to timing of external support
• The impact that these factors have on the trajectories and outcomes of civil resistance campaigns.
About the Monograph:
The Role of External Support in Nonviolent Campaigns: Poisoned Chalice or Holy Grail? is the culmination of an ICNC-sponsored multi-year research project.
The authors use original qualitative and quantitative data to examine the ways that external assistance impacted the characteristics and success rates of post-2000 revolutionary nonviolent uprisings. Among other findings, they argue that long-term investment in civil society and democratic institutions can strengthen the societal foundations for nonviolent movements; that activists who receive training prior to peak mobilization are much more likely to mobilize campaigns with high participation, low fatalities, and greater likelihood of defections; that donor coordination is important to be able to effectively support and leverage nonviolent campaigns; and that concurrent external support to armed groups tends to undermine nonviolent movements in numerous ways. Flexible donor assistance that supports safe spaces for campaign planning and relationship-building and multilateral diplomatic pressure that mitigates regime repression can be particularly helpful for nonviolent campaigns.
About the Presenters:
Erica Chenoweth is the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University. Chenoweth is core faculty at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, where they direct the Nonviolent Action Lab. They study political violence and its alternatives, and Foreign Policy magazine ranked them among the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013 for their efforts to promote the empirical study of nonviolent resistance. Chenoweth’s most recent book, Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2021), explores 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. Their next book with Zoe Marks, Rebel XX: Women on the Frontlines of Revolution, explores the impact of women’s participation on the outcomes of mass movements and the quality of egalitarian democracy more generally. Chenoweth’s book with Maria J. Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works (Columbia, 2011), won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order and the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award, the American Political Science Association’s best book award. Chenoweth’s other books include Civil Action and the Dynamics of Violence (Oxford, 2019), with Deborah Avant, Marie E. Berry, Rachel A. Epstein, Cullen Hendrix, Oliver Kaplan, and Timothy Sisk; The Oxford Handbook of Terrorism (Oxford, 2019) with Richard English, Andreas Gofas, and Stathis N. Kalyvas; The Politics of Terror (Oxford, 2018) with Pauline Moore; Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict (MIT, 2010) with Adria Lawrence; and Political Violence (Sage, 2013). Chenoweth’s research has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, The Economist, The Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, NPR’s Morning Edition, TEDxBoulder, and elsewhere. They co-host the award-winning blog Political Violence @ a Glance, host the blog Rational Insurgent, and blog occasionally at The Monkey Cage. Along with Jeremy Pressman, they co-direct the Crowd Counting Consortium, a public interest project that documents political mobilization since Donald Trump’s inauguration. Before coming to Harvard, Chenoweth taught at the University of Denver and Wesleyan University. They hold a PhD and an MA in political science from the University of Colorado and a BA in political science and German from the University of Dayton.
Maria J. Stephan’s career has bridged the academic, policy, and non-profit sectors, with a focus on the role of civil resistance and nonviolent movements in advancing human rights, democratic freedoms, and sustainable peace in the US and globally. She most recently directed the Program on Nonviolent Action at the U.S. Institute of Peace, overseeing cutting-edge research and programming focused on the nexus of nonviolent action and peacebuilding. Stephan is the co-author (with Erica Chenoweth) of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, which was awarded the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Prize by the American Political Science Association for the best book published in political science, and the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. She is the co-author of Bolstering Democracy: Lessons Learned and the Path Forward (Atlantic Council, 2018); the co-editor of Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback? (Atlantic Council, 2015); and the editor of Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization and Governance in the Middle East (Palgrave, 2009). From 2009-14, Stephan was lead foreign affairs officer in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, receiving two Meritorious Service Awards for her work in Afghanistan and Turkey. She later co-directed the Future of Authoritarianism initiative at the Atlantic Council. Stephan has taught at Georgetown University and American University. She received her BA in political science from Boston College and her MA and PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Stephan, a native Vermonter, is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Recommended Reading Materials:
Preventing Mass Atrocities From a Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) to a Right to Assist (RtoA) Campaigns of Civil Resistance by Peter Ackerman and Hardy Merriman
Aid to Civil Society: A Movement Mindset (USIP Special Report) by Maria J. Stephan, Sadaf Lakhani, and Nadia Nadia Naviwala
An Outsider’s Guide to Supporting Nonviolent Resistance to Dictatorship compiled by nonviolent activists from around the world.