Dr. Maciej Bartkowski / Senior Director for Education & Research, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict
Stephen Zunes / Professor of Politics and International Studies, University of San Francisco; Co-Chair, ICNC Academic Advisors Committee
Date: Wednesday, June 11th, 2015
Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Description: A key variable determining the likelihood of success by nonviolent movements, particularly in authoritarian situations, is defections by government supporters. The enforcement power of the state ultimately depends on the cooperation of security forces and other government officials. “Defections” by security forces and other personnel does not necessarily mean stripping off uniforms and joining protests; it can also include decisions to quietly not carry out orders, leak information to the opposition, engage in work slowdowns, to “lose” paperwork and delete computer files and other less overt acts of defiance. Movements which maintain nonviolent discipline have been shown to dramatically increase the rate of defections due both to allowing for greater sympathy for the opposition as well as a sense that defectors would be welcomed instead of punished.