June 30, 2021
with author Jacob S. Lewis
Introduction of Speaker: 0:00–4:05
Questions & Answers: 28:18–55:51
ICNC is pleased to host Dr. Jacob S. Lewis, the author of the forthcoming monograph How Social Trust Shapes Civil Resistance: Lessons from Africa. Democratic backsliding around the world has highlighted the importance of nonviolent civil resistance as a method of protecting and seeking democracy. One core component in both collective action and democracy is social trust, yet there has been comparatively little research on the role that social trust plays in shaping the onset and maintenance of civil resistance. Drawing evidence from Africa, this study examines two questions. First, do higher levels of social trust correlate with higher willingness to participate in nonviolent protests? This study finds that high-trusting individuals are more likely to report a willingness to engage in nonviolent protest, and verifies this by analyzing real-world data on protests. Second, does trust correspond with increased preferences for nonviolent action? This study analyzes data on the relationship between trust and justifications for political violent action and finds that high-trusting individuals are less willing to justify the use of violent action than low-trusting individuals. The study then verifies these individual-level findings by examining real-world data on proportional levels of violent and nonviolent conflict.
About the Presenter
Jacob Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Global Politics in the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at Washington State University. His research centers on conflict processes and political psychology in the African context. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and has worked extensively in the fields of international development and public policy.
“The Future of Nonviolent Resistance” by Erica Chenoweth
“Connecting Civil Resistance and Conflict Resolution” by Maria J. Stephan and T. Thompson