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Why Civil Resistance Works by Stephan and Chenoweth

PS 139

Why Civil Resistance Works


Problem: past research implies that violent forms of resistance are more effective than non-violence (Pape, Kydd and Walter, Abrahms)
Past studies exclude: boycotts, strikes, protests, sitins, and other forms of nonviolent resistance from their inquiries Argument: 53% vs. 26% success rate in favor of major non-violent campaigns

Why Civil Resistance Works


Non-Violent Resistance - civilian based method of conflict without the threat or use of violence - protests, boycotts, strikes, etc. - purpose is to delegitimize adversaries and remove their sources of power - takes place outside traditional political channels

Why Civil Resistance Works


Civil Resistance vs. Principled Non-Violence Principled non-violence is grounded in religious and ethically based opposition to violence Ghandi, MLK Jr. practiced principled nonviolence although they used many of the same tactics Why is decision to use non-violence made?

Why Civil Resistance Works


Why Non-Violence Works (processes):
1) Enhances domestic and international legitimacy and encourages broad-based participation 2) Regime violence against non-violent movements is likely to backfire (correspondence - inference theory) 3) Negotiation more likely (correspondence - inference)

Why Civil Resistance Works


Backfire State violence against civilians results in the breakdown of obedience, mobilization against the government, and international condemnation of the regime Increases rebel solidarity May Result in external support for rebels (ex. Libya) Security force defection (ex. Egypt, Syria)

Why Civil Resistance Works


Loyalty Shift / Defections Members of a regime (military and bureaucracy) are more likely to shift allegiance if a movement is non-violent Non-violence is especially effective if it succeeds in switching the loyalty of regime security forces (more so than violent campaigns)

Why Civil Resistance Works


Method Identify a campaign as violent or non-violent 300+ campaigns Code outcome as: success movement achieved policy goals limited success movement achieved concessions failure did not achieve policy concessions or overall goals

Why Civil Resistance Works


Findings 1) When there is a regime crackdown (repression), non-violence is 6 times more successful than violence 2) Repressive regimes more likely to grant concessions to non-violent groups 3) International Context: a) sanctions have no effect on outcome of non-violent campaigns

Why Civil Resistance Works


Findings (cont.) 4) Non-violent resistance has no effect on security force defection! (p. 20-21) 5) Democracies vulnerable

Why Civil Resistance Works


Cases Studies 1) East Timor FREITILIN / FALANTIL (1975-1980) vs. CNRM (1988-2002) - U.N. and Australian support 2) Philippines CPP/NPA vs. People Power - removal of U.S. support for Marcos key 3) Burma - U.S. sanctions ineffective - repression works and few defections for decades - Government has made reforms in recent years

Why Civil Resistance Works


Are violent insurgencies and large, non-violent movements comparable phenomena?