Empirically based research on civil resistance over recent years has shown that movements adopting nonviolent techniques tend to be more successful than those that turn to violence. And that cultivating sympathy within the state’s security apparatus is key to the success of nonviolent resistance.
In the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, we have seen a spate of resistance across the US, ranging from street protests to legal challenges. In this Catalyst Trust talk, internationally recognised authority Prof Erica Chenoweth examines the ways in which the unfolding resistance in the US extends or contradicts existing insights in the scholarship on civil resistance.
What are the key challenges faced in movement-building? What are the obstacles to building and maintaining movement cohesion, to ensuring effective communication, and gaining political leverage?
Prof Chenoweth is one of the world’s foremost analysts of civil resistance. She was listed by Foreign Policy in 2013 as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers “for proving Gandhi right” and received the Karl Deutsch Award (International Relations) “for the most significant contribution to the study of International Relations and Peace Research”.
Chenoweth is Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She was a Visiting Fellow at Otago University in summer 2016 and is in New Zealand as keynote speaker at University of Otago’s “Rethinking Pacifism for Revolution, Security and Politics” conference.