Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Does Nonviolent Direct Action Work? Yes.

I heard a rumor today that the term “occupy” has now been blocked from internet searches in China, thanks to the “occupy Wall Street” movement in the USA.  This, along with all of the protests associated with what is now known as the Arab Spring, seems to have left the Chinese government just a bit concerned.  Is there a reason to be concerned?  Maybe. 

Not every revolution is successful.  However, nonviolent revolutions have about double the success rate of those marked by violent means.   The rates of success were documented in a study by Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth, "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict." International Security 33, no. 1 (Summer 2008): 7-44. 

According to Stephan and Chenoweth, of 323 violent and nonviolent movements between 1900 and 2006, 53% of the nonviolent ones succeeded as compared to only 26% of the violent ones. What’s even more telling is that when the movements were repressed, the nonviolent movements were 6 times more likely to succeed.

The article can be accessed at the following link:  http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/IS3301_pp007-044_Stephan_Chenoweth.pdf



The Pink Panzer



No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment!