Chenoweth: Nonviolent Uprisings Succeed Quite Often

In an OpEd for The New York Times, Erica Chenoweth, assistant professor of government, says that, despite perceptions to the contrary, nonviolent uprisings actually succeed more often than armed uprisings, even in dictatorships and oppressive regimes. Chenoweth points to the current contrast in Egypt and Tunisia as opposed to Libya and Yemen. The evidence is based on research that will be published in her upcoming book Why Civil Resistance Works. In the OpEd, Chenoweth also discusses what happens after these uprisings: “From 1900 to 2006, 35 percent to 40 percent of authoritarian regimes that faced major nonviolent uprisings had become democracies five years after the campaign ended, even if the campaigns failed to cause immediate regime change. For the nonviolent campaigns that succeeded, the figure increases to well over 50 percent.”

She has also posted more information on this specific issue in a piece called “A Skeptics Guide to Nonviolent Resistance.”