Author: Erica Chenoweth

Seeing Flight as a Non-violent Option: One Way to Change the Discourse about the World’s 60 Million Refugees

Today, one in every 122 humans living on the planet is a refugee, an internally displaced person, or an asylum-seeker. In 2014, conflict and persecution forced a staggering 42,500 persons per day to leave their homes and seek protection elsewhere, resulting in 59.5 million total refugees worldwide. According to the UN refugee agency’s 2014 Global… Read more »

Practical Compassion in the Age of Crisis

The news from last week was bleak. Fleeing violence and chaos in the Middle East, horrific accounts detailed the tragic fates of countless people seeking refuge in Europe. Thousands have perished along the way, and many survivors have found themselves in dangerous conditions upon arrival in Europe. Some state reactions have been appallingly inhumane, and… Read more »

How Can States and Non-State Actors Respond to Authoritarian Resurgence?

Two weeks ago, the Monkey Cage ran a piece by Matthew Baum and Phil Potter suggesting that the policy of “democracy-promotion” has gone out of style.[1] I think they’re right that in many circles democracy-promotion is politically passé and that, more broadly, democracy advocates are really having a tough couple of years. In the midst… Read more »

The “Resister’s Toolkit”

In his article in the May 2015 issue of APSR, Evgeny Finkel makes a splash by arguing that exposure to “selective repression” (such as surveillance, beatings, arrests, and torture) helps dissidents to develop a robust skill set with which to maintain enduring resistance later on. He supports this argument with data from an unlikely case—Nazi… Read more »

Who’s Afraid of “Waging Nonviolence”?

Since at least 2011, the Chinese government has censored numerous websites on the topic of nonviolent resistance, including websites for the Albert Einstein Institution, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, an online bibliography of scholarship of nonviolent action, and the website for the NAVCO data project, among others. A month ago, the Chinese government allegedly… Read more »

Gandhi’s Legacy: A Century of Peaceful Troublemakers

There are really two types of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates—elites (or elite-led institutions) and ordinary people. Elite winners generally seem to be those that are trying to forge or preserve peace. But ordinary individuals tend to be troublemakers—those that are trying to use nonviolent action to upset the status quo to bring more justice to… Read more »

The Paradox of 2014

In recent weeks, a number of people have asked me whether I think we’re headed for World War III. Maybe it’s the intense media coverage of the centennial of WWI. Maybe it’s all the violence heating up in Israel & Gaza, Iraq, and Ukraine, and wars raging in Syria, Nigeria, and DRC. Maybe it’s the… Read more »

Renewed Violence in Pakistan

Last night, the Pakistani Taliban (otherwise known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP) allegedly staged a bloody attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. Shahidullah Shahid, TTP’s spokesman, told Agence France-Press that the group launched the attack in revenge for the Pakistani government’s November 2013 killing of TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud. He also claimed the group… Read more »