Erica Chenoweth

Essay
JUL/AUG
2014
Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan

Revolts against authoritarian regimes don’t always succeed -- but they’re more likely to if they embrace civil resistance rather than violence. Over the last century, nonviolent campaigns have been twice as likely to succeed as violent ones and they increase the chances that toppling a dictatorship will lead to peace and democracy.

Snapshot
Erica Chenoweth

By deciding to hold mass sit-ins across Egypt, the pro-Morsi protesters were making use of a time-honored tactic of civil resistance. But tactics are the not the same as a strategy and, in this case, would not likely promote the very things that allow protests movements to succeed: diverse participation, the avoidance of repression, and the defection of regime loyalists.