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Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare) Paperback – December 11, 2012
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This is the first major scholarly book to make a well-supported argument that, contrary to what many people believe, nonviolent resistance is more effective than armed resistance in overthrowing regimes, an advantage that is maintained even when the target is not democratic.(Robert Jervis, Columbia University)
Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan offer a fresh, lively, and penetrating analysis of the conditions under which nonviolent resistance succeeds or fails. Using a wealth of data and in-depth case studies, they show that the scholarly emphasis on forceful approaches is misguided: nonviolent movements are often better able to mobilize supporters, resist regime crackdowns, develop innovative resistant techniques, and otherwise take on and defeat repressive regimes and build durable democracies.(Daniel Byman, Georgetown University and senior fellow, Saban Center at the Brookings Institution)
After the breathtaking events of 2011, can anyone doubt that nonviolent civil resistance is an effective tool for political change? In this provocative, well-written, and compelling book, Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan demonstrate that nonviolent civil resistance is usually a better way to force political change. They identify the conditions favoring its success and provide a convincing explanation for why nonviolent resistance is so effective. Their analysis is rigorous yet accessible, and their conclusions have profound implications for anyone seeking to understand―or promote―far-reaching social and political reform.(Stephen Walt, Harvard University)
This is social science at its best. Years of critical study culminate in a book on one dominating issue: how does nonviolent opposition compare with violence in removing a regime or achieving secession? The authors study successes and failures and alternative diagnoses of success and failure, reaching a balanced judgment meriting careful study.(Thomas C. Schelling, Harvard University, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics)
All of us dedicated to peaceful protest as a way to change the world can take heart from this book.(Amitabh Pal Progressive)
The work belongs in all academic libraries.... Highly recommended.(Choice)
Well researched, skillfully written, insightful, and timely.(Joseph G. Bock Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict)
A surprising new study of nonviolent resistance and its viability in defeating oppressive regimes.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Their evidence is overwhelming. By cataloging 323 campaigns from 1900-2006, the authors are able to demonstrate that civil resistance has been trice as likely to succeed as armed struggle in overthrowing regimes and resisting foreign occupations. Importantly, they find that the strategic advantage of civil resistance holds across all continents, across time (increasing each decade), across regime capacity and regardless of the level of repression used against the insurgency. In other words, even in the most difficult circumstances, civil resistance is a smarter option than violence. They also cover a range of potential explanations and caveats to their argument, systematically answering each in turn with yet more data. The authors certainly cannot be faulted for effort - they seem to have covered every possible angle.Read more ›
Put very simply, nonviolence works better. They identify a number of reasons: lower barriers to active participation in nonviolent resistance by the population in general (easier to convince someone the carry a picket sign than throw a bomb), the disruptive effects of mass nonviolent noncooperation and the greater likelihood of shifting loyalties among regime loyalists and security forces. Additionally there are significantly fewer moral issues in civil resistance to a repressive regime than using weapons and killing to overthrow it.
"Why Civil Resistance Works" seems to be a model of social science investigation of political phenomena. "Seems" because, since I am neither a scientist nor particularly social, I can't judge their methodology. My only criticism is their sometimes artificial decision of when a campaign against an authoritarian government ends and therefore which of them succeeded and which failed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My go to guide for violent and non violent resistance research.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This book arrived damaged to the point of uselessness and required a lot of effort to get usable for the class. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ouan
I was impressed at how may ways the authors looked at civil resistance campaigns to see if civil resistance indeed works better than violent resistance. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kathryn A Converse
makes strong points, but bends towards the academic and wanders towards the repetitivePublished 3 months ago by Wade Rathke
It is a really good book to have date about civil resistance. I liked it.Published 16 months ago by YURI
Needs rewriting for wider audience but it is crucial research for anyone interested in finding alternatives to violent confrontation on whatever level.Published 17 months ago by bobeddyuu
This is a very important book that ought to be read by anyone interested in life-affirming social transformation. Meticulously fact-based, and very readable.
Stephan A. Read more