Episode 13: Erica Chenoweth


This is the first conversation in a three part episode arc called “Resistance, Revolution, Democracy.” In this interview, Erica Chenoweth explains why civil resistance is more effective than violent resistance, why it is more likely to bring about democracy, and the strengths and challenges every campaign faces.

This interview sets the stage for the next two episodes. It explains some of the concepts and ideas of civil resistance scholars before the podcast moves on to ideas about revolutions (George Lawson) and transitions to democracy (Jonathan Pinckney).

Erica Chenoweth is best known for her groundbreaking empirical studies which demonstrate how nonviolent resistance is more effective than violent resistance in bringing about regime change. This insight requires a paradigm shift in political strategy that transforms how we consider revolutions and democratization. The Democracy Paradox will dive even deeper into these ideas over the next two episodes.

Erica is the Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Chenoweth directs the Nonviolent Action Lab at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, where they study political violence and its alternatives. Foreign Policy magazine ranked Chenoweth among the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2013 for their efforts to promote the empirical study of nonviolent resistance. Her forthcoming book is Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Listen at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you find your podcasts. You can find Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know at Amazon or your local library. The music of Apes of the State is featured in the introduction and outro . You can find their music on Spotify or Bandcamp.

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