A really fascinating post on the Buddhist Channel, via the Buddhist Blog on a new study showing that nonviolent campaigns are more successful than violent ones:
Nonviolent resistance is not only the morally superior choice. It is also twice as effective as the violent variety. That’s the startling and reassuring discovery by Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth, who analyzed an astonishing 323 resistance campaigns from 1900 to 2006.
“Our findings show that major nonviolent campaigns have achieved success 53 percent of the time, compared with 26 percent for violent resistance campaigns,” the authors note in the journal International Security.
(The study is available as a PDF file at http://www.nonviolent-conflict.org).
The result is not that surprising, once you listen to the researchers’ reasoning.
“First, a campaign’s commitment to nonviolent methods enhances its domestic and international legitimacy and encourages more broad-based participation in the resistance, which translates into increased pressure being brought to bear on the target,” they state. “Second, whereas governments easily justify violent counterattacks against armed insurgents, regime violence against nonviolent movements is more likely to backfire against the regime.”
Wednesday, November 5, 2008