Nonviolent protest has proven to be a strong driver for democratization, and recent years have shown a rise in protest movements globally—from Hong Kong to Algeria to Sudan. Yet, popular uprisings don't always lead to democratic transitions, as seen in the Arab Spring revolutions in Egypt or Yemen. Why do some transitions driven by movements end in democracy while others do not? 

In his new book, “From Dissent to Democracy,” Jonathan Pinckney systematically examines transitions initiated by nonviolent resistance campaigns and argues that two key factors explain whether or not democracy will follow such efforts. First, a movement must sustain high levels of social mobilization. Second, it must direct that mobilization away from revolutionary "maximalist" goals and tactics and towards support for new institutions. 
 
On July 31, USIP hosted activists and scholars of nonviolent resistance for a discussion of the book’s broader lessons on how to support democratization efforts around the world. The conversation explored new insights into the intersection of democratization and nonviolent resistance, as well as actionable recommendations for activists and policymakers working toward democratic transitions.

Continue in the conversation on Twitter using #PeoplePower4Peace

Speakers

Erica Chenoweth
Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Zachariah Mampilly
Marxe Chair of International Affairs, City University of New York

Hardy Merriman
President and CEO, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

Jonathan Pinckney
Program Officer, Nonviolent Action, U.S. Institute of Peace

Huda Shafig
Program Director, Karama

Maria Stephan, moderator
Director, Nonviolent Action, U.S. Institute of Peace

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

By: Steve Hege

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Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Protests Test Nigeria’s Democracy and its Leadership in Africa

Protests Test Nigeria’s Democracy and its Leadership in Africa

Thursday, October 22, 2020

By: Oge Onubogu

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Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Democracy & Governance; Nonviolent Action

Africa is the next global influencer. That’s an opportunity.

Africa is the next global influencer. That’s an opportunity.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

By: James Rupert

In a COVID-altered landscape of global security threats, economic opportunities and strategic change, Africa is seizing center stage. Africans form the world’s fastest-growing population and national economies. Violent crises, democracy movements, extremist threats, international investments, human displacement and strategic opportunities all are rising. The coronavirus pandemic underscores both Africa’s risks to global stability from fragile states—and the overlooked potential of a continent now outperforming wealthier regions in containing the public health crisis. COVID is the latest reminder that “Africa’s deepening vulnerabilities and its rising capacities will shape global realities whether we prepare for that or not,” according to scholar Joseph Sany.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Can Syrians Who Left ISIS Be Reintegrated into Their Communities?

Can Syrians Who Left ISIS Be Reintegrated into Their Communities?

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

By: Mona Yacoubian ; Chris Bosley; Leanne Erdberg Steadman

More than a year since the territorial defeat of ISIS, the region is still reeling in the wake of the self-styled caliphate’s destruction. Kurdish authorities operate two dozen detention facilities in northeast Syria holding thousands of former ISIS fighters. On October 5, Kurdish authorities in charge of al-Hol said they would free the 24,000 Syrians in the camp, where conditions have become increasingly unsustainable. USIP’s Mona Yacoubian, Chris Bosley, and Leanne Erdberg Steadman look at what led to the decision to release these Syrians and the challenges ahead for reintegrating them into their communities.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Reconciliation; Violent Extremism

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