Dr. Matthew Cebul is a research officer with USIP's Program on Nonviolent Action. Before joining USIP, Dr. Cebul was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan’s Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies and a USIP Peace Scholar Fellow from 2019-2020. He conducts research on democratization and the international dimensions of civil resistance campaigns, particularly in the Middle East. His ongoing book project, “Resistance and Rebellion in the Shadow of Foreign Intervention,” explains how the prospect of international assistance influences opposition behavior during nonviolent campaigns, particularly the 2011 Syrian uprising. His other work on international relations and Middle Eastern politics has appeared in major media outlets, as well as peer-reviewed academic journals, including The Washington Post, The Journal of Politics and the Journal of Conflict Resolution. 

Dr. Cebul received his master’s degree and doctorate in political science from Yale University and holds a bachelor’s degree from Haverford College. 

Publications By Matthew

Digital Authoritarianism and Nonviolent Action: Challenging the Digital Counterrevolution

Digital Authoritarianism and Nonviolent Action: Challenging the Digital Counterrevolution

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

By: Matthew Cebul;  Jonathan Pinckney, Ph.D.

Nonviolent action campaigns are one of the most common ways citizens seek to peacefully change nonresponsive political systems. Yet recently developed and emergent technologies are transforming the nature of interactions between activists and authoritarian governments. This report examines the increasingly sophisticated set of tools—such as facial recognition and surveillance of social media platforms—authoritarian regimes are using to stifle nonviolent movements, and provides recommendations for how policymakers and activists can develop creative strategies for overcoming digital authoritarianism.

Type: Special Report

Nonviolent Action

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