Promoting Peace and Democracy after Nonviolent Action Campaigns

Promoting Peace and Democracy after Nonviolent Action Campaigns

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

By: Jonathan Pinckney, Ph.D.

The ouster of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 was brought about using the tools of nonviolent action, including massive protests and nationwide strikes. Yet the transition that followed showed that initiating change through nonviolent action is no guarantee of a peaceful, smooth path to democracy. This report, based on data on 72 political transitions that occurred between 1945 and 2019, provides key insights into the kinds of mobilization, in terms of tactics and actors, that tend to be most effective in carrying transitions to a democratic outcome.

Type: Peaceworks

Democracy & GovernanceNonviolent Action

The Persistent Challenge of Extremism in Bangladesh

The Persistent Challenge of Extremism in Bangladesh

Thursday, June 23, 2022

By: Mubashar Hasan;  Geoffrey Macdonald

On July 1, 2016, Bangladeshi militants carried out an attack, targeting mostly foreigners and non-Muslims, at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka. The Bangladeshi government responded to the attack with a concerted and controversial counterterrorism campaign. Although the number of terrorist incidents has been in steady decline since 2016, Islamist groups continue to operate, recruit, and carry out small-scale attacks while aspiring to perpetrate greater violence. This report examines the dynamics, drivers, and manifestations of extremism in Bangladesh and discusses measures to weaken its appeal.

Type: Special Report

Violent Extremism

Global Trends and Challenges to Protecting and Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief

Global Trends and Challenges to Protecting and Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

By: Jason Klocek, Ph.D.;  Scott Bledsoe

USIP collaborated with USAID’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on an initiative called Closing the Gap to study the relationship between religious freedom and regime type, political stability, and economic development. This report summarizes the study’s main findings and offers recommendations for policymakers and peace practitioners seeking to protect and promote the freedom of individuals to practice the religion of their choice, convert to another faith, or profess no faith at all.

Type: Special Report

Religion

Sowing the Seeds of Nonviolent Action in Sudan

Sowing the Seeds of Nonviolent Action in Sudan

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

By: Marija Marovic;  Zahra Hayder

From 2013 to 2018, Sudanese civil society actors carved out a variety of civic spaces that laid the foundation for Sudan’s 2018–2019 December Revolution. This report assesses the factors that gave rise to this remarkable mobilization—in particular how civil society development ultimately enabled the Sudanese opposition to sustain a decentralized, nationwide, and robust nonviolent campaign characterized by widespread mass participation, unity of leadership and purpose, and a commitment to nonviolent discipline—and what it will take to keep the country’s democratic transition on track.

Type: Special Report

Nonviolent Action

Darfur after Bashir: Implications for Sudan’s Transition and for the Region

Darfur after Bashir: Implications for Sudan’s Transition and for the Region

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

By: Jérôme Tubiana

This report examines the role of Darfur in Sudan’s domestic politics and international relations since the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in 2019. It traces how Darfur’s importance has shifted with the growing aspirations and power of Mohamed Hamdan Daglo – more commonly known as Hemetti – and the Rapid Support Forces that he governs. It concludes by examining where Western actors may have leverage to push for both peace in Darfur and civilian rule.

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & PreventionDemocracy & GovernanceGlobal Policy

Dissent and Dialogue: The Role of Mediation in Nonviolent Uprisings

Dissent and Dialogue: The Role of Mediation in Nonviolent Uprisings

Monday, April 11, 2022

By: Isak Svensson;  Daan van de Rijzen

While both mediation and nonviolent resistance have been the subject of significant scholarly work, the connection of the two fields has received less attention. Using newly collected data on nonviolent uprisings Africa from the Mediation in Nonviolent Campaigns data set, this report explores several questions: When does mediation occur in the context of nonviolent campaigns? Who tends to mediate? What are the challenges, and what are the outcomes? The study offers overall takeaways, policy conclusions, and recommendations for future research.

Type: Special Report

Mediation, Negotiation & DialogueNonviolent Action

Afghan Taliban Views on Legitimate Islamic Governance

Afghan Taliban Views on Legitimate Islamic Governance

Monday, February 28, 2022

By: Clark B. Lombardi;  Andrew F. March

Since their return to power in August 2021, Taliban leaders have not yet articulated a clear vision of how they plan to structure the Afghan state. Some observers have expressed guarded optimism that the Taliban can be persuaded to move away from the more authoritarian and illiberal aspects of their first regime. This report is intended to help these negotiators—whether from the international community or Afghan civil society—find possible compromises between the Taliban’s vision of “true” Islamic governance and liberal democracy and respect for human rights.

Type: Peaceworks

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Nonviolent Action in the Era of Digital Authoritarianism: Hardships and Innovations

Nonviolent Action in the Era of Digital Authoritarianism: Hardships and Innovations

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

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

In the late 2000s and early 2010s, nonviolent action movements employed social media and other digital tools to orchestrate pro-democracy uprisings that took regimes by surprise. Those euphoric early days have since given way to digital repression, restricted online freedoms, and democratic backsliding as authoritarian regimes leverage new technologies to surveil the opposition and sow misinformation. This report documents how nonviolent activists are adapting to digital repression and suggests ways the United States and its allies can slow the pace of autocratic innovation in the use of these technologies.

Type: Special Report

Nonviolent Action

Myanmar Study Group: Final Report

Myanmar Study Group: Final Report

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

By: Myanmar Study Group

In March 2021, the Myanmar Study Group was organized by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in response to the evolving conflict in Myanmar following the military coup of February 1, 2021. To support U.S. policy toward Myanmar, the Institute convened a study group of nine prominent experts on Myanmar and Asian affairs from April through September 2021. The study group held five discussions on topics of critical relevance to the crisis in Myanmar, supplemented by consultations with key stakeholders in the country and the region. Although convened by USIP, the views and recommendations contained in the report are solely those of the Myanmar Study Group, not USIP.

Type: Report

Conflict Analysis & PreventionDemocracy & Governance