6 Items

Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict

| Summer 2008

The historical record indicates that nonviolent campaigns have been more successful than armed campaigns in achieving ultimate goals in political struggles, even when used against similar opponents and in the face of repression. Nonviolent campaigns are more likely to win legitimacy, attract widespread domestic and international support, neutralize the opponent's security forces, and compel loyalty shifts among erstwhile opponent supporters than are armed campaigns, which enjoin the active support of a relatively small number of people, offer the opponent a justification for violent counterattacks, and are less likely to prompt loyalty shifts and defections. An original, aggregate data set of all known major nonviolent and violent resistance campaigns from 1900 to 2006 is used to test these claims. These dynamics are further explored in case studies of resistance campaigns in Southeast Asia that have featured periods of both violent and nonviolent resistance.


A responder using a dog patrols the grounds following a simulated radioactive "dirty bomb" attack Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007, in Portland, Oregon.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Homeland Security: How to Improve Interoperability for State and Local Responders

| March 3, 2008

One of the most important lessons of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks is that, in order to respond successfully, local agencies must be able to exchange information in real time. In the past seven years, the federal government has given millions of dollars to state and local governments with the goal of improving interoperability programs. However, state and local politics often get in the way of effective use of the money. Our research provides insight and recommendations into how state and local governments can improve the effectiveness of these programs.

Journal Article - Defense and Security Analysis

On Classifying Terrorism: A Potential Contribution of Cluster Analysis for Academics and Policymakers

| December 2007

The authors argue that classifying terrorist groups based on their motivations (i.e. Islamic, nationalist-separatist, left-wing, etc) causes analysts to ignore important similarities between such groups. This article suggests using cluster analysis to classify terrorist groups based on their motives and their tactics. Using the U.S. State Department's list of Significant Terrorist Incidents through 2003, the authors demonstrate that trends in terrorist attacks among groups with seemingly disparate motives and locations provide insights into dynamic nature of terrorism over the past several decades. Specifically, certain terrorist incidents in places as diverse as Lebanon, Georgia, and Colombia have more in common than is typically suspected, suggesting that such groups monitor and learn from one another's activities.