Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede & Mauricio Rivera Celestino (2016) Non-Violence and Democratization, PRIO Policy Brief, 16. Oslo: PRIO.
Can popular uprisings in autocracies promote political change and democratization? And do violent and non-violent uprisings have different consequences for the subsequent political outcomes? In this policy brief we summarize what recent research can tell us about how large-scale popular mobilization can undermine autocratic rule, and the prospects for subsequent transitions to democracy. While all dissent can bring down rulers, non-violent dissent is much more likely to bring about subsequent transitions to democracy, especially under favorable international contexts. We detail the plausible mechanisms whereby non-violent dissent promotes transition to democracy whereas violence is more likely to lead to new autocracies.
Professor, Department of Government, University of Essex
The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) conducts research on the conditions for peaceful relations between states, groups and people.