Strategies of Resistance: Diversification and Diffusion

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Cunningham, Kathleen Gallagher; Marianne Dahl & Anne Frugé (2017) Strategies of Resistance: Diversification and Diffusion, American Journal of Political Science. DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12304.

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​Why do organizations choose to use nonviolence? Why do they choose specific nonviolent tactics? Existing quantitative work centers on mass nonviolent campaign, but much of the nonviolence employed in contentious politics is smaller-scale nonviolent direct action. In this article, we explore the determinants of nonviolence with new data at the organization level in self-determination disputes from 1960 to 2005. We present a novel argument about the interdependence of tactical choices among nonviolent options in self-determination movements. Given limitations on their capabilities, competition among organizations in a shared movement, and different resource requirements for nonviolent strategies, we show that organizations have incentives to diversify tactics rather than just copy other organizations. The empirical analysis reveals a rich picture of varied organizational resistance choices, and a complex web of interdependence among tactics.

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