Violence and Non-Violence in Anti-Government Mobilization

Policy brief

Cunningham, David; Belén González; Kristian Skrede Gleditsch; Dragana Vidović & Peter B. White (2016) Violence and Non-Violence in Anti-Government Mobilization, PRIO Policy Brief, 21. Oslo: PRIO.

Grievances against a government can motivate a wide range of forms of popular mass mobilization, yet violent events have received disproportionate attention. Existing data indicate that non-violent challenges to the government have been more common than violent challenges, whereas violence has been relatively more likely for territorial disputes. The choice of tactics is closely related to objectives and mobilization potential, and many actors seeking to challenge the government are likely to be more effective using non-violence than violence. Although grievances may be ubiquitous in autocratic regimes, active claims are not, and we show how our new data allow us to study separately claims against the government and factors affecting mobilization.

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