Manufacturing Dissent: Economic Structure and the Onset of Major Nonviolent Resistance Campaigns

35 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2013

See all articles by Charles Robert Butcher

Charles Robert Butcher

National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago

Isak Svensson

Uppsala University - Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Date Written: May 31, 2013

Abstract

A rapidly growing research field examines the conditions under which major nonviolent resistance campaigns – that is, popular-based nonviolent uprisings for regime or territorial change within a state – are successful. However, previous research has paid little attention to why nonviolent resistance campaigns are initiated in the first place. This study explains the onset of nonviolent conflict, comparing the determinants of nonviolent conflict onset with those of violent conflict. We argue that pre-existing, cross-cutting mobilization structures allow activists to overcome collective action problems and leverage the participation advantage of nonviolence and that this infrastructure is more likely to be present in states that depend upon organized labor for revenue. Global quantitative analysis of the onset of violent and nonviolent campaigns from 1960-2006 (NAVCO), and nationwide protest events in Africa from 1989-2009 (SCAD) show that states where manufacturing makes up a high proportion of GDP are more likely to witness nonviolent conflict onsets.

Keywords: Nonviolence, resistance, insurgency, resources

Suggested Citation

Butcher, Charles Robert and Svensson, Isak, Manufacturing Dissent: Economic Structure and the Onset of Major Nonviolent Resistance Campaigns (May 31, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2285227 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2285227

Charles Robert Butcher (Contact Author)

National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago ( email )

520 Castle Street
Dunedin, NSW 9010
New Zealand

Isak Svensson

Uppsala University - Department of Peace and Conflict Research ( email )

Box 514
Uppsala, 75120
Sweden

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