Chenoweth and Stephan's arguments and research show that non violent campaigns are more successful than violent campaigns against violent political regimes. Though violent protests can show to be successful and they do get the point across though in a very different way, non violent protests I will have to agree, are the best and most efficient way to go about combating a violent opposition. With cases such as Dr.
Martin Luther King, and Ghandi being two of the most noted cases. (not to say that there are not many more) The two writers argue 2 main points as to why a nonviolent approaches are strategically more sound than those that promote violence. The first argument is t hat when a violent force (especially a regime) tries to repress an non-violent campaign, the repression may backfire. "First, repressing nonviolent campaigns may backfire.
In backfire, an unjust act—often violent repression—recoils against its originators, often resulting in the breakdown of obedience among regime supporters, mobilization of the population against the regime, and international condemnation of the regime" (Cenoweth ; Stephan, 11) In turn when a violent regime confronts a non-violent regime with violence, it sends a message of hostility that will label that country hostile. I associate this with the, Nuke the Middle East comments.
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Though acts of terrorism may be common in the area the amount of civilian and peaceful citizens in the area would make a no holds bar bombing unacceptable (as well as unlawful in regards to international laws) They also mention a breakdown in support for the violent regime. I agree. As a violent force aggressively challenges a nonviolent movement that is just that, non violent, support tends to diminish from the regime causing a power shift and essentially the regime could collapse due to exhausting funds and lack of support.
That is a very interesting and true perspective of a non violent protest strategy that I had not thought of and after thinking about it I tend I lean more towards this argument than I did when I had first began reading this article. Their second argument for non-violent campaigns is that they promote negotiations. They explain that most regimes are more easily swayed to negotiate with a non violent organization as they are not causing harm the regime itself or the military by taking hands on action.
They bring up something called Correspondence Inference Theory. Basically we respond to an opponent based on their actions. If they're non violent you would confront them as such and the same goes if they are violent. They make the point that public acceptance is the heart of any resistance and the public masses would be more opt to follow a non violent one than a violent. The reason is simple, the public will not feel as threatened. I feel as though these are great arguments.
If by chance a cop de tat had arose in the united states i feel i would be more opt to join a non violent route, such as the hippie movement in the 1960's where the protests were expressed via music instead of violence. Of course there are special occurrences where the two above arguments are invalid. During the civil rights protests many African American protesters were hosed down by the authorities even though they had followed Dr. Kings message of peace.
Dr. King himself though an advocate of peace was assassinated by the opposition. As previously stated I agree with the authors that a non violent approach strategically is a wonderful idea but it has a down side and I believe that it leaves the peace makers vulnerable to opposition extremists who are not worried about international opinion A few recent examples being Terrorist organizations like Al Queda, and tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin, and North Korea.
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