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Old 19-05-2019, 05:01   #1
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Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

“The Success of Nonviolent Civil Resistance” ~ Erica Chenoweth at TEDxBoulder
Between 1900-2006, campaigns of nonviolent civil resistance were twice as successful as violent campaigns. Erica Chenoweth, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, talks about her research on the impressive historical record of civil resistance in the 20th century and discuss the promise of unarmed struggle in the 21st century.
She focuses on the so-called “3.5% rule”—the notion that no government can withstand a challenge of 3.5% of its population without either accommodating the movement or (in extreme cases) disintegrating. In addition to explaining why nonviolent resistance has been so effective, she also shares some lessons learned about why it sometimes fails.

Excerpt: “... Researchers used to say that no government could survive if five percent of its population mobilized against it. But our data reveal that the threshold is probably lower. In fact, no campaigns failed once they’d achieved the active and sustained participation of just 3.5% of the population—and lots of them succeeded with far less than that [5]. Now, 3.5% is nothing to sneeze at. In the U.S. today, this means almost 11 million people.
But get this: Every single campaign that did surpass that 3.5% threshold was a nonviolent one. In fact, campaigns that relied solely on nonviolent methods were on average four times larger than the average violent campaign. And they were often much more representative in terms of gender, age, race, political party, class, and urban-rural distinctions ...”


The Script & MOREhttps://rationalinsurgent.com/2013/1...-the-3-5-rule/


The Talk
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Old 19-05-2019, 05:18   #2
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

A subject of great interest to me. I used to teach constitutional law, and have been involved in different civil libertarian projects over the years.


One thing I would add to this article is that I don't think you can say that it is the same threshold for every cause, or for every society. Some societies are more rigid than others, and some causes are more "infectious" than others, and at different times. Some societies are more tolerant of violence, than others. In a society with a high level of violence, violent protests may be more effective than non-violent ones. Something known by violent revolutionaries, and creating a climate of persistent violence is something they do to prepare the road.



3.5% of people in America protesting non-violently against the denial of civil rights of racial minorities, a cause which hardly anyone can really argue with, is different from 3.5% of people in Israel protesting non-violently against the deprivation of Palestinian lands -- something 90% of Israelis will never agree with no matter eloquently the proposition is expressed. Not 3.5% nor even 20% of people protesting non-violently against such a thing will never bring down the Israeli government.



So I think that although there is something to what they authors say, they've oversimplified it somewhat.
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Old 19-05-2019, 05:53   #3
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
... 3.5% of people in America protesting non-violently against the denial of civil rights of racial minorities, a cause which hardly anyone can really argue with, is different from 3.5% of people in Israel protesting non-violently against the deprivation of Palestinian lands -- something 90% of Israelis will never agree with no matter eloquently the proposition is expressed. Not 3.5% nor even 20% of people protesting non-violently against such a thing will never bring down the Israeli government.

So I think that although there is something to what they authors say, they've oversimplified it somewhat.
John F. Kennedy famously said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
I take your point, that not all nonviolent movements succeed. Tiananmen Square and the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar in the late 1980s come to mind as key failures (by the way, violent insurgencies in these countries fared no better).

When nonviolent campaigns fail, it is usually because they do not achieve mass participation or they over-rely on a single method, such as protests or sit-ins.

As I understand it (& you imply), there is no mass movement against the deprivation of Palestinian lands - so no appreciable protest by Israelis.

It's a pretty broad & complex subject to cover in a 12 minute talk, so not surprising that it's somewhat simplified.
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Old 19-05-2019, 08:34   #4
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

Shouldn't this be a thread on Quora or similar? I fail to see what this has to do with sailing.
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Old 19-05-2019, 08:36   #5
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Shouldn't this be a thread on Quora or similar? I fail to see what this has to do with sailing.


The off topic forum is pretty lenient I suppose.
It’s certainly off topic
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Old 19-05-2019, 09:33   #6
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

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John F. Kennedy famously said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
I take your point, that not all nonviolent movements succeed. Tiananmen Square and the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar in the late 1980s come to mind as key failures (by the way, violent insurgencies in these countries fared no better). . . .



Well, it depends on what they're about, and what they're up against. Tiananmen Square was a good cause, with plenty of appeal to a large part of Chinese society, but it was aimed at a powerful, confident state which wasn't going to stand for it, and didn't. Under similar conditions, the Soviet Union fell, but the USSR was bankrupt and had been gradually liberalizing and giving up totalitarian control for ideological reasons -- those in power didn't actually want totalitarian control any more. That's the main difference between those cases -- not the percentage who participated. There wasn't even that much protest in the USSR; people were just sick of it, and the Soviet state itself, unlike the Chinese one, already didn't believe in its own system, so it fell apart. And economic conditions played a huge role - in China, people maybe didn't care that much for the system, but their material lives were getting better; in Russia, average people were in economic distress and hungry for change.



These cases are all different; I don't much care for this degree of oversimplification.



And take more recent history in the U.S. -- the Occupy movement. That surely got near 3.5% if not more, but there was no way in hell that was going to bring the state down, because there wasn't even a coherent program involved.


I guess the "3.5%", the vanguard or whatever Lenin would have called it, is not the main thing. I guess what really counts is the whole number of people willing to do enough to make things actually change, outside of the normal political process, with "enough to make things actually change" being very different, depending on how well entrenched the existing power structure is, and what power it has (prisons, executions, fines, career damage) to discourage people from doing so.



The civil rights movement in the U.S. succeeded because eventually a large majority of Americans agreed with it, and the normal democratic political processes implemented its demands. Gandhi succeeded because the English had no will and no stomach to enforce their rule, and no money to finance doing so. These cases are different. Even 10%, even 30% of people may not be able to bring change in a state which is highly entrenched, and/or where the proposed change is not broadly supported by the population.
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Old 19-05-2019, 09:39   #7
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

It’s research like this that begs for reminding people, correlation does not equal causation...
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Old 19-05-2019, 10:00   #8
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

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Shouldn't this be a thread on Quora or similar? I fail to see what this has to do with sailing.
You have made 67 posts on the non-cruising New Joke Thread. Why don't you stick to the topics that suit you best and quit being a bully on threads that don't otherwise interest you.
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Old 19-05-2019, 10:07   #9
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
It’s research like this that begs for reminding people, correlation does not equal causation...

Indeed!
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Old 19-05-2019, 10:21   #10
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

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You have made 67 posts on the non-cruising New Joke Thread. Why don't you stick to the topics that suit you best and quit being a bully on threads that don't otherwise interest you.

This thread is just itching to be closed. Stay tuned.
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Old 20-05-2019, 03:52   #11
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

Ineffective Civil Disobedience
Quote:
[final paragraph]
Thoreau’s concept of civil disobedience is an effective method of deriving change in a democratic government. This is evident in the examples of Mohandas Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States. Unfortunately, in most cases where civil disobedience is used in non-democratic countries, the governments turn to violence and the people fall short of their causes. Nelson Mandela in Africa is only one of many examples of the ineffectiveness of civil disobedience against non-democratic governments. These examples give proof that civil disobedience is not a plausible strategy against a non-democratic government.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The Limits and Dangers of Civil Disobedience: The Case of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Quote:
Key Takeaways

(1) America’s founding principles of natural rights and the rule of law permit the practice of civil disobedience narrowly conceived.

(2) American civil disobedience in the theory and practice of Martin Luther King, is mainly—but not perfectly—in accord with those founding principles.

(3) As King rightly understood, civil disobedience may only be undertaken: (1) for the right reasons; (2) in the right spirit; and (3) by the right people.
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Old 20-05-2019, 05:00   #12
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

Dockhead, my impression from the movements I have been involved in (civil rights, Vietnam) is that a movement needs a range of approaches, from the bomb throwers to apply pressure to the negotiators to get political change. You've actively studied the area; could you comment on that impression?
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Old 20-05-2019, 05:02   #13
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

Quoting the study’s author, Erica Chenoweth”
“... From 1900 to 2006, nonviolent campaigns worldwide were twice as likely to succeed outright as violent insurgencies. And there’s more. This trend has been increasing over time—in the last fifty years civil resistance has become increasingly frequent and effective, whereas violent insurgencies have become increasingly rare and unsuccessful. This is true even in extremely repressive, authoritarian conditions where we might expect nonviolent resistance to fail ...”

See also:
https://rationalinsurgent.com/2011/0...nt-resistance/
"... historical evidence from 1900 to 2006 suggests that once nonviolent campaigns have achieved a critical mass of supporters, civil resistance campaigns have worked more often than they have failed. This is true even in brutal regimes. 30 of the nonviolent campaigns we studied took place in countries that rank as autocracies (between -7 and -10 on the POLITY IV scale). All 30 of these nonviolent campaigns faced massive repression from their opponent regimes, yet 21 of them (70 percent) succeeded. That success rate is higher than average for nonviolent campaigns facing other types of regimes ..."

“Why Civil Resistance Works”
http://www.ericachenoweth.com/wp-con...Appendix-1.pdf
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Old 20-05-2019, 05:19   #14
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pirate Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead;2Quote
. Gandhi succeeded because the English had no will and no stomach to enforce their rule, and no money to finance doing so. These cases are different. Even 10%, even 30% of people may not be able to bring change in a state which is highly entrenched, and/or where the proposed change is not broadly supported by the population.
Dang.. and there was I believing that Indian troops venturing over the Black Water to fight in Europe and other arenas was the deal struck that won India and Pakistan Independence..
Ghandi, Nehru and Jinnah collaborated to win the concession to be effected following the defeat of Germany and Japan.
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Old 20-05-2019, 05:32   #15
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Re: Nonviolent Civil Resistance - The 3.5% Rule

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Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
... my impression from the movements I have been involved in (civil rights, Vietnam) is that a movement needs a range of approaches, from the bomb throwers to apply pressure to the negotiators to get political change...
When nonviolent campaigns fail, it is usually because they do not achieve mass participation or they over-rely on a single method, such as protests or sit-ins. According to the influential theorist Gene Sharp, there are hundreds of different nonviolent tactics that movements can use to outmaneuver the opponent. But when they rely on the same tactic time after time, the movements become predictable and easy to repress. This was certainly the case in both China and Myanmar. Although the campaigns initially gained momentum, they primarily used protests and demonstrations. Successful campaigns tend to sequence their tactics in ways that maximize participation and pressure while minimizing exposure to repression.

“198 METHODS OF NONVIOLENT ACTION”
198 Methods of Nonviolent Action – Albert Einstein Institution

“There are Realistic Alternatives” ~ by Gene Sharp
https://www.aeinstein.org/wp-content...13/09/TARA.pdf
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