Peaceful Protests Are More Successful Than Violent Ones

January 11, 2015 in Daily Bulletin

Max Fisher wrote about how best to overthrow a government:

  • Research indicates that about 50% of peaceful uprisings succeed in their objectives while violent ones are only half as successful.
  • The success of peaceful protests is a recent phenomenon. Up until about the 1950s it was violent ones that were more successful.
  • The data suggests that once 3.5% of a country’s population becomes involved in an uprising, the rate of success shoots up to 100%.
  • No violent campaign has managed to achieve participation by 3.5% of the country thus the strategy’s relative lack of success.
  • Part of the reason why violence is unsuccessful is because violent protests legitimize the use of force by the regime, allowing them to crush the revolution.
  • They can also unite what may have previously been a divided regime on the brink of collapse.
  • And violent protesters may lose the sympathy of the wider populace thus failing to spark a broader revolution.
  • Peaceful revolutions have other benefits. They are 15% less likely to relapse into civil war than violent ones.

Read more about the benefits of non-violence, and see some fascinating charts over here.

Source: The Washington Post