Collecting Data on Nonviolent Action: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward


While several existing datasets can help to address pressing questions on nonviolent resistance, data collection on nonviolent conflict involves several distinct challenges, including (1) conceptual distinctions between the absence of violence, non-violent behavior, and nonviolent direct action; (2) a systematic violence bias in mainstream news reports; and (3) incentives to misrepresent. As a way forward, we advocate (1) collecting data at multiple temporal and purposive units; (2) diversifying source materials; and (3) coding ambiguity as a meaningful substantive variable.

Journal of Peace Research 52 (1) 129-133
Jonathan Pinckney
Jonathan Pinckney
Assistant Professor

My research interests include civil resistance, democratization, and peacebuilding.