What the Movement Made: Long-Term Impacts of Civil Resistance Campaigns

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There is growing recognition that unarmed civil resistance is a form of political contention with significant political consequences. Yet to date much of the quantitative literature on civil resistance has focused almost exclusively on its immediate outcomes or short-term consequences. What literature has focused on longer-term consequences has looked solely at regime type, showing that civil resistance significantly improves democratic consolidation. There has been little attention to measuring the degree to which civil resistance outcomes endure over the longer term, and in examining outcomes beyond democratic regime type. In this paper, I explore three potential long-term impacts of civil resistance: changes in public health, changes in levels of corruption and good governance, and changes in rates of economic growth. Through a cross-national analysis comparing countries that experienced a major civil resistance campaign with those that did not and controlling for a wide range of alternative explanations, I show that civil resistance has broad and enduring impacts beyond regime type. The findings have critical implications for understanding the foundations for long-term social and political transformation.

Sep 3, 2023 10:00 AM — 11:30 AM
American Political Science Association Annual Meeting
Los Angeles, CA
Jonathan Pinckney
Jonathan Pinckney
Assistant Professor

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