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Josef Korbel School of International StudiesSié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy

Amb Bill Burns

Sié Center

News Archive

2019 Sié Center News

December 2019 News

Economic growth in Rwanda has arguably come at the cost of democratic freedom

December 17, 2019 

World Finance - In 1994, Rwanda was destroyed by the unthinkable mass slaughtering of its civilians. Now, 25 years later, the country has managed to establish a successful and thriving economy, but at what cost?

Abiy Ahmed Ali, The Nobel Prize, and the Future of Global Democracy

December 10, 2019 

Political Violence @ a Glance - Today, 43-year old Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize in a lavish ceremony at Oslo City Hall. The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited two major contributions by Ahmed to peace.

Aid Workers are Getting Killed More Often. But Why? 

December 6, 2019 

Washington Post

'Oprah of Syria' Brings Fresh Perspectives to DU

December 5, 2019 

DU News - In Syria, Honey Al Sayed's work earned her comparisons to Oprah. For years, her daily three-hour live radio show, "Good Morning, Syria," reached millions with a refreshing lineup of uplifting storytelling and discussions about taboo topics ranging from sexual education to corruption.

Violence Is Sometimes the Answer

December 5, 2019 

Foreign Policy - Whenever protesters fight with police, burn vehicles, or smash windows, a familiar chorus rings out, from a safe distance: Why can't they be nonviolent, like Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, or Martin Luther King Jr.? With anti-government protests raging around the world since the summer, this common refrain has returned. Even United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, while reminding governments to allow free assembly and expression, said protesters must "follow the examples of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and other champions of nonviolent change."

November 2019 News

Opinion: Let's try to be civil enough to keep arguing

November 18, 2019 

Colorado Sun - In the midst of one after another political slight, I cannot stop thinking of something my colleague and prominent blogger, Seth Masket, posted on his Facebook page earlier this year. The comment got a few laughs and sarcastic comments like "low bar," but recent research suggests this action is worthy of more serious attention.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Policy Engagement* (*But Were Too Afraid to Ask)

November 18, 2019 

Duck of Minerva - Earlier this year, our team at the Sié Center at the University of Denver announced our program on the three R's of Academic-Policy Engagement (or R3, if you prefer): Rigor, Relevance, and Responsibility. Generously supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, our program is intended to both study and help train early-career scholars around the ethical issues that arise when academics—who face ever-increasing pressures to demonstrate the broader social impacts of their research—attempt to interface with policy audiences. Broadly speaking, our scholarly community is doing a good job of training scholars to engage: initiatives like the Bridging the Gap Project (BtG) have been massively successful in demystifying the mechanics of engagement: how to write for policy audiences, give good interviews, etc. BtG now has over 100 alums who are doing an excellent job of making IR scholarship legible for policy and general audiences.

Not Cool Ep 22: Cullen Hendrix on climate change and armed conflict

November 13, 2019 

Future of Life Insititute - Right before civil war broke out in 2011, Syria experienced a historic five-year drought. This particular drought, which exacerbated economic and political insecurity within the country, may or may not have been caused by climate change. But as climate change increases the frequency of such extreme events, it's almost certain to inflame pre-existing tensions in other countries — and in some cases, to trigger armed conflict. On Not Cool episode 22, Ariel is joined by Cullen Hendrix, co-author of "Climate as a risk factor for armed conflict." Cullen, who serves as Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy and Senior Research Advisor at the Center for Climate & Security, explains the main drivers of conflict and the impact that climate change may have on them. He also discusses the role of climate change in current conflicts like those in Syria, Yemen, and northern Nigeria; the political implications of such conflicts for Europe and other developed regions; and the chance that climate change might ultimately foster cooperation.

Libya's Competing Governments Contend for Washington Influence

November 8, 2019 

Voice of America - The Libyan civil war has found a new battlefield: the halls of Washington. The eight-year conflict shows little sign of ending, and the warring governments are stepping up their efforts to influence policymakers in the United States.

A third of the world has organized in mass protest

November 7, 2019 

DU Clarion - Fifteen out of those seventeen countries have used tear gas against their own people over the course of these protests; only the United States and the United Kingdom have not. This is despite the fact that in the 1925 Geneva Protocol, the use of tear gas against enemy combatants was outlawed. Some countries' governments such as Haiti and Iraq have used live ammunition against their own unarmed people.
October 2019 News

War, Women, and Power: Book Review 

October 2019 

American Journal of Sociology - In War, Women, and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Marie E. Berry deftly shows how wars can introduce "a period of liminality" in which gender relations—and the social, political, and institutional implications of them—are often ripe for renegotiation yet ultimately constrained by historical paths and relational precedents (p. 210).

Thinkers challenge social structures, link women's empowerment to peace and progress

October 14, 2019 

Bahá'í World News Service - In a recent conference held by the Baha'i Chair for World Peace, academics and practitioners from diverse fields examined the inseparable relationship between the advancement of women and the creation of prosperous and peaceful societies.

The U.S. Gives Military Aid to Corrupt Countries All the Time

October 5, 2019 

The Atlantic - If you take Donald Trump at face value about his now-infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which occurred shortly after he mysteriously stopped military aid meant for Ukraine, he was only concerned about sending millions to a country known for corruption. It was just a coincidence that he named his political rival's son, Hunter Biden.

When it Comes to Coups, Timing is a Curious Pattern

October 8, 2019 

Medium - On June 8, 2003, a group of army officers in Mauritania staged a coup attempt to depose incumbent president Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya. After a 36-hour gun battle, 15 people were dead and the rebellion was over. One hundred and twenty-nine officers suspected of involvement in the coup were swiftly rounded up and put on trial months later on charges of high treason, assassination, and sabotage.

Contrasting Views on How to Code a Nuclear Crisis

October 2019 

Texas National Security Review - In this issue's correspondence section, Brendan Rittenhouse Green and Austin Long offer up an alternative way to code nuclear crises in response to Mark S. Bell and Julia Macdonald's article in the February 2019 issue of TNSR. Bell and Macdonald, in turn, offer a response to Green and Long's critique.

Believe in Yourself and Do It

October 2019 

Conservation Leadership Programme - Dr Nelly Isigi Kadagi is Director of Research for the African Billfish Foundation (ABF) and the Co-Principal Investigator for the BILLFISH-WIO project. She recently completed her Ph.D. from the University of Florida. She was team leader of a 2012 CLP project focused on blue and black marlin in the Western Indian Ocean. Nelly knows first-hand the importance of collaboration in conservation. Read part of her journey learning this lesson, and the ways she is now contributing as an international collaborator.

September 2019 News

A Climate of Concern: What Climate Change Means for Food Security and Political Stability in Africa

September 25, 2019 

Center for Strategic & International Studies Preceded by a keynote from Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), the discussion will examine how climate change is interacting with demographic trends in Africa to both heighten risks associated with agriculture in rural areas and those associated with dependence on global markets in urban areas. Our panelists will explore several issues such as how averting crisis in the face of climate change and food insecurity. 

Why US Energy Independence Won't Mean Greater US Energy Autonomy

September 23, 2019

Peterson Institute for International Economics - The United States has become the world's largest producer of petroleum and natural gas and for now, at least, a net energy exporter. But the September 2019 drone attacks on Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq and Khurais facilities, and resulting volatility in oil markets, demonstrate why the long-sought goal of "energy independence" is no panacea—and that Americans are as vulnerable as ever to instability in the oil-producing Middle East region and beyond.

To Build Peace, Boost the Women Who Lead the Movements

September 10, 2019 

United States Institute of Peace - Images of this year's grassroots movements for social and political change—such as the ouster of authoritarian rulers in Sudan and Algeria—reiterate that women worldwide are driving campaigns that can strengthen democracy and reduce violent conflicts. Yet 20 years after the United Nations proclaimed the need for women at the center of the world's peacebuilding and stabilization efforts, they remain marginalized in those official processes. So when USIP and a program at the University of Denver organized a training initiative this summer for 14 women leading civic movements for social change, a message glared from the mountain of nominations received from experts and groups working on the world's violent crises.

Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves - Book Review

September 2019 

Perspective on Politics - Oliver Kaplan's new book, Resisting War, provides an important account of when and how civilians can take control of their own fate and protect their safety in the context of civil conflict. Even though a wealth of recent studies on insurgency point to civilian behavior as being central to conflict dynamics, Kaplan's book is one of the first to ascribe civilians with true autonomy over their own actions. Rather than being passive receptors of the actions taken by governments or rebel groups, civilians can under certain conditions take actions that reduce their collective likelihood of being targeted with violence.

August 2019 News

Women Gather In Denver To Work Toward Social Change & Peace

August 23, 2019 

Colorado Public Radio - In Syria, when Rajaa Altalli was 12 years old, she saw her father arrested for being an activist. Years later, her sister was forced out the country for her work as a human rights lawyer. Despite that, Altalli still fights for peace in her home country. And now she's here in Colorado to continue that work. She is the co-founder of the Center for Civil Society and Democracy that aims to create peace in Syria. She's also one of 16 women from 15 countries around the world who are in Colorado, focused on social change and international women's leadership. It's part of the University of Denver's Summer institute. Marie Berry is a professor at D.U. and the institute's director. Both women join us to talk about the mission and the message of this project.

Reassessing Sampling Bias in Climate-Conflict Research

August 22, 2019 

SSRN - Is research into the links between climate change and conflict biased, and does this bias undermine our ability to draw conclusions about climate-conflict links? Adams et al. (2018, henceforth AIBD) argue the literature on climate-conflict links suffers from endemic sample selection bias. Because of this, the literature overstates links between climate change and conflict.

Summer institute brings women activists together for training and sisterhood

August 21, 2019 

University of Denver - This year's weeklong gathering will be third for the initiative, known as IGLI, and its first held in partnership with USIP. The 15-17 activists (and one DU graduate student) will spend the beginning of the week at a retreat in the Colorado mountains, benefiting from training on civil resistance and building peace, as well as resiliency and self-care practices such as yoga, hiking and art. Then the activists fly to Washington, D.C., where the training continues at USIP headquarters and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.


August 15, 2019 

Sié-Chéou Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy - Leading women activists to convene with University of Denver scholars in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace for advanced training on leading movements for social change.

In Search of Consensus on Climate-Conflict Links

August 12, 2019

New Security Beat - What do we (think we) know about the links between climate change and armed conflict? Early attempts to theorize what climate-related conflict might look like were exceptionally successful in sparking policymaker interest in and funding of research on climate-conflict links. But they were more like works of science fiction than science. Since then, research on climate-conflict links has exploded, with hundreds of articles and working papers published on the subject. Moreover, the findings have been all over the map, with some arguing for strong impacts of climate on conflict at multiple temporal and spatial scales, while others argue—in both specific instances, about the supposedly climate-fueled Syrian Civil War, and more generally—that climate-conflict links are overstated.

Peeling back the layers on the role of private security companies in Africa

August 4, 2019 

The Conversation - Private military and security companies have been regular fixtures in conflicts across the globe. For Africa, these corporations became increasingly visible with their role in civil wars in Angola and Sierra Leone. More recently, reports in 2015 indicated the Nigerian government contracted a number of companies to aid in counterinsurgency efforts targeting Boko Haram.

July 2019 News

Reflexivity and Temporality in Researching Violent Settings: Problems with the Replicability and Transparency Regime

July 23, 2019 

Geopolitics - Researchers studying conflict, violence, and human rights in dangerous settings across the globe face a complex set of ethical, personal, and professional dilemmas. Especially in more positivist fields and professions, there is pressure to conduct and present research as 'objective'. Yet the reality of field research in violent and conflict-affected settings is much messier than ideals in methodology textbooks or the polished presentation of field data in much published work. 

Keeping Up with the Future: Upgrading Forecasts of Political Instability and Geopolitical Risk

July 17, 2019 

Peterson Institute for International Economics - The nature and magnitude of geopolitical risk is changing more rapidly than the ability to anticipate it, with increasingly severe economic consequences. This Policy Brief discusses the economic costs and risks associated with episodes of political instability, arguing that firms, government agencies, and international institutions must update their forecasting and risk assessment efforts to take global factors into account. Since the global financial crisis, political instability has shifted from emerging-market countries in the developing world to larger, more globally impactful econo¬mies. Acknowledging this changing risk profile—and developing better tools to predict major episodes of instability—will allow both policymakers and firms to plan with greater confidence.

"If She Would Like to Rephrase that Comment"

July 17, 2019 

ABC News - A straightforward look at the day's top news in 20 minutes. Powered by ABC News. Hosted by Brad Mielke. 

Democrats Should Stop Whining About the Debates

July 11, 2019 

Bloomberg - The question is whether the party should hold a nomination debate focused solely on climate change, as Washington Governor Jay Inslee and others have argued. That's produced some push-back. Jonathan Chait, for example, is concerned about a slippery slope: If one group of advocates gets a debate dedicated to their preferred issue, then won't the party have to accommodate every other interest group?

Finding Consensus on Climate-Conflict Links

July 11, 2019 

The Center for Climate & Security - Today's issue of Nature reports the results of an attempt to mine the scholarly debate over climate-conflict links for consensus using "expert elicitation." The process, led by Katharine Mach of Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, brought together experts from economics, geography and political science to identify sources of agreement and disagreement in the now large body of evidence linking climate change to conflict – in this case, domestic armed conflict, like the ongoing civil wars in Syria and Yemen.

Will climate change lead to more world conflict?

July 11, 2019 

Washington Post's Monkey Cage - During last month's U.S. Democratic presidential candidate debates, former congressman Beto O'Rourke, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, and former housing and urban development secretary Julián Castro all identified climate change as a major geopolitical threat facing the United States. Some even gave it equal billing with China and the prospect of nuclear war.

The Cost of Doing Politics? Analyzing Violence and Harassment against Female Politicians

July 6, 2019 

Perspective on Politics - Violence against women in politics is increasingly recognized around the world as a significant barrier to women's political participation, following a troubling rise in reports of assault, intimidation, and abuse directed at female politicians. Yet conceptual ambiguities remain as to the exact contours of this phenomenon. In this article, we seek to strengthen its theoretical, empirical, and methodological foundations.

DU Professor Explores Link Between Climate Change and Armed Conflict

July 2, 2019 

DU News - Conflict and climate change have been linked for decades, with Pentagon-commissioned studies predicting a range of dark scenarios — from shooting wars in South Asia and civil war in China to the breakup of the European Union.

Although climate change remains a significant threat to peace, the picture may not be quite so dire, says the University of Denver's Cullen Hendrix, an associate professor in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. He lent his expertise to a recently published study in the renowned scientific journal Nature.

June 2019 News

How Dangerous Was Kargil? Nuclear Crises in Comparative Perspective

June 28, 2019 

Washington Quarterly - Between May and June of 1999, India and Pakistan engaged in a higher-intensity military conflict than any other pair of nuclear-armed states had before or have since. Although it remained geographically contained, the Kargil War resulted in hundreds of casualties on both sides and saw frantic diplomatic intervention by the United States in an effort to de-escalate the conflict. It is therefore unsurprising that the Kargil War is commonly seen as one of the few occasions that the world has come close to nuclear war, and perhaps second only to the Cuban Missile Crisis in terms of the risk of nuclear escalation. In the years since, India and Pakistan have engaged in repeated skirmishes, crises, and periods of tension, with the two countries again coming into conflict in the spring of 2019 in response to a deadly attack on Indian military forces by the Pakistan-backed terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

What Food Price-Related Protests in Sudan and Liberia Tell Us About How Autocracies and Democracies Address Price Crises

June 25, 2019

Political Violence at a Glance - As one of the world's most talented footballers of the 1990s, Liberian President George Weah is no stranger to roaring crowds. But recently, these crowds were less than supportive: Weah's administration has faced mass protests—and threats of more to come—due to its inability to address skyrocketing inflation and food prices.

What Prevents Peace? Women and Peacebuilding in Bosnia and Nepal

June 22, 2019 

Peace and Change - There is an emerging consensus that women must play a more substantial role in transformations from violence to stability. The UN Women, Peace, and Security framework recognizes the unique challenges women face during war and affirms the important role they play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts. Despite this framework and other related efforts, peace remains elusive for many who have lived through armed conflict. What prevents formal, internationally led peacebuilding efforts from fostering sustainable peace in ordinary citizens' lives? Put differently, despite the variety of peacebuilding mechanisms offered, what prevents peace from taking hold, for women in particular? In this paper, we focus on two postwar cases: Bosnia and Nepal. Drawing on interviews with more than seventy women in both countries, we identify five barriers that prevent women from feeling at peace in their daily lives: economic insecurity, competing truths, hierarchies of victimhood, continuums of violence, and spatial and temporal dislocation. We conclude by outlining ways that women in both countries work to overcome those barriers by pioneering innovations in peacebuilding, which may reveal possibilities for future interventions.

When Norms Collide: Business, Human Rights, and Economic Development in Colombia

June 21, 2019 

Center for Security Studies - This fall will mark three years since the Colombian Peace Accord between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC guerrilla group was ceremoniously signed in Havana, Cuba. It was unique for a variety of reasons: it ended the world's longest-running civil war, it was signed with the world's oldest guerrilla group (the FARC), and—what few know—is that it is also the first peace process that explicitly includes economic actors in the truth and accountability mechanisms to help the country transition to peace.

Responsible Policy Engagement: Some Challenges

June 19, 2019 

Political Violence at a Glance - Last month, the team at the Sié Center introduced our program on Rigor, Relevance, and Responsibility: Promoting Ethical Approaches to Policy Engagement. Via this work, we hope to help scholars navigate the sometimes murky waters of policy engagement (or "broader impacts") in which funding agencies and universities are increasingly asking them to swim. When we take an active role in affecting policy outcomes, we onboard some responsibility for those outcomes.

CU Boulder professor adds to study showing climate change, conflict link

June 17, 2019 

Daily Camera - Imagine rising temperatures across the globe exacerbating armed conflicts in countries with limited resources. According to researchers and experts, including scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder and Stanford University, this scenario could easily become reality, rather than a plot for the next "Mad Max" film.

The "Deportation Threat Dynamic" and Wage Theft in Denver

June 14, 2019 

Just Wages DU - "Employers look at someone who doesn't have papers and feel like they have more power. Right now, we have a racist government, so racism grows," a day laborer in Aurora, CO, explained how the current immigration climate enhances the exploitation of, and discrimination against, immigrant workers.

Climate as a risk factor for armed conflict

June 12, 2019 

Nature - Research findings on the relationship between climate and conflict are diverse and contested. Here we assess the current understanding of the relationship between climate and conflict, based on the structured judgments of experts from diverse disciplines. These experts agree that climate has affected organized armed conflict within countries. However, other drivers, such as low socioeconomic development and low capabilities of the state, are judged to be substantially more influential, and the mechanisms of climate–conflict linkages remain a key uncertainty. Intensifying climate change is estimated to increase future risks of conflict.

Press release here >> 

Oliver Kaplan's book was in the UCSD alumni magazine, "On the Shelf"

June 4, 2019

Triton Magazine - Kaplan contests the typical depiction of civilian populations as victims by explaining how unarmed communities protect themselves from civil conflict and pressure armed groups to limit their violence. Looking at cases of Colombia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria, Resisting War counters the traditional narrative and provides further understanding to the story of human struggle and survival during wartime.

Marie Berry's book, War, Women and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina, was awarded a Book Award Honorable Mention from the Sociology of Development section.

June 4, 2019

Abortion Restrictions as State Violence

June 4, 2019 

Political Violence at a Glance - The alarming rollback of abortion rights in Georgia, Alabama, Missouri and elsewhere over the past few weeks has rightfully provoked outrage and alarm among those concerned with women's rights around the globe. What people are not speaking about is how this is a form of state violence.

May 2019 News

When Norms Collide: Business, Human Rights, and Economic Development in Colombia

May 28, 2019 

Political Violence at a Glance - This fall will mark three years since the Colombian Peace Accord between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC guerrilla group was ceremoniously signed in Havana, Cuba. It was unique for a variety of reasons: it ended the world's longest-running civil war, it was signed with the world's oldest guerrilla group (the FARC), and—what few know—is that it is also the first peace process that explicitly includes economic actors in the truth and accountability mechanisms to help the country transition to peace.
** A Spanish-language version of this post is available below the English version (hay una versión Espanñol de este artículo abajo.) 

How do you reduce sexual and gender violence in conflict? Consider these five key issues.

May 22, 2019 

Washington Post - How do you stop — or at least mitigate — the harm done by sexual and gendered violence in humanitarian crises? That's the topic for this week's international conference in Oslo, where governments, United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations are coming together to discuss commitments and solutions.

Resisting War and War, Women, and Power Book Reviews in Mobilization

 May 22, 2019 

Considering power imbalances in collaborative research

May 15, 2019 

Rift Valley Institute - This blog is part of RVI's Research Collaboration project in partnership with the Groupe d'Etudes sur les Conflits et la Sécurité Humaine (GEC-SH) and funded by the Knowledge Management Fund of KPSRL. The project examines the political economy of knowledge production and its impact on the security of researchers in conflict-affected settings, and in turn, the quality of the research that is produced. Specifically, the project focuses on the experiences of Congolese researchers working on collaborative Global North-South projects and aims to contribute to the conversation on research ethics, collaboration and decolonizing knowledge. Interviews and focus group discussions were conducted by the GEC-SH team in March and April 2019. The project takes the position that all forms of research whereby a researcher or institution relies on another researcher or institution for access, data collection and analysis, translation, transcription, writing, or other form of knowledge production or sharing can be considered collaborative. As such, the project examines various forms of collaborative research, whether short-term consultancies or long-term partnerships, in an effort to combat extractive forms of research.

Resisting War in Colombia

May 14, 2019 

Colombia Calling Podcast - Oliver Kaplan is an Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He is the author of the book, "Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves" (Cambridge University Press), which examines how civilian communities organize to protect themselves from wartime violence.

What to do When Women Politicians are Attacked? Here are Four Ideas from Around the World

May 14, 2019 

Political Violence at a Glance - In a previous post, I discussed how women elected to public office often face forms of violence and harassment that their male counterparts do not face. Practitioners and academics studying this problem refer to it as violence against women in politics (VAWIP). In that post, I predicted that recently elected US Congresswomen would face harassment and violence.

Radicalization in the German Armed Forces and Beyond

May 9, 2019 

Political Violence at a Glance -  Question: Back in 2017, a German army lieutenant in the Bundeswehr, Franco Albrecht, was arrested for creating a fake asylum-seeker identity in Germany. Albrecht's larger objective was, as a refugee imposter with a government stipend and asylum-seeker housing, to carry out a terrorist plot in order to bring disrepute to refugees more generally, particularly Muslim populations from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. Are such conspiracies symptomatic of a larger phenomenon of military radicalization in the German armed forces, or was this an isolated incident?

Authoritarian Resilience: Why Bouteflika and Bashir Fell, but Ortega Remains

May 1, 2019 

Political Violence at a Glance - April saw protestors—with an assist from the military—oust longtime authoritarian leaders Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algeria and Omar al-Bashir in Sudan, despite the dictators' best efforts. There is a great deal of uncertainty about the future in each of the countries, with the possibility for a military seizure of power, like in Egypt's counterrevolution, or the reassertion of control by ancien régime officials, like in Zimbabwe. For the moment, at least, the sight of Bashir in prison and a planned military-civilian shared transitional council in Sudan and the possibility of democratic elections in Algeria is a cause of hope. Both outcomes are also a sign of the enduring possibility for unarmed 'people power' movements to effect leadership transitions and possibly regime change.

April 2019 News

Elections South Africa 2019: 25 Years "Post-Apartheid," la luta continua...

April 23, 2019 

Political Violence at a Glance - As South Africa prepares for general elections on May 8, the "beloved country" marks another milestone: its first 25 years post-apartheid. Two-and-a-half decades ago, the long-troubled country emerged from some five decades of white minority rule under an abhorrent system of racial segregation, apartheid, and centuries of colonialism before that.

Book Review for "Resisting war: how communities protect themselves" 

April 22, 2019 

Peacebuilding Journal - In Resisting War, Oliver Kaplan flips the traditional analysis of peacemaking on its head by examining how local communities actively engage in reducing violence during times of civil conflict. His main argument centres around a contention that civilians are actors with agency, whose ability to successfully respond to violence derives in part from strong social organisation. Resisting War centres on this question of local organization, when and why does it take place and, to a lesser extent, when and why is it successful.

Year of the Woman? Not So Fast

April 16, 2019

Psychology Today - Thanks to the record-breaking number of women elected to Congress in 2018 and the success of the #MeToo movement in taking down many powerful male predators, some critics have called 2018 the Year of the Woman.

25 Years After the Genocide – Quota, Power and Women in Rwanda

April 12, 2019

The Wire - April 7, 2019, marked the 25-year anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsis, a brutal conflict where 800,000 people were massacred in 100 days, according to the UN estimates. President Paul Kagame, who has led Rwanda since 2000, lit a remembrance flame in the capital Kigali. "In 1994, there was no hope, only darkness. Today, light radiates from this place," Kagame said. "Rwanda became a family, once again. The arms of our people, intertwined, constitute the pillars of our nation. We hold each other up."

One Outcome of Rwanda Genocide 25 Years Ago: More Women in Parliament

April 8, 2019

VOA News - The genocide in Rwanda 25 years ago left an estimated 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis, dead. Since then, Rwanda has made progress in recovering from the devastation, growing its economy with GDP growth of six to eight percent a year since 2003, according to the World Bank. Also, Rwanda now has the highest percentage of female parliamentarians in the world - more than 60 percent.

"I Don't Belong Here": Understanding Hostile Spaces

April 2, 2019

Journal of Women, Politics and Policy - This panel offered different perspectives from people from marginalized and underrepresented groups in political science and in academia more generally. Panelists spoke from their experiences as Black and Latina women, LGBTQ,
low-income people, religious minorities like Jewish and Muslim people, immigrants, and folks who have experienced systematic discrimination in the discipline both because they exist at the busy intersections of these identities and others and because legalistic responses to discrimination do not typically provide necessary workplace remedies for industry-wide problems.

#MeToo What Kind of Politics? Panel Notes

April 2, 2019

Journal of Women, Politics and Policy - This panel offered different perspectives on the #MeToo hashtag, the campaign/movement it ignited, and the general context in which women decide to come out with their experiences with sexual harassment and assault. In general, the panelists were very critical of the #MeToo "movement" because it is focused on individual experiences of sexual harassment without challenging or questioning the structures—socioeconomic and political—that facilitate sexual harassment in the first place.

From Joseph Kony to Nile Perch: Complex Links Hook Armed Conflict to Fisheries

April 1, 2019

New Security Beat - In "Africa's smallest war," both Kenya and Uganda lay claim to Migingo Island, a tiny island in the waters of Lake Victoria. While the claims are over the island, the conflict is about something else entirely: Lates niloticus, also known as Nile perch, a tasty white fish that swims in the waters surrounding the island. The fish forms the backbone of the Lake Victoria economy but is increasingly hard to come by along the lakeshore. Catches are in decline, incomes are dropping, and the Ugandan government is taking increasingly harsh, militarized steps to help revive the fishery.

March 2019 News

Rwanda's economic growth has given its strong state even more power

March 26, 2019 

The Nerve Africa - Rwanda has emerged as a model for economic development. The country has taken great strides just 25 years since its horrific genocide. But at the same time, the government under President Paul Kagame has been widely criticised for its authoritarian tactics and use of violence against those who oppose it.

Rwanda stands out for many good things. It has the highest number of women in politics anywhere in the world. More than half the members of Parliament in the country's lower house are female.

Rwanda also has an impressive technology track record. The country is known for the innovative use of technology to deliver essential services like blood. It also has extensive internet infrastructure, which covers over 95% of the country. And of course, Rwanda also continues to record impressive economic growth.But there are reasons to be cognisant of the wider context.

The Mueller Report and Global Contentious Politics

March 26, 2019 

Political Violence at a Glance - As we begin to digest Attorney General William Barr's summary of the Mueller Report's findings, one thing is crystal clear: allies of Putin, private companies, and other interested parties outside the United States sought, and had, influence over US elections. Henry Farrell and Abe Newman argue in Of Privacy and Power that we had better get used to this. US domestic politics is not its own separate sphere as academics often assume. Instead, it can be deeply affected by political strategies of non-citizens quite removed from US territory. Far beyond the transnational activists that Keck and Sikkink wrote about, there is growing evidence that many, many transnational links are impacting political struggles as political actors can (as Farrell and Newman say in a related article) "weaponize interdependence".

How to Think About Nuclear Crises

March 2019

Texas National Security Review - How dangerous are nuclear crises? What dynamics underpin how they unfold? Recent tensions between North Korea and the United States have exposed disagreement among scholars and analysts regarding these questions. We reconcile these apparently contradictory views by showing the circumstances in which different models of nuclear crises should be expected to hold. Nuclear crises should be expected to have different dynamics depending on two variables: the incentives to use nuclear weapons first in a crisis and the extent to which escalation is controllable by the leaders involved. Variation across these two dimensions generates four types of nuclear crises: "staircase," "stability-instability," "brinkmanship," and "firestorm" crises. These models correspond to well-established ways of thinking about nuclear crises, but no one model is "correct." Different models should be expected to apply in different cases, and nuclear crises should therefore be interpreted differently according to which model is most appropriate. We demonstrate the utility of our framework using the cases of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, 1999 Kargil War, 2017 Doklam Crisis, and ongoing U.S.-North Korean tensions.

Rwanda's economic growth has given its strong state even more power

March 25, 2019 

The Conversation - Rwanda has emerged as a model for economic development. The country has taken great strides just 25 years since its horrific genocide. But at the same time the government under President Paul Kagame has been widely criticised for its authoritarian tactics and use of violence against those who oppose it.

Rwanda stands out for many good things. It has the highest number of women in politics anywhere in the world. More than half the members of Parliament in the country's lower house are female.

Rwanda also has an impressive technology track record. The country is known for the innovative use of technology to deliver essential services like blood. It also has extensive internet infrastructure, which covers over 95% of the country. And of course, Rwanda also continues to record impressive economic growth.

But there are reasons to be cognisant of the wider context.

Women's political inclusion in Kenya's devolved political system

March 20, 2019

Journal of East African Studies - Kenya's 2010 constitutional reforms devolved the political system and included a quota designed to secure a minimum threshold of women in government. While the 2017 elections yielded the country's highest proportion of women in government in history via both elected and appointed positions, many political entities still fell short of the new gender rule, leaving them in noncompliance with the constitution.

Tricia Olsen has been awarded a Fulbright for studying economic development and peacebuilding in Colombia at Pontifical Javeriana University.

March 16, 2019

On how Mehdi Hasan caught Erik Prince in a lie

March 16, 2019

Al Jazeera - On March 15, Mehdi Hasan interviewed Erik Prince on the Al Jazeera show Head to Head. Much as the show's title suggests, Hasan is a hard-hitting questioner eager for that "got you" moment. Hasan was well prepared with Prince's congressional testimony in hand and appears to have caught Prince in some double talk about an August 3, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower (with George Nader, Joel Zamel, Steven Miller, and Donald Trump Jr). In the interview, Prince, after he mistakenly asserted he had told Congress about the meeting, also disclosed what the meeting was about: Iran policy.

Temper the Treaty Fever: Why a Treaty Won't Solve the Business and Human Rights Conundrum

March 13, 2019

Political Violence at a Glance - Human rights advocates, observers, and policy leaders have made great strides toward creating a treaty for business and human rights. In October 2018, the UN's intergovernmental working group shared an initial draft (the "Zero Draft"), which was discussed by over 400 civil society organizations, 94 state representatives, and business leaders in Geneva. Yet, an established body of literature documents the ineffectiveness of treaties, in particular around respect for human rights. 

Top 12 Books: International Women's Day

March 8, 2019

Medium - 'As a country transitions from violent conflict to "peace", men and women often have different visions for the postwar future. Marie E. Berry's well-researched book is a comparative study not only of the ways in which women responded to the wars in Rwanda and Bosnia, but also of what happened to the women and their visions for the future after the war officially ended.'

Ethnicity, nonviolent protest, and lethal repression in Africa

March 5, 2019

Journal of Peace Research - Why do governments use deadly force against unarmed protesters? The government's threat perception may be a function of the mobilization potential of the opposition and/or the size of the ruling elite's support coalition. Given the high salience of ethnicity in African politics, governments that depend on small ethnic coalitions will see peaceful protests as more threatening, as the opposition may be able to draw on larger numbers of potential dissidents and excluded groups.

Despite its Advances, the Colombian Peace Agreement Undermines Gender Equality Goals

March 5, 2019

Political Violence at a Glance - In 2016 the government of Colombia signed a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The Peace Agreement represents an important threshold as it puts an end to more than 50 years of struggle between the Colombian state and the FARC. At the same time, this document is the most gender-sensitive peace agreement to date. This achievement was possible, in part, because of the work of feminist activists and women's organizations that pressured both the government and the FARC to include women.

Introducing the 2019 Public Impact Fellows

March 4, 2019

University of Denver - Deborah Avant and Marie Berry chosen for the 2019 cohort of DU Impact Fellows.

The Growing Signs of the Fragility and Resilience of Liberal Democracy

March 1, 2019

International Centre for Defence and Security - In order to better understand the resilience of a democratic regime and its defining and characteristic features, we need to define what resilience is. Resilience comes from the Latin resiliens, which literally means "rebounding". This shows that the basis of the concept of resilience is the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress (Merriam-Webster dictionary). In the 2017 IDEA report, Timothy Sisk describes the resilience of democracy as "the properties of a political system to cope, survive and recover from complex challenges and crises that represent stresses or pressures that can lead to a systemic failure."

February 2019 News

Flying Blind in Crisis Time: The US Strategic and Human Foreign Policy Deficit

February 28, 2019

Duck of Minerva - This week has seen a number of key events and crises in global politics that have made crystal clear once again the careening mess that is US foreign policy under the current administration. The Trump administration has no real overarching strategy—the argument that allies in Europe and elsewhere should bear more of the costs of their defense was not articulated as part of any coherent broader vision—and gutting of the diplomatic corps has left the US devoid of expertise and key actors to confront crises when they arise.

Religious violence is on the rise. What can faith-based communities do about it?

February 25, 2019

World Economic Forum - Religious violence is undergoing a revival. The past decade has witnessed a sharp increase in violent sectarian or religious tensions. These range from Islamic extremists waging global jihad and power struggles between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the Middle East to the persecution of Rohingya in Myanmar and outbreaks of violence between Christians and Muslims across Africa. According to Pew, in 2018 more than a quarter of the world's countries experienced a high incidence of hostilities motivated by religious hatred, mob violence related to religion, terrorism, and harassment of women for violating religious codes.

Women marched for Korean reconciliation. Washington is in our way

February 25, 2019

The Washington Post - In 2015, we were among 30 women from around the world who came together to cross the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ), the infamous strip of land that has separated North and South Korea since a "temporary" cease-fire halted the Korean War 65 years ago.

Julia Macdonald will be the highlighted speaker at the Denver Council on Foreign Relation's dinner talk on March 6, "A New Nuclear Revolution? A Discussion of Contemporary Challenges to the Nuclear Order"

February 25, 2019

"Behind Bars and Bargains: New Findings in Transitional Justice in Emerging Democracies"

February 24, 2019

International Studies Quarterly - The global transitional justice tool kit—involving the use of criminal prosecutions, amnesties, and other mechanisms to address past human rights abuse—has become a primary means for thwarting future human rights violations and consolidating democracy. Nevertheless, evidence on the consequences of transitional justice remains mixed and amenable to contradictory interpretations. Existing studies fail to adequately address issues of selection, the difference between short- and long-term effects of transitional justice mechanisms, and qualitative and quantitative differences in state practices. This article uses a new database of transitional justice mechanisms to address these concerns and test propositions from realist, constructivist, and holistic approaches to this set of policy issues.

Tricia Olsen, with colleagues from the University of Minnesota, Oxford University, FLACSO-Mexico, and UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), will present their work on media coverage of individuals who are disappeared in Mexico to journalists and academics in Mexico City on March 18-19, 2019

February 22, 2019

Tricia Olsen will be participating in the University of Connecticut's Business and Human Rights Roundtable on April 6, 2019

February 22, 2019

Oliver Kaplan was invited to join the Project Advisory Group (PAG) for the Managing Exits from Armed Conflict initiative of the United Nations University

February 22, 2019

Timothy Sisk received a Senior Fulbright fellowship in a special program on international peace and security at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo. The project he will be working on is, "Social Polarization in Electoral Processes: Precursor to Political Violence?"

February 21, 2019

You can now download the Private Security Events Database (PSED) researched and materialized by Deborah Avant and Sié Research Fellow, Kara Kingma Neu

February 21, 2019

The Future is a Moving Target: Predicting Political Instability

February 20, 2019

British Journal of Political Science - Previous research by Goldstone et al. (2010) generated a highly accurate predictive model of state-level political instability. Notably, this model identifies political institutions – and partial democracy with factionalism, specifically – as the most compelling factors explaining when and where instability events are likely to occur. This article reassesses the model's explanatory power and makes three related points: (1) the model's predictive power varies substantially over time; (2) its predictive power peaked in the period used for out-of-sample validation (1995–2004) in the original study and (3) the model performs relatively poorly in the more recent period.

What We Can Learn from Looking at Private Security Across Time and Space

February 19, 2019

Political Violence at a Glance - We know a lot about private security from analyses of its use in individual instances. Case studies of Sierra Leone, Angola, Croatia, Iraq, and Afghanistan have yielded important insights relevant to governments or others that might hire private military and security companies (PMSCs) and those who operate around them. In the last 10 years or so, scholars have begun to collect data to examine the industry and its potential impacts. Thus far, the data has focused on contracts with PMSCs – in either Africa or failing states. As we discuss in our recent article, the Private Security Events Database (PSED) allows a broader scope, covering events involving PMSCs in three regions (Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia) from 1990-2012.

The Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative is now accepting nominations for their 2019 Summer Institute

February 14, 2019 

Sié Center - The Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative (IGLI) is pleased to invite nominations for our third annual Summer Institute, to be held in collaboration with the U.S. Institute of Peace from August 24-31, 2019, in Colorado and Washington, D.C. The 2019 Summer Institute will convene leading women-identifying activists from the front lines of movements to advance peace, justice, and human rights across the world. The Institute will offer these activists opportunities for training, networking, and learning on how to wage effective nonviolent movements for social change in their communities.

Battlefield Responses to New Technologies: Views from the Ground on Unmanned Aircraft

February 7, 2019

Security Studies - How do individuals on the battlefield respond to the introduction of new technologies? How will unmanned and increasingly autonomous technologies be received by ground combat personnel? In this paper we explore tactical-level perceptions of one particular technology—armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—by conducting a survey experiment of ground fires controllers. Our findings reveal that these personnel have strong behavioral reactions to the introduction of unmanned technology. Especially in situations with high risk to ground troops, we find a strong preference for manned aircraft with implications for the future use of UAVs and human–machine relationships in war. These results suggest the need to incorporate behavioral variables into future studies of military adoption and innovation and indicate that the future adoption of unmanned systems may be just as much about the "warm fuzzy" of trust as confidence in unmanned capabilities

Resisting Coca: How Communities Avoid Narco-economies

February 5, 2019

Political Violence at a Glance - When armed conflicts involve illicit economies, they can create special risks for civilians. Not only may armed actors in these conflicts be more opportunistic and violent and less restrained, but the promise of economic rents also fosters competition over the civilian population and labor force. It can be difficult for communities to avoid these dynamics. After all, why resist when there is so much money to be made? And why face the danger of going up against murderous cartels and armed groups?

Sié Center, One Earth Future, and OEF Research Joint Postdoctoral Fellowship Announcement 

February 2, 2019

The Sié Center, One Earth Future (OEF), and OEF Research are looking for postdoctoral candidates to staff an existing joint postdoctoral position. 

January 2019 News

Sié Center, One Earth Future, and Secure Fisheries Joint Postdoctoral Fellowship Announcement

January 31, 2019

The Sié Center, One Earth Future (OEF), and Secure Fisheries are looking for postdoctoral candidates to staff an innovative joint postdoc position around conflict and fisheries.

Sié Center and Oxfam Joint Postdoctoral Fellowship Announcement 

January 31, 2019 

The Sié Center and Oxfam America are looking for exceptional postdoctoral candidates to staff an innovative joint postdoc around peace, security, and humanitarian action.

What One Company's Vanishing Act Tells Us About the Private Security Industry

January 31, 2019 

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism - Yesterday we published an investigation into the strange vanishing act of private security firm Sabre International Security - once one of the biggest contractors in US-occupied Iraq - and what happened to its Nepalese and Indian workforce when tragedy struck in Kabul in 2016.

Disappearing Rights: Women's Rights in the Age of Trump

January 31, 2019

Reiff Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution - Marie Berry is giving a talk at Christopher Newport University's Reiff Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution. Her talk will be discussing women's and LGBT folks rights reporting under the Trump Administration.

The Private Security Events Database

January 30, 2019

Journal of Conflict Resolution - Since the 1990s, the private provision of military and security services has become a common feature of local, national, and transnational politics. The prevalence of private security has generated important questions about its consequences, but data to answer these questions are sparse. In this article, we introduce the Private Security Events Database (PSED) that traces the involvement of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in events in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia from 1990 to 2012.

When do ties bind? Foreign fighters, social embeddedness, and violence against civilians

January 30, 2019

Journal of Peace Research - How do foreign fighters affect civilian victimization in the civil wars they join? Scholars of civil war have gone to great lengths to explain why states and insurgent groups victimize civilians, but they have not explicitly examined the impact of foreign combatants. Furthermore, while contemporary conventional wisdom attaches an overwhelmingly negative connotation to foreign fighters, history shows that the behavior of those who travel to fight in wars far from home varies significantly, especially when it comes to interacting with local populations.

Global Research Hubs tackle world's toughest challenges

January 22, 2019

UK Research and Innovation - Marie Berry is part of a collaborative research team that was awarded a grant under the UK Research and Innovation's Gender, Justice, and Security Hub housed at the London School of Economics. 

The Elusive 'New Nepal': Democratisation, Ethnic Politics and Social Contract-making in a Plural Society

January 22, 2019

Resilient Social Contracts - Nepal's decade-long process from 2005 to 2015 of ending its civil war through a comprehensive peace agreement, constitution-making and overall democratisation of the state portend a 'New Nepal' social contract to upend centuries of exclusive rule and a hierarchically ranked society. This paper considers how the newfound social contract has been forged and the ways in which a sustainable contract remain elusive.

Friday News Roundup- International

January 18, 2019

NPR - This week, the American military confirmed that two service members, one government contractor and one civilian affiliated with the Pentagon had been killed in a suicide bombing in Syria.

Q&A: Ahead of the Marade and Women's March, DU Professor Discusses Power of Marches

January 17, 2019

University of Denver - Political participation is not only an American tradition, but also a Pioneer tradition embraced by students of varied political persuasions. In 1968, for example, DU students protested the presidential run of Alabama Gov. George Wallace. In 1970, they joined a statewide student strike in protest of the Kent State shootings, the invasion of Cambodia and the Bobby Seale trial.

Resisting Democratic Erosion in Latin America and Beyond

January 15, 2019

Political Violence at a Glance - The dawn of 2019 saw Latin America's democratic crisis continue and deepen. Most prominently, New Year's Day saw far-right former military officer Jair Bolsonaro sworn in as President of Brazil. Bolsonaro immediately acted to consolidate power; curb the independence of NGOs; undercut government efforts to expand educational access and protect human rights; open up Amazonian lands to development despite indigenous objections; and give security forces free rein. Bolsonaro has already dispatched the military domestically. This could begin an expanded military role in Brazil's domestic politics and security, a worrying prospect given the country's history of dictatorship.

Sié Chéou-Kang Center Research Project on Ethical Approaches to Policy Engagement was awarded a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York 

January 10, 2019 

Sié Center - Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded a philanthropic grant of $500,000 to the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for a project titled "Rigor, Relevance, and Responsibility: Promoting Ethical Approaches to Policy Engagement."

As scholars of international relations become more involved in policy debates and actively participate in the policy process, the importance of exploring the ethical dimensions of policy engagement increases. "Academics in the field of international relations find themselves in a difficult moment," says Cullen Hendrix, Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center. "Many face mounting pressure and inducements to engage with policymakers, and many are working to facilitate constructive academic-policy engagement. Yet, academics receive little training about the ethical considerations these activities engender. Our program will develop knowledge around, and inform the practice of, responsible engagement so that future generations of academics can engage in the policy world with confidence and clarity. We are grateful to Carnegie Corporation of New York for funding support that will enable us to carry out this important work."

Lost Job—Will Travel: Trade-Related Job Losses and Military Recruitment

January 8, 2019

Political Violence at a Glance -  A new study shows how trade-related job losses translate into increases in military enlistment. While the study is convincing in its own right, it raises important questions and highlights one potential pitfall of political-economic analysis: focusing on partial equilibrium results in a full-equilibrium world.

Kai Thaler, Postdoctoral Fellow, wrote a chapter in the Routledge International Handbook of Violence Studies

January 4, 2019

Routledge International Handbook of Violence Studies - Kai Thaler is a contributing author and wrote the chapter, "Mixed Methods in Violence Studies".  

2018 Sié Center News


Reading List: Most Popular Blog Posts of 2018

December 27, 2018 

LSE Centre for Africa - As the final few hours of 2018 dwindle away, let's look back at 2018 and discover the best-read [email protected] blog posts of the year.

Artificial Intelligence and the Military: Technology is Only Half the Battle 

December 25, 2018 

War on the Rocks - What will advances in artificial intelligence (AI) mean for national security? This year in War on the Rocks, technical and non-technical experts with academic, military, and industry perspectives grappled with the promise and peril of AI in the military and defense realms. War on the Rocks articles discussed issues ranging from the different ways international competitors and military services are pursuing AI to the challenges AI applications present to current systems of decision-making, trust, and military ethics. War on the Rocks contributors added to our understanding of the trajectory of military AI and drew attention to critical remaining questions.

Leaders in Graduate Education - Marie Berry, Director, Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative, University of Denver 

December 19, 2018 

Foreign Policy - Graduate students at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies have opportunities to learn from women leaders who are mobilizing their communities to address some of the most pressing issues of our time. Among them: a Nigerian lawyer and activist working to defend women's rights, an organizer of the U.S. Women's March, and a team of media and film producers working to end conflict in the Middle East.

Has Duque Gotten Off to a Good Start in Colombia?

December 2, 2018 

Latin America Advisor - Colombian President Iván Duque in mid-November completed his first 100 days leading the South American country. In a speech he shared on Twitter, Duque highlighted the administration's main challenges, citing "equity" among Colombians as his government's main objective. Has Duque gotten off to a good start as president? Which issues has he prioritized in his first 100 days in office, and which goals will he focus on in the coming year? How have markets and investors reacted to Colombia's new president and his economic policies?

The Climate Nexus 

November 29, 2018 

Royal Geographical Society's "Geographic" Magazine - According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 'human influence on the climate system is clear,' and a 'warming' trend in that system is 'unequivocal'. Credible scientists are no longer researching if climate change is happening. Instead, efforts have now turned towards mitigation and adaption.

#16Days: Eliminating Violence Against Women

November 29, 2018 

Political Violence at a Glance - Last Sunday marked the start of #16days of Activism, a global campaign against gender-based violence. Championed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Women, and many other groups, the campaign is designed to generate momentum towards eliminating the pervasiveness of all forms of gendered violence, including the physical and sexual violence that one-third of women across the globe will be subjected to in their lifetime.

The US Elected a Record Number of Women: Now they May Face Violence

November 28, 2018 

Political Violence at a Glance - The recent US mid-term elections saw a rise in the number of women candidates across the country. The Center for American Women and Politics reports that women represented 32.4% of all nominees for the US Senate, 28.7% of all nominees for the US House, 21.9% of all nominees for governorships, and 32.7% of all nominees for statewide elected executive offices. Of these women, 102 were elected to the House of Representatives and 13 to the Senate. This means that in January, 125 women will be sitting in the US. Congress, a significant increase from the current 107. However, being elected is not the last obstacle that women with political ambitions face. Research and reports from around the world show that once elected, women face significant obstacles for advancing their political goals and careers. These obstacles include violence and harassment.

Aid and Diplomacy, Not Tear Gas: How to Address the Central American Migrant Crisis

November 27, 2018 

Duck of Minerva - On Sunday, the US Border Patrol fired tear gas into Mexico at migrants, including children, attempting to enter the US near the San Ysidro border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego. The use of a chemical weapon banned in war against families rightly provoked widespread condemnation (Border Patrol agents also used pepper spray against migrants in 2013, fired tear gas and pepper spray into Mexico in 2007, and have killed rock throwers at the border in the past). Migrants attempting to enter the US are frustrated by the Trump administration's restriction of the process of seeking asylum, a legal right under US and international law, a situation that won't be solved by processing asylum seekers on Mexican soil.

Fish Wars: The Causes and Consequences of Fisheries Conflict in Tanzania

November 21, 2018 

Secure Fisheries - As competition for finite fisheries resources increases, the risk of violent conflict over fisheries also rises. Where and when can we expect fisheries conflict to occur? What are the most frequent causes of fisheries conflict? How often does conflict result in arrests, property damage, or death? What can be done to mitigate fisheries conflict? Fish Wars: the Causes and Consequences of Fisheries Conflict in Tanzania explores the frequency, intensity, and drivers of fisheries conflict in Tanzania during 1990 – 2017.

What's at Stake for Syrian Returnees

November 20, 2018 

Political Violence at a Glance - In February 2018 the UN divided its support of the repatriation of Syrian refugees into three phases. In Phase 1 conditions are not conducive to mass return, and the UN's engagement is limited to counseling, monitoring cross-border movements, analysis of return trends, and advocacy. In order to shift to a more proactive Phase 2, specific protection thresholds must be met, including a guarantee of full amnesty in Syria for returnees, including for those who evaded or resisted compulsory military service. Phase 3—whereby the UN would actually promote voluntary return—is nowhere in sight.

The Law and Violence against Women in Politics

November 15, 2018 

Politics & Gender - Latin America has been at the vanguard in implementing diverse strategies to combat violence against women in politics (VAWIP). In 2012, Bolivia became the first country to criminalize "political violence and harassment against women" with Law 243. Soon, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, and Mexico followed with similar proposals (Krook and Restrepo Sanín 2016). Despite high levels of criminal impunity (Piscopo 2016), legislative measures have been the preferred strategy to combat VAWIP within the region. The Inter-American Commission on Women (CIM) recently published a model law, drawing on experiences in Bolivia, to serve as inspiration for other legislative measures in the region. What can these legislative definitions tell us about the phenomenon of VAWIP, its limits, and its challenges?

Are Sound Democratic and Legal Institutions Necessary for Growth?

November 9, 2018

Peterson Institute for International Economics - In the 2000s, the emerging consensus among economists was that if countries had the right economic and legal institutions that govern exchange, property rights, dispute resolution, and corruption, good policies and economic growth would follow. Similar arguments were made about political institutions, with democracy emerging as decidedly pro-growth.

Banking on Markets: The Transformation of Bank-State Ties in Europe and Beyond

November 6, 2018 

Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) - Rachel Epstein's book Banking on Markets: The Transformation of Bank-State Ties in Europe and Beyond is the co-winner of the 2018 Ed A. Hewett Book Prize for an outstanding monograph on the political economy of Eastern Europe, Russia and/or Eurasia. The award is sponsored by the University of Michigan and is awarded by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). She will attend the ASEEES annual conference in Boston in December, where she will receive the award.

Top 5 Books: October

November 2, 2018 

International Affairs Blog - Every issue of International Affairs features a comprehensive book review section which assesses the latest writing on all facets of international studies. In this, the latest in our Top 5 Books series, Book Reviews Editor Krisztina Csortea presents her picks from the September issue. Join the conversation and share your must-read new books on global politics and international relations in the response section below. Enjoy!

Sins of Omission: Reporting on Women's and LGBTI Rights Deteriorating Under Trump Administration

November 1, 2018 

Oxfam America - A new joint analysis released today from Oxfam America and The Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver found that reporting on women's rights and issues in the State Department annual Country Reports is down 32% under President Trump's Administration, while reporting on LGBTI rights and issues abroad is down 21%. Alarmingly, countries of origin for asylum seekers and countries with greater gender inequalities saw their reporting decline at even higher rates of around 50%. These reports are important inputs into US policy and help support human rights defenders at home and abroad. They are also a critically important trove of systematic data on human rights practices available to advocates, scholars, asylum seekers, and multinational firms.

When Disaster Strikes, Go Fish

October 24, 2018

Hakai Magazine - Dyhia Belhabib was born in 1984, seven years before the onset of Algeria's "Black Decade," a vicious civil war that claimed 200,000 lives. She grew up in Tazmalt, an Algerian town less than 100 kilometers from the Mediterranean, but constant violence and government-imposed curfews prohibited outings to the ocean. Every day brought news of explosions and beheadings. "It was a horror movie, quite frankly," she says.

Professor's Research Explores How Humans Respond When Autonomous Systems Report for Duty

October 24, 2018

University of Denver - When the Department of Defense (DOD) needs to get up to speed on the social, cultural, behavioral and political trends affecting the nation's security, it calls in a special kind of special forces. Via its Minerva Research Initiative, named for the Roman goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare, the department seeks insight — and data — from the ranks of the nation's top researchers. Count Julia Macdonald of the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies among them. An assistant professor affiliated with the Korbel School's Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy, her research focuses on state threat assessments, use-of-force decisions, and U.S. military strategy and effectiveness

What Should We Make of Elite American Mercenaries in Yemen?

October 23, 2018

War on the Rocks - A recent Buzzfeed exclusive reveals that veterans of America's elite military units, working for the United Arab Emirates, are responsible for a string of assassinations in Yemen. They worked for a company called Spear Operations Group, directed and led in the field by an enigmatic Hungarian-Israeli named Abraham Golan. After meeting in Abu Dhabi with former Palestinian Authority security chief Mohammed Dahlan, now a top adviser for the Emirates, Golan was supplied with weapons, legal cover in the form of military ranks for him and his employees, escorts into Aden, and a list of names.

Former U.S. Special Forces were reportedly hired to kill Yemen's leaders. Did the government know?

October 19, 2018

The Washington Post's Monkey Cage - In a BuzzFeed article this week, Aram Roston reports that a Delaware company, Spear Operations Group, organized a private hit squad to work for the United Arab Emirates in Yemen. The company's founder, Israeli operative Abraham Golan, and former U.S. Navy SEAL Isaac Gilmore admitted to these actions in the article. The company appears to have hired several other U.S. veterans and reservists, including one who retired from the well-known SEAL Team 6 (responsible for killing Osama bin Laden). Everything we understand about the private security industry tells us that this action is likely to have serious ramifications.

Peacekeeping's Perverse Effects: Bolsonaro and Brazil's Remilitarized Politics

October 16, 2018

Duck of Minerva - In under two weeks, Brazil will have the second round of its presidential election. Former military officer and fan of fascists Jair Bolsonaro looks set after a strong first-round showing to defeat Workers' Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad. 

The Roots of Restraint in War

October 16, 2018

International Committee of the Red Cross - The Roots of Restraint in War is an update of the 2004 Roots of Behaviour in War. You can also find here the Executive Summary of this report. Based on two years of research collaboration between the ICRC and six distinguished scholars, the report identifies sources of influence on various types of armed forces and armed groups, ranging from those with a highly decentralized structure to those embedded within their communities.

The Best Human Rights Books, July to September 2018

October 14, 2018

Hong Kong Free Press - The ten books on the list are about and/or set in Algeria, Australia, China, Egypt, Russia, Syria and the United States. There is only one fiction book, an unusually low number compared with past lists; the rest are nonfiction.

Correspondence: Ideological Extremism in Armed Conflict

October 11, 2018

The MIT Press Journals - In "The Extremist's Advantage in Civil Wars," Barbara Walter seeks to explain the rise of radical Islamist groups in civil wars since 2003, especially Salafist groups.1 She claims that ideologically extreme groups have an organizational edge and thus outperform more moderate groups. This thesis is unpersuasive, however, because of its shaky empirical basis.

Conflict and Contagions: Disease Burden and Civil War

October 9, 2018

Political Violence @ a Glance - The Democratic Republic of Congo is experiencing what is now the seventh largest Ebola outbreak in history. The World Health Organization is saying the outbreak—located in the heavily conflict-affected province of North Kivu, but spreading to South Kivu and Ituri as well—is occurring in a "perfect storm" of active armed conflict, limiting the ability of relief workers to access exposed populations. As of September 25, WHO staff were only able to reach 20% of individuals in need.

Trump Will Push Trade Policies as Helping Workers in U.S. Heartland

October 5, 2018

The Wall Street Journal - With a month to go until the midterm elections, President Trump will hit the road next week to sell his new North American trade deal in the U.S. heartland, while trying to ease concerns over lingering trade disputes.

Do Military Defections Help or Hinder Pro-Democracy Civil Resistance?

October 4, 2018

International Center on Nonviolent Conflict - When activists start mobilizing to pursue a transition from dictatorship to democracy in their country, they face real risks—perhaps the most serious being lethal repression at the hands of state security forces. If feeling especially threatened, the dictator may choose to deploy the military and order it to throw its weight behind ending the popular challenge.


Repression, Regime Consolidation, and Latin America's Authoritarian (Re)Turn

September 25, 2018

Political Violence @ a Glance - This week, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is planning to attend the United Nations General Assembly for the first time in eleven years; it will also be his first visit since a wave of protests against his regime began in April. The largely nonviolent demonstrations quickly expanded into the most serious challenge yet for Ortega, who has been in office since 2007. After months of contestation, Ortega used paramilitaries and police to crush protesters and their roadblocks and campus occupations. Government forces have killed hundreds, more have been arrested, and opposition leaders have fled into exile.

Key Informant Loss

September 19, 2018

Political Violence @ a Glance - The news came via a friend's Facebook post earlier this year. A key informant that I had spent time with a decade earlier during my field research on community peace movements had passed away.

Blackwater founder touts plan to cut US troops in Afghanistan

September 17, 2018

The National - Blackwater founder Erik Prince believes he has an "audience of one" to persuade to back his plan to turn the war effort in Afghanistan over to an army of private contractors backed by its own air force in a move that would see US and Nato forces largely withdrawn.

Polarization, Populism, and PR: Proportional, Inclusive Elections Appear to be the Key to Countering Social Polarization

September 14, 2018

Political Violence @ a Glance - The just-concluded elections in Sweden reveal that the vein of populism in Europe is not yet waning, and in some countries the "vote share" of populist parties continues to rise. In the globally watched Swedish elections, the far-right party Sweden Democrats garnered some 18% of the vote—less than predicted, but more than the vote share in the 2014 polls—becoming a significant factor in Sweden's typically boring, centrist-oriented politics.

Privatizing the U.S. effort in Afghanistan seemed a bad idea. Now it's even worse.

September 11, 2018

Washington Post - It's been 17 years since 9/11, the pivotal event that precipitated the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. In recent weeks, there has been new talk of privatizing that war.

Rethinking Secrecy in Cyberspace: The Politics of Voluntary Attribution

September 8, 2018

Journal of Global Security Studies - Cyberspace affords actors unprecedented opportunities to carry out operations under a cloak of anonymity. Why do perpetrators sometimes forgo these opportunities and willingly claim credit for attacks? To date, the literature has done little to explain this variation. This article explores the motivations behind voluntary credit-claiming for the two main actors in cyberspace: states and politically motivated nonstate actors. We argue that states are most likely to claim credit for their operations and to do so privately when the goal is to coerce an opponent. Nonstate actors tend to publicly claim credit for their attacks in order to showcase their capabilities, influence public opinion, and grow their ranks. We use case narratives to assess the plausibility of our argument and find strong support. This article places cyberspace operations in conversation with the larger literature on secrecy in international relations and advances a common framework for understanding how both states and nonstate actors operate in this evolving domain.

Julia Macdonald, "The Most Surprising Thing About the Venezuela Drone Attack is that it Hasn't Happened Sooner"

September 4, 2018 

Political Violence @ a Glance - Approximately one month ago a group of dissident soldiers reportedly attempted to assassinate the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, with explosive-laden drones. News of the attack quickly dominated the news cycle and shocked many observers who viewed this as a pivotal moment in the use of drones by non-state actors. This reaction is understandable. While armed drones are frequently used in conflict zones, this event seemed to represent a departure from the norm in two respects: it took place in a civilian environment, and it marked the first time a drone has been used to target a head of state.


Erica Chenoweth in the Washington Post, "Millions of protesters turned out in June — more than in any month since Trump's inauguration."

August 31, 2018 

Monkey Cage Blog - In June, more people showed up at U.S. protests, demonstrations, and other political gatherings than in any month since we started counting in January 2017. We tallied 1,736 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins, rallies and walkouts, with at least one in every state and the District of Columbia. Our conservative guess is that between 2,790,334 and 4,622,113 people showed up at these political gatherings, though it is likely there were more participants. This count is close to but probably slightly higher than, that of March 2018.

Cullen Hendrix in Political Violence at a Glance, "All Stick, No Carrots: The Shortsighted Geopolitics of the Iran Sanctions"

August 21, 2018 

Political Violence @ a Glance & Denver Dialogues - The Trump administration, having withdrawn the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action last May, is threatening US trading partners over doing business with Iran and attempting to freeze Iran out of global oil markets. The attempted freeze-out began with the re-imposition of US sanctions against Iran and businesses operating there, and the Trump administration set November 4 as the target date for US allies to zero out their purchases of Iranian crude. With some arm-twisting, NATO allies like Turkey and Asian security partners South Korea and India have agreed to curb Iranian imports, though it will be difficult for India to zero out its Iranian imports. Fearful of being caught up by US sanctions, major European firms like Total, Allianz, and Maersk have begun winding down operations in Iran in advance of the November 4 deadline.

Erica Chenoweth on nonviolent protests, "Are We Living in an Unprecedented Age of People Power?"

August 20, 2018 

TVL1 - Professor Erica Chenoweth, a scholar of international relations says that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of non-violent protests in the world. She knows because she counts them, rigorously; she also counts when they work and why.

Marie Berry's book-War, Women, and Power was selected to be a part of the Democracy in Africa book club.

August 15, 2018

Democracy in Africa - How do women experience war? Does war reconfigure gender power relations? Marie E. Berry explores these and other questions in her new book: War, Women, and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina (Cambridge University Press, 2018), in which she argues that war can reconfigure gender power relations by catalyzing women's political mobilization.

Cullen Hendrix in the Peterson Institute Blog, "Freezing Iran out of oil markets won't work"

August 13, 2018 

Peterson Insitute for International Economics - The Trump administration, having withdrawn the United States from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action last May, is threatening US trading partners over doing business with Iran and attempting to freeze Iran out of global oil markets. It won't work—and will indirectly strengthen the United States' principal rivals, China and Russia, in the process. 

Cullen Hendrix in the Denver Post, "Freezing Iran out of oil markets won't work"

August 7, 2018 

The Denver Post - The Trump Administration, having withdrawn the United States from Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action last May, is threatening U.S. trading partners over doing business with Iran and attempting to freeze Iran out of global oil markets. It won't work — and will indirectly strengthen the United States' principal rivals, China and Russia, in the process.

Sié Fellow, Tom Zolot, was published in the National Interest and won First Place for his essay, "How America Has Become a Theater of War"

August 4, 2018 

The National Interest - America's marginalized communities pay the heaviest cost for the escalation in police militarization.

Deborah Avant has a chapter published in "U.S. National Security Reform"

August 3, 2018 

Routledge Publishing - "Contradictions in U.S. Security Planning for a Global Environment and a Process Approach to Solving Them"

Erica Chenoweth and colleagues in Washington Post, "Tens of thousands of people protested in April and May — on topics like gun violence, labor rights and science" 

August 1, 2018 

Monkey Cage Blog - This is the 16th installment in a series reporting on political crowds in the United States. Each month, the Crowd Counting Consortium will post updates about trends and patterns from the previous month or months. For our counting methods, please see our first post in the series. You can find the rest of the posts here.


Marie Berry and Erica Chenoweth co-wrote a chapter in "The Resistance: The Dawn of the Anti-Trump Opposition Movement"

July 30, 2018

Oxford University Press - The Resistance: The Dawn of the Anti-Trump Opposition Movement. Edited by David S. Meyer and Sidney Tarrow

This book provides the first analytical treatment of the anti-Trump movement, offers a cross-disciplinary analysis, and includes analyses from several top scholars in the field

Two of our Sié Fellows, Tasia Poinsatte and Summer Downs, were awarded the 2018-19 QF Social Enterprise Fellowship 

July 16, 2018

The University of Denver Newsroom - The Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise at the University of Denver is pleased to announce the selection of the 2018-19 QF Social Enterprise Fellows. Twelve Fellows were selected from a competitive pool and represent eight different academic programs.

The QF Social Enterprise Fellowship has two goals: to give DU graduate students the opportunity to work across disciplines and with community-based social enterprises, and to expand the impact of social enterprises in Colorado's communities.

Sié Fellow, Tom Zolot runner-up for the National Interest & John Quincy Adams Foreign Policy Essay Contest

July 6, 2018

The National Interest - Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has greatly expanded its role in international security. Major conflicts have been waged in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans, and more. Defense guarantees have been extended to more than a dozen additional nations. The War on Terror, now in its seventeenth year, involves seventy-six countries. There are some eight hundred overseas military bases, costing taxpayers an estimated $100 billion per year even as the national debt grows. 

With this in mind, submissions shall answer the following question: In what area of the world could the United States reduce its military involvement? Explain your reasoning.


July 5, 2018

War on the Rocks - Deborah Avant mentioned in a commentary by Kimberly Marten. 

What Are the Roots of Restraint? 

July 3, 2018 

Political Violence @ A Glance - How can we influence armed actors to be less violent toward civilians during conflict? This is the central question of the new Roots of Restraint in War study published by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and authored by ICRC staff Fiona Terry and Brian McQuinn, who synthesized the research findings of a small group of scholarly contributors (in which we were both honored to participate).


Marie Berry was awarded the American Sociological Association Peace, War, and Social Conflict section's best article award for her Gender and Society article, "Barriers to Women's Progress After Atrocity"

June 27, 2018

Gender and Society - Researchers have recently documented the unexpected opportunities war can present for women. While acknowledging the devastating effects of mass violence, this burgeoning field highlights war's potential to catalyze grassroots mobilization and build more gender-sensitive institutions and legal frameworks.

Toward Deterrence: The Upside of the Trump-Kim Summit

June 15, 2018 

War on the Rocks - The long-awaited Trump-Kim summit achieved nothing of substance: a photo op and a largely meaningless commitment to denuclearize from North Korea in exchange for equally meaningless security commitments from the United States. It is easy to be underwhelmed by a summit that delivered little and leaves North Korean nuclear weapons firmly in place. Indeed, North Korea has had its status as a nuclear-armed power legitimized by securing a high-profile meeting on equal footing with a sitting president of the United States.

Cross Fertilization and Research on the "Welfare Non-State"

June 12, 2018 

Political Violence @ a Glance - Despite a wealth of studies in the last 25 years documenting "governance" by rebels, NGOs, companies, and many others, when we think of who governs, our answer is generally still "the state". Danielle Jung, Wendy Wong, and Amanda Murdie have joined the ranks of those who would like to shake up this perspective. They hosted a workshop to begin parsing out who, exactly, are the non-state "governors", and to focus attention on the causes and consequences of their participation in a particular set of governance functions: the provision of "public" goods and services. You will no doubt hear more from them in the coming months and years but the initial discussion has already demonstrated the value of cross-fertilizing conversations.

The Sié Center was awarded a grant from the Jewish Women's Fund of Colorado

June 4, 2018

Sié Center - The Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, received a generous grant from the Jewish Women's Fund of Colorado, a donor-advised fund of Rose Community Foundation, to support research, education, and programming aimed at elevating and amplifying the work that women activists do in leading nonviolent movements to advance peace and security across the world. The project, titled the "Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative," or "IGLI," is co-directed by Professors Marie Berry and Erica Chenoweth, both of whom are faculty affiliates of the Sié Center.


These are the Four Largest Protests Since Trump was Inaugurated

May 31, 2018 

Washington Post - For March, we tallied 6,056 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins, rallies and walkouts in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that between 2,587,786 and 3,944,175 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely there were more participants. As a monthly count, this number of participants was only surpassed during the first month we started counting, January 2017. The boost came from the overwhelming attendance at the March for Our Lives, which we reported on here earlier, and the associated national student walkouts for school safety from gun violence.

Innovations in Peacebuilding report now available

May 23, 2018

Sié Center "Innovations in Peacebuilding" was a two-year research, dialogue, and policy project (2015-2017) that explores innovative ways in which international organizations, donors, governments, and local non-governmental organizations conduct activities aimed at conflict prevention and management, peacebuilding and reconciliation. The project explored this research question: How do norms affect mobilization dynamics in local settings in conflict-affected countries, and what are the implications for peacebuilding practice and effectiveness? Read more about the project here.

Erica Chenoweth and former Postdoctoral fellow, Evan Perkoski, to talk at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict  

May 22, 2018 

ICNC - On June 1st, Nonviolent Resistance and Prevention of Mass Killings during Popular Uprisings.

Postdoctoral fellow Yolande Bouka as a witness for the Canadian Parliamentary Subcommittee on International Human Rights in Ottawa 

May 22, 2018

House of Commons, Canada - The human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 

"On Marching

May 21, 2018

DIY Democracy - Interviews with Dr. Erica Chenoweth about marching as a nonviolent tactic and with Sana Shahid about organizing the Houston Women's March.

Julia Macdonald part of a research team awarded Minerva Research Initiative Grant

May 17, 2018 

Sié Center - The DoD's Minerva Research Initiative's three-year grant supports social science research in areas of importance to U.S. national security policy. The awarded project is a collaboration led by Michael C. Horowitz, Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, who will work alongside researchers at the Naval War College, Yale University, and the Sié Center. Entitled, "The Disruptive Effects of Autonomy: Ethics, Trust, and Organizational Decision-making," the study will explore the factors that affect the use of autonomous systems employed by U.S. military on the battlefield.

Tension Grows Around Referendum In Burundi

May 17, 2018 

NPR - Yolande Bouka, a research fellow at the University of Denver who has studied Burundi's current political crisis in detail, says the proposed constitutional amendment makes it easier for the ruling party "to get its way." It gives the president broader powers to control the legislative agenda, for example, and it also makes it easier for the president to minimize the influence of other political parties and ethnic minorities.

Burundi votes tomorrow on controversial constitutional amendments. A lot is at stake.

May 16, 2018 

Washington Post - On Thursday, Burundi will hold a referendum to revise its constitution. The current constitution, adopted in 2005, grew from the 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, which helped end Burundi's civil war by establishing one of Africa's most inclusive political arrangements. The proposed amendments threaten to dismantle the Arusha Agreement without a broad national debate — and could lead to renewed instability.

States are Far Less Likely to Engage in Mass Violence Against Nonviolent Uprisings than Violent Uprisings 

May 8, 2018 

Political Violence @ a Glance - What drives governments to crack down on and kill their own civilians in the context of popular uprisings? This is the topic of Chenoweth and Perkoski's newly-released special report with the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. In it, they explore why governments engage in mass killings – or the intentional killing of 1,000 or more civilian noncombatants – in the context of both violent and nonviolent mass uprisings.

Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves 

May/June 2018 

Foreign Affairs - Caught in the crossfire between militant insurgents and government forces, unarmed civilians are often portrayed as helpless. Kaplan rejects this idea and finds that under certain circumstances, local communities can protect their members from civil strife. He bases his hopeful conclusion primarily on his extensive field research in rural Colombia; using secondary sources, he also finds local islands of peaceful civilian autonomy within conflict zones in Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Syria—suggesting that even in extreme circumstances, civilians can organize to keep themselves safe.

Migration, Cities, and Engaged Scholarship

May 1, 2018

Political Violence @ a Glance - On April 3, 2018, just prior to the start of the annual meeting of the International Studies Association (ISA) in San Francisco, Kelsey co-organized (along with Dr. Hans Schattle) a working group titled "Cities and the Contentious Politics of Migration," co-sponsored by the Ethnicity, Migration & Citizenship and International Ethics sections. The idea behind the workshop arose from the previous year's ISA meeting in Baltimore, which took place just weeks after President Trump's first issuance of the now infamous 'Muslim Ban.'


War, Women, and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia Herzegovina

April 30, 2018

New Books Network— How can war change women's political mobilization? Using Rwanda and Bosnia as case studies Marie E. Berry answers these questions and more in her powerful new book, War, Women, and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia Herzegovina (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Berry provides the reader with a solid history and background of how war came to be in each of these countries respectively.

Special Report: Nonviolent Resistance and Prevention of Mass Killings During Popular Uprisings

April 30, 2018

International Center on Nonviolent Conflict— ICNC is excited to announce the publication of a special report by Evan Perkoski and Erica Chenoweth entitled "Nonviolent Resistance and Prevention of Mass Killings in Popular Uprisings." The report is the second release in ICNC's Special Report Series, launched in 2017.

Rethinking Women's Power During and After War

April 24, 2018

Political Violence @ A Glance— Noémie was born in the south of Rwanda in the early 1960s. After graduating from University, she became a teacher. When the genocide broke out in 1994, her husband and many members of her family were killed. As she described it to me,

"I was married to a successful man...but after the genocide, it was different because my husband was dead. And I was the head of the house. So, I had to do everything that was the same for the kids as when their dad was around."

Erica Chenoweth and Jonathan Pinckney publish the NAVCO 3.0 Dataset

April 19, 2018

Journal of Peace Research— Although the empirical study of strategic nonviolent action has expanded in recent years, no current dataset provides detailed accounts of the day-to-day methods and tactics used by various nonviolent and violent actors seeking political change. We introduce the Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes (NAVCO) version 3.0 dataset, which assembles over 100,000 hand-coded observations of nonviolent and violent methods in 21 countries around the world between 1991 and 2012. 

The Mobilization of Women in Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina: An Interview with Dr. Marie Berry

April 16, 2018

Our Secure Future— Dr. Marie Berry is an Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where she is an affiliate of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. She is the Co-Director of the Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative (IGLI). Her first book, War, Women, and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina (Cambridge University Press 2018), examines the impact of war and genocide on women's political mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia. Her work examining women's political mobilization, leadership, and peacebuilding efforts is critical to the vision of Our Secure Future for a more peaceful future transformed by women's full participation.

Did you attend the March for Our Lives? Here's what it looked like nationwide.

April 13, 2018

The Washington Post's Monkey Cage Blog— On March 24, Parkland, Fla., high school students — in coalition with people nationwide — organized massive public rallies to support gun regulation, safer schools and safer communities. By our count, the March for Our Lives event brought out 1,380,666 to 2,181,886 people at 763 locations — making it the third-largest day of demonstrations since President Trump's inauguration launched an extraordinary period of national political mobilization. As The Washington Post reported recently, nearly 1 in 5 Americans says they have attended a rally or protest since the beginning of 2016.

On May 7, Cullen Hendrix will be speaking at Water in the Middle East and Africa: A Nexus of Cooperation and Conflict

April 10, 2018

UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs— The severe water crises facing areas of the Middle East and Africa have significant implications for the health, welfare and security of the regions' people. Today, issues related to water availability and quality – including food security, sanitation and health, and economic development – have become both more complex and critical to address in these parts of the world. In this context, the resource can be both a source of cooperation and conflict among and within communities and nations.

The international conference Water in the Middle East & Africa: A Nexus of Cooperation and Conflict will provide a forum for scholars and experts to discuss the challenges linked to water resources facing these areas. The speakers will share innovative technology and policy solutions being developed and implemented in the regions that tackle problems at the local, national, and trans-national levels.

Leaders share their wisdom of peace and community building at #MLK50Conference

April 9, 2018

Medium— Peace Log, April 9, 2018 — This time last week, along with about 4,000 other people, I was getting ready to attend the #MLK50Conference in Memphis, organized by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, ERLC.

As a peace journalist, the PR staff at the ERLC were kind enough to arrange interviews for me with two of the top pastors in the nation. The overall theme of the conference was racial reconciliation and unity among all human beings.

Erica Chenoweth received a 2018 Duckie award for her blog post- "When Engaged Scholarship Means Resistance"

April 9, 2018

Denver Dialogues— Engaged scholarship takes on a new and urgent meaning when engagement means resistance. Over the past few weeks, many social scientists have mobilized alongside their compatriots to resist the Trump administration's policies, particularly regarding immigration. In February, a few hundred scholars at the International Studies Association Annual meeting participated in a protest outside of the conference hotel against policies discriminating against Muslim immigrants, threatening the well-being of undocumented people, and barring refugees. Some ISA members also boycotted the meetings in solidarity with Muslim colleagues. The upcoming March for Science will involve thousands of scholars and scientists aimed at confronting anti-intellectualism, anti-scientific reasoning, and denial. And, of course, universities are often sites of resistance more generally, as evidenced by many recent actions in Texas, Arizona, and elsewhere.

Atrocity Prevention and Peacebuilding

April 5, 2018

Peace DirectIn November and December 2017 Peace Direct held a collaborative online consultation for experts and practitioners to discuss the nexus between atrocity prevention and peacebuilding, and to share their insight and experiences. Following the consultation, this report presents the analysis and recommendations from participants, and advocates for the recognition of the role that locally-led peacebuilding approaches play in preventing and stopping atrocities.

How Civilians Talk Their Way out of Violence

April 3, 2018

Political Violence @ a Glance— When Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan in 2012, the Pakistani public was in an uproar. What's more, Muslim clerics shamed the Taliban for contravening Islamic precepts—for acting inconsistently with their prior commitments. When one thinks of rhetoric, images of blustering talking heads on cable TV can come to mind—that talk is "cheap." But rhetoric is also used to hold political candidates accountable for their prior positions and call out their inconsistencies.

Trust, Troops, and Reapers: Getting 'Drone' Research Right

April 3, 2018

War on the Rocks— Would you trust a Reaper crew to keep you safe in the face of enemy fire? In their Foreign Affairs article, "Why Troops Don't Trust Drones," Jacquelyn Schneider and Julia MacDonald argue that U.S. troops "see drones as riskier and less trustworthy than manned aircraft." In a later article, they elaborated on the details of the terms used in their survey research. They defined confidence as "the belief that unmanned aircraft can effectively complete a mission," and trust as "the willingness to use an unmanned aircraft to complete a mission."

South Sudan in Focus

April 2, 2018

Voices of America— Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, known as the mother of the 'new' South Africa, dies at the age of 81 after a long illness; the Catholic archbishop of South Sudan delivers a strong message to South Sudanese leaders; and a former South Sudanese musician who fled to Uganda launches a small business to support his family.


Julia Macdonald Receives Policy Engagement Fellowship from Bridging the Gap Project at American University

March 22, 2018 

The Bridging the Gap Summer Fellowship aims to support advanced doctoral students and junior faculty in pursuing research aimed directly at the policymaking community in Washington, DC and beyond. Open to New Era Foreign Policy (NEFP) alumni, BTG will award approximately three fellowships to highly accomplished junior scholars in order to supplement their policy-relevant research during the summer.

Oliver Kaplan, Erica Chenoweth, and Cullen Hendrix all made the shortlist for the 2018 Duckies

March 21, 2018

The shortlist for the Online Achievement in International Studies (OAIS) Awards, otherwise known as the Duckies, has been announced. As the 'online' in the name suggests, the Duckies honor achievement in blogging and social media; their origin dates to 2013 and the Duck of Minerva world politics blog, hence the names 'Duckies.'

Oxford's Handbook of International Security is released with Deborah Avant as a contributing author

March 21, 2018

This Oxford Handbook is the definitive volume on the state of international security and the academic field of security studies. It provides a tour of the most innovative and exciting news areas of research as well as major developments in established lines of inquiry. It presents a comprehensive portrait of an exciting field, with a distinctively forward-looking theme, focusing on the question: what does it mean to think about the future of international security?

Lessons from the Cambridge Analytica Files: Don't Be Evil

March 20, 2018

Political Violence @ A Glance— Over the weekend, The Guardian broke a series of stories about the misuse of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm paid by its clients to influence elections, markets, and more. What struck us about this story is that a seemingly common set of professional opportunities enabled an enterprising academic to sell a tool of political manipulation that may have changed the course of history.

Climate Change and Protectionism Could Harm Efforts to Feed the World: Report

March 19, 2018

Reuters— Rising protectionist and anti-trade sentiments threaten efforts to curb malnutrition even as more people go hungry and climate pressures rise, a U.S.-based think-tank said on Tuesday.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) noted the benefits of a free flow of goods - it improves the availability of food and keeps supplies stable, which prevents droughts from becoming famines. It also helps nutrition by ensuring food variety.

Is the Liberal Order in Crisis? 

March 9, 2018

Political Violence @ A Glance— Talk of crisis in the liberal order is ubiquitous. The conversation is markedly different, however, among those who study American politics — as compared to their comparative or IR counterparts. Betting that a conversation among these varied perspectives could be useful, the University of Denver's Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy, Colorado European Center of Excellence, and Center on American Politics joined forces with the Center for Strategic and International Studies to host scholars and practitioners from the US and Europe at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies for a two-day conference.

Women in Peace

March 9, 2018

Women in Peace— Erica Chenoweth honored as a notable woman in peace.

International Women's Day: Celebrating the most influential women in the field of IR

March 8, 2018

London School of Economics and Political Science— This International Women's Day, the Department of International Relations would like to take the opportunity to celebrate some (but by no means all) of the most inspirational and influential women in the field of IR.

Community counts: The social reintegration of ex-combatants in Colombia

March 7, 2018

Conflict Management and Peace Science— What explains the social reintegration of ex-combatants from armed conflicts? Community-level programs to reintegrate ex-combatants into society are based on the theory that the participation of ex-combatants in their communities can promote reconciliation and minimize recidivism to illegal activities. We evaluate community and security-related opportunities for and constraints on social reintegration using a survey of ex-combatants from Colombia. We find that ex-combatants in more participatory communities tend to have an easier time with social reintegration and feel less of a need to organize among themselves. These findings suggest that to help ex-combatants, reintegration processes should also work to improve the social vibrancy of receptor communities.

The Sophomore Curse: Sampling Bias and the Future of Climate-Conflict Research

March 6, 2018

New Security Beat—Recently, Nature Climate Change published a new study demonstrating significant sampling bias in the research that informs our understanding of whether climate change will accelerate human conflict. I was a peer reviewer of "Sampling bias in climate–conflict research," and I wrote an accompanying "News and Views" piece summarizing it. I am fascinated by the issue of sampling bias; it's perhaps the most consequential and least recognized form of bias in the social sciences, with potentially massive consequences for what we (think we) know about a host of phenomenon.

Put simply, sampling bias arises when the sample–the individuals, countries, or regions under study–deviates from the population it is intended to represent. You may have heard it called "the college sophomore problem": psychologists run lots of experiments on college sophomores because they are convenient to study in a university setting. But college sophomores are not representative of society at large, so the inferences drawn from studying them may or may not be valid.

What to Do About Venezuela's Rigged Presidential Election? 

March 2, 2018

Caracas Chronicles— The key, whether you call on people to vote or not, is to organize a non-violent movement based on non-cooperation, to undermine the authoritarian regime. As Chenoweth and Stephan: "a critical source of the success of nonviolent resistance is mass participation, which can erode or remove a regime's main sources of power."

In their empirical study, Chenoweth and Stephan show that political changes in authoritarian regimes require, as a basic condition to a successful political change, planning coordinated demonstrations that, through non-violent instruments of non-cooperation, chip away at the regime's power. Other conditions, like diplomatic pressure, are also important. But without mass participation in domestic action, political change is unlikely.

Women In 2018: A Look At The Polls

March 2, 2018

Forbes— In late February, Jeremy Pressman from the University of Connecticut and Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver, writing in the popular political science blog the Monkey Cage, reported that between 1.8 and 2.6 million people participated in the January 2018 Women's March. What's driving the crowds? In the latest edition of AEI's Political Report, we provide some answers.

In January, Gallup updated its battery of questions about satisfaction with different aspects of life. Fifty-eight percent said they were satisfied with the position of women in the nation, but 37 percent, the highest percentage since Gallup first asked this question, said they were dissatisfied. The growing negativity was driven by Democratic men and women; Republicans didn't change their views.


Responsibility to Prepare: Strengthening National and Homeland Security in the Face of a Changing Climate

February 27, 2018

The Center for Climate and Security Cullen Hendrix participated in the publishing of a report released by the Center for Climate and Security.

All Eyes on the Democratic Primaries

February 27, 2018

Bloomberg View— The next big tests for Democrats are the earliest primaries, coming up March 6 in Texas and March 20 in Illinois. Primaries pose real challenges for the parties, especially during unusual surges in candidate filings. All the Democrats have to do is nominate duds in a dozen or so (or even more) of the wrong districts, and the horde of candidates will turn into a big problem instead of an opportunity. There's no bigger story in electoral politics right now than these primaries, for House races and offices up and down the ballot.

1. Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman at the Monkey Cage on political protests in January.

January's Women's March brought out more than a million people — and many more also protested during the month

February 26, 2018

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage—  For January 2018, we tallied 1,040 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that between 2,441,891 and 3,384,073 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely there were more participants. Because mainstream media often neglect to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that took place. For 21 percent of the events we listed this month, we lacked an estimate of the size of the crowd.

Nevertheless, we think our tally gives us a useful pool of information to better understand political mobilization in the United States — particularly how reports of crowds change from month to month. Driven by the Women's March, protesters turned out en masse in January.

Why training women in nonviolent resistance is critical to movement success

February 24, 2018

Waging Nonviolence— In the year since Trump's inauguration, we have seen an outpouring of popular mobilization in resistance to his administration's policies. Crowd estimates suggest that 5.2-9 million people took to the streets in the United States to protest Trump's policies or points of view over the past year. Many more have mobilized worldwide in reaction to the rise of right-wing populist movements across the globe, using people power to contest entrenched authority and confront oppressive regimes and systems.

Women have been at the forefront of these efforts. The 2017 Women's March on Washington — whose Sister Marches spanned all 50 states and dozens of other countries — was likely the biggest single-day demonstration in recorded U.S. history. The momentum continued in 2018, with between 1,856,683 and 2,637,214 people marching in Women's Marches this year. And women continue to be at the helm of movements like Black Lives Matter, the struggle for immigrant rights and the Fight for $15. Around the world, they have played vital roles in demanding reproductive justice in Poland, protesting repressive religious laws in Iran and asserting their right to political representation in Kenya.

We're combat veterans. We support the students demanding gun reform.

February 20, 2018

The Washington Post— On Feb. 14, America witnessed yet another school shooting. The response in many ways was typical, with partisan lines drawn and old arguments about weapons bans and mental health trotted out. The deadlock of the gun control debate has become a staple in our political discourse. Yet in the wake of last week's tragedy in Parkland, Fla., a new group of voices has emerged alongside those of the survivors now demanding change: military veterans.

We represent some of those voices. The #VetsForGunReform movement is inclusive of those who fought America's wars — as soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. We were truck drivers and tank drivers, fuelers and supply specialists, pilots and linguists, medics and infantrymen. Men and women. Liberals and conservatives. We grew up across America. In big cities and small towns. We were raised by doctors and lawyers, farmers and preachers.

The Intellectual War on Science

February 13, 2018

The Chronicle of Higher Education— Though the urge to join a violent insurgent or terrorist group may owe more to male bonding than to just-war theory, most of the combatants probably believe that if they want to bring about a better world, they have no choice but to kill people. Would anything change if everyone knew that violent strategies were not just immoral but ineffectual? It's not that I think we should airdrop crates of Chenoweth and Stephan's book into conflict zones. But leaders of radical groups are often highly educated, and even the cannon fodder often have had some college and absorb the conventional wisdom about the need for revolutionary violence. What would happen over the long run if a standard college curriculum devoted less attention to the writings of Karl Marx and Frantz Fanon and more to quantitative analyses of political violence?

Sampling bias might be distorting view of upheaval due to global warming

February 13, 2018— A small team of researchers from The University of Melbourne, the Georg Eckert Institute and Freie Universität has found problems with research related to assessing the propensity for war amid environmental changes due to global warming. In their paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the group argues that much of current research on the topic suffers from several bias flaws. Cullen Hendrix with the University of Denver outlines the arguments by the research team in the same journal issue and suggests future research efforts will have to be refocused if they are to be useful in predicting future conflicts based on global warming projections.

Searching for climate–conflict links

February 12, 2018— Environmental scarcity caused by climate change has been implicated as a driver of violent conflict. Now, research shows significant bias in the regions analysed for climate–conflict links. This may limit understanding of the socioeconomic and political conditions in which such conflict occurs, and how these conflicts could be prevented.

Wakanda, Afrofuturism, and Decolonizing International Relations Scholarship

February 6, 2018

Political Violence @ A Glance— Next week, Marvel Studios will release one of its most anticipated films in the studio's ten-year history. Black Panther, set in the fictional Wakanda, a vibranium resource-rich and technologically advanced African country, has shattered records by selling more advance tickets than any previous superhero movie. Part of Black Panther's success can be attributed in part to the expansion of Marvel's Black fan base. Black people around the world–most of whom are not traditional Marvel fans–have put their whole weight behind the film. While Marvel's Comic Universe has featured superheroes of color for decades now, the release of Black Panther in Marvel's Cinematic Universe breaks new ground in the cinematographic comic industry. By grounding the plot in Africa while simultaneously showcasing a predominantly Black cast and production team, Black Panther is unique. All this is happening at a time where Afrofuturism, an artistic movement that combines "elements of science fiction, magical realism, and African history," is exploding.


The Women's March could change politics like the Tea Party did

January 31, 2018

The Guardian— On 20 and 21 January 2018, hundreds of progressive groups organized another Women's March. In the United States alone, between 1,856,683 and 2,637,214 people in at least 407 locations marched, held rallies and protested. There were marches in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including in 38 state capitals. Although the number of participants declined from the massive march in 2017, this is a very significant show of strength.

Progressive movements are not the only ones that have turned to mass mobilization to build power from below. Donald Trump himself came to power on the heels of a rightwing populist movement that had its origins in the Tea Party protests of 2009.

As NAFTA talks continue, your hamburger hangs in the balance

January 29, 2018

The Washington Post's Wonkblog— While imported fruits and vegetables don't face particularly high tariffs in the United States, there's some anxiety among U.S. importers and Mexican farming groups that the country could impose new anti-dumping and countervailing duties on them.

These tariffs are meant to raise the price of imported foods that U.S. officials believe are being sold below their fair-market value. NAFTA includes special mechanisms for resolving anti-dumping conflicts and avoiding duties, said Cullen Hendrix, who heads the Project on Environment, Food and Conflict at the University of Denver — but without the agreement, Hendrix said, U.S. growers could push for measures that protect their crops against Mexican competition.

How protests can affect elections

January 26, 2018

The Economist— The Tea Party rallies were an impressive mobilization but they pale in comparison to the recent women's marches. Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver and her colleague Jeremy Pressman estimate that the 653 women's marches across the country in January 2017 involved between 3.3m and 5.2m million people. The best guess is that 1.3% of Americans marched. The researchers also estimate that another 6,400 anti-Trump protests in America between the marches and the end of 2017 drew between 2.6m and 3.8m participants. While the women's marches were officially non-partisan, survey evidence suggests otherwise.

A year after the first Women's March, millions are still actively protesting Trump

January 23, 2018

Vox— According to data from Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver and Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut, the Women's Marches over the weekend involved between 1.6 million and 2.5 million people in events across the US, with an average of 6,700 to 10,400 per march.

These 3 Everyday Products Show Who Won and Lost From Nafta

January 23, 2018

The New York Times— In 2016, Canada shipped nearly five million baby pigs into the United States — about 15 percent of those born north of the border. And much of the pork the United States produces is ultimately exported to Canada or Mexico.

That means a pork cutlet served in Toronto may have started out as a piglet on an Ontario farm before being exported to the United States, and then reimported as meat, said Cullen Hendrix, an associate professor at the University of Denver.

Watching Trump's Economic Policy Preferences in 2018

January 23, 2018

Bloomberg View— One thing you could say for Donald Trump in 2017 was that his economic policies seemed fairly consistent. When orthodox conservative doctrine called for measures likely to help the economy in the short run, Trump was on board; when orthodox conservative doctrine called for restraint, Trump would choose policies likely to help the economy in the short run. The president was all in on tax cuts and larger deficits, just as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had been in the first years of their presidencies. Trump also, however, ignored tight-money conservatives and nominated a mainstream, well-regarded moderate, Jerome Powell, as the new Federal Reserve chairman.

Here's a report card for Trump's first year in office

January 22, 2018

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage With a year of Donald Trump's presidency in our rearview mirror, the Monkey Cage offered a week of posts evaluating his record from various points of view — and looking at what the citizen opposition has been up to. In case you missed them, here's your chance to read them all.

Let's start with an actual report card. Freshman presidencies are often notoriously difficult, but Trump's record still stood out. Justin Vaughn and Brandon Rottinghaus collected responses to a survey from 155 experts on the U.S. presidency. Collectively they gave him an F overall, looking at such things as legislative accomplishments, foreign-policy leadership, maintaining institutional norms, and public communication.

Civilians, Coups, and Criminal Conflict: A List of Must-read Scholarship on Political Violence From 2017

January 22, 2018

Political Violence @ A Glance— Fifteen scholars of political violence provided me with recommendations on what they regarded as the books and articles from 2017 that made the most valuable contributions to the field. Their suggested readings were wide-ranging, covering topics such as civilian targeting in civil wars, mass violence and civilian behavior, gender and conflict, criminal conflict, and post-conflict politics and legacies.

One year after the Women's March on Washington, people are still protesting en masse. A lot. We've counted.

January 21, 2018

The Washington Post's Monkey CageThe Crowd Counting Consortium is one year old. Since the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21, 2017, we have recorded more than 8,700 protests in the United States through Dec. 31, 2017. This map gives a sense of the geographic and ideological distribution of the crowds. About 74 percent of those protests were either against Trump administration policy or on issues that conflicted with the president's viewpoint, such as protests against specific police shootings of black people. We assuredly did not learn about every protest. Given the information we had, however, we made a low and a high estimate of all the participants in all the protests we counted, giving us a range of between 5.9 million and 9 million. That's roughly 1.8 to 2.8 percent of the population of the United States, with about 5.2 million to 8 million of those turning out to oppose Trump's policies or points of view.

Shelf Discovery: Great reading from the DU community

January 13, 2018

University of Denver Magazine— All too often, civilians find that war is hell and that they are merely collateral damage. In "Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves" (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Oliver Kaplan examines the nonviolent strategies unarmed civilians use, often at enormous risk, to limit the effects of strife on their villages and populations, even as bullets whiz around them.

An assistant professor in international security and human rights at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Kaplan serves as associate director of DU's Human Trafficking Center. His new book takes readers to Colombia and introduces them to the peasants and community leaders who negotiated local peace accords with FARC guerrillas. Kaplan's fieldwork in the country included interviews with excombatants and community organizers.

The Iran struggle will be historic. Here's what Trump should do.

January 4, 2018

The Washington PostIn a study of civil resistance campaigns between 1900 and 2006, researchers Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth found that nonviolent efforts succeeded 53 percent of the time, compared with 26 percent for violent campaigns. And nonviolent approaches generally succeeded in less than half the time (an average of about three years). Why this difference? Because violence reduces public participation, which makes defections less likely. 

The massive new protests in Iran, explained

January 3, 2018

Vox— Research by Erica Chenoweth, a scholar at the University of Denver who studies nonviolent revolutions, finds that the size of protests matters: that governments almost always fall when 3.5 percent of the population or more engage insustained nonviolent activity. In Iran, a country of more than 80 million people, that would mean roughly 3 million people on the streets regularly challenging the regime. There's no evidence of that happening — at least not yet.

2017 Sié Center News



December 29, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage—For November 2017, we tallied 680 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that between 46,547 and 51,385 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely there were far more participants. Because mainstream media often neglect to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that took place. For 30.2 percent of the events we listed this month, we lacked an estimate of the size of the crowd.


December 20, 2017

New Security Beat— Fisheries are a surprisingly common reason for conflict between countries. Between 1993 and 2010, 11 percent of militarized interstate disputes (MIDs) – conflicts short of war between two sovereign states – involved fisheries, fishers, or fishing vessels. While the conflicts often involve fresh fish, the implications for global peace and prosperity stink like fermented herring. As climate change threatens to change fish habitats, new governance strategies may be needed to prevent these "fishy MIDs" from sparking broader conflicts.


December 20, 2017

Foreign Affairs—The surveys showed that JTACs and JFOs strongly preferred manned over unmanned aircraft across all demographic categories, including age, branch, education, experience, and rank. This preference was strongest in hypothetical scenarios in which the enemy was nearby and there was a high risk of friendly fire: almost 90 percent of the respondents preferred manned aircraft in such circumstances. Their main concern was that drones, remotely controlled by pilots hundreds of miles from the battlefield, were unable to maintain situational awareness in combat environments and were, therefore, more likely to make mistakes that could risk friendly lives. For example, one JTAC wrote that "a manned aircraft would be less likely to lose sight of my position and make any mistakes that may result in fratricide."


December 1, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage— For October, we tallied 548 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that between 59,876 and 68,570 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely there were far more participants. Because mainstream media often neglects to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that took place. For 34.9 percent of the events we listed this month, we lacked an estimate of the size of the crowd.



November 11, 2017

Waging Nonviolence— Focusing, therefore, on violent — as opposed to "radical" — flanks, researchers Erica Chenoweth and Kurt Schock sought to bring clarity and systematic analysis to bear on this question of positive versus negative violent flank effects. In a 2015 article for the journal Mobilization, they examined all nonviolent campaigns from 1900-2006 with radical (i.e. "maximalist") goals — such as the "removal of an incumbent national government, self-determination, secession, or the expulsion of foreign occupation" — to see how the presence or absence of armed resistance affected the success of these nonviolent campaigns. Their findings offer compelling evidence that violence is not generally a helpful addition to nonviolent resistance movements.


November 9, 2017

The Guardian— People have continued to show up to protests in significant numbers – a research team led by civil-resistance scholar Erica Chenoweth and political scientist Jeremy Pressman has tallied hundreds of demonstrations around the country each month since January.


November 6, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage— Over the past decades, the United States has faced more and more mass shootings that are neither criminal competition nor family violence: Columbine, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Newtown, the Charleston, S.C., Emanuel AME Church, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. This week it's at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Tex. More are surely coming. As Erica Chenoweth explained here at The Monkey Cage in 2015, both mass shootings and terrorist attacks tend to lead to copycat attacks.


November 5, 2017

Lawfare— After several years of debate, on November 13-17, 2017, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) will convene a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) to discuss the topic of lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS), more popularly called "killer robots." While the precise nature of these weapon systems is still the subject of debate, they are generally considered weapons that can select and engage targets on their own. Academics, policymakers, and technology leaders have raised questions about the risks of reducing human control by deploying weapon systems able to select and engage targets on their own.


November 1, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage— For September, we tallied 578 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that between 80,130 and 89,854 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely there were far more participants. Because mainstream media often neglect to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that took place. For 34.9 percent of the events we listed this month, we lacked an estimate of the size of the crowd.

Nevertheless, we think our tally gives us a useful pool of information to better understand political mobilization in the United States — particularly how reports of crowds change from month to month. In this case, we estimate that September saw a sizable decrease in people protesting compared with August, during which we observed between 175,625 and 205,178 people participating in crowds.



October 19, 2017

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists— As the United States conducts 10 days of joint naval exercises with South Korea, the rationale is easy enough to understand: The exercises, which take place annually, are designed to reassure US allies South Korea and Japan, and deter North Korea from aggressive action. Indeed, as policy goals, US reassurance and deterrence have become ever more important in recent months. Pyongyang kicked off the summer by successfully firing its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4, followed with a series of missile tests, and successfully exploded its first hydrogen bomb on Sept. 3. During that time, Kim Jong-un's regime threatened to launch ballistic missiles towards the US military base in Guam—a threat it renewed last week—and fired ballistic missiles over Japan on two occasions. US allies in Asia are understandably nervous.


October 4, 2017

The Nation— "This is not about who controls the mostviolence; it's about who controls the legitimacy of the political space," insists Erica Chenoweth, the co-author of Why Civil Disobedience Works. Chenoweth cites Martin Luther King Jr.'s advocacy of nonviolent yet uncompromising resistance to state and vigilante violence. By maintaining discipline in the face of relentless abuse, the movement that King led attracted mass support and ultimately helped to deliver such substantive victories as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Just so today, Chenoweth maintains, progressives should use "innovative techniques" that push progressive goals while avoiding the street fights sought by the armed right.



September 29, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage —For August 2017, we tallied 834 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that between 175,625 and 205,178 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely there were far more participants. Because mainstream media often neglect to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that took place. At 31 percent of the events we listed this month, we lacked an estimate of the size of the crowd.

Nevertheless, we think our tally gives us a useful pool of information to better understand political mobilization in the United States — particularly how reports of crowds change from month to month. In this case, we estimate that August 2017 saw a notable increase in people protesting compared with July, during which we observed between 85,837 and 108,344 people participating in crowds.


September 29, 2017

The New York Times— Kurdish leaders are well aware that realpolitik, not ideals, will determine the success of their independence bid, said Morgan L. Kaplan, a political scientist who studies the Kurdish independence movement.

From the Kurdish perspective, the referendum "was supposed to be the first step in a negotiation process with Baghdad," he said. The idea was that appealing to international norms could sway the United States and other foreign powers to support independence. And that, in turn, could help pressure Baghdad to consent to secession.

But the vote has instead galvanized Washington and Baghdad in opposition, illustrating what the scholars Erica Chenoweth and Tanisha M. Fazal have called "the secessionists' dilemma" — that the unstated rules for secession often fail or even backfire.


September 20, 2017

Council on Foreign Relations International Institutions and Foreign Governments Program— Global governance was once defined as the province of multilateral organizations, whose membership was limited to national governments. For many citizens and policymakers, whether those institutions are viewed with hope or distrust, organizations such as the United Nations or the International Monetary Fund remain the center of attention and the targets of activists. Over the last three decades, however, private corporations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and subnational (state, provincial, and urban) governments have moved from influencing global rules and organizations through their national governments to direct participation in global governance, often working with national governments as partners in innovation.


September 17, 2017

H-Diplo— Political scientists have grown increasingly worried about the gender gap in their profession. According to data provided by the American Political Science Association, while women make up 42 percent of graduate students in the field, they account for only 24 percent of full-time professors. While there are far more women in the discipline than even a decade before, most are assistant professors; only 23 percent of associate and full professors are women. Women in academic careers are less likely to get tenure (especially if they have children), and take longer to get promoted than their male colleagues.


September 14, 2017

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists— On April 22, 2017, nearly 1 million people across the United States participated in the March for Science. This was true even though the weather was sometimes uncooperative. Marchers in Philadelphia donned ponchos and rain gear but turned out in droves nonetheless. Some even braved snowstorms, such as the 15,000-to-20,000 protesters who showed up in Denver. Since then, scientists and the pro-science public have resisted budget cuts to federal scientific agencies, demanded that the United States maintain its obligations under the Paris Accords to combat climate change, and conveyed the message that a commitment to scientific inquiry and innovation is a fundamental characteristic of democratic life.


September 11, 2017

Council on Foreign Relations International Institutions and Global Governance Program Memo— Over the last three decades, a diverse collection of actors—private corporations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and subnational (state, provincial, and urban) governments—has developed and promoted a global agenda of collective action. From advancing human rights to combating climate change, these actors have become new governors in world politics. More recently, a second movement—a loose array of populist and nationalist groups and governments—has questioned the forward momentum of institutionalized global cooperation. Brexit, followed by the Donald J. Trump administration's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as proposed cuts in U.S. contributions to the United Nations and development assistance, suggest a weakening—if not undermining—of the network of treaties, institutions, and relationships constructed over the last seventy years.


September 3, 2017

Perspectives on Terrorism— Former Sié Center Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. Steven T. Zech (2015- 2017) has been awarded a prize for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of terrorism and counter-terrorism studies. The Terrorism Research Initiative identified Dr. Zech's dissertation Between Two Fires: Civilian Resistance During Internal Armed Conflict in Peru as having demonstrated originality in terms of introducing new data, theory or methodology, and manifesting novelty/uniqueness in its findings. Dr. Zech was among the first class of Sié Post-Doctoral Fellows, and the Sié Center congratulates him on this remarkable achievement.


September 1, 2017

American Political Science Association—The American Political Science Association recognized Cullen Hendrix and colleague Idean Salehyan with the 2017 J. David Singer Data Innovations Award at its Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The award, given every two years, recognizes the best data contribution to the study of any and all forms of political conflict, either within or between nation-states. Professor Hendrix and Idean Salehyan received the award for their work on the Social Conflict Analysis Database. A number of graduate and PhD students work alongside Professor Hendrix on the Social Conflict Analysis Database project, which is housed at the University of Denver.



August 29, 2017

Westword— Erica Chenoweth can tell you that the average nonviolent protest movement achieves its goal in just three years, three to four times shorter than violent campaigns. The University of Denver professor is also quick to cite her finding that nonviolent campaigns have double the rate of success of their bloody counterparts.

Denver's seen plenty of nonviolent protests this year. According to the Crowd Counting Consortium, a project Chenoweth co-directs, the 42 protests in Denver following the 100,000-person Women's March in January have been attended by an estimated 34,500 people. And the recent counter-protests against white supremacists in Charlottesville and Boston irrefutably underscored the importance and risks of political demonstration. Westword spoke with Chenoweth about what her research on political violence and peaceful resistance tells us about today's protesting and how Denver can engage in activism.


August 23, 2017

CNBC — "In general there's a disconnect between Trump on the campaign trail, which is the Trump we see at these rallies, and Trump in the Oval Office," said Cullen Hendrix, a nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington-based think tank. "He tends to make pretty bold claims and then we see little in the way of follow-through on the policy side."

Hendrix added: "My guess is once he gets back to Washington, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue or [Commerce Secretary] Wilbur Ross will reacquaint him with the electoral map, which shows that leaving NAFTA would put the hammer to many of his supporters and GOP strongholds in the Great Plains. He's going to need those senators to support any renegotiated NAFTA."


August 22, 2017

The New Yorker — There is a moral logic to this notion of anticipatory self-defense, but the progression, from writing letters to fighting with guns, is worrisome nonetheless. Right-wing militiamen in Charlottesville made a point of displaying force, and this was reportedly "unnerving to law enforcement officials on the scene." Should anti-Fascists start toting AR-15s, like the right-wing Oathkeepers? The idea can seem naïve in an American context, where, practically speaking, only white people can carry guns openly without fear of police interference. Bray mentions a few pro-gunantifa groups, including the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, and a collective with the punning moniker Trigger Warning; he quibbles with liberal scholars, including Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan, who dismiss violent protest as an ineffective tool for garnering public support. But it is unclear from the book whether he thinks that brandishing guns is an ethical concern as well as a tactical one, or whether he worries about an escalation of violence. Postwarantifa, as Bray details in earlier chapters, has largely been a European project, in which opposing sides sometimes beat each other senseless and stabbed one another to death. They didn't have assault rifles. The Battle of Cable Street was fought with rocks and paving stones. 


August 22, 2017

The Guardian — It looks like we may have to expect growing violence on the part of Trump's ever-shrinking yet increasingly emboldened supporters. That's a troubling prospect, especially with an administration that fails to differentiate between neo-Nazi aggressors and civilian groups seeking to defend themselves.
Yet now more than ever, it's important to remember that meaningful and lasting change has rarely been brought forth by the hands of young men who carry out violence, but rather by the people bravely moving forward in nonviolent resistance.

The power of nonviolent civil resistance has been convincingly argued by professors Erica Chenoweth and Maria J Stephan in their now classic 2014 essay, Drop Your Weapons: When and Why Civil Resistance Works (an update of their 2011 book, Why Civil Resistance Works). Chenoweth then updated that analysis, sharing it in a lengthy interview with the Nation in February on the most effective tactics for confronting the Trump regime.


August 21, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage — For July, we tallied 744 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in each state and the District. Our conservative guess is that between 85,837 and 108,344 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely there were far more participants. Because mainstream media often neglects to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that took place. Sometimes no one reports the size of the crowd, which adds to the undercounting of participants.

Nevertheless, we think our tally gives us a useful pool of information to better understand political mobilization in the United States — particularly how reports of crowds change from month to month. In this case, we estimate that July saw a major decrease in people protesting compared with June, during which we observed 954,298 to 1,173,771 people participating in crowds.


August 20, 2017

The Denver Post— Following the events in Charlottesville, Va., the Movement for Black Lives called for white people and non-black people of color to gather and address how they can help dismantle white supremacy.

The request spurred Indivisible Denver, along with University of Denver professors Erica Chenoweth and Marie Berry, to plan a last-minute workshop. Chenoweth thought it would attract 40 or so people. But on Saturday, the Shorter Community AME Church's pews, which seat about 1,000, were nearly full.

"It's a time when people of privilege have to step up and denounce racism and white supremacy in all of its forms," Chenoweth said. "This was one tiny action I could take in fulfilling that responsibility."


August 15, 2017

5280 Magazine — Six months into President Donald Trump's administration, protests (and counterprotests) to his policies and agenda are only increasing, and Denver is taking a leading role in the resistance.

Over the weekend, violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a group of so-called white nationalists descended upon the college town for a planned "Unite the Right" rally. On Saturday, one person was killed and more than a dozen were injured when a man drove his vehicle into a crowd of counterprotesters.

While the disorder witnessed in Charlottesville isn't uncommon in our national history of political protests, University of Denver professor Erica Chenoweth says that nonviolent mass mobilization is traditionally a more powerful way to create lasting change.


August 9, 2017

The Washington Post — "Everything we know about successful counterinsurgency tells us that it requires close integration between political goals and forces. It is the tethering of force to common and shared concerns that begin to build its legitimacy and thus the political buy-in on which stable governance is built," wrote Deborah Avant of the University of Denver. "But with [private military companies] you often trade integration away. This has been particularly true with U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan."


August 7, 2017

Foreign Policy — During the political primaries in April, Ann Kanyi, who was vying for her party's nomination for the Tetu parliamentary seat in Kenya's Aug. 8 general election, was dragged from her car and brutally beaten by four unidentified masked men wielding metal bars and a gun. During the assault, one of them demanded she quit politics. She was not the only woman physically attacked during the primaries after wading into the testosterone-fueled arena of Kenyan politics: Other female candidates were robbed by men armed with machetes and batons, had their motorcades attacked and supporters killed, and were beaten and threatened with public stripping.


August 6, 2017 

Military Times — Prince's proposal may also violate the spirit of the Montreux Document — an international agreement that outlines best practices for private military companies. The "U.S. Government's support of the Montreux Document is active and continuous, according to the Department of Defense.

"Under best practices outlined in the Montreux Document, a contracting state should both be responsible for the actions of its contractors and take steps to avoid potential disaster," Deborah Avant told Military Times.

"Those steps would include ensuring that they don't assign to contractors activities that [International Humanitarian Law or the Law of Armed Conflict] assigns to state actors – I think bombing would fall in that category," she added.


August 3, 2017 

The New York Times — After years of tumultuous peace talks, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as FARC, bid a final farewell to arms in June. The act heralds the end of a 52-year conflict. But for Colombia to decisively break with its past, it must be smart in its approach to reintegrating FARC combatants back into society.

The task is daunting: How do you keep people who have been fighting for decades from rearming? Giving aid to former fighters remains controversial, but new evidence-based strategies provide reason for hope that reintegration can succeed despite the challenges.

The FARC members' background presents a first hurdle. As Communist ideologues with links to the narco-economy, many of its members were recruited from poor, rural families as children, and have been guerrilla fighters for so long they know no other life. Most have had little formal schooling and are not accustomed to civilian life.



July 25, 2017 

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage — For June 2017, we tallied 818 protests, demonstrations, strikes, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District of Columbia. Our conservative guess is that from 954,298 to 1,173,771 people showed up at these political gatherings last month, although it is likely there were far more participants. Because mainstream media often neglect to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that took place. Sometimes no one reports the size of the crowd, which contributes to undercounting.

Nevertheless, we think our tally gives us a useful pool of information to better understand political mobilization in the United States — particularly how reports of crowds change from month to month. In this case, we estimate that June saw a staggering ninefold increase from May in the number of people protesting. In May, during which we observed from 100,807 to 128,464 people participating in crowds.
In fact, our best-guess tally suggests that more people likely participated in crowds in June than in any month since January.

Private military contractors aren't going to do a better job in Afghanistan. Here's why.

July 12, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage— The New York Times reported July 10 on meetings between President Trump, his top advisers and private military and security company (PMSC) magnates, Erik Prince (founder of Blackwater) and Stephen A. Feinberg (owner of DynCorp International) to discuss plans for having contractors take over U.S. operations in Afghanistan. The plans are said to hew closely to the Wall Street Journal op-ed Erik Prince published in June proposing a "MacArthur solution" to Afghanistan. Like the historical analogy it borrows from, the plan proposes a U.S. viceroy, but unlike MacArthur, the viceroy would carry out his plans with the help of a private army.

Could such a plan actually improve counterinsurgency, leading to the success that has thus eluded the U.S. (and NATO)? In a word: no. And the plan is much more than a different strategy; it reformulates (one might say privatizes) U.S. goals.

Violence Against Female Politicians

July 11, 2017

Council on Foreign Relations Even in situations where quotas or legislative measures exist to increase the number of women in office, female politicians can face grave danger. Marie E. Berry, a professor of sociology at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, whose work focuses on women in political office in sub-Saharan Africa, observes that in Kenya, despite a court-issued two-thirds 'gender rule,' which stipulates that no elected body in the country can be more than two-thirds one gender, "women running for political office face profound impediments to their success and many face extraordinary rates of violence, both while running for office and once in political office."

Mexico is No Longer No.1 U.S. Corn-Buyer After Trade Tensions

July 6, 2017

Bloomberg NewsMexico's attitude toward the reliability of U.S. agricultural suppliers will help set the tone of NAFTA renegotiation, said Cullen Hendrix, a professor of international relations at the University of Denver and a fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics in Washington.

"Agriculture for the most part likes NAFTA and would like as little disruption as possible," he said. "But if you start seeing ag used as a poker chip in the negotiations, with concessions made to get something in another sector, you'll see Mexico work even harder to diversify."


Why Farmers Are Anxious About NAFTA

June 29, 2017

The EconomistNAFTA has also created surprisingly integrated supply chains. Consider pork, writes Cullen Hendrix of the University of Denver in a paper for the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a think-tank. In 2014 America imported 3.9m eight-to-12-week-old piglets which had been born and weaned on Canadian farms. These were fattened up on farms in Iowa, Minnesota or Illinois until they were ready for slaughter and processing. Many of the resulting pork cutlets were then exported back into Canada. 

In Trump's America, who's protesting and why? Here's our May report.

June 26, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage— For May 2017, we tallied 495 protests, demonstrations, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that 100,807 to 128,464 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely that there were far more participants. Because mainstream media often neglect to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that took place. Sometimes no one reports the size of the crowd, which makes undercounting more likely.

Nevertheless, we think our tally gives us a useful pool of information to better understand political mobilization in the United States — particularly how reports of crowds change from month to month. In this case, we note that fewer people protested in May than in April, when 637,198 to 1,181,887 people turned out.

What you should know about Cory Gardner's meeting with accused human rights abuser Rodrigo Duterte

June 6, 2017

The Colorado IndependentOliver Kaplan, a professor at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies who specializes in human rights and did field work in the Philippines, said he was a bit surprised when he heard about Gardner's meeting with Duterte.

"Ideally the United States should be strongly pressing Duterte on human rights issues," he says. "So to the extent that Gardner did that it's a good thing. But to the extent that it's not really verifiable and that it wasn't done more publicly, it's not clear why a senator is going over there alone doing that." 

The Anatomy of Resistance – Where We (the People) Won & Why: Episode 1

June 5, 2017

A new podcast by Erica Chenoweth and Anthony Grimes. Check out our inaugural episode on the Women's March, featuring Paola Mendoza and Sarah Sophie Flicker. Listen here>>


New data shows a sharp increase in U.S. protest activity in April

May 22, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage— For April 2017, we tallied 950 protests, demonstrations, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that between 637,198 and 1,181,887 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely that there were far more participants. Because the media often do not report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that took place.

Nevertheless, we think our tally gives us a useful pool of information to better understand political mobilization in the United States — particularly how reports of crowds change from month to month. In this case, we note that April had a 62 percent increase over the number of reported crowds in March.

The Industry of Inequality: Why the World is Obsessed with Private Security

May 14, 2017

The Guardian At Denver University, Prof Deborah Avant said the private security industry had surged with contracts during the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when "an army of private workers flooded in to do all sorts of things".

Afterwards, she said, companies "began to look elsewhere ... at private security domestically but also for people living abroad, and for the private sector; for companies".

Growing economic inequality was also part of the story, she said. "You have a ton more [money] than everyone around you, so you want to protect it. Getting [security] from the private sector is an obvious way to do it."

Experts on Authoritarianism are Absolutely Terrified by the Comey Firing

May 11, 2017

VoxComey's firing sparked immediate questions in the press — Is this Watergate? Will Trump be impeached? — all of which are legitimate and serious questions. But they're not answerable now. In the meantime, all we have to go on is what we know to have happened: The president fired the person who was investigating him and his associates.

To people who study the rise of authoritarian leaders, just those facts alone are terrifying. 

"This is very common — in semi-authoritarian and authoritarian regimes," Erica Chenoweth, a professor at the University of Denver, tells me. "Purges, summary firings, imprisonment: These are all things that authoritarian leaders do when they attempt to rid themselves of rivals within government."

How Abnormal Was Comey's Firing? Experts Weigh In

May 10, 2017

The New York Times F.B.I. directors' 10-year terms are in place "precisely to avoid undermining the directors' independence in investigating high officials," said Erica Chenoweth, a professor of international studies at the University of Denver. 


What it'll take for Venuezela's protests to work, according to an opposition expert

April 26, 2017

The Washington Post— These are some of the largest protests the country has ever seen. But will they work? Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at the University of Denver, has some thoughts.

Chenoweth studies mass movements. In some of her more recent research, she's looked at every popular effort to overthrow the government — some 500 of them. And she's sliced, diced and quantified the data to figure out what makes these movements effective. According to her research, mass protests are most likely to work when a couple of factors are present.

For one thing, she says big numbers are important, but only if they represent really diverse segments of society. And participation doesn't have to be overwhelming. Get just 3.5 percent of a country's population onto the street, and your movement is likely to work.

War Zone Contractors' Role Under Trump Questioned

April 25, 2017

U.S. News and World Report "It is interesting that people are saying it right now, though, and that may indicate they are looking for a reason to push back against contractors in the current environment," says Deborah Avant, director of the University of Denver's Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. The argument of military effectiveness could bring all these jobs back under the control of the Department of Defense removing any alternative use for those operating in a war zone.

"There may be a little bit of self-protection on the part of military leaders – they may be worried this commander in chief could go a little rogue," Avant says.

In Trump's America, who's protesting and why? Here's our March report.

April 24, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage— For March 2017, we tallied 585 protests, demonstrations, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that 79,389 to 89,585 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely that there were far more participants.

Because mainstream media often neglect to report nonviolent actions — especially small ones — it is probable that we did not record every event that occurred. This is particularly true of the "A Day Without a Woman" strikes on March 8. It's virtually impossible to record an accurate tally of participants for strikes, in part because many people deliberately conceal their motivations for skipping out on work or school when they participate.

In Trump's America, who's protesting and why? Here's our February report.

April 5, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage— Since tallying attendance at the Women's Marches on Jan. 21, we have continued counting political crowds — and are launching a monthly series of Monkey Cage posts about our findings. Each month the Crowd Counting Consortium will post updates about trends and patterns from the previous month as recorded by our volunteers. (For our counting methods, please see our first post in the series.)

For February 2017, we tallied 762 protests, demonstrations, marches, sit-ins and rallies in the United States, with at least one in every state and the District. Our conservative guess is that between 233,021 and 373,089 people showed up at these political gatherings, although it is likely there were far more participants.


Trump Administration Is Walking Away from Good Governance in Oil, Gas, and Mining

March 27, 2017

Peterson Institute RealTime Economic Issues Watch— In the latest rebuff to the international community, the Trump administration is walking away (link is external)from the successfully negotiated global standard to promote open and accountable management of oil, gas and mining, especially in poor countries. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a groundbreaking multistakeholder initiative to prevent corruption, conflict, human rights violations, and environmental degradation while promoting good governance around extractive industries. The United States had been working toward compliance since 2012. The Trump administration, however, canceled all remaining meetings with nonprofit and industry groups related to EITI, and weekly Department of Interior conference calls related to EITI have been cancelled as well.

The EITI rejection, along with the earlier congressional disapproval of the Cardin-Lugar Amendment (link is external), which required oil, gas, and mineral companies listed on US stock exchanges to disclose billions in payments to foreign-country governments, signals a step back from the US government's commitments to help reform a suite of industries with less-than-stellar records in lifting what is known as the "resource curse."

The Streetlight Effect in Climate-Conflict Research on Africa

March 14, 2017

The Center for Climate and Security— Climate change research on Africa has a streetlight problem: researchers tend to invest more attention on former British colonies and countries with relatively open, stable political systems than other countries, with these factors emerging as more important than objective indicators of "need" like physical exposure to climate change or adaptive capacity. That is, our research seems less guided by objective need and more guided by convenience/safety concerns.

The logic is straightforward: natural and social scientists alike pick cases and field sites for a variety of reasons that have very little to do with objective need or scientific criterion: ease of travel, safety, predictability, familiarity with language, access to professional networks, data availability and an existing literature to which to respond. Given that the Brits kept the most comprehensive colonial records and English has become the lingua franca of scientific communication, all these factors bias case selection toward English-speaking, comparatively politically stable countries like Kenya and South Africa

Why the research into climate change in Africa is biased, and why it matters

March 9, 2017

The Washington Post's The Monkey Cage— Scholars have long been researching the potential effects of climate change in Africa. That's urgent. As the climate changes, billions of lives will change with it. We urgently need to understand and prepare for those changes, including droughts, floods, land loss, and weather changes that may lead to extinctions, widespread hunger, mass displacements, epidemics, conflict and other catastrophic results.

But there's a catch. Instead of examining how climate change will affect the broadest territories with the most exposure to climate change, researchers are going to the countries that are most convenient for them to visit and study. When I examined the existing research, I discovered that we know a lot more about how climate change will affect countries that a) are former British colonies, b) have stronger protections for civil liberties, and c) have more stable political institutions than countries without these characteristics.

The New Trump Immigration Policy Is Bad for US Health

March 8, 2017

Peterson Institute RealTime Economic Issues Watch— The Trump administration has produced a revised executive order that would put a temporary moratorium on refugee resettlement and suspend new visas for residents of six Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. In a step to avoid the confusion of the administration's earlier immigration order, nationals of those countries already holding visas may travel to the United States.

Many analysts say the new order will still create confusion without making America safer. Less obvious, it may also make America less healthy.

The Immigrant Doctors Project has produced data and detailed maps showing that 7,000 doctors providing roughly 14 million doctors' appointments each year are from the six targeted countries. Moreover, these doctors are highly concentrated in the Rust Belt and Appalachia, regions buffeted both by the relative decline of their manufacturing-led economies and opioid and obesity (link is external) epidemics. Doctors from affected countries provide 1.2 million doctors' appointments in Michigan alone. These states also broke for President Trump in the 2016 election.


Just How Abnormal is the Trump Presidency? Rating 20 Events

February 27, 2017

The New York Times President Trump posts often on Twitter, sometimes against the preferences and without the advice of aides, about policy ideas and reactions to things he sees on TV. "Trump's off-the-cuff tweets have dramatically increased the amount of uncertainty in the world, especially when his appointees and staff contradict the positions he articulates in tweets," said Erica Chenoweth, professor of international studies at the University of Denver. 

International Relations Scholars Protest Travel Ban

February 27, 2017

Inside Higher Ed International relations scholars met for their annual convention last week against the backdrop of a Donald J. Trump presidency. Scholarly business to a large degree continued as usual, with panel sessions on the future of a liberal world order and change in world politics taking on special urgency. Hundreds of sessions covered topics like climate and energy policy, global governance institutions, the rise of populism, terrorism and counterterrorism, and the politics of nuclear weapons.

USAID Publishes Struggles from Below: Literature Review on Human Rights Struggles by Domestic Actors 

February 27, 2017

A literature review authored by Erica Chenoweth, Tricia Olsen, Kyleanne Hunter, Pauline Moore, and Heidi Reynolds-Stenson has been released. In 2016, USAID's Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance launched its Learning Agenda—a set of research questions designed to address the issues that confront staff in USAID field offices working on the intersection of development and democracy, human rights, and governance. This literature review—produced by a team of economists, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists—synthesizes scholarship from diverse research traditions on the following Learning Agenda question: What do we know about the role of citizens, social movements, and other domestic civic actors (as opposed to transnational actors or government officials) in advocating for particular human rights outcomes in their country? And what can we learn from the successes and failures of their activities?

How to Topple a Dictator 

February 24, 2017

The Nation As hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets in efforts to resist Donald Trump, Professor Erica Chenoweth has been obsessed with one question: How many people exactly? Erica Chenoweth is one the leading scholars on authoritarian regimes and how to overthrow them. In her book Why Civil Resistance Works, she compiled 323 cases of nonviolent and violent campaigns in order to assess which were more successful in achieving their stated goals of regime change. Much to her surprise, Chenoweth discovered that nonviolent campaigns were nearly twice as effective as armed campaigns over the past century. 

Erica Chenoweth of the University of Denver and Laura Dugan of the University of Maryland win CFPJ Best Paper Prize  

February 17, 2017

David Carment, editor of the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (CFPJ), announced that Erica Chenoweth and Laura Dugan have won the 2016 CFPJ Best Paper Prize for "The Canadian Way of Counterterrorism: Introducing the GATE-Canada Data Set.:
The paper is freely available on the CFPJ website and its affiliate policy website.
The prize is awarded annually for the best article published in the CFPJ. Each refereed contribution is eligible for consideration and members of CFPJ's editorial and international advisory board judge the articles based on scholarship, contribution to knowledge and debate, writing style and audience accessibility. Continue reading>>


How is GIS Being Used to Map Resistance and Political Protests? 

January 31, 2017

ForbesDespite Conway's remarks, a Google Doc started by Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut and Erica Chenoweth of the University of Denver soon began to collect crowd-sourced estimates from the Women's Marches on January 20, 2017 organized by city, state and country. As they say on the public spreadsheet, "We are not collecting this data as part of a research project. We are doing this in the public interest. We are not affiliated with any other efforts to collect data on the demonstrations." Over at Vox, graphics reporter Sarah Frostenson turned their data into a static map. Other researchers also weighed in. Doug Duffy, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, made an interactive map of Pressman and Chenoweth's data here and posted the visualization to his GitHub page. He even cleaned the data for easy download and reuse (with attribution) by others.

The Women's Marches May Have Been the Largest Demonstration in US History

January 31, 2017

VoxAccording to data collected by Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver and Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut, marches held in more than 600 US cities were attended by at least 4.2 million people. "Even using a conservative estimate, it was the single largest day for a demonstration in the US," Chenoweth, an expert on political protests and civil resistance, told us. Every state in America hosted a Women's March, as you can see in the map above. The events ranged from tiny gatherings in small town squares to throngs of more than 500,000 people clogging streets in cities like Washington, DC, and Los Angeles.  Continue reading>>

The Secrets to a Successful Protest

January 31, 2017

Radio National The first ten days of Donald Trump's presidency saw large protests across the United States and around the world including the Women's March on inauguration weekend, protests against the executive order on immigration and British protests against his state visit. Professor Erica Chenoweth studies the success or failure of protest movements. She explains the factors that will determine whether this movement will lose momentum or grow into a powerful political force.

Moments vs. Movements

January 31, 2017

Planet Jackson Hole Erica Chenoweth is a professor and associate dean for research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. (She also happens to be performing a global head count on the women's marches along with two colleagues.) As an expert on civil resistance and nonviolent action, her research demonstrates the efficacy of civil disobedience, and points to the importance of this moment in which so many are eager to engage. Participation, Chenoweth says, is key to the success of nonviolent movements, and part of what makes the women's marches so historic. "The capacity for mass mobilization has been expressed ... the marches send a clear message that many do not have faith that their government will represent them," Chenoweth told PJH.

Politics Podcast: The Beginning of the Trump Presidency

January 23, 2017

FiveThirtyEight Donald Trump's first few days as president were marked by executive orders, "alternative facts" and mass protests around the country. This week, the FiveThirtyEight politics podcast crew breaks down Trump's inauguration speech and chats with contributor Julia Azari about what presidents can accomplish in their first 100 days. Plus, University of Denver professor Erica Chenoweth discusses the Women's Marches, which drew more than 3 million people across the United States, and her research on the hallmarks of successful protest movements. 

The Exhausting Work of Tallying America's Largest Protest

January 23, 2017

The AtlanticChenoweth studies emerging political movements, so she jumped on the opportunity to watch a new one perhaps begin to unfold here in the U.S. But more fundamentally, she said, the act of counting itself is an important one. "It's a really empowering thing to be noticed and to be tallied," she said. "That actually came to be much more evident to me when people started emailing us and tweeting at us, reporting that they had two, five, seven, 12 people in their tiny outpost." 

See Just How Big Over 200 Women's Marches Were All Across the Country

January 23, 2017

TIME MagazineJeremy Pressman of the University of Connecticut and Erica Chenoweth of the University of Denver gathered both the lowest and highest estimates for 605 U.S. cities and came up with a range for each city.
Of those 605 cities, Pressman and Chenoweth estimate that at least 1,000 people showed up in 209. The following visualization shows how large the protests are estimated to be in each of those cities, while the total counts include remaining smaller protests as well.

Carnegie Corporation of New York Awards Sié Center $1 Million to Study Inclusion

January 13, 2017

The University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies today announced that the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy, a leading research center at the School, was awarded a $1 million, two-year grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The grant is toward a "Bridging the Academic-Policy Gap" program that will generate and disseminate policy-relevant research on pressing global issues. It follows an earlier, $1 million grant from the philanthropic foundation in support of the initiative.


2016 Sié Center News


Sié Research Opportunities Cited as Critical for Students

December 10, 2016

Foreign Policy's guide to top international affairs schools cites research opportunities for students at the Sié Center and elsewhere as setting the Josef Korbel School apart. Over 40 students work at the Center on projects such as Nonviolent and Violent Conflict Outcomes (NAVCO), where researchers are collecting data on major nonviolent mass campaigns from 1900 to 2014 to improve the understanding of the origins and outcomes of civilian-based resistance. Learn more about student research opportunities>>

Cullen Hendrix Speaks at World Bank

December 8, 2016

Cullen Hendrix participated in a panel on "Climate Change & Food Insecurity – Role of Environmental Risk Factors in Preventing Atrocities." This panel was co-sponsored by The Stanley Foundation and the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention as part of the World Bank's "Law, Justice and Development Week 2016: Law, Climate Change and Development."  Read Cullen's policy brief on this topic>>

How Facebook Hurt the Syrian Revolution

December 4, 2016

Al Jazeera —Why is it that social media can help win an election in one country and cannot stop a month-long massacre in another? Erica Chenoweth, a professor at the School of International Studies at the University of Denver, has argued that social media is helping dictators, while giving the masses an illusion of empowerment and political worthiness. At a recent lecture at Columbia University, when asked for an example where social media played a negative role in a social movement, Chenoweth paused a little to finally say, "what comes to my mind now is Syria." Continue reading>>


Sié Center Launches Post-Election Quickfacts Series

November 15, 2016

The results of the 2016 United States election have potential implications for many dimensions of peace and security – at home and abroad. As part of its commitment to bridge the gap between the academic and policy worlds, the Sié Center is launching a new "Quickfacts" series on these implications. We intend this series to serve as a resource to vulnerable groups whose members are concerned about how potential changes might affect their security as well as analysis for academics, the broad community of policy makers, and members of the public.  Read these resources>>

Trump foes hope to build on initial flurry of protests

November 15, 2016

San Francisco Chronicle— Whether the actions happening around the country turn into a movement remains to be seen, said Erica Chenoweth, a professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. For now, she said, much of what the country is seeing is a blowing off of steam. "You're out there showing you're pissed and aggravated and you're going to do something about it. What we know from the history of mass movements is that it takes about three years." she said, adding that success entails long conversations, the building of coalitions, concrete goals and long-term thinking.  Read the article>>

Election 2016: What We Learned and What Comes Next

November 10, 2016

Deborah Avant participated in a University of Denver panel to identify lessons learned from the election and next steps for global security. Watch the video>> 

Deborah Avant's article on "Pragmatic Networks and Transnational Governance of Private Military and Security Services" expanded in an International Studies Quarterly Written Symposium

October 31, 2016

International Studies Quarterly— Four scholars welcome Avant's piece and engage with the argument with contributions that are longer than usual, which reflects the richness of the questions raised by its arguments. Heikki Patomäki agrees that the relational ontology is an improvement on present debates, but notes that it does not extend to looking at the structures and context in which processes take place. Looking at the multiple sites of private security governance, Anna Leander asks whether the problem is located where Avant says it is, and whether network theory is mobilised to its full potential. In evaluating the pragmatist approach, Kavi Abraham wonders about the excision of politics, recalls Deweyan pragmatism as also concerned with domination, conflict and participatory democracy. In looking at Avant's relationalism, Mark Laffey argues that a liberal ontology animates but also constrains the account of process and the assumed public-private divide. Avant offers "A Pragmatic Response" to the symposium, engages with the questions and suggests provocatively that it is they, rather than she, who may be the real 'optimists' about global governance.


Deborah Avant, professor from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, spoke about her research into the determinants of violence in conflicts, which naturally includes many actors

October 26, 2016

The Tufts Daily— The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy hosted the Fletcher Ideas Exchange last night in the ASEAN Auditorium. It featured a variety of academics, policy practitioners and students who gave brief speeches in a TED-style format in front of an audience of approximately 200 people. The event, themed "Bridging the Academic-Policy Gap," opened with brief remarks from Communications Lecturer Mihir Mankad and Professor of Practice of International Conflict Management Eileen Babbitt, who both helped to organize the event.

PhD Candidate Jonathan Pinckney authors ICNC Monograph

October 17, 2016

International Center on Nonviolent Conflict —A central question in the study and practice of civil resistance is how nonviolent movements can maintain nonviolent discipline among their members. What factors encourage and sustain nonviolent discipline, particularly in the face of violent repression? While several scholars have suggested answers to these questions to date, the answers have largely remained ad hoc and have not been systematically tested. This monograph addresses these deficits in the literature by offering a unified theory of nonviolent discipline. This theory provides a helpful tool for better understanding how nonviolent discipline is created, sustained and shaped by repression. Following the theory, the monograph presents two tests of the effects of several influences on nonviolent discipline. The first is on the impact of patterns of repression, history of civil resistance, and campaign leadership and structure on nonviolent discipline. The second is a comparison of three civil resistance campaigns from the post-Communist
"Color Revolutions" in Serbia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

Timothy Sisk has co-edited a new book

October 17, 2016

Graduate Institute GenevaThe book reopens the debate on democratization in the wake of the Arab Spring and other major global and regional developments, according to the Graduate Institute Geneva. "Democratisation in the 21st Century" (Routledge, 2017), featuring essays from leading democratization specialists, is co-edited by Tim and the Graduate Institute's Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, Adjunct Professor of International History.

 Cullen Hendrix proposes a plausible conceptual model that identifies structural and actor-contingent factors linking demographic-environmental stress to mass killings

October 12, 2016

The Stanley FoundationWhen and why do environmental stressors play a role in precipitating mass atrocities, and what can the international community do about them? During World War II, concerns about demographic and environmental stress—particularly access to arable land—were associated with some of the 20th century's worst mass atrocities. Adolf Hitler's territorial ambitions in Europe were fueled by an obsession with lebensraum—literally, living space—and fears Germany would not be able to feed its growing population from within its post-Versailles borders. Japan's invasion of Manchuria and subsequent campaigns of terror against ethnic Chinese and Russians there were similarly motivated by a desire to access the territory's vast renewable and mineral resources. 


Erica Chenoweth contributes to International Day of Peace Conversation with the Carnegie Corporation of New York

September 21, 2016

Carnegie Corporation of New York —"Nonviolent action is possible—even in armed contexts. Women's groups in Liberia, humanitarian groups in Syria, village-level juntas in Colombia, civic groups in Kenya, grassroots coalitions in Spain—all of these actors have effectively mobilized effective resistance to violence in the context of protracted armed conflict. Organization matters. Movements that coordinate, plan, train, negotiate, and communicate widely have a much higher capacity for tamping down violence than those that improvise. Inclusion matters. Efforts to tamp down violence are most effective when they involve broad-based coalitions of stakeholders."  Read hers and additional authors' remarks>>

 Erica Chenoweth speaks on panel about "Obama's Legacy in the Middle East" 

September 15, 2016

DU Newsroom"On the panel was Erica Chenoweth, professor and associate dean for research at Korbel. "Despite his lofty oratory, Obama is and always has been in my mind fundamentally a consequentialist," Chenoweth said. "He has a prioritized action that he sees as necessary and that he sees as having a potential impact in advancing vital U.S. interests." Read more of the discussion>>


Oliver Kaplan mentioned in Colombia's Samana News interview

July 23, 2016

Semana —Oliver Kaplan's co-author gives an interview in Spanish in Colombia's version of Time magazine, where he extensively discusses their recent research article regarding recidivism of former combatants in Colombia.  Continue Reading>>  

Erica Chenoweth cited in Malay Mail Online

 July 18, 2016

Malay Mail OnlineErica Chenoweth's research on the comparative success of nonviolent resistance over violent resistance is cited in a Malay Mail Online op-ed titled "Those who live by the sword die by it" by Bernard Goh Teck Yang. "Studies conducted by Erica Chenoweth from the University of Denver showed that since the beginning of the 1900s, violent revolutions fail around 60 percent of the time compared to a 20 percent failure rate of non-violent movements. To add on that, violent campaigns success rate is only 23 percent compared to peaceful campaigns 53 success rates. The case was made for non-violent protest to replace it's bloodier sibling." Read the full op-ed here>>


Bridging Oceans: The Panama Canal

June 26, 2016

9NEWS— There's a saying among the people of Panama: "Bridge of the world, heart of the universe." It's a fitting description for a small country, with so much riding on it – or in this case, sailing across it. This is a place where land gave way to water, by Bridging Oceans: The Panama Canal. If the Americas had a waistline, its belt would be cinched in Panama. "It's a beautiful, tropical country," Oliver Kaplan, associate director of the Korbel Latin America Center at the University of Denver said.  Watch the documentary>>

The New Power Politics: Networks and Transnational Security Governance

June 10, 2016

Traditional analyses of global security cannot explain the degree to which there is "governance" of important security issues -- from combatting piracy to curtailing nuclear proliferation to reducing the contributions of extractive industries to violence and conflict. They are even less able to explain why contemporary governance schemes involve the various actors and take the many forms they do. Juxtaposing the insights of scholars writing about new modes of governance with the logic of network theory, The New Power Politics, edited by Deborah Avant and Oliver Westerwinter, offers a framework for understanding contemporary security governance and its variation. The framework rests on a fresh view of power and how it works in global politics. Though power is integral to governance, it is something that emerges from, and depends on, relationships. Thus, power is dynamic; it is something that governors must continually cultivate with a wide range of consequential global players, and how a governor uses power in one situation can have consequences for her future relationships, and thus, future power.   Learn more>>

The Dalai Lama: Why I’m hopeful about the world’s future

June 13, 2016

The Washington Post— The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet. Since 1959, he has lived in exile in Dharamsala in northern India. In this opinion piece, he cites research by Erica Chenoweth: "Indeed, history has shown that nonviolent resistance ushers in more durable and peaceful democracies and is more successful in removing authoritarian regimes than violent struggle."  Continue reading>>


Education Key to Keep Colombia’s Ex-combatants on the Straight and Narrow

May 26, 2016

Colombia Reports— Education, not employment, is the key to reducing recidivism among ex-combatants, according to a new study. This surprising discovery could have significant implications for government policy, and it comes at a critical moment as peace talks with FARC rebels are coming to a head. Within a matter of months there may be thousands more ex-combatants joining the roughly 60,000 that are already registered with reintegration agency ACR that recorded a 20% recidivism rate of registered ex-combatants. Download the report Much research has gone into how to prevent recidivism, but a recent study carried out by Oliver Kaplan of University of Denver and Enzo Nussio of the ETH Zurich has challenged the received wisdom. Continue reading>>

Oliver Kaplan's Article Published in Journal of Conflict Resolution

May 11, 2016

Oliver Kaplan and Enzo Nussio's article "Explaining Recidivism of Ex-Combatants in Colombia" has been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution. "We evaluate explanations for recidivism related to combatant experiences and common criminal motives by combining data from a representative survey of ex-combatants of various armed groups in Colombia with police records of observed behaviors that indicate which among the respondents returned to belligerent or illegal activities. Consistent with a theory of recidivism being shaped by driving and restraining factors, the results suggest that factors such as antisocial personality traits, weak family ties, lack of educational attainment, and the presence of criminal groups are most highly correlated with various kinds of recidivism and hold implications for programs and policies to successfully reintegrate ex-combatants into society." Continue reading>>

Uganda’s Top Export: Mercenaries

May 10, 2016

BloombergBusinessweek— During the Iraq War, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sought to marry his light-footprint invasion strategy with free-market principles. Contractors scrambled to recruit thousands of bodies to fulfill lucrative Pentagon security contracts. "The industry had been growing since the mid-'90s, but what happened in Iraq was so extreme," says Deborah Avant, the director of the Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy at the University of Denver. "All of a sudden everybody needed these people. It was this enormous surge of demand." Uganda was a good place to find soldiers.  Continue reading>>

Counterterrorism – Episode 34 – The Oxford Comment

May 5, 2016

What is counterterrorism? Although many studies have focused on terrorism and its causes, research on counterterrorism is less prevalent. This may be because the definition of terrorism itself has been heavily disputed, thus blurring the lines of what and who the targets of counterterrorism efforts should be. This brings us to a few questions: how has terrorism evolved and how has counterterrorism developed as a response? In this month’s episode of the Oxford Comment, Sara Levine chats with Brian Lai, associate editor for Foreign Policy Analysis; Dr. Anthony Richards, author of Conceptualizing Terrorism; Richard English, author of Illusions of Terrorism and Counterterrorism; Erica Chenoweth, associate editor for Journal of Global Security Studies. Together, they explore the meaning of terrorism, whether terrorism can be used for more than just a political motive, and the effectiveness of violence versus non-violent counterterrorism tactics. Listen now>>

Civil Resistance: The Power of the People

May 2, 2016

The 20th century was dominated by the rise of totalitarian regimes and new levels of destructive warfare and violence. At the same time, from Gandhi, to the American South, to the Solidarity movement in Poland, a different force also gathered steam, the power of the people to resist tyranny and authoritarianism through civil resistance.In this episode of America Abroad, we explore the strategies and techniques behind successful nonviolent campaigns, from India's fight for independence through the American civil rights movement to some of today's struggles for freedom and against dictators, oppression, and corruption. We go on the ground to explore movements in Colombia, India and Zimbabwe, and talk to experts and activists about why nonviolent movements are twice as likely to succeed than violent campaigns. We also learn how authoritarian governments are adjusting their tactics as they seek to suppress the power of the people. Guests include Erica Chenoweth.  Listen now>>


Korbel School's Sié Chéou-Kang Center Named Inaugural Home of the Journal of Global Security Studies

April 21, 2016

The Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, was recently appointed the inaugural home of the Journal of Global Security Studies . The journal addresses the need for scholarly interaction and debate across the broad field of security studies. Published by Oxford University Press, the Journal of Global Security Studies is the newest journal of the International Studies Association, the premier organization for connecting scholars and practitioners in fields of international studies. The need for the journal goes back to the Cold War when academic journals focused on different security concerns. As the field of security expanded, scholars and practitioners debated the very definition of security and responded by examining particular dimensions.  Continue reading>>

Sié Center Awards 2016-2017 Post-Doctoral Fellowships

April 13, 2016

The Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy has awarded post-doctoral fellowships for the 2016-2017 academic year to two outstanding junior scholars. Michael Kalin is currently a Sié Center visiting scholar and a PhD candidate in Political Science at Yale University. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of communal violence, with particular interest in religious conflict. Evan Perkoski is currently a research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Perkoski's research explores violent and nonviolent uprisings, the interactions between non-state actors, and the organizational dynamics of terrorist, insurgent and rebel groups. Kalin and Perkoski will join the Sié Center team in September 2017 and will spend one year in residence as post-doctoral fellows, working closely with Sié Center faculty mentors while developing their own research and publications. Learn more>>

Report: U.S. needs to reinvest in international food production

April 12, 2016

Capital Press— A new report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs says it is in the national security interest of the U.S. to lead a massive, international reinvestment in food production systems. The report, “When Hunger Strikes: How Food Security Abroad Matters for National Security at Home,” argues that food price increases and scarcity are a catalyst to civil unrest, especially in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Author Cullen Hendrix, a University of Denver researcher, said food price protests toppled governments in Haiti and Madagascar in 2007 and 2008, and were one of the “major drivers” of unrest during the “Arab Spring” uprisings. Continue reading>>

Cullen Hendrix Publishes Policy Paper "When Hunger Strikes: How Food Security Abroad Matters for National Security at Home"

April 7, 2016

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs— Feeding the world and teaching the world to feed itself is not just a humanitarian endeavor. It is vital to US national security. Food price–related unrest can have an immense impact on the stability of countries vital to US interests. Fortunately, the United States is well positioned to lead the fight against food insecurity across the globe. Even with increases in agricultural productivity, Africa and Asia have become increasingly dependent on global markets to satisfy their growing domestic demand for food. For example, Africa's 20 most populous countries are all net grain importers. This import dependence has made these countries more sensitive to food price volatility than ever before. Continue reading>>

Steven Zech's article published in Defense & Security Analysis

April 7, 2016

Sié Center post-doctoral fellow Steven Zech's article "Decapitation, disruption, and unintended consequences in counterterrorism: lessons from Islamist terror networks in Spain" has been published in Defense & Security Analysis. "Spanish terror networks are mapped out over a 10-year period (1995–2004) to demonstrate the importance of network variables. Policies meant to disrupt militant networks can generate unintended consequences, as was the case with Spain’s Operation Dátil following the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in the United States. The Madrid train bombing network developed in the vacant political space following the counterterrorism operation that targeted radical Islamists in Spain."  Read the paper>>


What Trump Doesn't Get About Violence

March 25, 2016

The Denver Post— Research proves the efficiency of nonviolent protests, according to Erica Chenoweth, an expert on political violence at the University of Denver. Her data, which spans more than a century, proves that nonviolent campaigns are actually twice as effective as violent campaigns at creating change. Chenoweth says nonviolent campaigns don't succeed by melting hearts, but because they have greater potential for encouraging mass participation. Her research also sets aside the concept of blame to focus simply on which form of resistance is the most strategic choice. Read the column>>

Steven Zech's Article Published in International Studies Review

March 18, 2016

Sié Center post-doctoral fellow Steven Zech's co-authored article "Social Network Analysis in the Study of Terrorism and Insurgency: From Organization to Politics" has been published in International Studies Review. "This paper defines key network concepts, identifies important network metrics, and reviews theoretical and empirical research on network analysis and militant groups. We find that the main focus of existing research is on organizational analysis and its implications for militant group operational processes and performance."  Read the paper>>

Julia MacDonald Will Join Sié Faculty in Fall 2017

March 7, 2016

Julia MacDonald, a PhD candidate in political science at the George Washington University and a predoctoral fellow with the Managing the Atom/International Security Program at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, will join the Josef Korbel School faculty in fall 2017 after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.  Learn more>>

Erica Chenoweth Speaks at DU Founders Forum

March 2, 2016

On March 2nd, the DU community gathered at the Cable Center for a showcase of our stellar faculty and academic excellence. The evening celebrated the academic innovation coming out of the University and highlighted a few of the many individuals at DU whose research and teaching is transforming the student experience. Proceeds of the event directly benefited the University of Denver Scholarship Fund. Watch Erica Chenoweth's presentation>>

Marie Berry Briefs UNICEF on Rwanda at Rift Valley Institute

March 2, 2016

Marie Berry was invited with two other leading scholars to participate in a multi-day briefing of new staff at UNICEF's Rwanda office. The briefing was coordinated by the Rift Valley Institute, an independent think tank in East Africa.

The Future of Global Security (Studies)

March 1, 2016

The first, special issue of the Journal of Global Security Studies (JoGSS), the newest publication of the International Studies Association, is now available online. JoGSS is housed at the Sié Center and published by Oxford University Press. The journal aims to publish first-rate work addressing the variety of methodological, epistemological, theoretical, normative, and empirical concerns reflected in the field of global security studies. More importantly, it encourages dialogue, engagement, and conversation between different parts of the field.  Read the full issue here>>


Erica Chenoweth Briefs National Security Council

February 29, 2016

Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, co-authors of Why Civil Resistance Works, briefed White House National Security Council staff last week about nonviolent civil resistance and the role of civilian mobilization in reducing violence.

Integrating Women in the Military

February 22, 2016

PhD candidate and Sié Fellow alumnus Kyleanne Hunter spoke on a panel at the National Defense University on how integrating women into combat roles supports women's full access to citizenship in our nation.  Watch the panel>>


Benghazi, 13 Hours, and the New U.S. Military

January 15, 2016

U.S. News and World Report —"The character of security challenges are different. And given that contractors are often the way to deal with unanticipated contingencies, their use is often in new areas where rules are less clear," says Deborah Avant. Read the article>>


2015 Sié Center News

2015 Sié Center News

The Effectiveness of Nonviolent Resistance

November 27, 2015

Peace Talks Radio —Over the last 100 years, how effective have nonviolent resistance movements been to effect social and political change, compared to armed violent uprisings? On this edition of Peace Talks Radio, Dr. Chenoweth talks with Carol Boss about some of the data, including the conclusion that successful nonviolent resistance was more effective than violent resistance at creating durable peaceful democracies. Listen to the radio show>>

AsSessing the Threat of ISIS Terrorism in Colorado

November 25, 2015

Colorado Matters —Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner spoke with two experts in law enforcement and terrorism about the threat to Colorado and ISIS' motivations. Erica Chenoweth is a professor of international security and diplomacy at the University of Denver. She was named a "leading global thinker" by Foreign Policy Magazine and has written about ISIS. Listen to the interview>>


What is the Breaking Point for Non-Violent Resistance?

November 17, 2015

Foreign PolicyGlobal Thinkers Erica Chenoweth and David Scheffer debate when—if ever—social and political movements should turn to armed insurgency. Does the international community's hesitation to intervene in nonviolent crises create perverse incentives for resistance to turn violent? Listen to the podcast>>

Peru's Pitchfork Politics

November 2, 2015

Foreign Affairs"There’s been this long history of self-defense forces and communities responding to either the unwillingness or the inability of the state to address these things,” according to Steven T. Zech, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Denver who has spent the last five years researching Peru’s rural militias. Continue reading>>  

Erica Chenoweth Speaks at Campaign Nonviolence in Los Alamos

August 8, 2015

Erica Chenoweth spoke at the first national gathering of Campaign Nonviolence held in Los Alamos, New Mexico to mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Watch her remarks>>

It may not look like it, but a Colombia peace agreement could be within reach

August 4, 2015

The Washington Post —“Overall, I’m pretty optimistic,” said Oliver Kaplan, a professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, who has written about the peace process. “I don’t want to say it’s inevitable, but I think it’s likely to get pushed through.” Read the article>>

International Cooperation Needed for Niger Anti-Trafficking Law to Work

July 6, 2015

World Politics ReviewIn May, amid increased migrant flows from Africa to Europe, Niger approved a bill that will translate the United Nations protocol against the smuggling of migrants into national law. In an email interview, Oliver Kaplan, an assistant professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and associate director of the Human Trafficking Center, discussed the U.N. protocol and Niger’s efforts to implement it. Read the interview>>

Denver’s growing ‘peace industry’ hails release of international index

June 24, 2015

The Colorado Statesman— Denver is rapidly becoming a hub of international violence prevention — a growth industry, according to an influential peace index released at the governor’s mansion on Tuesday...“Our interest in Denver, our connection to Denver, goes beyond our relationship with One Earth and doing the event release here; we actually use a lot of data that was generated in Denver,” said Aubrey Fox, executive director of the IEP’s U.S. office, referring to the work of Denver-based political scientists Deborah Avant and Erica Chenoweth. Read more>>

Deborah Avant Speaks at Denver Launch of Global Peace Index

June 23, 2015

PR Newswire— The results of the 2015 Global Peace Index (GPI), an annual report published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, were revealed today at an event hosted by Broomfield-based One Earth Future. During the event, local global affairs experts, including Andrew Mack, a One Earth Future fellow, and Deborah Avant, director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the University of Denver reacted to and discussed the findings.

Sie Fellows Honored for Service and Academic Excellence

June 5, 2015

Congratulations to our Sie Fellows class of 2015 on your graduation. Two Sié Fellows were honored by the school for their contributions. Brittany Frank won t he Josef Korbel School Global Service Award, which recognizes a student whose volunteerism or service work abroad has improved or enriched the lives of others.  Sabrina Ragaller was he graduate winner of the  Josef Korbel School Academic Award, which recognizes one undergraduate student and one MA student for excellence in research and intellectual creativity.

G7 Report "A New Climate for Peacebuilding" Identifies Research by Cullen Hendrix as Key Reading to Understand Food Insecurity, Conflict, and Climate Change

June 2, 2015 

A New Climate for Peacebuilding —While there is a growing body of literature examining the links between 1) climate change and food, 2) food security and conflict and 3) climate change and security, there are few publications that combine analysis of all three dynamics...

The Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) research brief 'Climate change, global food markets and urban unrest' gives the best encapsulated overview of food, climate change and security dynamics. The report examines the ways that political institutions mediate the relationship between food prices and urban unrest; although much of the emphasis is on comparing the relative impact of democracies vs. autocracies, this focus elucidates many of the mechanisms important for other security risks, including fragility and conflict. The report closes with a section on climate change and food markets, outlining the impact of declining crop productivity and increasing risk of crop failure on food security and price volatility, which is particularly high when food production is concentrated in major exporting countries. It also highlights a widening gap in agro-climatic fortunes between higher-latitude and mid-latitude countries, as crop yields are projected to decline in many tropical developing countries.

See other publications by Cullen Hendrix>>

Innovations in Water Sustainability

May 7, 2015

Clinton Global Initiative Middle East and AfricaBy 2050, fresh water availability in the Middle East and North Africa is expected to drop by 50 percent in areas already considered the most arid in the world. Meanwhile, sub-Saharan Africa faces different water challenges—including the critical need for improved sanitation and hygiene, with 40 percent of the population lacking access to clean water. Cullen Hendrix moderated a panel of experts discussing solutions. Watch the video>>

Peaceful Protest—Slow And Steady—Is Winning The Race To Create Change

March 17, 2015

Fast Company— "I never use the term peaceful, by the way," says Maria Stephan, a senior policy fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Stephan and her colleague, Erica Chenoweth, are scholars of nonviolent action and civil resistance, both terms are their preferred alternatives to the more passively-perceived idea of "peace." The pair met in 2006, and that same year were assigned as roommates at a conference sponsored by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. Read More>>

Peace works better than war

March 7, 2015

Vail Daily—A little civil disobedience is good for society’s soul, and better than that, it works better than violence, says Erica Chenoweth. Chenoweth is a political scientist and professor from the University of Denver and co-author of “Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict.” Let’s be clear. Chenoweth did not start out thinking this way. She firmly believed that the way to challenge the system and create something new was to shoot it out of the saddle and take its place. Read More>>

Sié Center Launches Denver Dialogues Blog Series to Encourage Conversation Among Academics and Policymakers

March 3, 2015

With support from the Carnegie Corporation, the Sié Center has launched Denver Dialogues, an online exchange among scholars and policymakers on violence and its alternatives in global politics. In a weekly discussion on Erica Chenoweth's award-winning blog Political Violence @ a Glance, a community of academics and practitioners aim to recast outmoded understandings of conflict and violence and come to terms with recent trends, how they interact, and what they suggest for policy. Read Deborah Avant's inaugural post.>>

Erica Chenoweth Wins OAIS "Duckie" Award for Best Blog Post in 2014

February 19, 2015

Sié Center faculty Erica Chenoweth was awarded an OAIS "Duckie" Award for Best Blog Post in 2014 for her post "Nonviolent Conflicts in 2014 You May Have Missed Because They Were Not Violent" on the Political Violence @ a Glance blog. OAIS Awards are sponsored by SAGE and awarded based on votes from the international studies community. Sié Center faculty Oliver Kaplan was also a finalist for his post "García Márquez’ Magical Realism: It’s Real." Read more commentary by our faculty>>  

Scientific American Blog Cross-Check: Selma’s Timely—and Empirically Sound—Message of Nonviolence

February 17, 2015

John Horgan writes that "now is the perfect time for people to see Selma, which like American Sniper has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Selma celebrates a genuine hero, Martin Luther King, and it delivers a message—backed up by empirical evidence–that our violence-intoxicated era badly needs to hear." Included in that empirical evidence is Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict  by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, which "asserts that between 1900 and 2006 'campaigns of nonviolent resistance were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts in achieving their stated goals.' " Learn more about publications by Erica Chenoweth>>

Deborah Avant and Cullen Hendrix Honored for Research

February 9, 2015

Sié Center faculty Deborah Avant and Cullen Hendrix were honored at DU's third annual Research, Scholarship, and  Creative Work  Faculty Recognition Dinner. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, this event recognizes the most outstanding, researchers, scholars, and creative artists on the University’s faculty.

Sié Fellows Win Fellowships

February 6, 2015

Congratulations to Sié Fellows  Ben Briese and Sabrina Rallager for winning prestigious one-year fellowships to work with the  National Nuclear Security Administration

Occupy Radio: Erica Chenoweth, Why Civil Resistance Works

January 21, 2015

Occupy Radio--To be or not to be nonviolent...that is the question many of us have dealt with as we work to make change in our communities. Erica Chenoweth, coauthor of the groundbreaking book, Why Civil Resistance Works, joins us on Occupy Radio to give us some empirical facts and evidence of the power of nonviolent methods. Listen Now >>

U.S. and Cuba Begin Historic Negotiations

January 21, 2015

Denver 9 News--American and Cuban delegations wrapped up their first day of historic talks in Havana on Wednesday. They come on the heels of last month's announcement by President Obama that, after more than a half-century, the U.S. would try to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba. Latin America experts and Cubans here in Colorado are watching what happens closely and said that what happens there could bring change beyond just the two countries. Assistant professor Oliver Kaplan points out how the changing relationship with Cuba could increase cooperation throughout the region. Read More>>


2014 Sié Center News

2014 Sié Center News

Sié Center Awarded $1 million Grant from Carnegie Corporation

September 23, 2014

Today, the Sié Center was awarded a $1 million, two-year grant from the Carnegie Corporation toward a “Bridging the Academic-Policy Gap” program. Earlier this year, the Carnegie Corporation held a competition challenging the 22 American-based members of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) to present proposals with novel, feasible ways to bridge this gap between academics working on complex foreign policy issues and policymakers dealing with the same concerns. Ultimately five institutions—including the Sié Center at the Korbel School—were each awarded a grant of one million dollars to carry out research that will inform policymaking.

NPR: Why Civil Resistance Movements Succeed

August 21, 2014

NPR News—Steve Inskeep talks to Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan about why non-violent resistance campaigns work better than armed rebellion. Their article on the subject is in Foreign Affairs magazine.  Listen Now >>


August 12, 2014

The Ottowa Citizen—Researchers from Denver and Maryland universities will be in Ottawa this fall trying to find out if Canada's counter-terrorism policies are effective, part of a federally funded research initiative born from the Air India attack. Erica Chenoweth, an associate professor with the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies, was awarded $303,664 for her research team.  Read More >>

Job Posting: Assistant Professor at the Korbel School and Sié Center

August 10, 2014

The Korbel School is seeking to fill a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level focused on gender and violence to start September 2015 and be part of the Sié Center's dynamic research program.  View the Posting >>

Job Posting: Post-Doctoral Fellows at the Sié Center

July 31, 2014

The Sié Center has openings PENDING FUNDING for three (3) Lecturer/Post-doctoral fellows that will be part of a new research, education, and policy program. The program is focused on nonviolent strategies in violent contexts and endeavors to study the strategies of a wide range of actors (including local civilians, local and transnational businesses, and transnational non-governmental organizations, among others).  View the Posting >>

Drop Your Weapons: When and Why Civil Resistance Works

June 16, 2014

In Foreign Affairs, Associate Professor Erica Chenoweth, with Maria Stephan, writes about the success of revolts against authoritarian regimes that embrace civil resistance rather than violence—between 1900 and 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance against authoritarian regimes were twice as likely to succeed as violent movements.  Read More >>

Colombia Calls a Draw in the War on Drugs

June 13, 2014

In Foreign Policy, Assistant Professor Oliver Kaplan writes about how after years of bloodshed, Colombia's government is teaming up with its former rebel enemies to beat the drug problem.  Read More >>

Confronting the Curse: The Economics and Geopolitics of Natural Resource Governance

June 4, 2014

Cullen S. Hendrix and Marcus Noland presented the findings of their new book from the Peterson Institute, Confronting the Curse: The Economics and Geopolitics of Natural Resource Governance, on June 4, 2014. Instead of success and prosperity, producers of diamonds, gold, oil, and other commodities—many in the least developed parts of Africa and Asia—often remain mired in poverty and plagued by economic mismanagement, political authoritarianism, foreign exploitation, and violent conflict. The condition is captured in the phrase "the resource curse." Coauthors Hendrix and Noland review recent developments as poor countries struggle to avoid the resource curse but fall too often into that trap. They call for support for international efforts to encourage greater transparency and improved management of natural resource wealth and for new partnerships between the West and the developing world to confront the curse.  Read more or watch the video >>

A Nonviolent Alternative for Ukraine

May 28, 2014

In Foreign Policy, Associate Professor Erica Chenoweth, together with Stephen Zunes, writes about the rising tide of violence Ukraine faces in its restive east, and why nonviolent activism is the best strategy for fighting back.  Read More >>

Department of Defense Awards Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures a $1.05 Million Research Grant 

May 27, 2014

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures has been awarded a $1.05 million research grant as part of the Department of Defense's Minerva Initiative. The awarded project, "Taking Development (Im)Balance Seriously: Using New Approaches to Measure and Model State Fragility," will develop a new, more comprehensive index for measuring and monitoring state fragility in the future. Pardee Center Associate Director Jonathan D. Moyer and Director Barry B. Hughes are the principal investigators on this project. Other co-investigators include Sié Center faculty members Erica Chenoweth, Cullen Hendrix, Oliver Kaplan, and Timothy Sisk. This will be the second Minerva grant awarded to both Chenoweth and Hendrix.  Read More >>

Beyond Boko Haram: Nigeria's Human-Trafficking Crisis

May 19, 2014

In an op-ed for The National Interest, Assistant Professor Oliver Kaplan and MA Candidate Lauren Jekowsky analyze recent reports on human-trafficking in Nigeria to get a better sense of the situation there.  Read More >>

DU Magazine Profiles Erica Chenoweth

May 12, 2014

Erica Chenoweth, who joined the Korbel School in 2012, has focused her research on investigating whether and when nonviolence works — and influential groups around the world are taking notice.  Read More >>

Kidnapping of 200 girls puts spotlight on human trafficking

May 6, 2014

Denver 9 News—A U.S. team is on the way to help search for more than 200 girls kidnapped from a Nigerian school.The militant Islamic group Boko Haram is threatening to sell the girls into slavery. The incident is putting a spotlight on human trafficking. While it's less prevalent in the United States, assistant professor Oliver Kaplan at the University of Denver says it does happen.  Read More >>

Great Debate Transcending Our Origins: Violence, Humanity, and the Future

April 15, 2014

On April 5, Arizona State University held an event titled "The Great Debate, Transcending Our Origins: Violence, Humanity, and the Future." The first panel of the evening, "The Origins of Violence," featured scholars and writers Steven Pinker, Richard Wrangham, Erica Chenoweth, Adrian Raine, John Mueller and Sarah Mathew discussing the development of violence from the brain to world wars.  Watch >>

Read in Slate Magazine: Food Prices Are Going to Topple a Lot More Governments

April 9, 2014

"We've known since the times of the Roman poet Juvenal"—he of bread and circuses fame—"that food is an inherently political commodity," says Cullen Hendrix, a political scientist at the University of Denver's Korbel School of International Relations and a leading authority on the relationship between food and conflict.  Read More >>

Chenoweth Launches "The Engaged"

April 9, 2014

There is a void in our academy and we would like you to help us fix it. This is the call to action from Associate Professor Erica Chenoweth and co-convener Christian Davenport from the University of Michigan on their newly launched website "The Engaged" part of an initiative to bring together scholars, students and citizens who wish to change the world.  Read More >>

Read in Psychology Today: Violent Versus Nonviolent Revolutions: Which Way Wins?

April  8, 2014

During her training as a political scientist, Erica Chenoweth was taught to assume that the most effective tool for achieving political goals is violence. After all, no evil dictator is going to give up his autocratic power without a fight, and throughout history, there have been numerous examples of tyrannical governments viciously crushing their opposition.  Read More >>

Global Report on Climate Change Cites Work of Cullen Hendrix

April 1, 2014

Cullen Hendrix, Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School and an affiliate of the School's Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy, was cited in the just-released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s Working Group II report Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. In its discussion of climate change as a cause of conflict, the report references Hendrix and Idean Salehyan's article in the Journal of Peace Research  which uses data from the Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD) to examine the relationship between environmental shocks and social unrest.  Read the report >>

Political Violence @ a Glance Wins Award

March 28, 2014

Political Violence @ a Glance was twice honored at the OAIS Blogging Awards' ceremonies at the International Studies Association Annual Meeting last week.  Read More >>

Chenoweth Receives the Karl Deutsch Award

March 27, 2014

The University of Denver's Josef Korbel School congratulates Associate Professor Erica Chenoweth for receiving the International Studies Association's 2014 Karl Deutsch Award. According to the International Studies Association, the Karl Deutsch Award is presented annually to a young scholar who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to the study of International Relations and Peace Research.  Read More >>

Watch on C-SPAN: Climate Change, Austerity, and the Return of Authoritarianism

March 6, 2014

On March 6 at the University of Denver, a panel discussion was held on topics such as science, moral issues in economics, climate change and the use of non-violent civil disobedience. Michael Ash is an author of an essay pointing out errors in an economic study widely cited by advocates of austerity programs. Stephanie Herring published a report on human-caused climate change. Erica Chenoweth talked about of non-violent civil disobedience, explaining why sanctions often do not work, with examples from her research on Occupy Wall Street and civil rights era. Former Ambassador Christopher Hill moderated.

"Global Challenges: Climate Change, Austerity, and the Return of Authoritarianism" was a panel of the event, Transformational Voices: An Afternoon with Leading Global Thinkers, featured six of Foreign Policy magazine's "100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013" held by the Josef Korbel School and its Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy.  Watch >>

Obama warns Russia of 'costs' in Ukraine

February 29, 2014

Professor Oliver Kaplan appeared on Denver 9 News to discuss the situation in Ukraine. His remarks centered on President Obama's response to military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside Ukraine.  Watch >>

Power to the Peaceful: Dr. Erica Chenoweth on Nonviolent Resistance

February 14, 2014

Resistance movements, rebellions, and revolutions are some of the most influential forces shaping our world today. Yet, as recent unrest in places like Egypt and Syria make painfully clear, overthrowing a powerful regime is dangerous, difficult business. Dr. Erica Chenoweth—Associate professor at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies—specializes in the question of what makes a successful resistance movement. Her book, "Why Civil Resistance Works: the Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict", which she co-wrote with Maria J. Stephan, argues that there is no greater and more effective tool for ousting an oppressive regime than non-violent, civil resistance. Dr. Chenoweth, who will be in town for a lecture on Monday, spoke with KRCC's Jake Brownell from her office in Denver.  Listen >>


2013 Sié Center News

2013 Sié Center News

Erica Chenoweth is named to Foreign Policy's list of Top Global Thinkers of 2013

December 3, 2013 

Professor Erica Chenoweth has been named to Foreign Policy Magazine's Top Global Thinkers list. The editors of the December issue of Foreign Policy Magazine indicate that Chenoweth was named as a Top Global Thinker in the Healers category "For proving Ghandi right." They further explain, "She [Chenoweth] uses her data to show that nonviolent campaigns over the last century were twice as likely to succeed as violent ones. She also uses them to make arguments about current events: for instance, why U.S. strikes on Syria aren't wise and why Egypt's pro-government sit-ins over the summer were unlikely to work."  Read More >>

Erica Chenoweth on - "Foreign Entanglements" with Robert Farley, Speaking on Civil Resistance

November 21, 2013

Erica Chenoweth speaks with Robert Farley about the effectiveness of non-violent protest. Erica works through the logic of why non-violence often proves a better practical choice than violent resistance, while discussing why so many movements nevertheless resort to violence. Erica contrasts Egypt's 2011 revolution and 2013 coup. They discuss the possibility of creating a policy infrastructure for supporting non-violent resistance. Is it possible to turn a violent movement toward non-violence? Plus: What Erica's research could have taught the Occupy movement.  View Now >>  

Grassroots political participation key to ensure peace in Colombia: Conflict expert

November 21, 2013

While the momentum of peace talks is moving towards a deal, the Colombian people must be involved more to avoid the pitfalls that derailed previous attempts to end the country's armed conflict between the state and rebel group FARC, an expert on the Colombian conflict studies said. Oliver Kaplan of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, is an expert on non-violent response at the community level to the armed conflict in Colombia.  Read More >>

Oliver Kaplan on CNN's Global Public Square: Can Colombia build on its democratic opening?

November 19, 2013

A year ago today, peace negotiators in Colombia began working with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group to end a nearly 50-year bloody conflict. Although the government and rebels have continued to fight during talks, there is a sense of optimism after progress came on a long-running sticking point: political participation. Indeed, the lead government negotiator, a former vice president, has hailed the breakthrough as a "new democratic opening." So what exactly has changed?  Read More >>

Sié Fellow Pallavi Gulati Discusses her Time at the Sié Center with Fulbright Alumni News

November 18, 2013

Sié Fellow alumna Pallavi was the recipient of a US-UK Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. In the most recent issue of Fulbright Alumni News, Pallavi discusses her experience at the Korbel School and as a Sié Fellow.  Read Now >>

View Erica Chenoweth's Presentation at TEDxBoulder

October 31, 2013

Last month, Professor Erica Chenoweth spoke at TEDxBoulder about the success of nonviolent civil resistance. She discussed her research on the impressive historical record of civil resistance in the 20th century and the promise of unarmed struggle in the 21st century. Her remarks focused 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. The video of this presentation is now available, and there are also write-ups about her presentation at the Washington Post and The Rational Insurgent View Now >>

"The Dissident's Toolkit" by Erica Chenoweth is published in Foreign Policy

October 25, 2013

Over the past few years we've grown used to the iconography of protest. In the wake of the Arab Spring, images of angry young street demonstrators shouting slogans, wielding signs, and confronting security forces have become almost commonplace. But just as often we've seen campaigns of public protest flounder or go into reverse: just look at Egypt and Libya, to name the most prominent cases. The recent surge of street demonstrations in Sudan once again confronts us with a fundamental question: How does public protest undermine authoritarian governments? Are demonstrations really the key to toppling autocrats?  Read More >>

Chenoweth's Research on Protest Movements Appears in The Economist

September 28, 2013

Research conducted by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan on nonviolent and violent resistance campaigns is discussed in an article in The Economist. The article, titled "The weapon of choice," focuses on lessons-learned from studying protests and violence to effect political change. Read More >>

GATE Data Project Discussed in Washington Post's Wonkblog

September 11, 2013

In a post on the twelfth anniversary of 9/11, the Washington Post Wonkblog reviewed studies on the effectiveness of government counterterrorism polices, calling the Government Actions in Terror Environments (GATE) data project led by Erica Chenoweth and Laura Dugan (Univ. of Maryland) a "promising project." Read More >>

Professor Chenoweth Mentioned in Denver's 5280 Magazine

September 7, 2013

Professor Erica Chenoweth and John Sie, founder of the Sié Center, were named in Denver's 5280 Magazine as among Colorado's "high profile transplants," new residents who are helping to reshape the state's reputation. Read More >>

Professor Chenoweth's Research Cited in the New York Times

August 27, 2013

In his op-ed about the ideas behind the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, New York Times columnist David Brooks cites research by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan. Chenoweth and Stephan found that from 1900 to 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts in achieving their stated goals. Read More >>

Erica Chenoweth to Speak at TEDxBoulder

August 27, 2013

On September 21, Professor Erica Chenoweth will be speaking at TEDxBoulder held on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. Boulder has the largest Tedx in the world, with over 2200 people in the audience. Read More >>

"Why Sit-Ins Succeed or Fail: Without a Broader Strategy, Pro-Morsi Encampments are Unlikely to Work" by Erica Chenoweth in Foreign Affairs

August 13, 2013

By deciding to hold mass sit-ins across Egypt, the pro-Morsi protesters were making use of a time-honored tactic of civil resistance. But tactics are the not the same as a strategy and, in this case, would not likely promote the very things that allow protests movements to succeed: diverse participation, the avoidance of repression, and the defection of regime loyalists. Read More >>

Chinese Executive Media Management Program Fellows visit the Sié Center

July 23, 2013

On July 23, 2013, the 2013 Cohort of the Chinese Executive Media Management Program (CEMMP) met with John Sie, Dean Christopher Hill, and a number of Sie Fellows at Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Read More >>

DU Professor says private companies supply government with secret information

June 26, 2013

In the wake of news that the U.S. government conducts confidential surveillance of American's phone and internet use, Professor Deborah Avant spoke to Denver 9 News on how the government contracts this monitoring to private companies.

Professor Deborah Avant Receives Honorary Degree

May 28, 2013

On May 25, 2013, Professor Deborah Avant, Sié Chéou-Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy and Director of the Sié Center, received an honorary degree from the University of St. Gallen. The university honored her outstanding research in the field of international security as well as her contributions toward the establishment of national and international standards for the regulation of private military and security companies.

Special Issue of The Journal of Peace Research Explores Nonviolent Resistance

May 16, 2013

Today, The Journal of Peace and Research released a special issue on nonviolent resistance that seeks to advance scholarship and understanding of the use of nonviolent strategies and their relationship to the use of violence. The issue, edited by Erica Chenoweth and Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, features new theoretical and empirical explorations of the causes and consequences of nonviolent resistance with a particular focus on the power of civilians to affect conflict processes. Read More >>

Major General Buster Howes, Defense Attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, speaks to students at the Sié Center

May 14, 2013

Major General Buster Howes, the Defense Attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., offered his perspective, as a British soldier, on the current state of U.S. defense. Howes spoke on a number of topics including hot-button issues like the budget sequester and Syria. Read More >>

GATE Database Project Receives Support from the Government of Canada

May 9, 2013

Today, Vic Toews, the Canadian Minister of Public Safety, met with researchers and Air India victims' families to announce the successful recipients of the third round of funding from the Kanishka Project, worth over $1.7 million. The Kanishka Project is a multi-year investment from the Government of Canada in terrorism-focused research. Among the 11 projects receiving funding is the GATE Database initiative run by Erica Chenoweth and Laura Dugan. Read More >>

Erica Chenoweth Receives ADVANCE Grant for Work on Counterterrorism

May 7, 2013

Erica Chenoweth, an assistant professor at the University of Denver's Korbel School of International Studies, has received a $20,000 ADVANCE grant, given by the National Science Foundation to promote scholarship by women. Read More >>

Erica Chenoweth Elected Councilor for the Peace Science Society (International)

May 6, 2013

Assistant Professor Erica Chenoweth was selected as one of eight councilors for the Peace Science Society (International). Chenoweth, who was elected by the organization's membership, will serve a four-year term. As a councilor, she will assist in the supervision of the PSS(I), an independent, nonprofit organization that encourages the development of peace analysis and conflict management.

NAVCO Dataset is Available for Download

May 6, 2013

The Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes (NAVCO) 2.0 dataset has been released for download. The NAVCO project is an attempt to provide researchers with data to understand the causes, dynamics, and outcomes of nonviolent mass campaigns. The project is the first of its kind to systematically explore the sequencing of tactics and their effects on the strategic outcomes of the campaigns, with the 2.0 dataset containing annual data on 250 nonviolent and violent mass movements for regime change, anti-occupation, and secession from 1945 to 2006. Download Data >>

"Statebuilding" by Timothy Sisk is Released

May 1, 2013

"Statebuilding" by Professor Timothy Sisk was published by Polity Press. In this book, Sisk explores international efforts to help the world's most fragile post-civil war countries today build viable states that can provide for security and deliver the basic services essential for development. Read More >>

Oliver Kaplan: "Land for Peace in Colombia: The Key to Ending Bogotá's War With the FARC"

April 15, 2013

Professor Oliver Kaplan co-authored an essay titled "Land for Peace in Colombia: The Key to Ending Bogotá's War With the FARC" in Foreign Affairs. Even as Colombian troops fight FARC rebels in the jungle, the two sides are busy negotiating a peace deal. Land reform could pave the way to a lasting settlement and drive down the country's inequality in the process. Read More >>

Erica Chenoweth Receives the 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order

April 11, 2013

Today in Louisville, Professor Erica Chenoweth received the 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Erica Chenoweth, an assistant professor at the Korbel School of International Studies, and Maria Stephan, a lead foreign affairs officer with the U.S. State Department, earned the prize for the ideas set forth in their book, "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Non-Violent Conflict." Columbia University Press published the book in 2011. Watch Video >>

Erica Chenoweth Discusses Book Project with The Chronicle of Higher Education

April 5, 2013 

Professor Erica Chenoweth discussed her forthcoming book "Why Democracy Encourages Terrorism" with the Chronicle of Higher Ed. The idea behind her book is this: Democracy allows interest groups and political parties to flourish, which then leads to competition. Among those groups that feel most marginalized in the ensuing din, some take extreme measures in the pursuit of attention. In other words, the conventional wisdom that democracy is the antidote to terrorism—because it provides outlets for people's grievances—is completely wrong. Read More >>

Political Violence @ a Glance wins Award

April 5, 2013

Josef Korbel School of International Studies Assistant Professor Erica Chenoweth and University of San Diego Professor Barbara Walter won the 2013 Outstanding Achievement in International Studies Blogging Award for Most Promising New Blog.

Sié Center Hosts Panels on "Lessons from the Iraq War, 10 Years On"

April 3, 2013 

Over 200 students, professors, and community members from across Colorado filled the Anderson Academic Commons on Wednesday, April 3 for two panel discussions on "Lessons from the Iraq War, 10 Years On." Read More >>

Professor Tim Sisk Publishes Edited Volume on Statebuilding

March 20, 2013

Josef Korbel School Professor and Associate Dean of Research Timothy Sisk's edited volume Routledge Handbook of International Statebuilding, a compilation of analyses on the statebuilding regime written by leading scholars, was released. Read More >>

Ambassador Patricia Haslach visits Sié Chéou-Kang Center

March 04, 2013

On Monday, Ambassador Patricia, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of State's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations visited the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. Read More >>

Deborah Avant Publishes op-ed, "Where are the socially responsible companies in the arms industry?"

February 13, 2013

In an op-ed for the GlobalPost, Deborah Avant discusses what a socially responsible company in the arms industry might look like and why a company might want to enact such behavior Read more >>

Oliver Kaplan Discusses how Communities use Nonviolent Strategies to Avoid Civil War Violence

January 30, 2013

As part of the Academic Webinar Series by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, Oliver Kaplan discussed how communities from around the world have used nonviolent strategies to avoid perpetuating civil war violence. Read more >>

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies Visits the Sié Center

January 18, 2013

As part of the Public Diplomacy Speaker Series hosted by the Sié Chéou-Kang Center, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies spoke to students, staff and faculty on issues including human rights in North Korea, multilateral diplomacy and nuclear non-proliferation. Read more >>

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns Visits the Sié Center

January 9, 2013

The Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy welcomed U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns to the Korbel School of International Studies on January 9 to speak to students, faculty and staff at a number of small and large gatherings. Burns, career ambassador, holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service, and became deputy secretary of state in July 2011. Read more >>

Sié Fellow Ying Hui Tng Publishes Article on China's Interest in Sudan

January 7, 2013

In an article on Al Jazeera Online, Sié Fellow Ying Hui Tng discusses China's interest in Sudan, arguing that China "needs both countries," as South Sudan has the oil, and Sudan has the pipelines and refining equipment. Read more >>


2012 Sié Center News

2012 Sié Center News

Erica Chenoweth wins the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order

November 27, 2012

Erica Chenoweth, assistant professor at the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and director of the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research at the Korbel School's Sié Center, was awarded the 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Read more >>

"Academic Minute" Podcast Features Chenoweth Discussing the Success of Nonviolent Resistance Movements

November 6, 2012

In today's Academic Minute, the University of Denver's Erica Chenoweth explores the success rates of both violent and nonviolent resistance movements. Chenoweth is an assistant professor at Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies and co-author of "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict." Read more >>

Government Actions in a Terror Environment-Israel (GATE-Israel) Dataset is Released

November 1, 2012

Korbel School Professor Erica Chenoweth and Professor Laura Dugan from the University of Maryland released The Government Actions in a Terror Environment-Israel (GATE-Israel) Dataset, information they collected that provides insight into the effectiveness of government counterterrorism strategies.

Oliver Kaplan Publishes op-ed in New York Times, "Columbia's Rebels and Land Reform"

October 9, 2012

Colombia's stubborn insurgencies are creeping out of the jungle and to the negotiating table. Against the backdrop of recent intense fighting, the government of Colombia and the largest insurgent group that seeks to topple it—the FARC—have agreed to begin negotiations to end the nearly 50-year old conflict. Read more >>

Chenoweth Writes Article for CNN on Why Civil Resistance Trumps Violent Uprisings

September 19, 2012

In an op-ed for CNN, Erica Chenoweth, assistant professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and director of the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center, discusses why nonviolent resistance can often be more than twice as successful as its violent counterpart, even in the face of brutal regime repression. Read more >>

Former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Visits the Sié Center

September 17, 2012

Cameron Munter, the former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, was welcomed by the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. The ambassador spent the day with students and faculty discussing their research projects as well his 28-year career of service, which includes tours in Pakistan, Iraq, Serbia and Germany. Read more >>

Dr. Avant discusses the Private Security Monitor project with the Maritime Security Review

September 6, 2012

Professor Deborah Avant spoke with the Maritime Security Review, an online source of maritime security information, about the Private Security Monitor Web portal, a research project that promotes access to information concerning the world-wide use and regulation of private military and security services. Read more >>

Sié Fellow Ying Hui Tng Publishes Article on China-Japan Island Dispute on Al Jazeera Online

August 31, 2012

Tng Ying Hui, Sié fellow and graduate student at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, published an interesting article in Al Jazeera Online on the recently reignited row over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. The islands, called the Diaoyu Islands in China and Senkaku Islands in Japan, have long been claimed by both countries. Read more >>

Sié Fellow David Mayen Writes op-ed in Denver Post

August 23, 2012

David Mayen, a recent graduate of the Korbel School and alum of the School's Sié Fellow Program, appeared as a guest commentator in today's Denver PostRead more >>

Erica Chenoweth Weighs in on New York Times Debate: What Makes Protest Effective?

August 21, 2012

The latest Room for Debate series in the New York Times features a number of scholars and writers discussing what it is, exactly, that makes protests effective. Erica Chenoweth—assistant professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and coauthor of "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict"—contributed "Creative Nonviolence Can Defeat Repression," an article addressing the techniques that have made protests most effective in toppling repressive regimes throughout history. Read more >>

Erica Chenoweth Receives the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict

August 14, 2012

The American Political Science Association (APSA) has selected Korbel School Professor Erica Chenoweth and her co-author Maria J. Stephan of the U.S. State Department as the recipients of the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for their book "Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict" (Columbia University Press). The Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award is given annually for the best book on government, politics or international affairs published in the U.S. during the previous calendar year. Read more >>

Private Security Monitor Web Portal Launches

August 13, 2012

The Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the University of Denver's Korbel School, in partnership with the Geneva-based Center for Democrtic Control of Armed Forces, (DCAF) has created an online Web portal containing all publicly available information on global private military and security services. The Web portal, called the Private Security Monitor, provides an annotated guide to publicly available regulation, data, reports, and analysis of private military and security services. Read more >>

Center for Sustainable Development and International Peace Merges with the Sié Center

August 10, 2012

Dean Christopher Hill announced the outcome of a review of research at the Josef Korbel School, which sees the erstwhile Center for Sustainable Development and International Peace (SDIP) at Korbel integrated into the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy.

Erica Chenoweth Publishes Study: "Conciliatory Tactics More Effective Than Punishment in Reducing Terrorism"

August 1, 2012

Policies that reward abstinence from terrorism are more successful in reducing such acts of violence than tactics that aim to punish terrorists, suggests a new study in the August issue of the American Sociological Review. Read more >>