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



NAVCO Data Project

The Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes (NAVCO) Data Project is a multi-level data collection effort that catalogues major nonviolent and violent resistance campaigns around the globe from 1900-2013.

The project produces aggregate-level data on resistance campaigns from 1900-2013 (NAVCO 1), annual data on campaign behavior from 1946-2013 (NAVCO 2), and events data on tactical selection in a sample of 26 countries with major nonviolent and violent campaigns from 1991-2012 (NAVCO 3).

Researchers can use these data to better answer questions about how tactical choices lead to the success or failure of such political movements, how inter-group relationships among competing insurgent organizations affects their strategic choices, and how the sequencing of tactical choices influence the overall outcomes of resistance campaigns.


NAVCO 3 DATA (Version 3.0)

This data collection project seeks to look inside both nonviolent and violent campaigns, notably at the type, sequence, and outcomes of different tactics employed by unarmed civilians and armed insurgents. 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. Variables included focus on:

  1. The number of groups or movements associated with the campaigns;
  2. Growth and demise of movement membership or participation;
  3. Types of tactics used, identifying several hundred possible tactics as diverse as protests, sit-ins, massive noncooperation, and internet blog postings in opposition to the regime;
  4. The sequencing of tactics used, and the outcome of sequencing on the evolution of the campaign;
  5. Full spectrum of possible regime responses, from no response to massive repression
  6. Public sympathy or opinion toward the regimes and the campaigns;
  7. A catalogue on the inputs of external actors (such as NGOs, foreign states, and civil society groups).

Researchers use the data to analyze:

  1. The interactions between campaigns, their allies, and their opponents;
  2. How these interactions affect the strategic outcomes of the campaigns; and
  3. The long-term consequences of these outcomes of social, economic and political conditions within the country.

The findings have implications for scholars and practitioners of civil resistance.

Specific questions under inquiry include:

  1. How diverse groups maintain unity during the course of the conflict;
  2. Which organizational structures are most resilient in the face of repression;
  3. Which tactical sequences are most effective against opponent responses;
  4. The conditions under which backfire against regime responses occur (whereby regime repression recoils against it);
  5. How different types of international actors can best time their assistance to resistance groups and/or sanctions against regime; and
  6. How campaign outcomes impact long-term political, economic, and social conditions within each case. 

The data contains politically relevant events from 1991-2012 in 21 countries, the majority of which had major nonviolent or violent campaigns during this period. The countries are Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Estonia, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. Partial data is also available for some years for China (1991-1992, 2010-2012), India (2011-2012), Iraq (1999-2000, 2009-2012), South Korea (1991-1996, 2012), and the United States (2007-2011). More information on case selection and event coding is available in the codebook and in our forthcoming data release paper.

Download NAVCO 3.0 Data (*Registration Required)

Please cite the NAVCO 3.0 Data as follows:
Erica Chenoweth, Jonathan Pinckney and Orion A. Lewis. 2017. Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes Dataset, v. 3.0. University of Denver.

NAVCO 2 DATA (Versions 2.0 and 2.1)

What You Need to Know About NAVCO 2

1. There are important changes between NAVCO 1 and NAVCO 2. Please see the documents "Changes between NAVCO v1.1 and NAVCO v2.0" and "Changes between NAVCO 2.0 and NAVCO 2.1" for details about different name changes, combining and splitting of campaigns, and changes in campaign outcomes.

2. How to find out the primary method of resistance: The NAVCO 1 data set included a variable that identified the primary resistance method as either nonviolent or violent, as described above. For cross-referencing, We included that variable in the NAVCO 2 data set, but it is static for each campaign. We therefore constructed a new variable, called "prim_method," which can vary from year to year.

3. How to code ambiguous outcomes: Researchers who coded the cases for NAVCO 2 often found it difficult to distinguish between values for the variable "progress." Many would code campaigns as having achieved "significant concessions" (3) where NAVCO v1.1 coded such cases as a full success (4). Conversely, some cases that were coded as full successes (4's) in NAVCO 2 were coded as partial successes in NAVCO 1. Inter-coder reliability on whether a campaign was a 3 or a 4 was also somewhat weak, whereas coders were much better able to distinguish the other outcomes from one another. As a consequence, researchers might consider creating a dichotomous "strategic success" variable in which values of 3 and 4 indicate a strategic success and values of 0, 1, and 2 indicating otherwise if the observation occurs in the final year of the campaign. In ongoing campaign years, however, researchers should not view a progress value of 3 as equivalent to full success, since the campaign has not yet concluded.

4. NAVCO 2 is a consensus data set. The data therefore may not include all nonviolent campaigns during the time period 1945-2013, because some unobserved campaigns were unknown to researchers prior to 2006-2007 (when the data collection occurred). Therefore, when researchers make claims based on the data, they should do so by arguing that those claims apply when drawn from a consensus list of mature, maximalist campaigns. With large-scale data collection projects like NAVCO, information often becomes available that changes the way we code certain campaigns or that points us to new campaigns that we should include. If you think we've made a coding error, or you think we missed a campaign that belongs in the data set, we'd like to hear about it. Please submit your feedback here.

5. Our initial data construction process is hard to replicate, and it is a work-in-progress. Because of the nature of the data collection process (where a vast literature review was combined with expert surveys) and the consensus nature of the NAVCO data list, it may be difficult for researchers to rebuild the data from scratch and produce an identical list of campaigns. For the release of NAVCO v2.1, we created a more structured search for campaigns that (a) added in campaigns that were missing in NAVCO v2.0 because information on these campaigns was not yet available; and (b) allowed for more transparent procedures that improve the replicability of the data construction process. See the codebook for more details. 

NAVCO 2.1 will be available to download soon. Please email for more information.

Please cite the Journal of Peace Research article as follows: 
Erica Chenoweth and Orion A. Lewis. 2013. Unpacking nonviolent campaigns: Introducing the NAVCO 2.0 dataset. Journal of Peace Research 50(3), 415-423.

Please cite the NAVCO 2.0 data as follows: 
Erica Chenoweth and Orion A. Lewis. 2013. Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes Dataset, v. 2.0. University of Denver.


Please cite the NAVCO 1.1 Data as follows:
Erica Chenoweth. 2011. Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes Dataset, v. 1.1. University of Denver.

The project, which involved Korbel Professor Erica Chenoweth and Orion Lewis of Middlebury College, received generous support from the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

How Others Are Using NAVCO

The Diffusion of Nonviolent Campaigns

The Conditioning Effect of Protest History on the Emulation of Nonviolent Conflict

Manufacturing Dissent: Modernization and the Onset of Major Nonviolent Resistance Campaigns

Explaining Political Jiu-Jitsu: Institution-building and the Outcomes of Regime Violence against Unarmed Protests

A Quantitative Reevaluation of Radical Flank Effects within Nonviolent Campaigns

Research Team

Research Leads:

  • Erica Chenoweth, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard University
  • Orion Lewis, Co-Principal Investigator and Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, Middlebury College

Research Assistants:

  • Chris Shay, PhD Research Fellow