A recent study, described in CPNN, finds that nonviolent resistance, including mass protest marches, are more effective than violent resistance in both the short term and the long term. The analysis, stemming from a research project on Nonviolent Resistance and Democratic Consolidation, is based on 101 democratic transitions that occurred within the time period of 1945 to 2006. Using data from the Varieties of Democracy Database the researchers analyze improvements for civil society organizations (CSOs, i.e. interest groups, labor unions, religious organizations, social movements, and classic NGOs) after democratic transitions. They compare cases where democratization was induced by an NVR campaign (like Poland and Benin) with transition cases that did not feature an NVR campaign (i.e. violent or elite-led transitions). The four aspects of CSOs that were evaluated include: (1) independence from government, (2) freedom from repression, (3) consultation of CSOs for policymaking, and (4) participation in CSOs.
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