How effective are mass protest marches?

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.

This question applies to the following recent articles in CPNN:

Israeli woman hold mass rallies to protest rising violence against women

France: More people marched in the demonstration #NousToutes than in the demonstration of the “Yellow Jackets”

How Nonviolent Resistance Helps to Consolidate Gains for Civil Society after Democratization

Philippine Catholics march against Duterte’s deadly war on drugs

Live long and protest: the power of mass action is alive in Romania

USA: Women’s marches fight back against inauguration of Trump

Nonviolence Highlights in 2016

40,000 Create Human Chains to Protest Violence in Honduras

March of Hope gathers 20,000 in historic Jerusalem rally

Colombia: Youth for Peace: Mass marches in 16 cities across the country

Papua New Guinea: Thousands march to ‘make a stand for peace’

For CPNN articles on this topic prior to 2015, click here.

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