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Resource Wealth as Leverage: Natural Resources and the Failure of Non-violent Campaigns

  • Mustafa Kirisci (a1) and Emirhan Demirhan (a2)


While the growing body of research on non-violent political movements centres on the idea that choosing non-violence tends to produce more favourable outcomes for dissidents, the question of why some non-violent campaigns still fail has not been sufficiently empirically investigated. Building on the extant research on the effects of group dynamics and certain external actors, we examine the role of the natural resource wealth of target states on the outcomes of non-violent campaigns. We hypothesize that the probability that a non-violent movement will fail increases as the target state's natural resource wealth increases. This natural resource wealth could serve to neutralize the potential for support from both domestic and external actors, thereby increasing the risk of failure. The results of our statistical analyses support our hypothesis and suggest that non-violent campaigns are more likely to fail in states with higher natural resource wealth, particularly that which stems from oil.


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