fbpx Erica Chenoweth | Harvard Kennedy School
Erica Chenoweth Photo
Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment
Assistant: Charlie Porter

Erica Chenoweth is the Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard Kennedy School and a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University. They study political violence and its alternatives. At Harvard, Chenoweth directs the Nonviolent Action Lab, an innovation hub that provides empirical evidence in support of movement-led political transformation.

Chenoweth has authored or edited nine books and dozens of articles on mass movements, nonviolent resistance, terrorism, political violence, revolutions, and state repression. Their recent book, Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2021), explores what civil resistance is, how it works, why it sometimes fails, how violence and repression affect it, and the long-term impacts of such resistance. Their next book with Zoe Marks, Rebel XX: Women on the Frontlines of Revolution, investigates the impact of women’s participation on revolutionary outcomes and democratization.

Chenoweth maintains the NAVCO Data Project, one of the world’s leading datasets on historical and contemporary mass mobilizations around the globe. Along with Jeremy Pressman, Chenoweth also co-directs the Crowd Counting Consortium, a public interest and scholarly project that documents political mobilization in the U.S. since January 2017.

Chenoweth’s research has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York TimesThe Washington PostForeign AffairsThe EconomistThe Boston GlobeForeign PolicyThe Christian Science Monitor, NPR’s Morning Edition, TEDxBoulder, and elsewhere. They co-founded the award-winning online magazine Political Violence @ a Glance and write occasionally for The Monkey Cage channel at The Washington Post.

Foreign Policy magazine ranked Chenoweth among the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013 for their efforts to promote the empirical study of nonviolent resistance. Chenoweth’s book Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia, 2011) with Maria J. Stephan won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order and the 2012 best book award from the American Political Science Association. Chenoweth is a recipient of the Karl Deutsch Award, which the International Studies Association gives annually to the scholar under 40 who has made the greatest impact on the field of international politics or peace research.

At Harvard, Professor Chenoweth is a faculty affiliate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and the Women in Public Policy Program. They are also a Faculty Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, where Chenoweth and Zoe Marks co-chair the Political Violence Workshop.

Before coming to Harvard, Chenoweth taught at the University of Denver and Wesleyan University. They hold a Ph.D. and an M.A. in political science from the University of Colorado and a B.A. in political science and German from the University of Dayton. 

Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles


Edited Volumes

HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series

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Outside Professional Activities For Erica Chenoweth

Organization Relationship
AMEL Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
American University Paid external reviewer
Campaign Nonviolence Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Carnegie Endowment for International Ethics Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Case Western Reserve University Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Columbia University Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Progressives for Social and Economic Justice Consulting
Seattle University Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
US Holocaust Memorial Museum Research or teaching appointment
US Holocaust Memorial Museum Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Wellesley College Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation


Phone: 617-495-1150
Assistant: Charlie Porter


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