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 Study. Chenoweth's research focuses on political violence and its alternatives. Chenoweth was ranked among the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013 by Foreign Policy magazine and also won the 2014 Karl Deutsch Award, given annually by the International Studies Association to the scholar under 40 who has made the most significant impact on the field of international politics or peace research. Chenoweth's forthcoming book, Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2021), explores in an accessible and conversational style 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. Chenoweth's next book, with Zoe Marks, explores the impact of women’s participation on the outcomes of mass movements. In addition to exploring why women’s participation makes movements more likely to succeed, Marks and Chenoweth explore how frontline women’s participation leads to progress in women’s empowerment in some cases and reversals in others, as well as how gender-inclusive movements impact the quality of egalitarian democracy more generally.
Professor Chenoweth’s other books include The Role of External Support in Nonviolent Campaigns: Poisoned Chalice or Holy Grail? (ICNC, 2021) with Maria J. Stephan; Civil Action and the Dynamics of Violence (Oxford, 2019) with Deborah Avant, Marie Berry, Rachel Epstein, Cullen Hendrix, Oliver Kaplan, and Timothy Sisk; The Oxford Handbook of Terrorism (Oxford, 2019) with Richard English, Andreas Gofas, and Stathis N. Kalyvas; The Politics of Terror (Oxford, 2018) with Pauline Moore; Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia University Press, 2011) with Maria J. Stephan; Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict (MIT, 2010) with Adria Lawrence; and Political Violence (Sage, 2013). Why Civil Resistance Works won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order and the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award, the American Political Science Association's best book award.
Professor Chenoweth's research has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, The Economist, The Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, BBC, NPR’s Morning Edition, TEDxBoulder, and elsewhere. Along with Jeremy Pressman, Chenoweth co-directs the Crowd Counting Consortium, a public interest project that documents political mobilization in the U.S. during the Trump Administration. Chenoweth also co-hosts the award-winning blog Political Violence @ a Glance.
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. Chenoweth is 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 HKS, Chenoweth taught at the University of Denver and Wesleyan University. Chenoweth holds 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.