fbpx Erica Chenoweth | Harvard Kennedy School
Erica Chenoweth Photo
Academic Dean for Faculty Engagement
Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment
Assistant: Charlie Porter

Erica Chenoweth is the Academic Dean for Faculty Engagement and the Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard Kennedy School, Faculty Dean at Pforzheimer House at Harvard College, and a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. 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. They also recently co-authored On Revolutions (Oxford, 2022), which explores the ways in which revolutions and revolutionary studies have evolved over the past several centuries. Their next book with Zoe Marks, Bread and Roses: 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. 

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 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. In 2022, Chenoweth was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 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’s research has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York TimesThe Washington PostForeign AffairsThe EconomistThe Boston GlobeForeign PolicyThe Christian Science Monitor, Ms. Magazine, NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, TEDxBoulder, The Hidden Brain, 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. Their research has been supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the United States Institute of Peace, USAID, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, among others.

At Harvard, Professor Chenoweth is a faculty affiliate at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, 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


Book Chapters

Edited Volumes

HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series

Research Papers/Reports

Transparent Engagement 

Harvard Kennedy School is proud of its energetic involvement in the world. To better understand how to solve public problems by improving policy and leadership, we engage directly with policymakers, public leaders, governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses whose activities affect those problems. However, we recognize that such engagement can raise questions about perceived and potential conflicts of interest, so we disclose publicly the key professional activities of our faculty outside the Kennedy School. The activities disclosed below are for the most recent reporting period, as defined by University policy. Some may be paid, some may be unpaid, and others may be in exchange for expense reimbursement only.

Outside Professional Activities For Erica Chenoweth

Organization Relationship
Progressives for Social and Economic Justice Consulting
Council on Foreign Relations Paid media appearance (may include written, audio, video, or other digital format)
Ford Foundation Consulting
Ford Foundation Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
International Center for Not-for-Profit Law Membership on a scientific or other advisory board
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc Expert witness service
Progressives for Social and Economic Justice Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Protect Democracy Membership on a scientific or other advisory board
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Consulting
Chautauqua Institution Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Peace Research Institute Oslo Research or teaching appointment
Planned Parenthood Foundation Reimbursed travel
Planned Parenthood Foundation Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Progressives for Social and Economic Justice Membership on a scientific or other advisory board
Protect Democracy Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Stevens Institute of Technology Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation


Phone: 617-495-1150
Assistant: Charlie Porter


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