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. They also recently co-authored the book 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 Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, The Economist, The Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, The 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
HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Sponsored projects include research, training, convening, and other initiatives externally funded through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. Funding sources can include the US federal government, state and local agencies, private foundations, corporations, and foreign entities (public and private).
The below list includes all sponsored projects in progress or completed within the current and past 2 calendar years, administered at the Harvard Kennedy School under the direction of the named faculty member as Principal Investigator. Please note that this list includes only those activities supported by external sponsored funding; other sources of support are not included (e.g., philanthropy, HKS or Harvard internal resources).
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
|Progressives for Social and Economic Justice||Consulting|
|Australian National University||Paid external reviewer|
|California State University, Fresno||Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation|
|Cambridge Public Library||Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation|
|Council on Foreign Relations||Paid media appearance (may include written, audio, video, or other digital format)|
|Ford Foundation||Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation|
|Guinness World Records||Paid external reviewer|
|Hertie School||Paid external reviewer|
|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|
|Ohio State University||Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation|
|Progressives for Social and Economic Justice||Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation|
|Protect Democracy||Membership on a scientific or other advisory board|
|RepresentUS||Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation|
|Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the Capitol, U.S. House of Representatives||Expert witness service|
|State of Florida||Expert witness service|
|United States Institute of Peace||Research or teaching appointment|
|United States Institute of Peace||Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation|
|University of Dayton||Reimbursed travel|
|University of Dayton||Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation|
|University of Georgia||Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation|
|Women Moving Millions||Reimbursed travel|
|Women Moving Millions||Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation|