This monograph is based on an ICNC-sponsored multi-year research project that examines the effects of different forms of external aid on the outcomes and longer-term impacts of civil resistance campaigns. Very little research has systematically investigated the impacts of external support on the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance. Existing research reaches somewhat contradictory conclusions, with some finding that external support for nonviolent campaigns is harmful, that external support is sometimes helpful, or that external support has little observable effect. This study assesses different types of external assistance—material and non-material—to civil resistance movements offered by state and non-state actors at different stages: pre-, during and post-conflict periods. It further evaluates the impact of the specific type of aid, its timing and provisions by different actors on the overall trajectories of civil resistance campaigns and their outcomes.


Chenoweth, Erica, and Maria J. Stephan. The Role of External Support in Nonviolent Campaigns: Poisoned Chalice or Holy Grail? ICNC, 2021.