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. Chenoweth is core faculty at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, where they direct the Nonviolent Action Lab. They study political violence and its alternatives, and Foreign Policy magazine has ranked them among the Top 100 Global Thinkers for their efforts to promote the empirical study of nonviolent resistance.
Chenoweth’s 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, 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.
Chenoweth’s book with Maria J. Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works (Columbia, 2011), 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. Chenoweth’s other books include On Revolutions (Oxford, 2022) with Colin Beck, Mlada Bukovansky, George Lawson, Sharon Nepstad, and Daniel Ritter; 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 E. Berry, Rachel A. 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; Rethinking Violence: States and Non- State Actors in Conflict (MIT, 2010) with Adria Lawrence; and Political Violence (Sage, 2013).
Chenoweth’s research has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, The Economist, The Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, NPR’s Morning Edition, TEDxBoulder, and elsewhere. They co- host the award-winning blog Political Violence @ a Glance, hosts the blog Rational Insurgent, and blogs occasionally at The Monkey Cage. Along with Jeremy Pressman, they co-direct the Crowd Counting Consortium, a public interest project that documents political mobilization in the U.S. during the Trump Administration.
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.