Maria Stephan - Wikipedia
Maria Stephan
This article is about an American political scientist. For the French squash player, see Marie Stephan.
Maria J. Stephan is an American political scientist. She is the former Director of the program on nonviolent action at the United States Institute of Peace. She studies authoritarianism, protest, and the effectiveness of violent and nonviolent types of civil resistance.
Maria Stephan

Maria Stephan in 2019
Alma mater
Scientific career
Education and early work
Stephan is from Vermont, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Boston College.[1] She then attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Law and Diplomacy and Doctor of Philosophy.[1] During her graduate education she was the recipient of a Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which is a graduate fellowship dedicated to public service.[1] She was also a J. William Fulbright Scholar.[1]
Before working with the United States Institute of Peace, Stephan worked at the United States Department of State where she was the lead foreign affairs officer for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations,[2] and at NATO headquarters.[1]
Together with Erica Chenoweth, Stephan wrote the 2010 book Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict. The book studies the success rates of civil resistance efforts from 1900 to 2006, focusing on the major violent and nonviolent efforts to bring about regime change during that time.[3] By comparing the success rates of 323 violent and nonviolent campaigns, Stephan and Chenoweth demonstrate that only 26% of violent revolutions were successful, whereas 53% of nonviolent campaigns were successful.[3][4] Of the 25 largest movements they studied, 20 were nonviolent, and they found that nonviolent movements attracted four times as many participants on average than violent movements.[3] They also demonstrated that nonviolent movements tended to precede the development of more democratic regimes than violent movements.[5][6]
The authors coined a rule about the level of participation necessary for a movement to succeed, called the "3.5% rule": nearly every movement with active participation from at least 3.5% of the population succeeded.[7][8] All of the campaigns that achieved that threshold were nonviolent.[9]
Why Civil Resistance Works won the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Prize from the American Political Science Association, which is awarded each year for "the best book on government, politics, or international affairs".[10] For Why Civil Resistance Works, Stephan and her coauthor Erica Chenoweth won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.[11] In 2015 Stephan was the recipient of the inaugural Henry J. Leir Human Security Award, which is awarded by Institute for Human Security at Fletcher University for "outstanding Fletcher alumni who have made significant contributions to the scholarship and/or practice of human security".[12][13]
Stephan's work has been covered extensively in media outlets like The Globe and Mail,[14] Vice,[15]NPR,[16] and Quartz.[17]
See also
Civilian-based defense
  1. ^ a b c d e "Maria J. Stephan". United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Pair win world order prize for civil resistance study". Grawemeyer Awards. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b c David Robson (14 May 2019). "The '3.5% rule': How a small minority can change the world". BBC. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Success of Nonviolent Revolution". Academic Minute. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  5. ^ Rineheart, Jason (1 March 2012). "Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan. Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict". Perspectives on Terrorism. 6 (1).
  6. ^ Kezer, Robert Allen (1 April 2012). "Erica Chenoweth & Maria J. Stephan (2011). Why civil resistance works: The strategic logic of nonviolent conflict. New York: Columbia University Press". Conflict & Communication Online. 11 (1).
  7. ^ Editorial (21 October 2019). "The Guardian view on Extinction Rebellion: numbers alone won't create change". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  8. ^ Erica Chenoweth (1 February 2017). "It may only take 3.5% of the population to topple a dictator – with civil resistance". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 November 2019..
  9. ^ Chenoweth, Erica (4 November 2013). "My Talk at TEDxBoulder: Civil Resistance and the "3.5% Rule"". Rational Insurgent. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Woodrow Wilson Award". American Political Science Association. 2020. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Grawemeyer celebration to feature conversation on "Why Civil Resistance Works"". Grawemeyer Awards. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Institute for Human Security Celebrates the Henry J. Leir Professorship in International Humanitarian Studies and the Inaugural Henry J. Leir Human Security Award". Medford, MA, USA: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. 2015. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Maria J. Stephan (MALD '02, PhD '05) Receives Inaugural Henry J. Leir Human Security Award for Groundbreaking Scholarship in Civil Resistance and Nonviolent Conflict". Medford, MA, USA: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. 22 September 2015. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  14. ^ Besner, Linda (4 October 2019). "Want to effect meaningful change? Remember the 3.5-per-cent rule". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  15. ^ Dembicki, Geoff (7 October 2019). "If 3.5% of the US Gets on Board With Climate Protesting, Change Will Happen". Vice. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Why Civil Resistance Movements Succeed". NPR. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  17. ^ Bakshi, Rajni (30 September 2019). "If we are naturally violent, why do armies spend so much on training to kill?". Quartz. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
Last edited on 8 April 2021, at 19:05
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted.
Privacy policy
Terms of Use
HomeRandomNearbyLog inSettingsDonateAbout WikipediaDisclaimers