The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy serves as the hub of the Harvard Kennedy School’s research, teaching, and training in the human rights domain. The center embraces a dual mission: to educate students and the next generation of leaders from around the world in human rights policy and practice; and to convene and provide policy-relevant knowledge to international organizations, governments, policymakers, and businesses.

 

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In a Global Emergency, Women are Showing how to Lead

In a Global Emergency, Women are Showing how to Lead

Abstract:

In her latest op-ed for the Washington Post, Zoe Marks tackles topics of female heads of state, and the tensions between gender stereotypes and women's exceptionally strong performance against the pandemic. 

Read the full article here. 

: Zoe Marks | April 21 2020
: Exploring tensions between gender stereotypes and women's exceptionally strong performance against the pandemic.
Last updated on 04/23/2020

Questions, Answers, and Some Cautionary Updates Regarding the 3.5% Rule

Citation:

Erica Chenoweth. 4/20/2020. “Questions, Answers, and Some Cautionary Updates Regarding the 3.5% Rule.” Carr Center Discussion Paper Series, 2020-005. See full text.
Questions, Answers, and Some Cautionary Updates Regarding the 3.5% Rule

Abstract:

The “3.5% rule” refers to the claim that no government has withstood a challenge of 3.5% of their population mobilized against it during a peak event. In this brief paper, author Erica Chenoweth addresses some of the common questions about the 3.5% rule, as well as several updates from more recent work on this topic.

Four key takeaways are as follows:

  • The 3.5% figure is a descriptive statistic based on a sample of historical movements. It is not necessarily a prescriptive one, and no one can see the future. Trying to achieve the threshold without building a broader public constituency does not guarantee success in the future.
  • The 3.5% participation metric may be useful as a rule of thumb in most cases; however, other factors—momentum, organization, strategic leadership, and sustainability—are likely as important as large-scale participation in achieving movement success and are often precursors to achieving 3.5% participation.
  • New research suggests that one nonviolent movement, Bahrain in 2011-2014, appears to have decisively failed despite achieving over 6% popular participation at its peak. This suggests that there has been at least one exception to the 3.5% rule, and that the rule is a tendency, rather than a law.
  • Large peak participation size is associated with movement success. However, most mass nonviolent movements that have succeeded have done so even without achieving 3.5% popular participation. 

Read the full paper. 

: Erica Chenoweth | April 20 2020
: The “3.5% rule” refers to the claim that no government has withstood a challenge of 3.5% of their population mobilized against it during a peak event.
Last updated on 04/21/2020

Reimagining Social Movements and Civil Resistance during the Global Pandemic

Citation:

Erica Chenoweth, Salil Shetty, and Matthew Smith. 4/17/2020. “Reimagining Social Movements and Civil Resistance during the Global Pandemic.” Carr Center Covid-19 Discussion Paper Series, 04. See full text.
Reimagining Social Movements and Civil Resistance during the Global Pandemic

Abstract:

Carr Center faculty and fellows outline how social movements and civil resistance can take shape in a time of social distancing, and how these efforts are more important than ever in holding governments accountable.

We interviewed Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs, Erica Chenoweth, Senior Carr Fellow Salil Shetty, and Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fortify Rights, Matthew Smith, to discuss how social movements and civil resistance efforts are changing shape in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Read the full paper here. 

 

: Carr Center | Apr 17 2020
: Exploring how how social movements and civil resistance can take shape in a time of social distancing, and how these efforts are more important than ever in holding governments accountable.
Last updated on 04/21/2020
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“The Carr Center is building a bridge between ideas on human rights and the practice on the ground. Right now we are at a critical juncture. The pace of technological change and the rise of authoritarian governments are both examples of serious challenges to the flourishing of individual rights. It’s crucial that Harvard and the Kennedy School continue to be a major influence in keeping human rights ideals alive. The Carr Center is a focal point for this important task.”

- Mathias Risse