On December 1, the Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research hosted a Peace Talk: Young Scholar Series seminar at Bilkent University. Our guest speaker, Dr. İlker Kalın, Research Fellow at the Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research, made a presentation entitled “Non-violent Resistance Movements and External Actors”:
Nonviolent movements are rarely confined to the borders of societies in which they take place. International actors are prone to take a side in the face of such resistance. Yet, knowledge is limited on external actors` effects on outcomes of nonviolent protests abroad. Thus, this study zeros in on strategic relations between major powers and target regimes to understand both direct and indirect ways external actors might shape the dynamics of nonviolent movements. This research suggests that major powers tend to undermine nonviolent movements when target states are strategically important. The study also finds an indirect link between major power support (especially that of the U.S. government) for movements and security force defections in target states, thus improving success prospects for the protestors. In particular, the study suggest a combined effect of U.S. military training and U.S. support for campaigns on defection decisions during nonviolent conflicts. This research adds a dyadic international dimension to the question of external support during nonviolent resistance movements and expands the current knowledge base regarding the identity, type, and direction of support.