Erica Chenoweth

Erica Chenoweth

Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Erica Chenoweth Photo

Erica Chenoweth's research focuses on political violence and its alternatives. Foreign Policy magazine ranked her among the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013. She also won the 2014 Karl Deutsch Award, given annually by the International Studies Association to the scholar under 40 who has made the most significant impact on the field of international politics or peace research. 

Her next book, Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2019), explores in an accessible and conversational style 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.

Chenoweth’s other books include 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; Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia University Press, 2011) with Maria J. Stephan; Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict (MIT, 2010) with Adria Lawrence; and Political Violence (Sage, 2013). Her book (with Maria J. Stephan) Why Civil Resistance Works 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 has published dozens of articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes, and her 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. She co-hosts the award-winning blog Political Violence @ a Glance, hosts the blog Rational Insurgent, and blogs occasionally at The Monkey Cage. Along with Jeremy Pressman, she co-directs the Crowd Counting Consortium, a public interest project that documents political mobilization in the U.S. during the Trump Administration.

Chenoweth is currently a Research Associate at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, a Fellow at the One Earth Future Foundation, and a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations. Before coming to HKS, she taught at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and in the Government Department at Wesleyan University. She holds 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.