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Political Violence At A Glance

IGCC is proud to support Political Violence @ A Glance, an award-winning online magazine directed by Erica Chenoweth, Christian Davenport, Barbara Walter, and Joe Young, that answers questions on the causes and consequences of violence and protest in the world’s conflict zones. Analysis comes from distinguished experts who are doing the most rigorous, most interesting, and most policy relevant research. 

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A New Wave of Terrorism?
Birds, sea turtles, and a young fin whale have all succumbed to a toxic tar infiltrating the Mediterranean, and experts fear these casualties are only the beginning of what has been called the worst ecological disaster in Israel’s history. What makes the animals’ deaths particularly worrisome is that they may be the result of a deliberate, politically motivated attack. If intentional, the episode will mark the beginning of a new era of terrorism that not only victimizes human beings but also wreaks havoc on the environment.

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The Anatomy of Backsliding: Is Democracy Consuming Itself?
Well before 2016, the United States was becoming increasingly polarized around racial, ethnic, and economic grievances. From the time he descended the golden elevator, Donald Trump generated support by skillfully stoking these grievances. By the end of Trump’s term, incremental but cumulative assaults on the defining features of democratic rule—rule of law, civil liberties, and a free press—culminated in an unprecedented attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election and block the transfer of power. Americans have been transfixed by this political spectacle, and no other advanced industrial democracy has been shaken to this extent. But the surprising fact is that the US experience is far from unique. How does democratic backsliding happen?

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Digitally Fueled Civil Resistance and Repression in Myanmar
The aftermath of the coup in Myanmar illustrates how important digital technology has become in the struggle for political power. Social media has fueled nationwide anti-coup protests; the junta has responded with combined online and offline repression. Research shows that autocratic leaders seek control of online information through censorship, disinformation campaigns, and surveillance. At the same time, digital communication is important for democracy activists and protest mobilization.
As the coup derailed Myanmar’s path to democracy, protests rapidly spread to all corners of the country, galvanized by youth leaders (“Generation Z”) and digital technology. The use of social media in protests has been highlighted from Arab Spring uprisings to the Black Lives Matter movement, and recent research shows that digital communication can catalyze protest movements. But can the Internet help defend Myanmar’s democracy?

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An Illustrated Glossary of Political Violence
On January 6, 2020, a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC, temporarily halting the count of electoral votes to confirm Joe Biden's presidency. There has been considerable debate since then about what the event actually was. A protest? Dissent? A riot? Insurrection? Terror? A coup? Or was it some sort of hybrid that has yet to be labeled? In this post, Political Violence At A Glance (PVG) permanent contributor Emily Hencken Ritter and PVG editor Christian Davenport, together with Sequential Potential, define various types of political violence, and provide visualizations that help communicate what words intend, but can never quite capture alone.