Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Politics and International Relations

First Advisor

Dr. Robin Lauermann


Political discontent is present within all societies. Although the circumstances surrounding the formation of a specific movement and its principles may differ, the goals of various political movements are the same. In order to bring about a favorable response in policy from the government, these resistance organizations may choose tactics of violence or non-violence as a means to lobby the government in control. Ability to manipulate the media, gain a strong base of membership within society and produce change from the government serves as a composite measure of effectiveness for each individual resistance group. Using qualitative evidence from organizations from the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement, a non-violent and violent organization was analyzed from each movement. While there are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches, non-violent tactics appear to be consistently more effective at securing change than violent factions


This paper is provided open access to promote scholarship and is intended for personal study and not-for-profit educational use.