Date of Award

12-17-2010

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Dr. Robin Lauermann

Abstract

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

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