Erica Chenoweth, Ph.D. is Professor & Associate Dean for Research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. An internationally recognized authority on political violence and its alternatives, Foreign Policy magazine ranked her among the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2013 for her efforts to promote the empirical study of civil resistance. Chenoweth received the 2014 Karl Deutsch Award, which the International Studies Association gives annually to the scholar under the age of 40 who has made the greatest impact on the field of international politics or peace research.
Together with Maria J. Stephan, she won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, which is presented annually in recognition of outstanding proposals for creating a more just and peaceful world order. Their book, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia University Press, 2011), also won the 2012 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award, given annually by the American Political Science Association in recognition of the best book on government, politics, or international affairs published in the U.S. in the previous calendar year.
Chenoweth’s research program involves three main questions: why do state and non-state groups use political violence, what are the alternatives to political violence, and how can these alternatives be promoted? In 2008, Chenoweth established the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research, a think tank that produces policy-relevant research on the causes and effects of insurgency, terrorism, and strategic nonviolent resistance. The program, now part of the Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the Korbel School, houses multiple projects and provides students with opportunities to engage in research related to the program’s mission.
Along with Marie Berry, she co-directs the Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative, which aims to initiate research, education, and programming aimed and elevating and amplifying the work that women-identified activists are doing at the grassroots to promote nonviolent social change. Their flagship program, the IGLI Summer Institute, brings together women-identified activists and organizers and engaged scholars from around the world to share knowledge, build capacity for mobilizing effective grassroots movements, and increase global solidarity toward the promotion of gender equity, justice, and the reduction of direct and structural violence around the world.
Before coming to DU, she taught at Wesleyan University, where she was the 2010 recipient of the Carol A. Baker Memorial Prize for excellence in junior faculty research and teaching. She has also held visiting appointments at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Stanford University, UC-Berkeley, and the University of Maryland. She was an Associate Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) from 2012-2015, and she is currently co-chair of the Academic Council at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, a Fellow at the One Earth Future Foundation, a Councilor at the Peace Science Society International, and a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Chenoweth has published her work in International Security, The Journal of Politics, American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Political Science, The Journal of Peace Research, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Mobilization: An International Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, Defense and Security Analysis, and Review of Policy Research. She edited Political Violence (Sage, 2013) and co-edited Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict (MIT Press, 2010) with Adria Lawrence of Yale University.
Chenoweth has presented her research all over the world at various academic conferences, government workshops, and international governmental organizations including at the 2013 World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates held in Warsaw. Her research and commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Economist, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, TEDxBoulder, The New Republic, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and elsewhere.
Along with Barbara F. Walter of UCSD and Joseph K. Young of American University, Chenoweth hosts the blog Political Violence @ a Glance, which won an OAIS Award for Best Group Blog in 2014 and Most Promising New Blog in 2013. In addition, Chenoweth won an individual OAIS blogging award for Best Blog Post of 2014. She hosts a blog called Rational Insurgent and has been an occasional blogger at The Monkey Cage and Duck of Minerva. Along with Jeremy Pressman of the University of Connecticut, Chenoweth founded the Crowd Counting Consortium, a collaborative public interest project that collects data on the size of political crowds protesting within the United States.
Chenoweth received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Colorado and a B.A. in political science and German from the University of Dayton. She resides in Denver, Colorado, and spends much of her free time fly-fishing and trekking in the Rocky Mountains.