Maria J. Stephan knows how to fight authoritarianism. She is a pioneering academic who has documented both a rise in authoritarian regimes around the world and the successful strategies to bring them down.
She’s the co-author with Erica Chenoweth of the groundbreaking and award winning book Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict which was a first-of-its kind study that offered empirical evidence that non-violent resistance is more effective than conflict and civil war in toppling oppressive regimes. She recently lead a study with the Atlantic Council showing that authoritarianism is on the rise globally, and we kick off with an extended conversation about that study and how the recent US election fits into her overall thesis.
Maria grew up in rural Vermont and we have a great conversation about the roots of her intellectual curiosity and how that took her to study and compare resistance movements around the world, including East Timor and Palestine. If you want to learn more about one of the most important issues of our time from an intellectual who first identified and defines this trend, have a listen.