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Queen's Academic in British Academy Debate on Civil Resistance and Terrorism

Professor Richard English, from the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation and Engagement, recently took part in a debate on civil resistance and terrorism at the British Academy.

British Academy

The debate, entitled: 'Does Political Violence Work? Exploring the Efficacy of Civil Resistance and Terrorism', was chaired by Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Oxford.

Leading academic, Professor Erica Chenoweth from Harvard University, spoke about their research into different methods of pursuing political change, both violent and non-violent.  Professor Chenoweth, who is co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Non-Violent Conflict (Columbia University Press) focused on the reasons for non-violent methods having a more successful record than violent ones in the pursuit of political change.

Professor English, author of Does Terrorism Work? A History (Oxford University Press), focused on the need for a historical and layered understanding of what 'working' might mean in relation to violent campaigns, contrasting strategic, tactical and other forms of efficacy.

Speaking after the debate, Professor English commented: “It's excellent for Queen's to be partnering with bodies such as the British Academy, for major debates on global issues. It's very valuable also for us to be involved in discussions with distinguished scholars like Professor Richardson and Professor Chenoweth, from leading Universities such as Oxford and Harvard.  There was a very rich discussion on the evening, with diverse and insightful questions from the audience regarding a topic of enduring significance.”

Photo credit: The British Academy