Fear of Nonviolent Organizing in Mexico's Criminal Conflict

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6 Scopus citations


What drives perceptions of fear regarding nonviolent mobilization? We investigate whether this fear is more acute in certain segments of society, or whether such concerns are randomly distributed across the population. We anticipate that civilians living in proximity to armed resistance groups are especially afraid of being targeted if they organize nonviolently against insecurity in their community. Using original survey data from Mexico in early 2014, we examine civilian perceptions of risk associated with nonviolent action. Quantitative analyses provide support for our expectation that civilians living in proximity to armed vigilante groups are more fearful of participating in nonviolent action. This suggests that organizers of civil resistance in Mexico (and similar conflict environments) would do well to consider the challenges posed by civilian vigilantism when seeking to mobilize civilians and selecting specific nonviolent strategies for high-risk constituencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-284
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Global Security Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • civil resistance
  • fear
  • intrastate conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Safety Research


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