Deciding Force is dedicated to helping civil society better understand how to avoid violence during episodes of political contestation. At present, a surplus of coercive technology is trickling down into the armories of civilian police forces in the United States and around the world. At the same time, unpredictable global economic forces are producing insecurities among civilian populations who increasingly call on their governments to make reforms.
When popular grievances do not quickly translate into appropriate policy change, we often see clashes between populations and police that result in unnecessary violence and the delegitimation of vital democratic institutions, especially at the city level.
Our work aims to provide protesters, governments, media, and the broader public with a common understanding of how violence escalates and how it can be prevented. Our work will empower people of good will (within protest movements, police departments, and governments) by giving them the information they need to pursue strategies that can advance civic priorities and governmental legitimacy at the same time.