Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Alexia S. Georgakopoulos

Second Advisor

Laurie O. Campbell

Third Advisor

Urszula Strawinska-Zanko


China, conflict prevention, gray zone conflict, integrated deterrence, resistance, Russia


Despite an increase in interstate conflict, including manipulation of information and civil populations by state actors in gray zone campaigns, the study of resistance has concentrated on intrastate conflict. A detailed literature review of resistance was conducted, revealing researchable gaps in understanding of the topic, including: the resistance movements from a security studies and interstate conflict perspective, the resistance as a form of interstate conflict from the perspective of Russian and Chinese security leaders, and the integrated deterrence options in gray zone campaigns as a strategy of international conflict prevention.

Two complementary studies were conducted to explore the identified areas. These studies were based on three theories: 1) resistance theory, 2) combat power theory, and 3) deterrence theory. The first complementary study involved utilizing quantitative methods to analyze the NAVCO 2.0 dataset of global resistance movements from 1945-2006. The positivist analysis explored relationships between resistance movement variables and combat power theory, identifying variables significantly associated with progress and success in resistance campaigns. The quantitative findings informed the second interpretivist complementary study that utilized content analysis of primary sources, scholarly articles, and news sources to explore resistance from the perspective of Russian and Chinese security leaders in the contemporary period of 2006-2022. Overall, the complementary studies described in this dissertation are situated within international conflict resolution studies, exploring resistance movements as a form of strategic interstate conflict and integrated deterrence as a strategy of international conflict prevention.