Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Business Administration

Advisor/Committee Chair

Victor Asal


Non-governmental organizations have become a key concern for international relations theorists and comparative thinkers. While most NGO’s promote their social, political, and economic interests through peaceful means, some use violence; this study seeks to understand why. I assert that the use of violence is a tactical decision made at the dyadic level in consideration of resources that are vital to the organization’s survival. This investigation uses principles from the theory of resource dependency to analyze cases where one NGO uses violence in the same ‘system’ as another that does not. I conclude that organizations dependent on social actors for vital resources are less likely to use violent tactics to achieve their goals. These results and future studies built upon them could be used to compile a behavioral model for both violent and nonviolent organizational behavior.