Ticked off, but scared off? Riots and the fate of nonviolent campaigns

Mobilization

Published On 2021/3/1

Research on the relationship between nonviolent and violent dissent has focused on explicit shifts in organized strategies, disregarding less-organized forms of violence such as riots. Even though disorganized violence is common, we know little about how it influences the onset and fate of antigovernment nonviolent campaigns. Activists frequently argue that nonviolent discipline is essential and disorganized violence is counterproductive for effective large-scale mobilization. However, others emphasize how disorganized violence could have a mobilizing effect on large-scale protest and revitalize a nonviolent campaign. We detail these competing perspectives on how riots can influence the onset and outcomes of nonviolent campaigns. We then evaluate these contending claims empirically by examining how riots affect the initial emergence of nonviolent campaigns and the likelihood that campaigns will terminate …

Journal

Mobilization

Published On

2021/3/1

Volume

26

Issue

1

Page

21-39

Authors

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Position

Professor Department of Government & Peace Research Institute Oslo

H-Index(all)

60

H-Index(since 2020)

48

I-10 Index(all)

0

I-10 Index(since 2020)

0

Citation(all)

0

Citation(since 2020)

0

Cited By

0

Research Interests

Conflict

international relations

democratization

statistical methods

political science

University Profile Page

Other Articles from authors

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Governance

Judiciary institutions and violent crime in American Indian nations

In many American Indian nations the security situation is dire. While scholars have studied how institutions shape economic development in American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) nations, the role of AIAN institutions for security and violent crime has received much less attention—despite the extensive literature highlighting the important role of effective and legitimate institutions in the long‐term decline of violence. We analyze how varying types of American Indian polities and judiciary institutions fare in tackling violent crime using data across 146 American Indian polities. Our findings indicate that more autonomous American Indian criminal justice institutions with specialized court systems are associated with lower violent crime. However, customary justice institutions do not appear to be effective in reducing violent crime, highlighting the problem of cultural mismatch between traditional and formal justice …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

European Journal of International Relations

Clouds with silver linings: how mobilization shapes the impact of coups on democratization

There is a long-standing debate over the impact of coups on democratization. Some argue that coups can help promote transitions to democratic rule. Yet, others contend that coups often spur increased repression and autocratization, undermining hopes of democratic reform. We argue that both democratic and autocratic changes are more likely after a coup and that popular mobilization plays a crucial role in shaping the post-coup trajectory. Democratization is more likely when coups occur in the presence of significant popular mobilization. A coup reveals cracks within a regime, and the combination of pressure from within and threat from below during popular mobilizations fosters greater incentives to promise democratic reform. In the absence of popular mobilization, autocratic rule is more likely, especially when a coup is successful. We test our argument on the combined effect of popular mobilization and coups …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

PLoS one

Local deprivation predicts right-wing hate crime in England

We argue that community deprivation can increase the risk of right-wing radicalization and violent attacks and that measures of local deprivation can help improve forecasting local hate crime rates. A large body of research stresses how experiences of deprivation can erode the perceived legitimacy of political leaders and institutions, increase alienation, and encourage right-wing radicalization and hate crime. Existing analyses have found limited support for a close relationship between deprivation and radicalization among individuals. We provide an alternative approach using highly disaggregated data for England and show that information on local deprivation can improve predictions of the location of right-wing hate crime attacks. Beyond the ability to predict where right-wing hate crime is likely, our results suggest that efforts to decrease deprivation can have important consequences for political violence, and that targeting structural facilitators to prevent far-right violence ex ante can be an alternative or complement to ex post measures.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Peace Research

Going, going, gone? Varieties of dissent and leader exit

We examine how popular dissent affects the likelihood that political leaders lose power, distinguishing between types of dissent in terms of nonviolent/violent primary tactics as well as the level of individual participation. We posit that protests threaten leaders both directly through the governance costs of citizen non-compliance, and indirectly through the increased risk of elite defections in the ruling coalition. In a series of propositions we detail how the type of dissent and the magnitude of participation influence the odds of leaders surviving in office. We argue that mass nonviolent challenges tend to be more threatening to a leader’s rule than violent dissent, given the characteristics of movements likely to choose nonviolent tactics. Moreover, the effectiveness of the challenge increases in the scale and size of the dissident campaign, and movements that can mobilize larger numbers have a comparative advantage in …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Studies Review

Challenges to Scholarship and Policy During Crises

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic influence on mortality and public health and generated much speculation on potential impacts on international politics. Fast-moving crises such as the COVID pandemic and 2008 financial crises entail many challenges for scholarship; events evolve rapidly, our prior knowledge base is limited, it is unclear whether existing theories or analogies apply, and new research findings emerge quickly but also erratically. Researchers face demands to engage with policy and general audiences when normal standards of scholarship may be difficult to apply. Crises can also have a dramatic impact on how we conduct research and interact with other scholars. The forum introduction outlines how crises pose challenges for scholarship and policy and the value of approaching crises such as COVID-19 in comparative perspective. Milner highlights the important differences …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

This Research has Important Policy Implications…

The COVID 19 pandemic has generated much interest in the relationship between research and policy. It has drawn new attention to the limitations of a linear model, where policy is based on first observing prior scientific research and then designed in response to this. Conflict researchers often motivate the importance of their work by claiming that their “research has important policy implications”, but the proposals offered are often at best incomplete. I identify a number of common limitations in claims about policy implications, including a lack of discussion of objectives and priorities, stating objectives themselves as if they were policies, claims about targeting factors without discussing the effectiveness of possible interventions, and a failure to consider uncertainty and potential tensions with other objectives or unintended effects. Research can potentially inform policy discussions and improve decisions, but the …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Political Research Quarterly

A double-edge sword? Mass media and nonviolent dissent in autocracies

It is often assumed that nondemocratic regimes will control mass media and suppress independent information, but in many autocracies the media are partially free and imperfectly controlled. We argue that partial media freedom can increase the prospects for mass nonviolent dissent. We develop a theory emphasizing how even less than perfectly free media outlets can increase the ability of individuals to coordinate and mobilize, and provide an informational endowment that can help non-state actors overcome collective mobilization barriers. We further argue that this informational endowment amplifies the effect of other influences spurring mass protests in autocracies, in particular protest contagion and elections. We find empirical support for our argument in an analysis of all autocracies between 1955 and 2013. A case study of the Georgian Rose revolution provides further support for the postulated mechanisms.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Political Geography

Michael D. Ward (1948–2021) and the road to space, networks and geography

We were very sad to learn of the passing of our mentor, friend, and collaborator Michael D. Ward on 9 July 2021. Mike made important contributions to political geography, and he served on the editorial board of Political Geography from 2002 to 2013 as well as the advisory board for the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Sciences at the University of California Santa Barbara. Above all, he played a key role in disseminating insights on the role of geography and spatial concepts and methods to his home discipline, political science.In this intervention, we have gathered scholars who worked with Mike at different times in his career to reflect on themes in his research and the enduring relevance of his contributions. Our introduction gives a brief account of how Mike’s interest in geography and space evolved.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Studies Quarterly

One without the other? Prediction and policy in international studies

Like many others, I have spent much time since March 2020 reviewing and reflecting on research on COVID-19 and the policy responses to the pandemic. This has in turn inspired me to reflect on research and policy in my own field. The crisis over Russian demands on Ukraine in early 2022 and the subsequent Russian invasion of Ukraine is at the time ofCentre for Advanced Studies, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo, on May 11–12. I would like to dedicate this article to my late supervisor, close collaborator, and personal friend Michael D. Ward. We had many useful discussions on forecasting, and his work on conflict prediction has had a major influence on the field. I hope he would have enjoyed this presidential address.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Studies Quarterly

Ties that bias in international conflict: A spatial approach to dyadic dependence from alliance ties and inbetweenness

Much of international behavior is linked spatially and temporally. Yet, analyses of interstate interactions generally either assume independence among units or resort to technical solutions to dependence that “throw away” relevant information. We detail a more informative and satisfying approach to modeling spatial dependence from extra-dyadic linkages in alliance ties and geographical proximity as specific pathways of conflict contagion. Beyond deterrence, the purpose of alliances is to draw other parties into dyadic contests, but most existing research on conflict onset generally only considers alliance ties within an individual dyad or external intervention in the same dispute. We develop new measures on third- and fourth-party alliance ties, demonstrating direct and indirect spatial effects of alliances on conflict onset. Similarly, ongoing contests can spread geographically, but dyads in some locations are …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

The Journal of Development Studies

Can education reduce violent crime? Evidence from Mexico before and after the drug war onset

Existing theories relate higher education to lower crime rates, yet we have limited evidence on the crime-reducing effect of education in developing countries. We contribute to this literature by examining the effect of education on homicide in Mexico, where homicide rates decreased by nearly 55 percent from 1992 to 2007, before the surge of drug-related violence. We argue that a large amount of this reduction followed a compulsory schooling law at the secondary level in 1993, when the government undertook key education reforms to promote development and economic integration. We employ different empirical strategies that combine regression analysis, placebo tests, and an instrumental variable approach, and find that attendance in secondary and tertiary schools has a negative effect on homicide rates before the onset of the Drug War, although the evidence for secondary enrolment is more robust. This effect …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Mapping the International

This article introduces CShapes 2.0, a GIS dataset that maps the borders of states and dependent territories from 1886 through 2019. Our dataset builds on the previous CShapes dataset and improves it in two ways. First, it extends temporal coverage from 1946 back to the year 1886, which followed the Berlin Conference on the partition of Africa. Second, the new dataset is no longer limited to independent states, but also maps the borders of colonies and other dependencies, thereby providing near complete global coverage of political units throughout recent history. This article explains the coding procedure, provides a preview of the dataset and presents three illustrative applications.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Mapping the international system, 1886-2019: the CShapes 2.0 dataset

This article introduces CShapes 2.0, a GIS dataset that maps the borders of states and dependent territories from 1886 through 2019. Our dataset builds on the previous CShapes dataset and improves it in two ways. First, it extends temporal coverage from 1946 back to the year 1886, which followed the Berlin Conference on the partition of Africa. Second, the new dataset is no longer limited to independent states, but also maps the borders of colonies and other dependencies, thereby providing near complete global coverage of political units throughout recent history. This article explains the coding procedure, provides a preview of the dataset and presents three illustrative applications.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

In Memoriam: Michael D. Ward (1948–2021)

We were deeply saddened by the passing of our mentor, friend, and colleague Michael D. Ward on 9 July 2021. Mike served on the editorial board of Defence and Peace Economics from the start of 1990 until 2015, and made important contributions to the study of military expenditures, the economics of peace and militarized conflict, as well as modeling and statistical methods in the social sciences. We extend our deep sympathies to Mike’s family Sandra and Chris. Born in Japan to a military family, Mike had a long academic career, at many institutions and multiple countries. He received a PhD in Political Science from Northwestern University in 1977, with a doctoral dissertation on the political economy of inequality, which was later published as The

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Conflict Resolution

From claims to violence: Signaling, outbidding, and escalation in ethnic conflict

Do radical political demands increase the risk of ethnic civil conflict? And why do ethnic movements make radical demands in the first place? We contend that when movements are fragmented, individual organizations use far-reaching claims relative to the status quo to attract attention from the government, boost intra-organizational discipline, and outbid rivals. Yet, such radical claims also increase the risk of conflict escalation. We test our arguments at both the ethnic group and organizational levels, using a new dataset on ethno-political organizations and their political demands. Our results show that the scope of demands increases the more organizations exist within an ethnic movement and that radical demands increase the risk of civil conflict onset. This effect is specific to the dyadic government-movement interaction, irrespective of other ethnic groups in the country. Moreover, at the organizational level …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Political Studies Review

Houston, we have a problem: enhancing academic freedom and transparency in publishing through post-publication debate

Debates over controversial articles often highlight important issues regarding academic freedom, transparency, and how to handle disagreements in publishing. I argue that a response outlining criticism is generally a more productive course of action than calling for retraction. However, there are a number of constraints that impede meaningful debates, and a problematic divergence between our common ideals of open research and free debate and the actual practices that we see in academic publishing, where our current practices often undermine transparency, replication, and scientific debate. I argue that research can benefit from more explicit recognition of politics and preferences in how we evaluate research as well greater opportunities for post-publication debate. The successful initiatives to promote data replicability over the past decade provide useful lessons for what improved post-publication …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

The Economics of Peace and Security Journal

Accounting for numbers: Group characteristics and the choice of violent and nonviolent tactics

Scholars have shown that nonviolent movements tend to be more successful than violent movements. A key explanation is that nonviolent movements have a mobilization advantage over violent campaigns. As nonviolent movements have lower barriers to active participation, they can expand quickly by mobilizing much larger numbers than violent movements. We argue that such a mobilization advantage is not universal, and that different movements are likely to have a comparative advantage in one tactic over another. We develop a simple model emphasizing how the ex ante potential for mobilization and prospects for success steer the choice of dissident tactics. Nonviolent tactics can be relatively more effective when a movement can mobilize more active participants than with violence, but movements with limited mobilization potential can have feasible prospects for violent dissent and a nonviolent mobilization disadvantage. We examine the implications of the model against empirical data for different types of dissident tactics and on resort to nonviolent and nonviolent dissent. We demonstrate very different actor profiles in nonviolent dissent and violent conflict, and show how each of the two types of dissent are more likely under very different settings. To compare success by types of dissent we must account for how differences in potential numbers or mobilization shape tactical choices.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Terrorism and Political Violence

Better the devil you know? How fringe terrorism can induce an advantage for moderate nonviolent campaigns

Fringe terrorism is common during nonviolent campaigns. We examine how this can modify the strategic environment between dissident groups and the state in ways that present both challenges and opportunities to moderate factions. Terrorism is intended to promote violent escalation in a conflict, but we argue that fringe terrorist activities in a nonviolent campaign under certain conditions can induce an advantage for well-organized moderate factions. The risk of escalation following terrorism can give the government more incentives to offer concessions to moderate campaign leaders if the movement can credibly prevent armed escalation. The ability to control and prevent violence is more likely when nonviolent movements have a hierarchical structure and a centralized leadership, as such campaigns are better able to prevent shifts by supporters towards violent fringes. Using new data on terrorist attacks by …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Journal of Qualitative Methods

Preregistering qualitative research: A Delphi study

Preregistrations—records made a priori about study designs and analysis plans and placed in open repositories—are thought to strengthen the credibility and transparency of research. Different authors have put forth arguments in favor of introducing this practice in qualitative research and made suggestions for what to include in a qualitative preregistration form. The goal of this study was to gauge and understand what parts of preregistration templates qualitative researchers would find helpful and informative. We used an online Delphi study design consisting of two rounds with feedback reports in between. In total, 48 researchers participated (response rate: 16%). In round 1, panelists considered 14 proposed items relevant to include in the preregistration form, but two items had relevance scores just below our predefined criterion (68%) with mixed argument and were put forth again. We combined items where …

Other articles from Mobilization journal

manuela caiani

manuela caiani

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

MOBILIZATION

A Wave of Fish: The Emergence and Diffusion of an “Anti-Populist” Movement? The Case of the Italian Sardine and the Finnish Herrings

A Wave of Fish: The Emergence and Diffusion of an “Anti-Populist” Movement? The Case of the Italian Sardine and the Finnish Herrings IRIS IRIS Home Sfoglia Macrotipologie & tipologie Autore Titolo Rivista Serie Disciplina SNS IT Italiano Italiano English English LOGIN 1.IRIS 2.Catalogo Ricerca 3.1 Contributo su Rivista 4.1.1 Articolo in rivista A Wave of Fish: The Emergence and Diffusion of an “Anti-Populist” Movement? The Case of the Italian Sardine and the Finnish Herrings Caiani, Manuela ; In corso di stampa Scheda breve Scheda completa Scheda completa (DC) Anno di pubblicazione In corso di stampa Settore Scientifico Disciplinare Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica Titolo Rivista MOBILIZATION Appare nelle tipologie: 1.1 Articolo in rivista File in questo prodotto: File Dimensione Formato 28_03_Caiani_rev 29_july_2023.pdf Accesso chiuso Tipologia: Accepted version (post-print) Licenza: Non pubblico …

Emily K. Carian

Emily K. Carian

California State University, San Bernardino

Mobilization

“We’re All in This Together”: Leveraging a Personal Action Frame in Two Men’s Rights Forums

The men’s rights movement has used forums, blogs, and social media to invest individuals in a deeply misogynist agenda, organizing around the belief that feminism has systematically privileged women and disadvantaged men. In this article, I analyze data from two online men’s rights forums to examine how men’s rights activists construct this belief and identify what appeals to them about it. Posters co-construct a highly personalizable and appealing personal action frame through which they share personal experiences that they consider proof of women’s privilege, men’s disadvantage, and feminist wrongs. In contrast to previous work on personal action frames, I find that this template for account sharing is a powerful tool for building solidarity and constructing collective identity. Men’s rights activists’ use of a personal action frame allows them to build a fictional yet credible narrative of men’s oppression, with …

Mónica Moreno-Seco

Mónica Moreno-Seco

Universidad de Alicante

Mobilization

LIFE-COURSE EFFECTS OF WOMEN’S POLITICAL ACTIVISM: PUBLIC AND PRIVATE TRAJECTORIES FROM ANTI-FRANCOISM TO THE 15-M IN SPAIN

Using life stories, this article analyzes the effects that youthful political participation during the final years of Spain’s Francoist dictatorship had on the public and private life-course trajectories for a group of activist women. Noteworthy among our conclusions is the fundamental role that political engagement plays, becoming a key element of the interviewed women’s identities. They associated political activity with mainly positive emotions, learnings, and empowerment, as well as with the creation of social networks that became especially relevant when reengaging in activism later in their lives. Similarly, their political activism favored the development of heterodox attitudes and behaviors. In general, their personal trajectories were marked by political and social commitments, regardless of the differences in relation to formal participation in political parties and other organizations.

Christian Göbel

Christian Göbel

Universität Wien

Mobilization

Protest Event analysis meets autocracy: Comparing the coverage of Chinese protests on social media, dissident websites, and in the news

How accurate is media-elicited protest event data from autocracies where the state censors the media? Based on a source-specific model of event selection and a multisource dataset of over 3,100 protests from three Chinese megacities, we demonstrate the substantial advantages of using social media data, capturing 115 times more protests than English-language international news, 74 times more than domestic news, and 10 times more than dissident websites. Social media are most likely to cover small and nonviolent events that other sources often ignore. Aside from antiregime protests, they are less affected by censorship than often assumed. A validity test against public holidays and daily rainfall shows that social media data outperform dissident websites and traditional news. Social media, and to a lesser extent dissident media, are promising new sources for protest event analysis in autocracies. Scholars …

Julia McReynolds-Pérez

Julia McReynolds-Pérez

College of Charleston

Mobilization

Fetal Aspirations: The Humorous Meme as a Mobilizing Tactic

This article analyzes the use of humor as a strategy for claims making and activist identity construction through visual production at face-to-face protests and Internet memes. Humorous visual images can serve multiple social movement purposes, including ridiculing and delegitimizing the opposition, neutralizing opponents’ claims, creating a fun and irreverent group identity, and fostering group cohesion through shared enjoyment. This article explores these issues through a content analysis of visual repertoires of contention in the mobilizations around the proposed legalization of abortion in Argentina in 2018, with a focus on the use of images of fetuses. This case is useful for theorizing the specific uses of humor as a social movement strategy, especially the role it plays in the relationship between two oppositional movements.

Guillaume Petit

Guillaume Petit

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Mobilization

Indignation as affective transformation: An affect-theoretical approach to the Belgian Yellow Vest movement

In social movement research, indignation features prominently as an affect that triggers protest and mobilization. Yet, scholarly accounts rarely unpack the precise ways in which indignation performs these roles, and how it transforms individuals who join mobilization. This article conceptualizes indignation as a moment of affective transformation, based on affect-theoretical insights and drawing on the empirical analysis of the Belgian yellow vest movement (BYV). Building on focus groups, participant observations, and interviews, we unpack the complex affectivity of indignation and the dynamics that underlie indignation in the context of protest and mobilization. We find that indignation enables three affective transformations: (1) it acts as a tipping point that follows from individual feelings of resentment; (2) it is a moment of affective resonance that binds individuals in affective communities, (3) it acts as affective …

Chit Wai John Mok

Chit Wai John Mok

University of California, Irvine

Mobilization

VIOLENT REPRESSION, RELATIONAL POSITIONS, AND EMOTIONAL MECHANISMS IN HONG KONG’S ANTI-EXTRADITION MOVEMENT

Emotions are essential for mobilization. In the face of violent repression, individual participants evaluate their relational positions in the interaction order within relation to other participants and compare their contributions. This evaluation leads to the arousal of emotions that help sustain mobilization. Using Hong Kong’s anti-extradition movement as a case and based on thirty-two in-depth interviews of participants, this article proposes two emotional mechanisms of sustained mobilization. Through the guilt mechanism, interviewees believed that some others were making more contributions, and felt sorry for failing to do more. Interviewees mobilized by the mechanism of moral pleasure and solidarity, on the other hand, argued that participants contributed equally. They took part in the movement out of the desire to fulfill their moral obligations, and they felt good to be part of the movement. The key factor distinguishing …

Jeremy Pressman

Jeremy Pressman

University of Connecticut

Mobilization

Protests under trump, 2017–2021

The Trump presidency featured a high volume of contentious mobilization. We describe the collection and aggregation of protest mobilization data from 2017 to 2021 and offer five observations. First, the protests were sustained at a high level throughout the Trump presidency, with the largest subset of protests positioned against Trump and the administration’s policies. Second, the grievances that drove the protests varied. Third, the National Student Walkout and the antiracism protests in 2020 had the broadest geographic spread of any reported protests in U.S. history. Fourth, the vast majority of protests did not have arrests or injuries; they were nonviolent protests. When there were arrests, most people who were arrested were committing nonviolent civil disobedience, not aggression or interpersonal violence. Fifth, in 2020, a sustained period of right-wing countermobilization began around the issues of COVID-19 …

Joost de Moor

Joost de Moor

Stockholms universitet

Mobilization

Mixing with the crowd: how mobilization affects diversity in demonstrations

The internal diversity of demonstrations speaks to fundamental debates about voice and equality, solidarity, social capital, and social movement success—yet is rarely empirically investigated. We study how mobilization distinguishes between internally diverse and homogenous demonstrations in terms of education and class. We use unique protest survey data from 16,134 participants in 76 demonstrations in nine European countries. We find that mobilization processes explain variation in internal diversity for education but hardly for class. Whereas informal mobilization decreases internal diversity, organizations’ involvement increases diversity. Diversity is also negatively affected by the presence of transmitters—protesters who are both asked to participate and who ask others. This homogenizing impact of transmitters is more pronounced in demonstrations more strongly dominated by informal mobilization …

Erica Chenoweth

Erica Chenoweth

Harvard University

Mobilization

Protests under trump, 2017–2021

The Trump presidency featured a high volume of contentious mobilization. We describe the collection and aggregation of protest mobilization data from 2017 to 2021 and offer five observations. First, the protests were sustained at a high level throughout the Trump presidency, with the largest subset of protests positioned against Trump and the administration’s policies. Second, the grievances that drove the protests varied. Third, the National Student Walkout and the antiracism protests in 2020 had the broadest geographic spread of any reported protests in U.S. history. Fourth, the vast majority of protests did not have arrests or injuries; they were nonviolent protests. When there were arrests, most people who were arrested were committing nonviolent civil disobedience, not aggression or interpersonal violence. Fifth, in 2020, a sustained period of right-wing countermobilization began around the issues of COVID-19 …

H. Christoph Steinhardt

H. Christoph Steinhardt

Universität Wien

Mobilization

Protest Event Analysis Meets Autocracy: Comparing the Coverage of Chinese Protests on Social Media, Dissident Websites and in the News

How accurate is media-elicited protest event data from autocracies where the state censors the media? Based on a source-specific model of event selection and a multisource dataset of over 3,100 protests from three Chinese megacities, we demonstrate the substantial advantages of using social media data, capturing 115 times more protests than English-language international news, 74 times more than domestic news, and 10 times more than dissident websites. Social media are most likely to cover small and nonviolent events that other sources often ignore. Aside from antiregime protests, they are less affected by censorship than often assumed. A validity test against public holidays and daily rainfall shows that social media data outperform dissident websites and traditional news. Social media, and to a lesser extent dissident media, are promising new sources for protest event analysis in autocracies. Scholars …

Eva Espinar

Eva Espinar

Universidad de Alicante

Mobilization

Life-Course Effects of Women’s Political Activism: Public and Private Trajectories From Anti-Francoism to the 15-M in Spain

Using life stories, this article analyzes the effects that youthful political participation during the final years of Spain’s Francoist dictatorship had on the public and private life-course trajectories for a group of activist women. Noteworthy among our conclusions is the fundamental role that political engagement plays, becoming a key element of the interviewed women’s identities. They associated political activity with mainly positive emotions, learnings, and empowerment, as well as with the creation of social networks that became especially relevant when reengaging in activism later in their lives. Similarly, their political activism favored the development of heterodox attitudes and behaviors. In general, their personal trajectories were marked by political and social commitments, regardless of the differences in relation to formal participation in political parties and other organizations.

Roberto Scaramuzzino

Roberto Scaramuzzino

Lunds Universitet

Mobilization

Reshaping alliances and redrawing boundaries: How international migration affected Italian civil society

Many conflicts in Italian politics have focused on migration policy. After the national elections in 2018, this conflict cut across all societal spheres and levels of governance and administration. On the one hand, tightening migration policies and criminalizing pro-migrant civil-society actors created a conflict between the government and many civil-society actors. On the other hand, civil-society and public-sector actors formed new alliances and lines of conflict at the local and national levels. This article analyzes the development of Italian civil society around the migration issue from the 1970s to 2019 from a relational perspective using the strategic action field approach. This approach offers a conceptual framework and an analytical model for studying behaviors and relations among different types of collective actors, including civil-society actors and public authorities.

Ruud Wouters

Ruud Wouters

Universiteit Antwerpen

Mobilization

Mixing with the crowd: How mobilization affects diversity in demonstrations

The internal diversity of demonstrations speaks to fundamental debates about voice and equality, solidarity, social capital, and social movement success—yet is rarely empirically investigated. We study how mobilization distinguishes between internally diverse and homogenous demonstrations in terms of education and class. We use unique protest survey data from 16,134 participants in 76 demonstrations in nine European countries. We find that mobilization processes explain variation in internal diversity for education but hardly for class. Whereas informal mobilization decreases internal diversity, organizations’ involvement increases diversity. Diversity is also negatively affected by the presence of transmitters—protesters who are both asked to participate and who ask others. This homogenizing impact of transmitters is more pronounced in demonstrations more strongly dominated by informal mobilization …

Edwin Amenta

Edwin Amenta

University of California, Irvine

Mobilization

Why US Conservative Movements Are Winning: It’s Not Trump—It’s The Institutions

Why have conservative movements gained in U.S. policy over the last few decades, while progressive ones have lost ground? I outline policy advances by conservative movements, which are puzzling, because they are unpopular, opposed by progressive movements, and draw inferior mainstream news coverage. I argue that these policy advances and setbacks are due mainly to transformations in political institutional contexts surrounding movements. Party relationships have been more effective for conservative movements because the Republican Party has rejected democratic political norms and has moved further right, promoted stronger identity formation, and allied with less conflictual policy demanders than Democrats. These effects are amplified because U.S. electoral institutions allow Republicans to rule without winning majorities of voters. In combination with these conditions, longstanding institutional …

Rune Ellefsen

Rune Ellefsen

Universitetet i Oslo

Mobilization

The unintended consequences of escalated repression

This article examines the unpredictable consequences of escalated repression on the dynamics of contention. By examining sequences of interactions among contenders in the course of one conflict, analysis traces pathways through which the escalation of repression impacts activists and protest targets in ways that seemingly go against the intentions of repressive agents. Three types of outcomes of repression are identified: a worse situation for protest targets; triggered radicalization; and a “chilling effect” on lawful protest. This article contributes by demonstrating a temporally sensitive approach that traces how certain pathways combine to produce these unintended outcomes. The empirical case studied is the life cycle (1999–2014) of the British conflict between the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty animal rights campaign and the Huntingdon Life Sciences corporation, which also involved the government, criminal …

Francesca Polletta

Francesca Polletta

University of California, Irvine

Mobilization

Personal storytelling in professionalized social movements

Professionalized movement organizations today rely on outside expertise in fundraising, recruitment, lobbying, management, and public messaging. We argue that the risks that accompany that development have less to do with experts’ mixed loyalties to the movement than with the tendency of expert discourse to remake political problems into technical ones, thereby obscuring the dilemmatic choices movement groups must make. We focus on expert discourse around personal storytelling, a strategy that has become popular for raising funds, advocating for policy, and building public support. Our interviews with activists and consultants and content analysis of stories they rated as successful point to an expert discourse that emphatically rejects “victim” storytelling. Instead, activists are instructed to tell stories of hope and resilience, avoid referring to the graphic details of abuse, and only hint at their emotional pain …

David S. Meyer

David S. Meyer

University of California, Irvine

Mobilization

Growth and decline of opposing movements: Gun control and gun rights, 1945–2015

Movement-countermovement pairs develop in opposition to one another as they battle for position, influence, and survival in a shifting political and cultural context. While theoretical work on countermovements and the political context posits a rough symmetry between opposing movements, our analysis demonstrates significant asymmetries in the fight over gun policy in the United States. Drawing on news accounts, government records, public opinion polls, and organizational-capacity data for twenty-six gun control and twenty-nine gun rights groups, we show that both sides grow during policy fights and after focusing events, but the side with more stable revenue sustains growth longer. The gun rights movement’s financial advantages made it far less dependent on attention-grabbing moments. This imbalance reflects resource differences that affect each side’s capacity for responding to political opportunities and …

Tania E. Lopez DoCarmo

Tania E. Lopez DoCarmo

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Mobilization

Personal storytelling in professionalized social movements

Professionalized movement organizations today rely on outside expertise in fundraising, recruitment, lobbying, management, and public messaging. We argue that the risks that accompany that development have less to do with experts’ mixed loyalties to the movement than with the tendency of expert discourse to remake political problems into technical ones, thereby obscuring the dilemmatic choices movement groups must make. We focus on expert discourse around personal storytelling, a strategy that has become popular for raising funds, advocating for policy, and building public support. Our interviews with activists and consultants and content analysis of stories they rated as successful point to an expert discourse that emphatically rejects “victim” storytelling. Instead, activists are instructed to tell stories of hope and resilience, avoid referring to the graphic details of abuse, and only hint at their emotional pain …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Mobilization

Ticked off, but scared off? Riots and the fate of nonviolent campaigns

Research on the relationship between nonviolent and violent dissent has focused on explicit shifts in organized strategies, disregarding less-organized forms of violence such as riots. Even though disorganized violence is common, we know little about how it influences the onset and fate of antigovernment nonviolent campaigns. Activists frequently argue that nonviolent discipline is essential and disorganized violence is counterproductive for effective large-scale mobilization. However, others emphasize how disorganized violence could have a mobilizing effect on large-scale protest and revitalize a nonviolent campaign. We detail these competing perspectives on how riots can influence the onset and outcomes of nonviolent campaigns. We then evaluate these contending claims empirically by examining how riots affect the initial emergence of nonviolent campaigns and the likelihood that campaigns will terminate …