Discarding protests? Relating crisis experience to approval of protests among activists and bystanders
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To what extent does the economic crisis affect support for political protest? Since the outburst of the financial crisis in 2008 many protests have been mobilized against national governments and their austerity policies. In some countries, these actions were described in the media as having little support among the general public, while elsewhere these actions enjoyed significant public support. Surprisingly little scholarly work has examined this variation. We fill this research gap by investigating who approves of austerity protests, how bystanders’ attitudes differ from the activists’ approval of protests and how repertoires relate to the approval of austerity protests. The analysis uses original survey data from nine European countries affected by the recent economic crisis at varying degrees and demonstrates that protest experience, both at the country and individual level, relates to approval of anti-austerity protests. The severity of economic crisis increases is positively related to protest approval in general terms, but there are differences depending on the type of grievances and which forms of austerity protests are considered.
KeywordsProtest Attitudes Bystanders Repertoires Economic crisis
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