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Leadership and Mobilization

  • Ronald A. Francisco
Chapter

Abstract

What causes revolution? Historians and social scientists have alike put forward a myriad causes, but there is really only one: mobilization. Should a regime fall without mass mobilization, it is defined as a victim of a coup d’etat, usually by a military cabal. Mobilization – not revolution – then is the concept that foremost requires explanation. How is it that on one particular occasion, a gathering of one hundred people or even hundreds of thousands act against their government? From a theoretical point of view, this question is the same as asking why 30 workers act against their firm. The puzzle of mobilization focuses on why anyone acts at all. Most do not, as Mancur Olson (1965) pointed out. About few to 5% of the local population might act under risk, and exactly why they do so has remained mysterious.We have stories, anecdotes, and examples on mobilization, but until recently there was no theoretical explanation about how mobilization actually arises. Mark Lichbach (1995, 1996) spent the better part of a decade grappling with this problem. His work clarifies how dissident mobilization occurs. In this chapter, we examine the theoretical implications of his and other formal theorists’ work in terms of real-world mobilization.

Keywords

Public Good Collective Action Veto Player Mass Mobilization Black Panther Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. Political ScienceUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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