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category: peer-reviewed article

title |

Explaining Differential Protest Participation: Novices, Returners, Repeaters and Stalwarts

author(s) | Clare Saunders, Maria Grasso, Cristiana Olcese, Emily Rainsford and Christopher Rootes

journal | Mobilization

publication year | 2012     volume | 17     issue | 3

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keywords | Protest, climate change, May Day, biographic availability, structural availability, political engagement

abstract | Protest participation scholarship tends to focus on the special characteristics of novices and the highly committed, underplaying the significance of those in between. In this article, we fill a lacuna in the literature by refocusing attention on four different types of protesters – novices, returners, repeaters and stalwarts. Employing data from protest surveys of demonstrations that took place in seven European countries (2009-2010) we test whether these types of protesters are differentiated by biographical/structural availability and/or psychological/attitudinal engagement. Our results suggest that biographic availability distinguishes our four groups, but not as a matter of degree. Few indicators of structural availability distinguish between the groups of protesters, and emotional factors do not distinguish between them at all. Some political engagement factors suggest similarity between novices and returners. This confirms the need to avoid treating protesters as a homogenous group and reinforces importance of assessing the contributions of diverse factors to sustaining ‘protest politics’.

country project | The Netherlands

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