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Barriers to Nonviolent Resistance: Identities, Aims and State Responses to Dissent

Vidović, Dragana (2018) Barriers to Nonviolent Resistance: Identities, Aims and State Responses to Dissent. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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The second chapter of this PhD thesis examines the barriers to nonviolent resistance and explains why, despite the grievances, we see uprisings in some states and not others. I argue that a lack of common ties and the existence of ethnic cleavages create additional barriers for nonviolent mass mobilization in ethnically diverse states. I test the argument by using the Ethnic-Power Relations (EPR) and Nonviolent and Violent Campaign and Outcomes (NAVCO.2.0) datasets. The results show that the probability of nonviolent campaign onset is conditional on both, the levels of ethnic diversity and the regime type – the onset being less likely in ethnically diverse non-democracies. The third chapter illustrates how ethnic divides can be used to undermine mass-scale nonviolent mobilization by examining government framing of protest events during the 2014 spring protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Automated text analysis approach is used to discover the types of narratives (frames) that the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s government officials used to respond to protest demands. The results show that the Government officials have predominantly used the following types of frames: delegitimizing (ex. calling protesters traitors, hooligans), demobilizing (sympathetic statements – ex. saying that protests are justified), and alternative views (sidelining/ignoring grievances by discussing more salient issues). The results indicate that ethnic divides were exploited to prevent cross-ethnic mass mobilization. In the chapter four, I explore the variability of government responses to protest events using the Mass Mobilization Data (MMD), focusing on the ignore category - the response not commonly studied in the literature. I find that contrary to the expectations, governments are more likely to ignore than repress protest events. In particular, governments are more likely to ignore protests with 1000 or more participants, and more likely to accommodate than repress protests above 5000 participants. In conclusion, this PhD thesis shows that ethnicity increases costs of cooperation and lowers potentials for nonviolent resistance. In addition, this thesis demonstrates that governments might often choose to neither repress nor accommodate protest events, choosing instead to ignore grievances and demands. In summary, the aim of this PhD thesis is to examine barriers to nonviolent resistance and state responses to dissent.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: nonviolent campaigns, ethnic divisions, government responses, ignoring protest demands
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Dragana Vidovic
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2018 12:45
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2021 01:00

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