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Ticked off, but Scared off? Riots and the Fate of Nonviolent Campaigns

Abbs, Luke and Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede (2021) 'Ticked off, but Scared off? Riots and the Fate of Nonviolent Campaigns.' Mobilization, 26 (1). pp. 21-39. ISSN 1086-671X

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Existing research on the relationship between nonviolent and violent dissent has focused on primary tactics and explicit shifts in organized strategies. This disregards less-organized forms of violence such as riots during otherwise nonviolent and peaceful mobilization. Even though such disorganized violence is common during mobilization, we know little about how it influences the onset and fate of major nonviolent campaigns. Activists often argue that nonviolent discipline is essential for effective large-scale mobilization, and that riots and disorganized violence will be counterproductive and undermine the emergence or sustenance of mass nonviolent campaigns. However, others emphasize how riots often grow through diffusion, and see spontaneous disorganized violence as events that could have a mobilizing effect on large-scale protest. We detail these competing perspectives on how riots and unorganized violence can influence the onset of large-scale nonviolent campaigns and affect their likely outcomes. We then evaluate empirically the contending claims by examining how riots affect the initial emergence of nonviolent dissident campaigns and the likelihood that campaigns will terminate. We find that riots scale with protest size, and thus may appear to have short-term mobilizing effects on protest. However, once we take into account the common trending, we find that nonviolent mobilization are less likely to emerge after riots, and ongoing campaigns are more likely to collapse under higher rates of rioting.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2021 15:16
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:20

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