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The Resource, Structural, and Cultural Bases of Protest

  • Author(s): Dalton, Russell J.
  • van Sickle, Alix
  • et al.
Abstract

Political protest plays an ambiguous role in the repertoire of political action. This essay examines cross-national levels of protest. With data from the new 1999-2002 wave of the World Values Survey, we test theories of protest derived from relative deprivation theory, political opportunity structures and political culture. The WVS enables us to test these theories on a near global scale with data from nearly 70 national surveys, comparing how the nature of protest potentially varies cross-nationally. We find that the primary sources of protest reflect the existing of resources and political opportunities to engage in protest activity. People protest not because they are frustrated and excluded from politics, but because the can protest and they expect governments to respond to their actions.

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