V. E.Belenkov

Main Page ~ Authors ~ V. E.Belenkov
  • 1, 2024

    • Long-Term Effect of Online and Offline Repressions on Post-Electoral Protest Participants Number (Cross-National Empirical Study)

      Although the relationship between state coercive measures and protests has long been studied in Political Science, there are a number of gaps in the modern research studies about the impact of repressions on street protest activity. A serious flaw in these studies is their focus on the influence of repressions on the existing protest campaigns, with little attention to their long-term implications. The impact of repressions on the scale of protest and number of protesters, as well as the role of the Internet as a factor mediating the impact of state sanctions on protests, is understudied. The article attempts to bridge these gaps.

      The author has first examined theoretical arguments in support of three possible forms of correlation between the severity of repressions and street protest activity — negative, positive, and parabolic (n-shaped), after which he tests relevant hypotheses on a sample of country cases that share the same trigger for protest — suspicions of electoral fraud. To test these hypotheses, the author utilized data on the maximum strength of repressions against civil society organizations, participants in protests and authors of anti-government messages on the Internet in the pre-electoral years, as well as data on protests in the first week following the elections.

      The study confirmed the influence of repressions on future protest activity. At the same time, the relationship between the severity of repressions and the number of protest participants in the long term has a quadratic n-shaped form: at low and high levels of repression, the number of protesters is minimal, at medium — it is maximal. As for the impact of the Internet, it was not detected on data on repression in the offline environment, but it was revealed on data on the strength of sanctions for political activity on the Web: if the share of Internet users in a country is low, repressions decrease the number of protest participants; if it is high, repressions of medium strength correspond to the maximum number of protesters.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2024-112-1-164-186

      Pages: 164-186