Human Behavior

Banners, Barricades, and Bombs: How Social Movements Affect Public Opinion

Protest, Plaza del Sol, Madrid

It’s an argument we’ve heard before: governments should not negotiate with terrorist organizations that engage in violent activity. This idea is pervasive throughout the academic and policy worlds, but what about public opinion? Do citizens think the government should shun social movements that adopt extreme tactics often associated with terrorist organizations?

Social protest takes various forms, and organized social movements have various intentions—from benign disruption to purposeful violence. In their forthcoming paper for Comparative Political Studies, Connor Huff and Dominika Kruszewska look at how the tactical choices of social movements affect public opinion about whether or not—and to what degree—governments should negotiate with social movements.1Read more about Banners, Barricades, and Bombs: How Social Movements Affect Public Opinion

What Others Think of Us

Social Esteem and Participation in Contentious Politics

Taking a look at recent episodes of social unrest, public protest, and other forms of contentious politics around the globe will tell you a lot about 2014. 

The year opened with violence in Kiev as thousands took to Independence Square in the Ukrainian capital to remove the Yanukovych government from power. Gay rights activists in St. Petersburg, Russia—but also throughout the world in a display of solidarity—protested the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in light of Russia’s controversial laws on “non-traditional” sexuality. Read more about What Others Think of Us