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Protests and the Pandemic
When the police use tear gas or rubber bullets to disperse street demonstrators, why do protests sometimes grow? When US states impose strict voter identification laws in an effort to discourage some groups from voting, why do their efforts often fail? What is the role of emotions like anger and fear in encouraging people to participate in politics – in elections or protests – or in keeping them at home? The authors of Why Bother? offer a new theory of why people take part in collective action in politics, and test it in the contexts of voting and protesting. They develop the idea that just as there are costs of participation in politics, there are also costs of abstention - intrinsic and psychological but no less real. That abstention can be psychically costly helps explain real-world patterns that are anomalies for existing theories, such as that sometimes increases in costs of participation are followed by more participation, not less. The book draws on a wealth of survey data, interviews, and experimental results from a range of countries, including the United States, Britain, Brazil, Sweden, and Turkey.

Aug 6, 2020 09:00 PM in Sao Paulo

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