Globalization and Protest Expansion

Source: Kyle Dodson, Social Problems, Volume 62 Issue 1, First published online: 18 March 2015
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From the abstract:
Evidence of protest expansion both in the United States and abroad has stimulated theoretical discussion of a “movement society,” with some arguing that protest activities are becoming a standard feature of democratic politics. In advancing this claim, many have highlighted the role of domestic factors—for example, generational change or economic affluence—without fully accounting for the possibility that international dynamics may play an important role as well. The lack of work is surprising not only because the trend in protest is international in scope, but also because work in comparative sociology suggests globalization may make an important contribution. This study addresses the empirical gap by examining how political globalization (as measured by memberships in international organizations) and economic globalization (as measured by trade activity and foreign investment) influence trends in protest participation. Using data from World Values Surveys of 37,716 respondents in 17 advanced democracies merged with data on several national and international indicators, this study examines how the probability of participating in protest has changed over time as a result of these two forms of globalization. The results of multivariate, multilevel analysis combined with simulations indicate that trends in political globalization have expanded protest activity, while trends in economic globalization have limited that expansion. These results suggest that social movement scholarship should continue to examine the implications of globalization for protest behavior and other social movement dynamics.