Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2149638
 


 



The Elements of Protest: Combining Coordination, Cooperation, and Communication in the Lab


Daniel P. Enemark


University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Mathew D. McCubbins


Duke University

Nicholas Weller


University of Southern California - Department of Political Science; University of Southern California - School of International Relations

2012

Prepared for American Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 29, 2012

Abstract:     
Collective political action, such as protests, riots or social movements, requires the resolution of both cooperation and coordination problems. Solutions to these problems are widely seen to depend on the network that connects individuals to each other, because this network is a way for individuals to learn about the actions of others and decide if they want to participate. Although there is a general sense that networks and communication are important for collective political action there is little research exploring the relationship between network structure and group behavior. We address that gap in the literature by utilizing an experimental approach that combines both coordination and cooperation in a networked setting. We find that there are considerable differences in collective behavior based on the network structure that connects individuals. In particular, we find in our experiments that more connections in a network and the presence of highly connected nodes can both facilitate solutions to collective problems. This suggests that in building networks it would be useful to either build many connections or create recognizable leaders that can facilitate coordination.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: collective action, experiments, networks, communication, coordination

working papers series


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Date posted: September 21, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Enemark, Daniel P. and McCubbins, Mathew D. and Weller, Nicholas, The Elements of Protest: Combining Coordination, Cooperation, and Communication in the Lab (2012). Prepared for American Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 29, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2149638 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2149638

Contact Information

Daniel P. Enemark
University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )
701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Mathew D. McCubbins
Duke University ( email )
Department of Political Science
208 Gross Hall, 140 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708
United States
(213) 973-7538 (Phone)
(213) 973-3623 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://mccubbins.us
Nicholas Weller (Contact Author)
University of Southern California - Department of Political Science ( email )
Von KleinSmid Center, 327
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
University of Southern California - School of International Relations
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
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