Means, Motives and Opportunities in Ethno-Nationalist Mobilization

International Interactions, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 53-83, 2008

46 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2011 Last revised: 11 Sep 2017

See all articles by Gregory D. Saxton

Gregory D. Saxton

Schulich School of Business, York University

Michelle Benson

State University of New York at Buffalo

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Building on the most important theoretical tools from the literatures on social movements and nationalism, we propose a model of the intensity of nationalist political behavior in which a community’s means, motives, and opportunities assume the central roles in the initiation and escalation of nationalist contentious politics. We then test this model using multinomial logit on original data from the seventeen autonomous communities of Spain over a twenty-year period. The results demonstrate that the means, motives, and opportunities assume vital, yet non-linear, roles in determining a community’s level of electoral, violent, and non-violent contentious activity. The findings also show that there are crucial differences in what accounts for the moves to electoral contention, to protest, and to rebellion. Several of these factors are uniformly escalatory on the intensity of contention – especially repression, social mobilization, and regime change – while others, most importantly democracy, have a moderating effect on the generation of conflict. The results further imply processes of a diffusion of rebellious activities and of an organizational-level substitution effect between violent and non-violent forms of political behavior. At the aggregate community level, however, escalation in contention involves a “cumulative effect” rather than a classic “substitution effect.”

Keywords: nationalism, ethnic conflict, nationalist conflict, protest, rebellion

Suggested Citation

Saxton, Gregory D. and Benson, Michelle, Means, Motives and Opportunities in Ethno-Nationalist Mobilization (2008). International Interactions, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 53-83, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1735746

Gregory D. Saxton (Contact Author)

Schulich School of Business, York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://social-metrics.org

Michelle Benson

State University of New York at Buffalo ( email )

12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14222
United States

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