Examining the Link between Popular Participation and Successful Political Resistance

47 Pages Posted: 9 May 2016 Last revised: 8 May 2024

See all articles by Stephen Wittels

Stephen Wittels

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Political Science

Date Written: March 8, 2016

Abstract

Recent work on campaigns of civil resistance posits a causal link between nonviolence and campaign success mediated by levels of popular participation. Formal causal mediation analysis reveals a robust null effect along this causal pathway. A separate, instrumental variables analysis of the unconditional average effect of participation on nonviolent resistance movements’ likelihood of victory casts further doubt on the notion that larger campaigns strictly outperform smaller ones. However, where resistance is led by a pre-existing socio-economic or political organization – such as a trade union, a religious community, or a political party or front – greater popular participation does appear to be beneficial.

Suggested Citation

Wittels, Stephen, Examining the Link between Popular Participation and Successful Political Resistance (March 8, 2016). MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2016-11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2776783 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2776783

Stephen Wittels (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Political Science ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

HOME PAGE: http://web.mit.edu/polisci/people/gradstudents/steve-wittels.html

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