party in the street: theory is put to the test

The main argument of Party in the Street is that the nature of partisanship affects the level of protest. If your movement thinks it is part of/opposed to a party, then protest will track who is in power (e.g., if your side wins an election, you mellow out). If the movement rejects the party system, then mobilization will be independent of election outcomes.

Well, we have a new data point. The Trump administration has declared a buildup of troops in Afghanistan. The party in power is Republican and the antiwar movement is tied to the Democratic party. The prediction: we should see an increase in antiwar protest.

Now, there is a mediating factor. The Afghanistan war has been the more popular part of the War on Terror. While hard core antiwar groups opposed interventions in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the public (and the Democratic party) has been more supportive of armed intervention in Afghanistan. This suggests an increase relative to the baseline of almost no protest (which we’ve seen since about 2010), we should a modest increase. Definitely not 2003 levels, but we should see more if the build up continues.

Am I right? Tell me what you think.

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Written by fabiorojas

August 23, 2017 at 12:01 am

2 Responses

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  1. trump has claimed a lot of things that haven’t actually happened, and this wasn’t exactly one of his main campaign topics. are potential anti-war protests even going to consider this a credible threat?



    August 23, 2017 at 4:30 am

  2. That’s an excellent point. I suppose the theory will only be put to the test should Trump actually put in the effort to actually coordinate a troop build up, which is an insane amount of work (which he likely won’t do).



    August 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm

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