Civic Mobilization in Authoritarian Contexts
An Annotated Bibliography: Civic Mobilization in Authoritarian Contexts
Nonviolent civic mobilization, the participation of diverse individuals and institutions in calling for change, has been an essential element in successful cases of democratization in the last 30 years. This annotated bibliography is the first step in an applied research project that explores the contextual factors and civic characteristics that enable widespread civic action in authoritarian contexts. This study looks at what facilitates mobilization in the most difficult circumstances, regardless of whether that mobilization results in democratic change.
The focus of the next step in this research is to gather evidence from comparative case study research, looking back at recent civic mobilizations in hard authoritarian contexts and asking: what allowed movements to mobilize in spite of often severe repression? Some of the most useful findings summarized in this annotated bibliography include the importance of movements having diverse and dense networks; the importance of elite defection from the regime; that successful movements innovate their tactics and employ novel rhetorical frames to challenge and undermine state power; and that nonviolent movements are more effective than violent or mixed movements.
This hyperlinked bibliography allows the reader to quickly navigate to the information that is most relevant to them and to quickly read a summary of the findings of each study and their implications. It includes select academic sources published in the last two decades that shed light on civic mobilization in authoritarian contexts. The studies were selected to focus on mobilization from below rather than elite-level politics. The bibliography is structured according to the type of research, e.g. studies using datasets with dozens of countries, more detailed comparisons of several countries, or in-depth studies of single countries. Hyperlinked topic labels point to specific themes covered; country labels show from which countries the empirical evidence came.
Support for compiling this bibliography came from the U.S. Department of State award # SLMAQM20CA2259, "Assessing the Precursors to Success," which supports research on the precursors to civic mobilization in authoritarian contexts. For more information, please contact Laura Adams at [email protected].