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dc.contributor.advisorWilliams, Laron K.eng
dc.contributor.advisorArce, Moiseseng
dc.contributor.authorSato, Yukoeng
dc.date.issued2021eng
dc.date.submitted2021 Springeng
dc.description.abstractMy dissertation, Crisis of Democracy: Protest and Affective Polarization, systematically examines the political and social consequences of protests in democratic societies, asking: in what conditions, protests negatively or positively affect the quality of democracy? A large-scale protest is generally associated with periods of massive political change. These mobilizations may spur democratization or enfranchise minority groups. While protests are crucial for providing a voice to the vulnerable and holding their government accountable to their citizens, there are possible downstream effects for the quality of democracy. Intensified protests are often followed by military coups or the emergence of radical populist leaders. Accordingly, radicalized protests are viewed as a danger to the legitimacy and stability of democracies. Despite the considerable social impact of protests, the mechanism of how protests would negatively affect the quality of democracy is highly understudied. In my dissertation research, I specifically investigate the relationship between protests and the polarization of the electorate, and I aim to explain how their confluence encourages democratic backsliding. My central argument --and finding-- is that protests serve as a focal event that may change voters' perceptions. In my dissertation, I seek to expand psychological approaches to mass polarization by theorizing and testing how protests targeting specific political parties or leaders may enhance individual partisan identities. Targeted protests provide open information containing a specific political message about targeted candidates or parties to the public. Accordingly, exposure to protests may activate and reinforces pre-existing partisan identities --including positive and negative-- and ultimately triggers affective polarization at the mass level. "Affect" refers to a psychological attachment to a group and is measured not only by the positive assessments toward the in-group (one's own party) but also by the negative evaluations of the out-group (the opposing party). In severely polarized societies, members become violently loyal to their "team," waiting for it to win at all costs, and strongly biased or prejudiced against the other group. This individual effect may, in turn, increase the level of polarization at the aggregated level. To the study of the consequence of political protests on voters' perceptions, I incorporate a multiple-method approach combining a quantitative analysis as well as a qualitative case study of Brazil and multilevel cross-national analysis to bring a well-rounded analysis. In the first empirical chapter, I examine how a series of political protests accelerated public opinion's polarization in the Brazilian case between 2013-2018. In the second empirical chapter, I move from a collective level of opinion polarization to individual-level preference formation. I examine how exposure to targeted protests alters or reinforces the existing preference at the individual level utilizing the difference-in-difference identification strategy. Specifically, I analyze the period in which Jair Bolsonaro was elected in the 2018 presidential election. I examine how anti-Bolsonaro protests affected the vote choice by comparing the responses before and after the protest event. To do this, I utilize the wave of survey data from Datafolha conducted both a week prior to and after the massive protest event. In the last empirical section, I offer evidence that protests which targeted the government parties or leaders affect the voters' attitude toward the ruling party in democracies. Accordingly, targeted protests increase the affective polarization at the individual level in a cross-national context. I conduct a comparative study of public opinion polarization among 30 democracies between 1996 and 2018 using the public opinion data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES). With these empirical analyses, I contribute to understanding the conditions in which protests may intensify the social conflict in democracies.eng
dc.description.bibrefIncludes bibliographical references.eng
dc.format.extentx, 144 pages : illustrations (color)eng
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10355/90088
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.32469/10355/90088eng
dc.languageEnglisheng
dc.publisherUniversity of Missouri--Columbiaeng
dc.titleCrisis of democracy : protest and affective polarizationeng
dc.typeThesiseng
thesis.degree.disciplinePolitical science (MU)eng
thesis.degree.levelDoctoraleng
thesis.degree.namePh. D.eng


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