Unconventional protests: partisans and independents outside the Republican and Democratic national conventions

Heaney, M. T. (2016) Unconventional protests: partisans and independents outside the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Research and Politics, 3(4), (doi: 10.1177/2053168016674138)

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Protests at national party conventions are an important setting in which political parties and social movements challenge one another. This article examines the motivations of participants in these events. Drawing upon data from surveys of protesters outside the 2008 national party conventions, it focuses on how partisan and independent political identifications correspond with the reasons that individuals give for protesting. The results demonstrate that there are some conditions under which independents place a greater focus on issues than do partisans and under which partisans place a greater focus on presidential candidates than do independents. However, there are also conditions under which independents are inclined to work alongside partisans, such as trying to stop the election of a threatening candidate and in championing an issue outside their opposing party’s convention. The article argues that micro-level partisan identifications are thus likely to affect the broader structure of party coalitions. These considerations promise to become increasingly relevant as social movements – such as the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter – launch new campaigns against or within established parties.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heaney, Dr Michael
Authors: Heaney, M. T.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Research and Politics
ISSN (Online):2053-1680
Published Online:19 October 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Author
First Published:First published in Research and Politics 3(4)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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