Will the Protesters Return? Civil Disobedience in the Time of Covid-19

26 May 2020

(Political Violence at a Glance) With government bans on public gatherings as well as forceful lockdowns, experts are raising concerns about a decline in street protests while also noting an upsurge in innovative online protest tactics fueled by social media. Some are warning authoritarian leaders that, when the threat of COVID-19 subsides, they will face a backlash. Others, believing citizens will be too afraid or too tired, wonder whether protests will disappear altogether.

New research suggests that these concerns are misplaced and the predictions may be wrong. Data from Ukraine and Argentina show that people are willing to protest at high rates, seemingly undaunted by the virus. [...]

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Co-authors: Olga Onuch, Gwen Sasse, Volodymyr Kulyk, and Felipe G. Santos.