When do political parties join protests? : a comparative analysis of party involvement in 'for fair elections' movement
Title: When do political parties join protests? : a comparative analysis of party involvement in 'for fair elections' movement
Citation: East European politics, 2016, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 81-104
ISSN: 2159-9165; 2159-9173
Why do some political parties join popular protests, whereas others abstain or even oppose them? Using a paired case-study comparison between the Russian regions, we examine political parties’ strategies towards the “For Fair Elections” movement in 2011–2012 and explain these choices through two jointly operating mechanisms: level of party institutionalisation; and co-optation. We show that despite the symbiosis of the state and political parties and overall parties’ loyalty to the regime, they differ in strategy and degree of involvement in social movements on an organisational level. We argue that the mechanism of party institutionalisation explains the switch between involvement and abstention, while co-optation does a better job in explaining the 'support/counteract' choice.
First published online: 03 March 2016
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