Marching and voting: The electoral protest cycle 

Año: 2023

Publicado en: The Social Science Journal

DOI: 10.1080/03623319.2023.2222881

ISBN / ISSN: 1873-5355


Social movements studies have analyzed how the protest affects the electoral agenda and the outcome of elections. Here, we reverse this approach and analyze whether the electoral cycle affects the protest. With the aid of a new dataset that contains all the demonstrations and marches in Spain from 2000 to 2020 (N = 2,255), we test whether the size of the protest is influenced by the proximity of general elections. As elections offer social movements a political opportunity to air their grievances and make their demands visible to political contenders and the public, we test an electoral protest cycle hypothesis whereby the number of participants in protest events will increase as election day draws nearer. Our results confirm the existence of an electoral protest cycle, even after controlling for potential confounders such as the type of organizers, the claims of the protest, the ideology of the government, and city size.