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Running uphill: Political opportunity in non-democracies

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Chapter Summary

This chapter identifies political opportunities that enable non-elites to resist, and to contend with, authoritarian governments at the peak of their power. It focuses on twenty-four political situations in fifteen stable non-democracies, two thirds of which resulted in significant socio-political mobilizations, and one-third of which did not. Through qualitative comparative analysis, the chapter seeks the minimal set of conditions necessary for high risk/high cost activism and popular contention in non-democratic contexts. The authors' interest in the multiple interactions of political conditions for social mobilization initially drew them to the qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) method. The big surprise of their foray into standard statistics was to see the strong complementarity between the QCA and Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) approaches. The regression analysis allows them a stronger basis for asserting the relevance of the five Political Opportunity Structures (POS) dimensions proposed in their 2003 article, "Running Uphill".

Keywords: activism; Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) approach; non-democracies; Political Opportunity Structures (POS); qualitative comparative analysis (QCA); regression analysis; Running Uphill; socio-political mobilizations



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