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Sideways Concessions and Individual Decisions to Protest

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Sideways concessions to protest are policy reforms that decrease grievance among potential protesters, without being directly linked to the stated demands of the protest. By avoiding both the backlash effect of repression and the inspirational effect of direct concessions, they are theoretically powerful tools for quelling unrest. This article evaluates the effectiveness of sideways concessions at reducing individual mobilization potential using a survey experiment conducted in Kyrgyzstan in October 2015. The evidence shows sideways concessions are effective among respondents who were dissatisfied with the government and not optimistic about the future of the country. The article also demonstrates the plausibility of these results in other settings, drawing on observational data from the 2014 Gezi Park protests in Turkey and the 2013 Euromaidan protests in Ukraine.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2019

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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