Domestic and supranational political opportunities: European protest in selected countries 1980-1995
Reising, Uwe K.H.
This paper attempts to explain the rates of European protest in three core countries of the EEC/EU – the Belgium, France, and Germany – over a sixteen-year period from 1980 to 1995 based on their institutional differences as suggested by the literature on political opportunity structures. First, the findings support the notion of a Europeanization of protest that is spurred by the changing constellation of national vs. supranational powers in the wake of European integration. The Europeanization of protest occurs, displaying systematic cross-national differences. These differences are, as the results suggest, related to the differential between the constraints of the actors' domestic environments and the common-to-all evolving opportunities on the level of European politics. Secondly, the findings suggest that the rates of protest in cross-national perspective are not simply random. The macro-political structure plays a (statistically) significant, logically consistent, and visible role in the explanatory bundle leading to occurrence or absence of protest actions.
protest; political opportunity structure; participation; Belgium; France; Germany; political science
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