Students Make Changes: How Authoritarian Governments Respond to Student Protesters Open Access

Kim, Celline (Spring 2023)

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This thesis aims to answer the question of if student involvement in pro-democracy protests changes the final outcome of the campaign. Using linear regressions, matching, and three case studies, I evaluate the relationship between student involvement and domestic support, international pressure, and defections on success of a protest—as in if a formal democratic government was created as a direct result of the protest campaign. Using Chenoweth and Stephen’s Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes dataset (2022), Dahlum’s Student Protest dataset (2019), and original coding for campaigns in the years 2006-2013, 396 protest campaigns were analyzed to understand the significance student involvement can have on a campaign movement. In addition, case studies of South Korea in the 1980s, Yugoslavia in 1968, and Bahrain in 2011 were used to further understand how each variable can and does interact with each other. Taking into consideration both methods of analysis, it was found that student involvement does have a statistically significant, positive relation with success. In addition, the case studies have revealed that student involvement interacting with domestic support, international pressure, and defections can only increase these odds. These findings support the idea that students who protest nonviolently are significantly more likely to succeed as well as nonviolent protests in general having higher rates of success than violent protests.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction 2

II. Literature Review 4

1. Literature on Authoritarian Regimes 4

2. Literature on Protest Movements 7

3. Student Protest Movements 10

III. Theory 11

1. Organizational Capacity 12

2. Domestic Support 13

3. International pressure 14

4. Defections from the state and security forces 15

IV. Hypotheses 17

V. Research Design 18

1. Rationale for Mixed Methods 18

2. Quantitative Analysis 19

3. Qualitative Analysis 20

4. Measurement and Data 23

Key Concepts and Variables 23

Dataset Construction 24

Limitations 27

VI. Quantitative Analysis 27

1. Descriptive Statistics 28

2. Regressions 28

3. Causal Considerations 40

VII. Case Studies 42

1. The South Korea Case 42

A Brief Historical Context 42

Student Participation 43

Domestic Support 46

International Pressure 49

Defections 51

Analysis 53

Conclusion 55

2. The Yugoslavia Case 55

A Brief Historical Context 56

Student Involvement 57

Domestic Support 59

International Attention 60

Defections 61

Analysis 62

Conclusion 63

3. The Bahrain Case 63

A Brief Historical Context 64

Student Involvement 65

Domestic Support 67

International Pressure 69

Defections 71

Analysis 73

VIII. Empirical Analysis 75

IX. Concluding Remarks 77

X. Works Cited 78

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