Protest Campaigns and Civil Wars
Can continuous processes be studied with a ‘discrete ’ theory?
The presence of protests, sometimes during violent conflict and civil war, across the globe, seems to contradict the common view that civil war and protests are mutually exclusive episodes and do not belong to a continuum. Instead, peaceful – and less peaceful – protests can coincide with civil war and other forms of armed violence like civil war. This article reflects and questions the dominant understanding that violent conflict and protests are disconnected forms of conflict and contention. To achieve this aim, the chapter discusses how both phenomena have been explained and theorized. The document starts examining similarities and differences in the definition and understanding of civil war, on the one hand, and protests and protest campaigns (Chenoweth & Lewis, 2013) . Departing from the important work of T.R. Gurr (2011) and others (Skocpol, 1979; Tilly, 2006), on protest, rebellion and violent conflict in the process of state-building, this article research aims to reevaluate how protest campaings and civil war can relate to each other over time. The document discusses under which conditions, processes such as protest campaigns escalate into a low intensity or high intensity civil war, and on the circumstances that define the de-escalation from civil wars protest campaigns. The article argues that in the aftermath of civil wars, protests are more likely to be observed in post-agreement scenarios. In addition, it argues that before civil wars, protests campaigns do take place, and where venues for negotiation with dissidents are closed and state capacity is weak and armed conflict is more likely. The article proceeds to present a theoretical framework for understanding different possible ‘patterns’ of transition between protest campaigns and civil war, and from civil war to protest campaigns. The possibility that civil war and protest campaigns belong to a continuum is thus theorized through a series of trajectories. These trajectories are conditioned, by a series of factors that relate to the nature of the state where the contention is taking place.
Díaz, F.A, Sr. (2017). Protest Campaigns and Civil Wars. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/103256