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The Autocratic Middle ClassHow State Dependency Reduces the Demand for Democracy$
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Bryn Rosenfeld

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691192185

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691192185.001.0001

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Rethinking the Middle-Class Protest Paradigm

Rethinking the Middle-Class Protest Paradigm

Chapter:
(p.100) 4 Rethinking the Middle-Class Protest Paradigm
Source:
The Autocratic Middle Class
Author(s):

Bryn Rosenfeld

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691192185.003.0004

This chapter raises micro-foundational questions about the expectation that a rising middle-class will lead a democratic civic revolution. It focuses on political behavior and examines observed patterns of mobilized contention during Russia's 2011–2012 electoral cycle by nesting a unique series of protest surveys within detailed data on the population from which protesters were recruited. It also shows how one enters the middle-class and what alternatives one possesses to affect participation in risky collective action. The chapter sheds light on why professionals in the state-sector were significantly less likely to mobilize against electoral fraud amid heightened middle-class participation in anti-regime protests. It emphasizes that middle-class protesters from the private sector were much more likely than the working class to join the protests' democratic coalition.

Keywords:   middle-class, democratic civic revolution, mobilized contention, electoral fraud, anti-regime protests

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