ECPR General Conference
Universität Hamburg, Hamburg
22 - 25 August 2018

The Mobilizing Effect of Political Beliefs: Explaining Unconventional Political Participation in the Arab World

Christoph Mohamad-Klotzbach
Würzburg Julius-Maximilians University
Christoph Mohamad-Klotzbach
Würzburg Julius-Maximilians University

In the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring, research on political behavior in the Arab World has increased. Scholars wanted to understand why citizens in authoritarian regimes started to engage in unconventional political behavior (e.g. protests, signing petitions). Although studies have analyzed socio-structural variables (gender, age, income, education) and socio-political variables (religiosity, social capital, political interest, political trust), only few included variables of political mass belief such as political islam or support for specific democratic principles. Once, Sartori (1969) pointed out, that compared to economic dissatisfaction, political ideologies are key for political mass mobilization. Following this argument, this paper compares the mobilizing effect of economic dissatisfaction, political islam and democratic beliefs on unconventional political behavior. Thereby, it argues a) that political beliefs are essential for explaining mass mobilization and b) that this effect is stronger in less democratic countries. The study uses pooled data of eleven countries surveyed by the Arab Barometer Project (Wave 3, 2012-2014).
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"The less the power, the greater the desire to exercise it" - Bernard Levin

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