Quaranta, M. ‘Political dissatisfaction and political protest in Western Europe: What is the role of party systems?’ Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica/Italian Political Science Review 44.2 (2014): 115-145
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Abstract

Protest politics is often linked to political dissatisfaction. However, much of the literature on political protest overlooks the fact that dissatisfaction originates within the political system, and therefore may depend on it. In this article, we argue that citizens who are dissatisfied with the political system are more likely to join protest actions because they have a greater incentive to change the current political situation. Moreover, we argue that the likelihood of joining protest actions also depends on the characteristics of the existing party systems. We believe that, in contexts where parties cannot serve as linkages between civil society and politi¬cal institutions, dissatisfaction may be a further motivational mechanism for joining political protests. Using multilevel models and the European Value Study, we find that citizens participating in political protest activities show, on average, higher levels of political dissatisfaction, that their participation in political protests depends on the characteristics of the party systems and that, overall, the association between dissatisfaction and protest varies according to the characteristics of the party systems.

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