Enabling activist resilience: Bystander protections during protest crackdowns in Myanmar

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1 Citaat (Scopus)


What accounts for the survival and long-term participation of activists in contentious movements under repression? I argue for the role of an important yet oft-neglected factor: protective support by civilian bystanders. I propose that, mainly motivated by victim-oriented sympathy, bystanders engage in high-risk protection that helps activists to escape crackdowns and bolsters their dedication to the movement. To test my theoretical claims, I examine hard cases for activist survival at the height of state violence during military rule in Myanmar between 1988 and 2010, with an original qualitative data set consisting of oral history interviews and written accounts by more than 100 protest observers and former pro-democracy activists. The data set presents an unprecedented number of voices from the average, non-contentious general public, which are mostly missing in existing research on social movements. This approach generates a fresh perspective to better understand opportunities and constraints around movement entrepreneurs in hostile environments.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)205-225
Aantal pagina's21
TijdschriftAsian Politics & Policy
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
StatusPublished - 2023
Extern gepubliceerdJa

Bibliografische nota

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Asian Politics & Policy published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Policy Studies Organization.


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