Protest Against COVID-19 Containment Policies in European Countries

Journal of Peace Research (forthcoming)

36 Pages Posted: 13 May 2021 Last revised: 9 Mar 2022

See all articles by Eric Neumayer

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Katharina Pfaff

WU Vienna - Institute for Sociology and Empirical Social Research

Thomas Pluemper

University of Essex - Department of Government; Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics

Date Written: May 12, 2021

Abstract

Protests against coronavirus policies have occurred in all European countries. The intensity of protest varies strongly, however. We explain this variation by strategic choices that protest organizers make to maintain the protest movement. Specifically, we argue that protest organizers pay heed to the dynamics of the pandemic in their country: the number of protest events is higher when and where mortality rates are lower and containment policies are more stringent. At the same time, the number of protest events is influenced by political factors. Despite the fact that civil liberties facilitate trust in government, these two variables exert opposite effects: while higher trust in government and public administration reduces the number of protest events, stronger civil liberties increase the number of protest events. We find evidence for these hypotheses in an analysis of the number of monthly protest events based on information from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, in 28 European countries between March 2020 and August 2021.

Keywords: protest, containment policies, pandemic, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, trust, civil liberties

Suggested Citation

Neumayer, Eric and Pfaff, Katharina and Plümper, Thomas and Plümper, Thomas, Protest Against COVID-19 Containment Policies in European Countries (May 12, 2021). Journal of Peace Research (forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3844989 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3844989

Eric Neumayer (Contact Author)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://ericneumayer.wordpress.com/

Katharina Pfaff

WU Vienna - Institute for Sociology and Empirical Social Research ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Wien, 1020
Austria

Thomas Plümper

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics ( email )

Vienna
Austria

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsci.org/pluemper

Do you want regular updates from SSRN on Twitter?

Paper statistics

Downloads
263
Abstract Views
917
rank
159,636
PlumX Metrics