Striking it Free? Organized labor and the outcomes of civil resistance
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This study draws from organizational theory to explain the outcomes of civil resistance campaigns. Organizational theory suggests that organizations embedded in extensive interpersonal networks upon which the state partially depends bring “leverage” to civil resistance campaigns and increase the likelihood of major government concessions in the short term. Also, organizations with strong local ties and a confederal “national” structure should bring resilience and reduce the probability of short term failure. We argue that, in general, National Trade Unions (NTUs) approximate these organizational features. Using new data on the participation of NTUs in civil resistance campaigns, our results suggest that NTU participation increases the likelihood of short-term success and decreases the chances of short-term failure. NTU participation also improves the prospects of postconflict democratization. In contrast, campaign size is robustly associated with short-term success but not with the probability of failure or postconflict democratization. Our research suggests that an “organizational” turn is a productive step toward understanding the short- and long-term outcomes of nonviolent campaigns.