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The Political Power of Protest
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Book description

Gillion demonstrates the direct influence that political protest behavior has on Congress, the presidency and the Supreme Court, illustrating that protest is a form of democratic responsiveness that government officials have used, and continue to draw on, to implement federal policies. Focusing on racial and ethnic minority concerns, this book shows that the context of political protest has served as a signal for political preferences. As pro-minority rights behavior grew and anti-minority rights actions declined, politicians learned from minority protest and responded when they felt emboldened by stronger informational cues stemming from citizens' behavior, a theory referred to as the 'information continuum'. Although the shift from protest to politics as a political strategy has opened the door for institutionalized political opportunity, racial and ethnic minorities have neglected a powerful tool to illustrate the inequalities that exist in contemporary society.


'Gillion tackles a large question in a slim volume: 'Do protest actions truly influence the behavior of public official?' The research presented in this book shows that government action at the national level can be influenced by minority group protests … Summing up: recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research and professional collections.'

J. D. Rausch Source: Choice

'… illuminating and persuasive, and his examination of the Supreme Court’s responses to minority protests is especially innovative.'

Allan J. Lichtman Source: Journal of American History

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