CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Dr. Susan Stokes Discusses Impact of Repression on Street Protests

October 22nd, 2015

On October 9th, the Tulane Political Science department and CIPR were proud to welcome Dr. Susan Stokes to present her paper: “Repression and Street Protests: Behavioral Underpinnings of Backlash Movements.” Dr. Stokes is the John S. Saden Professor of Political Science at Yale University and Director of the Yale Program on Democracy.

Dr. Stokes’ paper attempts to address fundamental questions about the nature of street protests and government repression. In particular, she explores the question: Why does government repression often cause street protests to escalate?

To make her argument, Dr. Stokes draws on interviews and surveys of street protesters involved in recent uprisings in Turkey, Brazil, and Ukraine. As she explained, police repression played a significant role in escalating these conflicts. Furthermore, the majority of protesters cited emotions as the main reason they were inclined to increase their participation after episodes of police violence.

Dr. Stokes’ talk was compelling and insightful, and drew spirited participation from the audience. Her works seems particularly important and timely, given recent episodes of police violence and street protests in the U.S. and worldwide.