Dr. Kai Thaler, Assistant Professor of Global Studies at UC Santa Barbara will give a talk on:
How do historical analogies shape contemporary political attitudes and behavior? Historical framing–drawing parallels between past and present events or actors–can mobilize protesters and keep them politically engaged in the face of unpopular policies and violent repression through both psychological and social pathways of persuasion. In co-authored research based on interviews, event data, and media reporting, we show how Nicaraguan and Chilean activists and citizens came to see their presidents and security forces as repeating reviled dictatorships’ behavior, making clear the importance of protesting against them. Through a survey experiment, we also demonstrate that historical framing can remain useful after protests have subsided, increasing Chilean respondents’ support for police reform a year later, though frames must be carefully targeted to be most effective.