Can Violent Protest Change Local Policy Support? Evidence from the Aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles Riot

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Authors Ryan Enos, Aaron Russell Kaufman, Melissa L. Sands
Journal/Conference Name AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Violent protests are dramatic political events, yet we know little about the effect of these events on political behavior. While scholars typically treat violent protests as deliberate acts undertaken in pursuit of specificgoals, due toa lackof appropriatedataanddifficulty in causal identification, there is scant evidence of whether riots can actually increase support for these goals. Using geocoded data, we analyzemeasures ofpolicy support before andafter the 1992LosAngeles riot—oneof themost high-profile events of political violence in recent American history—that occurred just prior to an election. Contrary to some expectations from the academic literature and the popular press, we find that the riot caused amarked liberal shift in policy support at the polls. Investigating the sources of this shift, we find that it was likely the result of increasedmobilization of bothAfricanAmerican andwhite voters.Remarkably, thismobilization endures over a decade later.
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language R
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