Protest Activity of Russians in 2012–2013

Protest Activity of Russians in 2012–2013

Semenov A.V.

Cand. Sci. (Pol.), Senior Research Fellow, Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, HSE St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russia

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Semenov A.V. Protest Activity of Russians in 2012–2013. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 11. P. 53-63


The focus of this paper is the dynamics of contention in Russia in 2012-2013. Using the protest event analysis developed within the sociology of social movements data on 4,475 protest actions in all Russian regions have been compiled. The data reveal the spatial aspect of collective mobilization, organizational sponsors, repertoire and major targets of the protests. Among the stable characteristics of protest activity are the symbolic nature of the repertoire and public authorities as the most frequent aim. The Communist Party (KPRF) and trade unions constitute the organizational backbone for collective actions. Local residents and initiative groups are among the most active organisers as well. Citizens protested against electoral fraud during the 2012–2013 «For Fair Elections!» campaign; they also raised demands about social policy, economy, and the quality of governance. Principal component analysis (PCA) on the host of regional indicators reveals the underlying structure in the cross-regional variation in protest activity: the most significant covariates of public contention in the regions are the population size, level of urbanization, GRP, and the level of political openness.

contentious politics; protests; event analysis; social movements; subnational politics; collective actions; mobilization


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Content No 11, 2018