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Right Frame, Right Time? An Analysis of Anti-American Military Base Activism

Sun, September 1, 10:00 to 11:30am, Hilton, DuPont


Following the end of World War II, the United States embarked on the construction of a network of permanent military bases world-wide to protect American interests abroad. One recent estimate places the total number of American bases abroad at 800 bases in 70 host nations (Vine, 2015). American bases can benefit the host nations and the communities which host these bases both by providing protection and by channeling finances into the local economy. At the same time, the bases may be associated with risks to the hosting community such as: crimes committed by military personnel, helicopter crashes, environmental degradation, and noise pollution. The result is that anti-base protest movements have emerged as a response to the American base presence in several hosting communities. This study provides a global picture of anti-American base mobilization over time by employing a regression of an original dataset of anti-base protest events from 1976 to 2018. I pay special attention to the frames employed by social movement activists and contextual factors at the time of the protest including security threats, economic indicators, and visits by political officials. As such, this project contributes to our understanding of the relationships between framing, political opportunity structures, and protest mobilization. This project also provides guidance to American policy-makers and their host nation counterparts as to when US bases are less likely to be contested.