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Ideology and Movement Militancy against Partisan Allies: Evidence from Strikes in Post-Authoritarian Chile

Sun, August 17, 10:30am to 12:10pm, TBA

Abstract

Why do social movements sometimes protest against their allies when in government? Conversely, why is it difficult for governments to fully co-opt and demobilize social movements, even when movement leaders are political allies? Studies of union militancy have suggested that the answer may lie in leaders’ ideologies, but studies addressing this question have overlooked ideologies, assuming rational choice explanations. I argue that leaders with a militant and autonomist ideology strike against allies because they believe strikes are a necessary to achieve gains—contrasting with their less autonomist colleagues’ views. Statistical and qualitative analysis of six Chilean public sector unions in the first eighteen years of post-authoritarian regime (N=86) support the theory. Reanalysis of secondary data suggests it may apply for other Latin American countries as well.

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