After the crisis: political protest in the aftermath of the economic recession

  • Francesca VassalloEmail author
Original Article


Economic recessions have often led to stronger citizen activism. This article assesses the relationship between the economy and protest in 2014, 6 years after the global financial crisis took place, a long-enough period for countries to have improved their economic situation and for people’s interpretations of the economy to be more optimistic. Does the economy still matter to explain protest if it is not as salient any longer? This research employs data for available European Union member states from the 2006, 2008, and 2014 European Social Survey to test the importance of national-level objective economic indicators as well as individual-level evaluations of financial well-being. Findings from the research suggest that objective economic predictors are more relevant to understand protest in 2014 than before the crisis. Economic resources remain more important for the prediction of protest than deprivation views, with the exception of unemployment. Even at times of partial economic recovery, the state of the economy helps explain increased levels of political protest across Europe well after 2008. The link between the economy and confrontational activism before and after the economic recession looks in the end very similar and a full economic recovery in the future can lead to even more protest activism in Europe.


Austerity Contentious politics Economic recession European public opinion Protest activism 



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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern MainePortlandUSA

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