Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lit in review: 2 of 4 on Insider/Outsider Model

2) Soule, McAdam, McCarthy, and Su (1999), "Protest Events: Cause or Consequence of State Action? The U.S. Women's Movement and Federal Congressional Activities, 1956-1979," Mobilization: An Interational J., Vol. 4, No. 2, 239-256

They begin by complaining that social movement research is "less a systematic test of various theories than a plausible, post-hoc account of movement emergence seen through a particular lens," with the result that we remain uncertain "what effect, if any" protests have on policy (p. 239). The two main strands of movement research focus on either resource mobilization or political processes, both again "quite vague."

They measure 101 outsider events (including protests) and 318 insider events (mostly House and Senate hearings) in the women's movement between 1956 and 1979, and try to identify both the causes of insider and events and what those events cause. The main problem is that they do these regressions individually while ignoring the endogeneity problem altogether. With that caveat in mind, they find (among other things - this post isn't about the women's movement but the insider/outsider literature):

Democrat Presidents decrease insider and outsider women events, which runs contrary to political opportunity theories. The Congress and President being from different parties also spurs women events - but note that for this time period, that's equivalent to having a Republican President. Insider events make outsider events more likely, but not vice versa. They find that the more events there were last year in the same quarter, the more there will be this year, which they conclude is evidence of protest cycles ... but that's an annual effect, not a cycle. They use female labor participation as a control, and it's the most significant predictor of Congressional actions ... but it's arguably a choice variable. Neither insider nor outsider events affected Congressional actions.

A possible measure of political will: "Hearings can be thought of as signals of issue interest..."

Papers they commend and recommend:
Andrews (1997) "perhaps the most rigorous study of movement outcomes" - county civil rights activity predicts electoral gains by blacks in Mississippi.

Conover and Gray (1983) on media, government, and interest group involvement.

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