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Punish or partake? The Yellow Vests' democratic aspirations through mixed methods analysis

Abstract : Investigating the Yellow Vest's (YV) attitudes to democracy, this paper assumes that levels of politicization and of populism are key in explaining their preferences for different types of democratic reforms. We first draw on quantitative analyses to demonstrate that compared to their French counterparts, the YV are more supportive of democratic innovations aiming at controlling and punishing elected representatives, and that greater populist attitudes enhance support for democratic innovations based on direct public control. These findings are then refined by means of quantitative textual analysis showing that discourses supporting control and sanction over political leaders are made by first-time protesters facing economic hardships and disgruntled with the political system, while more educated and politicized YV rather favor civic participation. We supplement these results with in-depth interviews delving deeper into democratic practices and emotions that drive these contrasted views on democracy. We find evidence of two typical logics and tones of discourse, largely structured by the experiences that those who hold them have of democracy. The first one, in favor of a better control and a stronger punishment of political elites, typically comes from angry and inexperienced first-time activists. The second one, rather willing to foster citizen participation, emanates from more experienced but also more disillusioned YV.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03356978
Contributor : Camille Bedock Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 3:37:19 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 8:06:15 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, December 29, 2021 - 6:46:55 PM

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Stéphanie Abrial, Chloé Alexandre, Camille Bedock, Frédéric Gonthier, Tristan Guerra. Punish or partake? The Yellow Vests' democratic aspirations through mixed methods analysis. Journée d’études de l’ANR Gilets jaunes “Understanding the French Yellow Vests Movement through the lens of mixed methods”, Sep 2021, Paris, France. ⟨hal-03356978⟩

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