Is it worth fighting for?

The number of protests around the Globe increased significantly in the past three decades. Since 1990, citizens' resistance and disagreement has been fueled not only by economic, social, and political changes worldwide, but also by the response of the authorities when it comes to their demands.

A significant number of protesters take over the streets because of their perception of the inefficiency of ruling parties and political leaders. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, an estimated number of over two hundred million people were present at protests, regardless of their demands, and while the years have passed, the lack of satisfaction remains. In such context, protests are described mostly by two indicators initiative (number of protests) and engagement (number of participants).

Who are the protesters?

While the number of protests increased, protests demographics also changed and so did the engagement of civil society. In the early ’90s, a consistent part of the protesters were workers, employees and trade union members, along with a high number of political organizations supporters. In the past 5 years, the presence of such categories dropped, leaving the way towards the rise of the number of civilians, activists, and journalists. 2017 is the year with the biggest number of protests organized and supported by NGOs and activists in almost three decades. Thus, in the context of protest initiatives rising, a constant part of that initiative belongs to civil society.

What are the demands?

The estimated number of protest participants remains constant, except for 2013 when over 16 million people participated in protests. The engagement is constant as opposed to the initiative that grows every year, as seen in the first chart.

The response

In the past three decades protest initiative increased and in the past few years, this initiative mostly belongs to civilians, activists, and journalists. This generates a context in which people increasingly point out the problems in political behavior and fight for political change. But even though the number of protests has increased substantially, the authority’s reaction is constant. In more than 50% of the cases, the authorities ignore the protests, while in the other 20% of cases the crowd is dispersed.

Source: Harvard Dataverse - Mass Mobilization Data Project Dataverse

Egas Consulting & Strategy
September, 2019