Running Uphill: Political Opportunity in Non-democracies M ARYJANE O SA * AND C RISTINA C ORDUNEANU -H UCI ** A BSTRACT This study analyzes twenty-four cases of occurrence/non- occurrence of mobilization in non-democratic states to deter- mine conditions of political opportunity in high-risk authori- tarian contexts. Ragin’s (1987) Boolean method of qualitative comparison (QCA 3.0) is used to identify speci c con gura- tions of conditions that constitute political opportunity in non- democracies. We nd that political opportunity is sensitive to conditions created by divided elites, changes in repression, media access, in uential allies, and social networks. Our analysis identi es four con gurations that create an opening for mobilization under authoritarian conditions. The key factors, identi ed by QCA in the most parsimonious model, are media access and social networks. These two factors are suf cient conditions for producing mobilization in non-democratic states. Introduction How is it possible for oppressed groups to mobilize to act on their grievances in a repressive, authoritarian state? The dominant political process theory of social mobilization and related studies of contentious politics primarily focus on protest in democratic societies (Diani 1996; * Department of Sociology, Northwestern University, Evanston. ** Department of
Comparative Sociology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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