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Journal Articles French Politics Year : 2022

Control or participate? The Yellow Vests’ democratic aspirations through mixed methods analysis

Abstract

By means of an original mixed-method research design, this article analyzes the French Yellow Vests' attitudes to democracy and democratic innovations. First, we find that Yellow Vests' protesters are supportive of innovations aiming at controlling elected representatives, and that populist attitudes enhance support for direct public control. Second, we provide evidence of two different discourses about democracy coexisting within the movement: one, stemming from inexperienced first-time activists, is centered on the control of political elites; the other, coming from more politicized Yellow Vests, rather advocates for direct citizen participation. This article therefore contributes to bridging the literatures on democratic issues in social movement, process preferences, and populism. In particular, we highlight that within 'populist' social movements, various democratic aspirations may cohabit, depending on how protesters define 'the people' and their experience of political protest.
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Dates and versions

hal-03782180 , version 1 (30-09-2022)

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Stéphanie Abrial, Chloé Alexandre, Camille Bedock, Frédéric Gonthier, Tristan Guerra. Control or participate? The Yellow Vests’ democratic aspirations through mixed methods analysis. French Politics, 2022, Special Issue: The Yellow Vest Movement in France: A Mixed Methods Approach, 20 (3-4), pp.479-503. ⟨10.1057/s41253-022-00185-x⟩. ⟨hal-03782180⟩
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