Much of the literature on social movements has considered the intensity, strategies and outcomes of political protest as a consequence of levels of deprivation perceived by a constituency and of the internal skills of aggrieved groups in building protest organizations and coalitions. This paper, by contrast, draws upon the cases of antinuclear protest in France, Sweden, the United States and West Germany to show that 'political opportunity structures' are an important determinant of movement mobilization, strategies and policy impacts. More open political opportunity structures and greater political capacities to implement public policies covary with the choice of more adversarial or more co-operative movement strategies and the procedural, substantive and structural impacts of anti-nuclear protest on energy policy.
After declining sharply between 1966 and 1980, trust in government among Americans then increased, attaining pre-Watergate levels by the end of Reagan's first term. This article investigates the causes of the resurgence of political confidence, looking at the influences of economic outcomes, policy preferences and evaluations of presidential style and performance. Our analysis of the 1980, 1982 and 1984 Michigan National Election Studies shows that the president's persona had a significant independent influence on the level of political trust and that favourable opinions about Reagan's leadership skills were particularly important in stimulating a rise in confidence during economically troubled times. After 1982, the rise in trust was sustained by improvement in the economy. The implications of these findings for the debate over whether the decline of political trust indicated a crisis of legitimacy and governability are discussed.
Explanations of collective action, particularly those provided by economists, tend to limit the variables taken into account to material incentives which can easily be measured. It is argued in this paper that for many types of collective action 'soft incentives', such as private sanctions, expectations of reference persons, protest norms, etc., are important explanatory variables. To test this proposition a survey was conducted on 398 opponents of nuclear power. In this investigation several soft incentives were measured directly. The data indicate that soft incentives have significant effects on participating in the anti-nuclear movement.
How do people figure out what they think about political issues, given how little they commonly know about them? This article suggests that they rely on aids to judgement, or heuristics. Three heuristics are of particular importance: affect (likes and dislikes); ideology (liberalism/conservatism); and attributions of responsibility (the so-called desert heuristic). The relative importance of these aids to judgement varies with respondents' levels of political awareness and sophistication (as assessed by education). Thus, the policy reasoning of the less well educated tends to be affect-driven (i.e. under the direction of their feelings); of the well educated, cognition-driven (i.e. under the direction of ideology). The causal relations among these heuristics and policy preferences on racial issues are established, initially in a recursive model, subsequently in a parallel set on non-recursive models, which provide an original insight into the reciprocal relations among citizens' beliefs, feelings and policy preferences.
Two major theories are advanced in the literature to explain foreign policy behaviour, the Rational Actor and the Bureaucratic Politics theories. This article examines them, taking as a case study the decision by the United States in April 1980 to attempt the rescue of the American hostages in Iran. Both theories are found to have too mechanical a concept of action. Also their separate defects cannot be remedied by combining them, because they have incompatible ideas of power. The article therefore develops a concept of rational role playing, which relates the imperatives and powers of office to the perceptions and judgements of individuals. A moral is drawn not only for the analysis of foreign policy but also for the understanding of politics at large.
It is argued in this article (i) that Weber's concepts of legitimacy and legitimate authority are ambiguous and difficult to apply in sovietological studies; (ii) that mass compliance in the Soviet-type societies of Eastern Europe is not a result of the legitimacy of the rulers but reflects 'conditional tolerance', i.e. a perception of the high costs of insubordination in comparison with the assessed chances of success; (iii) that the concept of 'conditional tolerance' provides a better explanation than the concept of 'legitimacy crisis' for both the absence of widespread mass dissent in Soviet society and the relatively frequent occurrences of mass protest in Poland. It links mass dissent with the inability of elites to sanction mass behaviour (especially the behaviour of 'strategic' groups) and to shape the perception of the sanctions in a way that convinces the majority of the people that conformity pays and insubordination is not worth the risk.
Survey respondents who identify themselves as Independents and concede that they are closer to one or the other party usually vote for that party's candidates. Our conclusion that this meant that most professed Independents were really partisans was challenged by scholars who provided other interpretations. This article tests those alternative interpretations, finds them wanting, and adds further evidence to affirm our earlier conclusion: most leaners vote as they do because they are more partisan than independent, and are not neutral, but are nearly as committed to a party as those who explicitly identify with that party. We analyse the leaners' participation in presidential primaries, the stability over time of their voting choices and party identification, and their attitudes toward the two parties. Some use had been made of these variables by scholars trying to salvage the original view of party identification associated with the University of Michigan or the later revisionism. Thorough analysis shows that the three sorts of Independents (Democratic, Republican and Pure Independents) do not display a common pattern of behaviour and belief that sets them apart from outright partisans. This is true only of the Pure Independents; the leaners resemble weak partisans of their respective parties. These findings show that the highly publicized decline of the party system revealed by growing proportions of Independents is very much exaggerated. Finally, we evaluate the alternative measures of party identification introduced in 1980, and find them less useful than the traditional measure.
Altruism is an easy but unpersuasive explanation of the origins of the growth of the welfare state. Here we focus upon another: pervasive uncertainty, such as that generated by the Second World War. In that light, the post-war state looks like an outgrowth of wartime risk-sharing arrangements between people who could not ex ante know whether they would be on the giving or the receiving end of inter-personal transfers. Both British history and cross-national statistics lend some support to this interpretation of the growth of welfare-state expenditures in the post-war period.
This research applies a model for studying how the flow of political events stimulates changes in public opinion. This dynamic model is tested with a seven-year time series of British opinions toward membership in the European Communities. The events-opinion linkage is a complex dynamic process. Events have a very sharp impact on opinions, but this effect dissipates in a few months' time. The findings provide new insights into Britain's troubled relations with Europe, as well as valuable information on the general process of opinion change.
This article constructs and tests a socialization theory that synthesizes two partial theories that have previously been treated as unrelated. One is 'pluralistic' in origin and concerns institutional support for procedural rules of the game. The other is associated with 'left-wing' commentaries and addresses deradicalization in politicians' orientations towards public policy. My synthesis builds upon the fact that these partial theories are driven by similar socialization principles which accompany movement from one role in the political system to another. British data on general publics, attentive publics, parliamentary candidates and Members of Parliament are used to put the new socialization theory to the test. They are also used to assess the force of the main exogenous variables, selection effects and ideological interventions, which meddle with the theory and muddle its consequences.
This article is an examination of party differences in the Irish case and a discussion of some general problems in the dimensional analysis and spatial representation of party differences. Multidimensional scaling and discriminant analysis are applied to data derived from interviews carried out in 1975 with a sample of seventy-five members of Dail Eireann (the Irish parliament). Case-specific conclusions include: the existence of considerable inter-party differences at the parliamentary level; the requirement of at least two dimensions (left-right and nationalism) to account for the differences; the probable operation of a third dimension (confessionalism) in the system. Theoretical and methodological conclusions support (a) an empirical approach to the issue of unidimensionality versus multidimensionality; (b) Budge and Farlie's emphasis on close attention to the variety of spatial representations; (c) retention of the concept of policy space with party reserved areas as a distinct category; (d) generalization of the notion of party-inferred space to that of stimulus-inferred space; (e) the utility of employing more than one approach to dimensional analysis and spatial representation.
The last decade has witnessed important changes in the role of business in American politics, including the remarkable growth of corporate political action committees. Far from being monolithic, corporate PACs exhibit considerable diversity in their strategic choices between Democrats and Republicans and between incumbents and non-incumbents. These differences we find, in an analysis of the behaviour of corporate PACs in the House and Senate elections of 1980 and 1982, are related to the variable nature of business-government relations in the United States. PACs of firms in industries that are beneficiaries of old-style economic regulation tend to be more incumbent-oriented and less partisan in their campaign contributions. PACs of firms in industries that are the self-proclaimed victims of new-style social regulation tend to be more inclined to adopt strategies of opposition. However, all corporate PACs - accommodationists and policy opponents alike - adjusted their behaviour in response to the different strategic environments of the 1980 and 1982 elections.
Since the end of the Brezhnev era, the rapidly changing and contradictory character of the Soviet political system has become increasingly difficult to interpret by means of existing concepts. Many of the available conceptual approaches that influence our attitudes towards the Soviet Union as well as assisting our understanding offer penetrating insights into particular aspects of Soviet politics, but the overall emphasis needs to be adjusted in the light of recent developments. At the heart of the dilemmas that currently perplex Western specialists lies the constant tension between, on the one hand, a deteriorating economic performance that can only be improved through substantial institutional reform and, on the other hand, the political restraints upon this reform process. The characteristic ebb and flow of reform and of the disparity between rhetoric and reality are indicative, in the author's view, of an underlying 'politics of hesitant modernization'.
City government in the Soviet Union is unable to influence much that happens within its boundaries. The local soviets are constrained by serious limitations imposed by a centralized administrative system in which most decisions are made by branch ministries. An important experiment, which expands the power of officials over local enterprises, began in 1981 in the Georgian city of Poti. A 'territorial inter-branch association' was created to co-ordinate various economic activities and to concentrate funds to meet production and social needs. The Poti experiment has been endorsed by Gorbachev and other top Soviet leaders whose promotions suggest that the experiment may be a key element of future administrative reforms in the Soviet Union.
It has long been the accepted view that twentieth-century British voters tend to base their vote decisions chiefly upon the partisan affiliations of the candidates, rather than upon the candidates' personal policy beliefs or characteristics; voters are 'party-orientated' rather than 'candidate-orientated'. This article focuses upon three previously unanswered questions: (1) when did English voters become party-orientated? (2) why did they do so? and (3) what were the consequences? After demonstrating statistically that English voting behaviour changed markedly during the nineteenth century (based upon an analysis of over a thousand election contests between 1832 and 1918), the causal relationships between electoral choice and Parliamentary behaviour are examined.
This article examines one form of recent conservative argument: the 'cultural conservatism' connected with the work of Roger Scruton and the Salisbury Review. It focuses on the claim that a feeling of allegiance to a common culture is a source of authority. The fact that feelings of this kind are often incapable of discursive expression except in the form of myth poses a critical problem for cultural conservatives. To analyse the myths that sustain authority is at the same time to question them. To identify a myth as a myth is to destroy its usefulness in politics, as radical demythologizers are aware. It is argued that this paradox appears in a split between those conservatives who believe in an immutable human nature and those for whom 'human nature' is a convenient political fiction.