- Modelling the distance impedance of protest attendance
- Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
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- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Informatics Institute (IVI)
Protesters are usually young, relatively well educated, middle class people that are politically engaged. But where do protesters come from? We here show, based on mobile phone data, that distance is an important impedance to protest attendance. Most protesters come from nearby regions, suggesting distance forms an obstacle to participation. Although this effect can be partly explained by social network effects, which show similar spatial dependencies, an effect of distance remains. This suggests distance still acts as an obstacle to participation, although it may also be that long-range contacts are less effective for recruitment. Face-to-face contacts seem more important in spreading protests through earlier participants, whereas central recruitment works better by telephone. Our results are important for understanding processes of recruitment.
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