Huff, C., & Kruszewska, D. (2016). Banners, Barricades, and Bombs: The Tactical Choices of Social Movements and Public Opinion. Comparative Political Studies, 49 (13), 1774-1808.
In this paper we use an experimental survey design to explore how the tactical choices of social movements affect public opinion about whether the government should negotiate with the movement and the bargains that should be struck once negotiations begin. In doing so we test competing theories about how we should expect the use of tactics with varying degrees of extremeness—including demonstrations, occupations, and bombings—to influence public opinion. We find that respondents are less likely to think the government should negotiate with organizations that use the tactic of bombing when compared to demonstrations or occupations. However, depending on the outcome variable and baseline category used in the analysis, we find mixed support for whether respondents think organizations that use bombings should receive less once negotiations begin. The results of this paper are generally consistent with the theoretical and policy-based arguments centering around how governments should not negotiate with organizations that engage in violent activity commonly associated with terrorist organizations.