Sparking Events, Emotional Climates, and Cascades in Cultural Identity Conflicts

F. Schulte (PI, Heidelberg University)

C. Trinn (PI, Heidelberg University)

Funded by DFG (493809260)


The project aims to identify the sparking events triggering cascades of conflictive mass behaviour in cultural identity conflicts.

Dead Cows and Rumours. Introducing the SPARK Dataset

with C. Trinn (Heidelberg University)

Repression and Backlash Protests. Why Leader Arrests Backfire

with C. Steinert (Mannheim University)


Little is known on which types of repressive actions trigger protests. We hypothesize that
leader arrests are especially likely to result in backlash protests. Leader arrests symbolize the
suppression of social collectives, they create collective grievances, and constitute focal points for mobilization. Building on a global sample of arrests of cultural identity group members, we
qualitatively traced for each arrest whether it sparked a backlash protest. Drawing on coarsened
exact matched xed-eect models, we nd that protests are signicantly more likely following
leader arrests. In contrast, mass arrests are not signicantly linked to backlash protests. Our
ndings cast doubt on the narrow focus on quasi-constant structural variables and make the case for the importance of triggering events.