Cease and Desist: Repression, Strategic Voting and U.S. Presidential Elections

Event Date: 

Friday, April 15, 2005 - 5:00pm

Event Location: 

  • CTL Trailer 932

Jennifer Earl

Jennifer Earl is a professor in the Sociology department at UC Santa Barbara. She is also currently the Director of the Center for Information Technology and Society. Online political activism has rapidly increased over the past decade, forcing state authorities to adapt repressive strategies to handle this change. Few researchers, however, have explored hostile state reactions to online, unconventional political activity and fewer still have tried to analyze the impacts of state repression on internet-based activism. This presentation will use data on strategic voting, which occurred during the 2000 and 2004 U.S. presidential elections, to examine two core concerns of social movements scholars: (1) the effects of repression on subsequent movement mobilization; and (2) the effects of repression on subsequent tactical choices. Findings suggest that researchers must account for core technological and social features of the Internet as an activist environment in explaining repression's effects in the 21st century. This is particularly true when researchers study activism that emerges and thrives online, as compared to activism that begins offline and migrates online at a later point. Originally recorded April 15, 2005 at UC Santa Barbara.