Neal Caren and Tuneka Tucker. In 2009, a new conservative social movement emerged in the United States. With an emphasis on limited government, the Tea Party Movement mobilized thousands of supports to protest events and was particularly influential in Republican electoral politics. We explore the extent to which support for the movement was a function of racial threat and economic adversity. In our analysis of national survey data, we find that support for the movement was greatest among political conservatives, and while state-level racial composition had no impact on movement support, high levels of unemployment and a conservative state political environment both increased support for the movement. In our analysis of state level Tea Party membership levels, we also find that unemployment rates and conservative political environment are positively correlated with membership rates. This paper is currently under review.
Neal Caren and Catherine Herrold. This manuscript explores the extent to which objective measures of hardship are correlated with social movement mobilization. While recent scholarship has emphasized the role of activists in socially constructing grievances, we hold that the material adversity is a fundamental cause of anti-state mobilization. We test the effect of economic decline, ethnic discrimination and income inequality on the number of anti-government demonstrations, riots and general strikes. Using multiple sources of newspaper reports of contentious acts across 157 countries during the period 1960-2001, we find a significant negative relation between the number of contentious acts and the level of economic growth, controlling for a variety of state-governance and demographic characteristics. In contrast, we find that economic inequality and state-sanctioned group discrimination, are not related to the level of insurgency. Our work suggests that scholars of social movements need to take more seriously the importance of economic performance as a fundamental cause of collective mobilization. This paper is currently under review.
Edwin Amenta, Neal Caren and James Stobaugh. We propose a political reform theory, a political and historical institutionalist argument that holds that shifts in political structures, partisan regimes, and policy changes greatly influence movements. We also address shortcomings in empirical appraisals of social movement theories by analyzing approximately 700,000 articles mentioning 1440 U.S. SMOs in 34 SMO families from two national newspapers across the twentieth century. We appraise our arguments through multivariate analyses, controlling for measures from the major macro social movement theories and from media arguments, and through detailed analyses of the historical trajectories of coverage across the century. Although we find some support for each major theory, the political reform theory outperforms standard political opportunity models. We conclude with suggestions to synthesize theories and for research on movement-media outcomes. This paper is currently under review.
Andrew J. Perrin, Steven J. Tepper, Neal Caren, and Sally Morris
Neal Caren and Ethan Schoolman. This paper is currently under review.
Neal Caren and Tuneka Tucker. This paper is being revised for resubmission.
Neal Carne. This paper is being revised for resubmission.