Participation in collective action: Reasons for not participating in environmental demonstrations

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The goal of this research is to contribute to a relatively under-researched part of collective action: reasons for people to not participate in protest, although they would arguably benefit from such protest. Since students have historically made up an important part of protest movements and often are environmentally aware, the question arises as to why most do not participate in environmental demonstrations. Therefore, the following research question was formulated: Why do environmentally aware Dutch students not participate in environmental demonstrations if they would arguably benefit from the environmental demonstrations? The collected data indicate that there are various reasons why environmentally aware Dutch students have never participated in environmental demonstrations. The most dominant reasons are the expected inefficacy of environmental demonstrations, an unwanted association with environmental demonstrations or environmental demonstrators, preferring a large demonstration to participate, and already protesting for the environment in other forms. It turns out there is often an interplay of reasons. Between the environmentally aware Dutch students who have never demonstrated, two groups can be distinguished: people who considered participating have more practical reasons to not attend, while people who never considered participating have more ideological reasons.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen