Contentious Politics in
Democracies: Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Former
Germany Since 1989
Harvard UniversityRutgers UniversityCenter for European Studies Department of Political ScienceCambridge
02138 New Brunswick NJ 08903
Central and Eastern EuropeWorking Paper Series
paper reconstructs and explains the patterns
collective protest in four Central European countries,Hungary, former East Germany, Poland, and Slovakia,
democratic consolidation(1989.1994). Analytical perspective
protest event analysis.
empirical evidence comes
several major papers in each country.
patterns found in
data are compared with the predictions derived from four theoretical traditions: (a) relative deprivation; (b) instrumental institutionalism;
historical-cultural institutionalism; and (d) resource mobilization theory. Two mainconclusions are reached. First, the levels
"objective" or "subjective" deprivation are unrelated to themagnitude and various feature of protest, which are best explained
a combination of institutional andresource mobilization theories. Second, democratic consolidation
protest. If protest's demands are moderate and its methods routinized, it contributes to the
litical vitality of new democracies.