Partial participation towards collective action: To stifle or instigate

Funcke, Alexander and Franke, Ulrik (2016) Partial participation towards collective action: To stifle or instigate. Rationality and Society, 28 (4). pp. 453-467. ISSN 1043-4631

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In this paper we extend the Granovetter threshold model with partial participation towards a collective action. That is, agents may partake by conducting an action that is less costly than the ultimate collective action, but costly enough to signal a commitment to the cause. We show that it is not just the exact distribution of thresholds, but also the distribution of available actions that determines whether a collective action will be achieved. We suggest and prove propositions for how both an inventive “activist” and a “dictator” may strategically change the signaling value of existing actions, or introduce new ones, in order to either instigate or stifle collective action. Applying the theory to revolutions, we argue that new technology can play a role beyond that of communication and synchronization, viz. that of adding modes of partial, less arduous, participation.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:6090
Deposited By:Ulrik Franke
Deposited On:09 Dec 2016 15:36
Last Modified:09 Dec 2016 15:36

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