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Aggressive Political Participation

Aggressive Political Participation

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    Aggressive Political Participation
    Book Description:

    Utilizing data from a survey of attitudes and behavior of more than 2,500 residents of selected rural, urban, and university communities in the Federal Republic of Germany, Edward Muller attempts to formulate and to test a general multivariate theory about what motivates individuals to participate in aggressive political action. Since this kind of political behavior is infrequent in addition to being difficult to measure, it rarely has been subjected to rigorous scientific investigation at the micro-level. Professor Muller's study is an attempt to understand the causes of aggressive political participation using quantitative techniques.

    Originally published in 1979.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7045-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. ONE What Is To Be Explained and How
    (pp. 3-10)

    This book reports an effort to formulate and test a general multivariate theory of individual participation in acts of political aggression. Due to the infrequency of its occurrence, as well as difficulties of measurement, this kind of political behavior has rarely been subjected to rigorous scientific investigation at the micro level of analysis. Yet, despite the fact that aggressive political participation is an unusual event under normal circumstances in most countries, on occasion it can have dramatic consequences, contributing to major change in, or to the downfall of, established systems of government. Thus, it is worthwhile to try to understand...

  2. TWO Explanations of Aggressive Political Participation
    (pp. 11-36)

    The study of aggressive domestic political conflict has a venerable tradition in political science and sociology, and has yielded an abundance of explanatory propositions. But these propositions have as yet borne little fruit in the form of reliable knowledge about what it is that motivates men to take part in aggressive political action. Fundamentally, this is a problem of research methodology. As Eckstein pointed out some years ago in a seminal article surveying problems and prospects of research in the area of political violence and rebellion, the methodological problem is that “most propositions about the causes of internal war have...

  3. THREE Measurement of Aggressive Political Participation
    (pp. 37-68)

    Our first priority is to develop a measure of aggressive participation. Aggressive political behavior has been defined as action that is illegal, has political significance by virtue of disrupting the normal functioning of government, and involves group activity on the part of non-elites. This is a sensitive topic and its measurement by means of personal interviews poses a challenge.

    In this study, it was made clear to the interviewee that the research was being carried out under academic auspices for purely scientific purposes. Over and above the usual assurance of anonymity,Infratestguaranteed respondents from university communities that their university...

  4. FOUR The Expectancy-Value-Norms Theory
    (pp. 69-120)

    We now have a satisfactory quantitative indicator of participation in aggressive political behavior. Without this, the theories and models of political protest and violence elaborated in Chapter Two are mere speculation. But armed with such a measure, we can begin to tackle, scientifically, the engineering question that has long engaged political philosophers and men of action: what does it take to mobilize men for acts of collective political aggression?

    This analysis is guided by the general social-psychological theory of behavior proposed by Fishbein. The real challenge is to adapt Fishbein’s abstract concepts to specifically aggressive political behavior. This requires the...

  5. FIVE Frustration-Aggression Theory
    (pp. 121-182)

    For many years the frustration-aggression hypothesis, put forth by Dollard and his associates, was the standard explanation of aggressive behavior in general.¹ The strong version of this hypothesis said that frustration, defined as interference with goal-directed activity, always produces aggression. A slightly weaker version, stated by Miller, said that frustration does not always lead to aggression (other reactions to frustration may occur), but that the occurrence of aggression always presupposes the existence of frustration.² However, Miller argued that if frustration persisted long enough, alternative non-aggressive reactions would be weakened, and aggression eventually would occur as an inevitable response to continuing...

  6. SIX Left-Out Variables
    (pp. 183-235)

    A particularly important phase in the process of theory-testing entails investigation of plausible alternative causes. This is the principal means for establishing the accuracy of a theory—where accuracy refers to whether or not it provides a true causal explanation of some phenomenon. The accuracy of a theory—explanatory accuracy—is to be distinguished from the predictive accuracy of any particular operationalized equation or model for it.¹ An operationalization of a theory in the form of an equation relating a response variable,ϒ, to a set of putative causal variables,X, could be shown to yield very high predictive accuracy...

  7. SEVEN Cross-Validity of the Expectancy-Value-Norms Model
    (pp. 236-243)

    The determination that variables derived from other hypotheses and models appear to be either irrelevant or superfluous attests to the validity of the Expectancy-Value-Norms modelfor the 1974 sample. But this is only a first step in the direction of validating the model. The critical step tests thereproducibilityof the model. How general is it? Do the weights (or causal parameters) reflect general laws or do they pertain only to the particular case of the 1974 sample? To determine the reproducibility of the model, one must first cross-validate it.¹Cross-validationrequires that the model be tested again for either...

  8. EIGHT Uses and Limitations of the Expectancy-Value-Norms Model
    (pp. 244-263)

    Like any model, the Expectancy-Value-Norms model is a simplification of reality. To the historian, attuned to the unique aspects of events that give rise to mass political aggression, the Expectancy-Value-Norms model certainly will seem an over-simplification. Indeed, even Crane Brinton, an historian oriented toward the general rather than the particular, was skeptical about the possibility of ever developing models expressed in the form of equations for predicting political revolution. At the conclusion of his search for uniform preconditions or “prodromal” symptoms indicative of the coming of the English, American, French, and Russian revolutions, Brinton observed; “clearly we must infer from...

  9. NINE Macro-Micro Linkages
    (pp. 264-279)

    An inherent limitation of the Expectancy-Value-Norms theory derives from its unit of analysis. By focusing on the micro level, the theory is confined to specification of social and psychological attributes that predispose individuals to take part in collective political aggression. But exclusion of macro-level variables from the picture is not necessarily a weakness. Specifically, it is not a weakness so long as relevant macro-level variables can be relegated to the status of unmeasured predetermined variables that affect participation in aggressive political action only indirectly through the mediation of the micro-level varables explicitly taken into account.

    Whatarethe relevant macro-level...

  10. APPENDIX A Comparison of Political Trust-Distrust and Political Support-Alienation as Predictors of Aggressive Political Participation
    (pp. 280-285)
  11. APPENDIX B Summary Characteristics of the Variables
    (pp. 286-288)
  12. APPENDIX C German Text of the Variables
    (pp. 289-302)