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Who is Willing to Protest in Egypt?

- February 8, 2011

Political scientists “Drew Linzer”:http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~dlinzer/ and “Lisa Blaydes”:http://www.stanford.edu/~blaydes/ have “another article at The Huffington Post”:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-blaydes/who-are-egypts-protesters_b_819737.html. This time they are using data from a 2008 “World Values Survey”:http://www.wvsevsdb.com/wvs/WVSData.jsp that asked Egyptians whether they would be willing to attend a peaceful demonstration; 8% said they would. They then examine this group in greater detail. Here are some of their findings:

bq. Of those who responded that they would protest, 45 percent were women. Yet one thing that has clearly emerged from the demonstrations is that the vast majority of people on the street are men. This should not come as much surprise, given reports of thugs and police groping and threatening rape against female protesters — particularly as regime-perpetrated violence began to escalate. For this reason, though, we focus our attention on only the male portion of the survey sample.

bq. Starting with Egyptian men as a whole, 12% said they would be willing to protest. Now let us narrow in on particular demographic subgroups. Each time, the percentage saying they would attend a demonstration increases significantly:

* Men under age 35: 17%
* …and with formal education: 18%
* …and in upper-middle class: 31%
* …and regular Internet user: 36%
* …and interested in politics: 50%

bq. In other words, those not only aggrieved — but also aware and socially connected — are the most likely to show up to protest.

bq. Of the men who said they would demonstrate, 91% had a formal education, compared to 79% among those who said they would not demonstrate. 43% of those who said they would protest are younger than 35. And 27% are in the upper or upper-middle class. Fully 50% reported using a computer at least occasionally, compared to just 23% among those not willing to protest.

It is a fascinating article, and one that I recommend “reading in its entirety”:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-blaydes/who-are-egypts-protesters_b_819737.html.