Representatives' Attitudes Toward Citizen Protests in Sweden: The Impact of Ideology, Parliamentary Position, and Experiences



What affects political representatives' attitudes toward citizen protests? We test the impact of political representatives' left-right ideology, parliamentary position, and earlier experience of citizen protests. Using data from a pioneering survey covering all local political representatives in Sweden (n = 9,101, response rate 70%), we examine attitudes toward controversial noninstitutionalized forms of citizen protests. The results show that representatives to the right show considerably lower protest acceptance than those to the left. Representatives in office show significantly lower levels of acceptance than those of the opposition. Finally, the results show that representatives with more protest experience show higher protest acceptance.