Socio-Economic Status And Its Impact On Protest Participation In Nigeria. A Study of ENDSARS Protest

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Abstract

In  recent  years,  protest  activities  happened  frequently  in  Nigeria.  These  protests  have  had  profound consequences and changed the landscape of  Nigerian politics. Therefore, it is important to know who protests  and  the brain  behind these  protest.  This  paper  aims  to  answer  two  questions.  First,  what  kind  of people (according to their Socio-Economic Status, SES) is more likely to participate in protest? Second, how  does  Socio-Economic Status influence  protest  participation with a special references to #EndSars protest in Nigeria?  The  hypotheses for this study  are  drawn  from  grievance  theories, resources  model  and  cultural  change  theory.  We  hypothesize  that  in  Nigeria EndSars protest,  people  with  higher  Socio-Economic Status tend  to  join  and influences others in the  protest.  The  mechanisms  are  material  condition,  civic  skills,  and  the  value  of  post-materialism. Empirically, taking advantage of the World Values Survey 2010−2012, we use confirmatory factor  analysis  to  construct  an  indicator  of  Socio-Economic Status including  education,  income,  and  class.  Then,  we conduct  structural  equation  modeling  to  test  the  mechanisms  through  which  Socio-Economic Status  exerts  influences. We find that in Nigeria, people with higher Socio-Economic Status are more likely to protest and influences the poor to join in the ENDSARS protest as well. Moreover, civic skills are the most important mechanisms. Material condition also has a positive effect. Although the value of post-materialism can  influence protest participation, whether people hold this value is unrelated to their Socio-Economic Status.

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