Dr. Kai M. Thaler — Protest and Repression in the Shadow of History: How Past Events Shape Contemporary Attitudes and Behavior

Kai Thaler image

Location: Interactive Learning Pavillion (ILP) 1203


Talk Description:

Based on co-authored research, this talk shows how historical framing--drawing parallels between past and present events or actors--can mobilize protesters and keep them politically engaged in the face of unpopular policies and violent repression. Nicaraguan and Chilean activists and citizens saw their presidents and security forces as repeating reviled dictatorships’ behavior, making clear the importance of protesting against them. Using a survey experiment, we also demonstrate that historical framing can remain useful after protests have subsided, increasing Chilean respondents’ support for police reform a year later, though frames must be carefully targeted to be most effective.

Speaker Bio:

Kai M. Thaler is Assistant Professor of Global Studies at UC Santa Barbara. He is a political scientist who researches civil conflict, protests and repression, and authoritarianism and democratization, especially in Africa and Latin America.

GRIT Talks:

"Ground-breaking Research/Innovative Technology," or GRIT Talks, is a UC Santa Barbara lecture series featuring a lineup of esteemed faculty. These 28 minute talks, followed by a 30 minute Q&A session, provide an insider look at innovative research happening at the university.