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LAGW Seminar: The Power of Protectors: Accounting for High-Risk Mobilization in Pinochet’s Chile

February 9 @ 2:00 pm 4:00 pm

Gilman Hall 308

The Johns Hopkins Latin America in a Globalizing World works in progress seminar welcomes Professor Consuelo Amat, Political Science (JHU), to present:

The Power of Protectors: Accounting for High-Risk Mobilization in Pinochet’s Chile

How can activists overcome the collective action problem under extreme repression? I argue that protest in these conditions is more likely when protectors—third parties that lend assistance to victims and potential victims, and that have ties to at least one of the parties to the conflict—are present. The article tests this proposition by examining the role of Catholic priests and bishops, and the emergence of the only type of public organizing that occurred at the height of repression during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. Interview data from victimized communities in mobilized and demobilized localities, as well as two new datasets of Catholic churches, priests, and bishops, demonstrate the power of moderate protectors in particular. Moderate Catholic priests and bishops, as opposed to conservative or leftist ones, were effective in increasing the probability of mobilization because they provided localized assistance and certified potential activists. They contributed to the channeling of grievances against the state through nonviolent means, though they restricted the nature of the opposition.  

“Please email Prof. Casey Lurtz (lurtz@jhu.edu) for a copy of the paper and the Zoom link.”

Location: Gilman Hall 308