Don't Vote for Them: The Effects of the Spanish Indignant Movement on Attitudes about Voting

Carol Galais*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigates the recent so-called Spanish Revolution of 2011 with a view to understanding what it reveals about the current relationship between protest and electoral modes of participation. Theories of "disaffeccted radicalism" that grew up following the 1960s period of civil unrest strongly advocated the view that protest activity boosted electoral abstention. More recent work on protest, however, has pointed to its "normalization" and linkage to more conventional modes of participation. The Spanish case of 15M constitutes a useful new test of the two theories given that it mixed an explicit rejection of the choices voters faced with a criticism of political apathy. I examine the validity of each argument using a four-wave online panel survey and fixed-effects model to unravel how engagement in the 15M protest activity affected Spaniards' attitudes towards voting. The results provide fresh support for the normalization argument about a convergence of electoral and non-electoral types of activity. What is more, protest here seems to have a socialization effect that leads people to look at elections in a more positive manner.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)334-350
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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