In 2015, we received a total of 16 applications from Ph.D. candidates and awarded 1 stipend of $6,000 in support of research on civil resistance. The goal of the stipend is to assist awardees in expanding their analytical, empirical and methodological tools of inquiry and incorporate into their Ph.D. thesis writing a civil resistance perspective – its literature, as well as theoretical and strategic frameworks. Also included in this year’s PhD thesis award is a temporary mentorship from an ICNC academic advisor, Dr. Kurt Schock, Associate Professor of Sociology and Global Affairs, Rutgers University.
The 2015 Ph.D. Fellowship awardee:
Arin Ayanian received her MA in psychology from the American University of Beirut (AUB), in Lebanon. For a three year period, she worked as an instructor of Psychology courses at AUB and a research assistant on several projects revolving around intergroup relations in Lebanon. Presently, Arin is a final year PhD candidate in social psychology at the University of St Andrews, in Scotland.
Arin’s PhD research project is under the supervision of Dr. Nicole Tausch. It examines the social psychological processes underlying engagement in collective civil resistance/action in risky contexts. Through merging the various literatures on civil resistance, social movements, and collective action, she advances a social psychological model of risky collective civil resistance/action, and tests this model in various contexts; Egypt, Russia, Hong Kong and Turkey. The model mainly argues for a galvanizing effect of likelihood of risk on collective civil resistance/action through fueling anger, shaping efficacy beliefs and strengthening identification with the protest movement.
As for her general research interests, they revolve around intergroup relations and processes; specifically antecedents and consequences of radicalization, prejudice and discrimination, and conflict resolution.
Tentative title: How Risk Perception Shapes Collective Civil Resistance Intentions in Repressive Contexts
Abstract: My PhD research project is under the supervision of Dr. Nicole Tausch. We examine the social psychological processes underlying engagement in collective civil resistance/action in risky contexts. We advance a social psychological model of risky collective civil resistance/action through merging the various literatures on collective action, civil resistance, and social movements, and testing this model in various contexts; Egypt, Russia, Hong Kong and Turkey. The model emphasizes a galvanizing effect of likelihood of risk on collective civil resistance through fueling anger, shaping efficacy beliefs and strengthening identification with the protest movement.
What is interesting and unique in the research project is the merging of the various literatures on civil resistance, social movements, and collective action, and testing their main arguments of motivation to be engaged in risky civil resistance/movements/actions using quantitative data, taking the individual as the unit of analysis. It gives the various literatures a new outlook. I introduce to the social psychological literature of collective action the need to study the relation between repression and collective action intentions, and to the social movement and civil resistance literatures the testing of their main propositions, such as the role of outrage, identity, agency and mobilization of support for protest movement, with an emphasis on micro level processes (individual level variables) and the use of quantitative data and advanced statistical tools.
As part of my ICNC PhD thesis award I will aim to publish two academic articles. In my first article, I will summarize the results of the three survey studies conducted in Russia, Hong Kong and Turkey, and whenever appropriate and possible will integrate theoretical and practical lenses of civil resistance studies. I will also aim to publish a thorough general review article where I merge the literature on civil resistance and the social psychology literature on collective action. The article will attempt to highlight how the two literatures can complement each other and contribute for further empirical studies that can investigate different aspects of collective resistance/action by acknowledging and amalgamating the advances and limitations in each discipline.