During the protest, some people turned to rob nearby supermarkets, moved things home, and even burned down buildings. The purpose of the protest is not just to express dissatisfaction, but also to hope that relevant policies and laws can be gradually changed in a democratic system. But can violent protests achieve this effect? From the point of view of political science, this question seems intuitive, but it is not easy to study scientifically. Because so many things can happen before and after a violent protest, even if there is a change in national polls, it's hard to say it's caused by the protest. In particular, the protest may be far from election day, and many other major events may occur in the middle.
At that time, although whatsapp database people may have changed their attitudes because of the protest, when they really want to vote, they may have forgotten the opinions affected by the protest . On the other hand, when violent protests are related to racial discrimination, it is difficult to ask people's opinions through polls, because people may be inclined to answer the answers they expect to hear because of social desirability. Ask people if they go to the polls, and the average is much higher than the actual voter turnout) or fear of violence, and will not tell the truth in the polls. From a scientific point of view, a good experimental design consists of an experimental group and a control group.
The experimental group receives experimental stimulation (Treatment), while the control group remains unchanged. Finally, observe the changes in the experimental group and the control group in the same period of time. Quantitative differences, we can know how this experimental stimulus affects the changes in the experimental group. But obviously, we can't directly use violent protests as an experiment. We can't randomly select a few cities or countries, launch riots there, and finally observe the changes in public opinion in these places. This is not only expensive, but also fundamental ethical controversy. So, what to do? We present this 2019 article published in the American Political Science Review, the best journal in political science: Enos, RD, Kaufman, AR, & Sands, ML (2019).