The Effect of Societal and Campaign Diversity - Abstract

The recruitment of participants is one of the keys to achieving a successful outcome for a violent or nonviolent anti-government campaign. Rather surprisingly, little generalizable empirical evidence exists, however, regarding the factors that facilitate recruitment into campaigns. We contend that central to recruitment is the ability to draw together a wide variety of individuals, groups, and organizations, including those that may be otherwise independent from one another. We build upon the logic of assurance games to argue that campaigns improve their ability to attract additional individual and group members to their cause by increasing the observable forms of diversity represented within their ranks. We posit that during the recruitment stage, the diversity of a campaign can compensate for collective action problems resulting from general societal diversity. A series of Heckman-style selection models demonstrate that campaigns that have already attracted a more diverse membership base are likely to recruit more individuals and more new organizations in the next year than are campaigns that have not.