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Violent Repression of Environmental Protests
SpringerPlus (2016)
  • Dr. Helen M Poulos, Wesleyan University
  • Dr. Mary Alice Haddad, Wesleyan University
As global sea levels and natural resource demands rise, people around the world are increasingly protesting environmental threats to their lives and livelihoods. What are the conditions under which these peaceful environmental protests are violently repressed? This paper uses the random forest algorithm to conduct an event analysis of grass- roots environmental protests around the world. Utilizing a database of 175 grassroots environmental protests, we found that: (1) a large proportion (37 %) of the protests involved violent repression; (2) most of the violence (56 %) was directed against marginalized groups; and (3) violence was geographically concentrated the global south in Latin America and Asia. The primary predictors of violence were political empowerment, GDP per capita, industry type, the presence of marginalized groups, and geographic region. Our analysis reveals a complex relationship between governance, resource extraction, and international funding that often resulted in human rights violations against marginalized groups. 
  • environment,
  • protest,
  • violence,
  • indigenous groups,
  • resource extraction,
  • recursive partitioning,
  • event analysis
Publication Date
Spring 2016
Citation Information
Helen M Poulos and Mary Alice Haddad. "Violent Repression of Environmental Protests" SpringerPlus Vol. 5 Iss. 230 (2016) p. 1 - 12
Available at:
Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY International License.