The question of why some people participate in collective action, while most of them do not, has puzzled social movement scholars for decades, continuing to generate a burgeoning literature on what has been termed “differential recruitment.” Studies investigating protest participation, however, rarely compare actual participants with nonparticipants. The most important reason is a methodological one: it is difficult to organize a pre- and post-design that allows for disentangling the whole mobilization process leading towards a protest demonstration. In this article, I present data about 2,100 potential and actual participants in a national climate change demonstration in Belgium. Relying on this unique dataset, I present a comprehensive model including interpersonal networks and issue-related motivations to predict and explain participation and nonparticipation in a specific protest demonstration. Conceiving protest mobilization as a multistage process, I indicate how networks and motivations each have a distinct role in different stages of the mobilization process.

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