The White March in Brussels on October 20, 1996 left many social scientists speechless. They witnessed by far the largest demonstration in Belgian history, 300,000 participants, but were struck by the total absence of any mobilization machinery. This article's thesis is that the press acted as an adequate alternative to intermediary organizations and, as such, was responsible for the huge success of the White March. Focusing on the coverage of the Dutroux case in five Belgian newspapers during the three months leading up to the demonstration, we argue that there is sufficient evidence that the media co-produced the White March. We demonstrate empirically how the different thresholds of central conventional mobilization theory were passed by the press, and conclude with a theoretical discussion on the circumstances favorable for media-driven peak mobilizations.
The Making of The White March: The Mass Media as a Mobilizing Alternative to Movement Organizations
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Stefaan Walgrave, Jan Manssens; The Making of The White March: The Mass Media as a Mobilizing Alternative to Movement Organizations. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 1 September 2000; 5 (2): 217–239. doi: https://doi.org/10.17813/maiq.5.2.l2263725765g0177
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