Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 August 2020
This chapter contains a study of diffusion among political protests in Europe. We start from a theoretical perspective that assumes protests as inherently interdependent across countries. Hence, we link geographical proximity to the likelihood of protests and we apply a spatial panel data analysis to study this link at the European, regional and cross-border level as well as for different time periods and forms of protests. The results show that spin-off movements across the continent learn from or emulate initiator movements in many instances, but that this diffusion is largely confined to the cross-border level. As a consequence, we did not find sustained protest waves that capture the majority of European countries at once. Similarly, cross-border diffusion is also only relevant for some regions and during some time periods but not universally. It seems that the grievances and opportunity structures in different European countries are varying too much in order to support widespread and long-ranging waves of protest.