University of Twente Student Theses


The citizen, the state and protests in the Netherlands and France during the Covid-19 pandemic

Westenberg, L.H.C (2021) The citizen, the state and protests in the Netherlands and France during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Abstract:Since Covid-19 is officially labeled as a global pandemic, countries have been demonstrating that the virus could and especially should be suppressed and controlled. Countries such as France opted for a strict lockdown where citizens were only allowed to leave their home for grocery shopping or essential work. On the other hand, the Netherlands had their so called “intelligent lockdown” where society was kept very open and only large assemblies were forbidden in combination with social distancing. This study proposes the idea that the governmental pandemic policy strategy and the relationship between the citizen state are interactive. Specifically, the expectation is tested whether a lower rated citizen-state relationship in a country leads to a higher willingness to protest against restrictive Covid-19 measures. To test this hypothesis the differences between the Netherlands and France and the overall effect of lower citizen-state relationship on the willingness to protest against Covid-19 related matter, an online survey was distributed among Dutch and French citizens. Respondents were asked to respond to questions indicating their trust and opinion towards governmental aspects and whether they have participated in or would consider to participate in certain types of protest activities. Comparisons between the Dutch and French citizen-state relationship and protest willingness were analysed using a two-sample t-test. A possible causal relationship was tested via regression analysis. The results showed a significant difference between the Netherlands and France in terms of these variables. Also a higher citizen-state relationship has a negative effect on protest willingness. However, the it is found that this effect is only able to explain a small part of the Covid-19 related protest motivations.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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