Sample Project: Small World of Protests

The networks of global protests present a small-world effect, indicating that protests can quickly diffuse from one region to any part of the globe.  

Ferreira et al. (2021) found that protest occurrences were globally connected as a “small world,” using two large-scale datasets of global conflicts from GDELT and ICEWS. The phenomenon means that a protest in one region can diffuse to any other region, globally and almost immediately. Furthermore, the steps necessary to reach the other region have decreased by year, suggesting that the world is becoming “smaller”—thus, global protest diffusion is getting easier. With this small-world effect, the number of protests and their global co-occurrences has increased significantly since 2005. This increase indicates that the emergence of social media platforms and the rise of mobile internet access play an important role in protest diffusion by enabling the easy and quick spread of information.


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