Daniel Q. Gillion THE LOUD MINORITY; Why Protests Matter in American Democray

Daniel Q. Gillian is Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt Presidential Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests focus on racial and ethnic politics, political behavior, political institutions, public policy and the American Presidency.


Professor Gillion’s first book, The Political Power of Protest: Minority Activism and Shifts in Public Policy, demonstrates the influential role of protest to garner a response from each branch of the federal government, highlighting protest actions as another form of constituent sentiment that should be considered alongside public opinion and voting behavior.


His book, Governing with Words: The Political Dialogue on Race, Public Policy, and Inequality in America, demonstrates that historically, the political dialogue on race offered by presidents and congressional members alters the public policy process and shapes societal and cultural norms to improve the lives of racial and ethnic minorities, illustrating that mere words are a powerful tool for combating racial inequality in America.

Professor Gillian’s most recent book is THE LOUD MINORITY: WHY PROTESTS MATTER IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, just published by Princeton University Press. It comes at a time when many of us have been confined to our homes for many weeks during this global pandemic and others protest, disregarding social distancing precautions and carrying rapid fire weapons to state capitals, protesting government stay at home orders. We asked him about this and more.


Here are links to some of the articles referenced in this interview:

How the Kent State massacre marked the start of America’s polarization      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/04/kent-state-massacre-marked-start-of-americas-polarization

Armed protesters demonstrate against Covid-19 lockdown at Michigan capitol  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/30/michigan-protests-coronavirus-lockdown-armed-capitol

Protests sweep California as governor promises changes to lockdown    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/01/california-coronavirus-protests-huntington-beach-sacramento

‘Are you a spoiler?’: why critics fear Amash’s Libertarian bid may ensure a Trump win      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/03/justin-amash-libertarian-2020-election-trump-win-critics

The Anti-Mask League: lockdown protests draw parallels to 1918 pandemic  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/29/coronavirus-pandemic-1918-protests-california

How a tea party-linked group plans to turbocharge lockdown protests    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/tea-party-lockdown-coronavirus-206083

Trump allies jump in to help organize lockdown protests    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/21/trump-allies-help-organize-lockdown-protests-198426

What the anti-stay-at-home protests are really about        https://www.vox.com/2020/4/19/21225195/stay-at-home-protests-trump-tea-party-reelection

America doesn’t want another Tea Party    https://www.vox.com/2020/4/20/21225016/protests-stay-at-home-orders-trump-conservative-group-michigan

The ‘anti-lockdown’ protests are about more than just quarantines   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2020/apr/21/anti-lockdown-protests-trump-right-wing