Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

B.A. in Political Science

Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Political Science

First Advisor

Seth Masket

Second Advisor

Sara Chatfield

Third Advisor

Gia Nardini


Protest, George Floyd, Protest outcomes, Legislative outcomes, Police reform, Violence, Media, Protest size, Effective protest, Legislative reform from protests


This thesis examines the relationship between the conditions of the George Floyd protests from May to August of 2020 to the impact they had state on policing reforms within state legislatures. I examine protests in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, looking at those protests’ size, media coverage, and violence and compare that to the degree of policy change achieved within each state. I find that, contrary to expectations, protest size was not associated with policy change, but that the party control of the state government was a strong predictor of how states responded to protests. Within some state subgroups, the presence of violence and media coverage of violence had a statistically significant effect in shaping policy change. These findings help us understand what conditions are needed to create a successful protest.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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