Chapter 2 in: Strijker, D., Voerman, G. and Terluin, I. (eds.) Rural protest groups and populist political parties, pp 35-62

This chapter seeks to understand and explain the divergent trajectories of rural protest in different countries of the global north in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Drawing on a series of research projects undertaken since 2001, the chapter proposes that the determination of ‘trigger issues’, the organisational forms adopted by protest movements, and the forms and tactics of mobilisation chosen all reflect a combination of factors, including historic policy regimes and patterns of rural representation, the dynamics of urban-rural relations and influence, and domestic political systems and the opportunities that they provide for different forms of intervention. This model is developed further and the historical context discussed in more detail, with the model then tested in the final part of the chapter through a comparative analysis of contemporary rural politics in Britain, Australia and France.