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The innovation of this study is twofold: one in the area of theory and conceptualization of mobilization processes, the other in the substantive analysis of rich historical data. In the remaining of the paper we will briefly wrap up our findings in both areas.
Methodologically and theoretically we have developed and tested a model of mobilization that takes simultaneously into account structural and other parameters. The advantage of such an abstract model is its openness to many empirical questions and the generality that lets the specific case determine the importance of the parameters. In operationalizing the structural component of the model we have adopted a concept developed in diffusion research: the concept of exposure. This concept has proven to be an adequate analytical tool for the analysis of mobilization processes. A more detailed examination of the residuals that we obtained from the general regression model was the second methodological innovation. The residuals clearly showed that there is structure in the error terms. Their analysis lead to substantially important interpretations.
We were able to demonstrate that mobilization takes place within the existing social fabric. The overall model explaining mobilization as the result of contacts to activists adequately fits the data and explains a large amount of the phenomena. A closer view on the separate stages of the process and the behavior of different social groups yielded an even more differentiated picture. Within the whole process of mass mobilization the merchants hold the central position. They not only initiate the protest, but they stay highly active throughout the whole revolution. The group that fits best with our model of diffusion are the craftsmen. Their degree of participation rose drastically (a1 = 0.19, a2 = 0.46, a3 = 0.86). This exponential growth is of fundamental importance to the whole process since they are the numerically biggest group. Their mobilization was a process that by and large took place within the structure. In contrast, workers and vintners are the two groups that entered the revolution in the second phase for reasons only partly understood from structural considerations. They entered the revolutionary stage when the new social contract (constitution) was negotiated in Frankfurt presenting then specific interests that they hoped would be considered.