Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Josh Hendrickson

Second Advisor

Anne Quinney

Third Advisor

Thomas Garrett

Relational Format



Les Gilets Jaunes, or the yellow vests, is a movement of protestors that have had a large presence in France since 2018. Beginning as an online petition against French President Emmanuel Macron’s fuel tax hike, the movement has quickly amassed several hundred thousand protestors in Paris and other cities across the country. It is the objective of this thesis to examine potential reasons why 300,000 people have felt the need to protest throughout France, apart from the now rescinded fuel tax.

To this end, a sample of data from the Varieties of Democracy database was selected. These variables covered various aspects of French politics and society. The residual for each of the ten variables, explaining the actual value of the variable when controlling for various factors, was used to determine whether or not the values of these variables were higher or lower than predicted. Six of the variables were discovered to be lower than anticipated, which was expected to be correlated with an increase in protest activity. The remaining four variables, being higher than expected, were determined not to be possible explanations for the yellow vest movement.



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