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Repression and Mobilization

Repression and Mobilization

Christian Davenport
Hank Johnston
Carol Mueller
Volume: 21
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 300
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  • Book Info
    Repression and Mobilization
    Book Description:

    With case studies that range from Germany to the Philippines, the United States to Japan, Guatemala to China, these essays synthesize what we know about repression and mobilization and provide thoughtful insight for the future. Contributors: Patrick Ball, Vince Boudreau, Myra Marx Ferree, Ronald A. Francisco, Ruud Koopmans, Mark Lichbach, John D. McCarthy, Clark McPhail, Patricia Steinhoff, Charles Tilly, Gilda Zwerman.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9641-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction. Repression and Mobilization: Insights from Political Science and Sociology
    (pp. vii-xlii)
    Christian Davenport

    The events of September 11, 2001, raised numerous issues. They made us initially think about terrorism, terror, and loss; later, about revenge, strategic bombing, and Islam; later still, about protest policing, freedom, democracy, and recovery. Are we prepared for such thinking and policy formation/analysis? Are the interactions and complexities involved—especially those relevant to state—dissident relations, the core of the whole issue—well enough comprehended to provide some basis for understanding?

    In many respects, we are well prepared for this line of inquiry. For approximately thirty years scholars have been investigating the relationship between dissidents and dissent, on the...

  4. Part I. Under the Microscope:: Toward a Better Understanding of Causal Dynamics

    • 1 Protest Mobilization, Protest Repression, and Their Interaction
      (pp. 3-32)
      Clark McPhail and John D. McCarthy

      We offer some observations, reflections, and proposals about protest mobilization actors and protest repression actors and their interactions. Our primary focus will be the United States during the last three decades. We will attend mainly, on the protest side, to mobilization for protest events rather than longer-term movement institution building. And on the repression side, we mainly attend to shorter-term obstacle creation by state actors surrounding specific protest events or sequences of events rather than on longer-term efforts at creating obstacles to movement institution building.

      We begin with repression, then turn to mobilization and finally to the interaction of the...

    • 2 Precarious Regimes and Matchup Problems in the Explanation of Repressive Policy
      (pp. 33-57)
      Vince Boudreau

      In some circumstances, it may be relatively easy to figure out why state actors resort to repression against social challenges. Where authorities confront a powerful insurgent army that can credibly oppose fundamental state interests, they will respond as they would against external threats—by mobilizing the force necessary to defeat the challenge. Where well-established states face less powerful challenges, state violence emerges more as police or military brutality: between 1968 and 1971, for example, Los Angeles police officers periodically attacked Chicano demonstrators, as other U.S. security forces were attacking African-American, Native American, and Puerto Rican groups elsewhere (Escobar 1993). This...

    • 3 The Dictator’s Dilemma
      (pp. 58-82)
      Ronald A. Francisco

      “History has already made its judgment. We were simply forced to act. We didn’t want to.... In ten or twenty years you will come to realize that these measures were necessary for the stability of China and for world peace.” Speaking in Austria in 1994, China’s prime minister Li Peng defended the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square (Reuters, July 1, 1994). Will an evaluation in 2014 show this self-serving statement to be correct? Does a massacre enhance stability and the endurance of dictatorship? How do dissidents and their leaders view these repression events? Do they in fact retreat in model...

  5. Part II. Moving Beyond, Moving Into:: Developing New Insight

    • 4 When Activists Ask for Trouble: State–Dissident Interactions and the New Left Cycle of Resistance in the United States and Japan
      (pp. 85-107)
      Gilda Zwerman and Patricia Steinhoff

      This study examines the relation between repression and mobilization of resistance from the latter part of the New Left protest cycle in the late 1960s through the 1990s in two countries, Japan and the United States. It focuses on a subset of activists who joined the movement in the later militant phase of the cycle and continued to engage in violent confrontations with the state long after the protest cycle had ended. The study finds that the activists’ commitment to violence was sustained by deployment of new strategies and structures that enabled them to absorb high levels of repression. By...

    • 5 Talking the Walk: Speech Acts and Resistance in Authoritarian Regimes
      (pp. 108-137)
      Hank Johnston

      Repressive states distort patterns of communication and association that are the basis of mobilization in Western democracies. Models of mobilization based on Western cases take for granted communication among social movement participants, but in authoritarian states free communication and dissemination of political information are not only highly problematic but also carry risks such as interrogation, arrest, blacklisting, and imprisonment. Increased risk combines with the constrained patterns of social organization characteristic of authoritarianism, such as the one-party state and its colonization of daily life, to give rise to innovative oppositional adaptations. At the heart of these adaptations is the centrality of...

    • 6 Soft Repression: Ridicule, Stigma, and Silencing in Gender-Based Movements
      (pp. 138-156)
      Myra Marx Ferree

      Once upon a time, social movement scholars lived in a world in which the only form of social protest that they could recognize was directed against the state. In this state-centered world, political elites wielding formal authority over governments were the only real targets for movement concerns, and the troops protecting the castle of political power were the armies, police forces, and prisons that the authorities could and did send into battle against those who would challenge their authority in general or their policies in specific. As protests in democratic states became more legitimate, ritualized, and nonviolent, the scholarly focus...

  6. Part III. Media, Measurement, and Contention

    • 7 Repression and the Public Sphere: Discursive Opportunities for Repression against the Extreme Right in Germany in the 1990s
      (pp. 159-188)
      Ruud Koopmans

      Repression is an act of strategic communication in the public sphere—that is the argument of this essay. By focusing on the discursive dimension of repression, the approach followed here departs from the mainstream of research on the relationship between repression and dissent. Traditional approaches have analyzed the repression-dissent nexus from the point of view of the direct interaction between repressive agencies and protest participants. In the rational-choice perspective, parties in such interactions influence each other’s behavior by altering the other party’s balance of costs and benefits, for example, when severe repression stifles protest by making it too risky and...

    • 8 On the Quantification of Horror: Notes from the Field
      (pp. 189-208)
      Patrick Ball

      During the conflict between NATO and Yugoslavia between March and June of 1999, the parties offered sharply differing explanations for the ethnic Albanians’ migration out of Kosovo. NATO spokespeople claimed that Serb forces were committing ethnic cleansing, including, in a chilling echo of Srebrenica, the claim that a hundred thousand Kosovar Albanian men were missing. The Yugoslav Ministry of Information responded that the Kosovars’ mass exodus was motivated by their attempts to avoid the NATO bombing campaign.

      Contending political claims sometimes turn on arguments about who committed what (and how much) political violence against whom. For example, the NATO and...

  7. Part IV. Reflections and Future Directions

    • 9 Repression, Mobilization, and Explanation
      (pp. 211-226)
      Charles Tilly

      Political analysts can take at least three views of mutual relations between repression and mobilization:

      1. that they are locally variable, irregular, or even incoherent, and therefore not amenable to systematic description and explanation

      2. that, once we clear away conceptual and empirical debris, they conform to general laws

      3. that they apply names to classes of episodes for which coherent explanations are possible—but not in the form of general laws at the levels of episodes or classes of episodes

      Given the inconsistencies and contradictions among accounts of the repression—mobilization nexus offered in this volume, we might forgive...

    • 10 How to Organize Your Mechanisms: Research Programs, Stylized Facts, and Historical Narratives
      (pp. 227-244)
      Mark Lichbach

      InConstructing Social Theories, Arthur Stinchcombe wrote:

      I usually assign students in a theory class the following task: Choose any relation between two or more variables which you are interested in; invent at least three theories, not now known to be false, which might explain these relations; choosing appropriate indicators, derive at least three different empirical consequences from each theory, such that the factual consequences distinguish among the theories. This I take to be the model of social theorizing as a practical scientific activity. (1968, 13)

      Because I find it a useful antidote to the semantic and syntactic theories of...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 245-250)
  9. Index
    (pp. 251-258)