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Politics, protest and the threatening outside: a discourse analysis of events at an EU summit
Örebro University, Department of Social and Political Sciences.
2004 (English)In: Distinktion Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, ISSN 1600-910X, E-ISSN 2159-9149, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 79-92Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social movement protests at an EU summit in Gothenburg in 2001 are here analysed using discourse theory. This perspective envisages the constructed character of subjects, identities and discourses structuring the social. A hegemonic project, attempting to explain the antagonisms at the summit, was emphasised through signifying chains and the use of metaphor. The hegemonic effort of rescuing a unified and fully sutured social, instituted a constitutive outside—the deviant activist—explaining the interruptions in the idea of liberal democratic politics, here substantiated by the summit. Power seems crucial for what forms of protests are considered acceptable, and ultimately for what is viewed as valid political subjects or legitimate political demands.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 5, no 1, p. 79-92
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3200DOI: 10.1080/1600910X.2004.9672878OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-3200DiVA, id: diva2:137294
Available from: 2006-11-24 Created: 2006-11-24 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Deconstructing political protest
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Deconstructing political protest
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Part I of the thesis Deconstructing Political Protest is an introduction to the theoretical, epistemological and (anti)ontological approach guiding the analysis in the articles comprising Part II. Investigations into the ideological organisation of political protests are the focus in all four articles. The questions asked concern what makes some subjects or political gestures tolerable and legitimate and others less so. Answering this type of questions involves deconstructing the political processes where the modes and subjects of protest are conditioned. The ideological organisation of protest is here identified as a result of power struggles. Ideology is here a closure of the social, i.e. the non-acknowledgement of the instability of how our world is organised. The four articles accordingly investigate the openings and aporias in discourses on political protest, and the struggle between hegemony and its unmaking, rather than search for a hermeneutic whole.

An occupation, a demonstration and a referendum serve as examples when deconstructing discourses organising political protests. What these three events have in common is how the “laws” regulating political protests are broken, yet it is exactly when the laws are broken that they appear as an independent structure. The illegal occupation is additionally breaking the law regulating political protest by appearing innocous in the hegemonic discourse. Activists occupying an operation ward are in this example not condemned as criminals but are instead respected as an anomaly deviating from regular problematic occupants. Similarly street demonstrations in the second example relate to a violent outside deviating from the normal peaceful demonstration, but in this example the outside violence blends into the identity of all activist through various metaphors. The third example examines how a referendum, formally a well-respected mode of protest, can still be questioned in a hegemonic discourse.

The events studied challenge the notion of what constitutes reasonable political activity, but simultaneously maintain the meaning of, and become the condition of possibility for, the acceptable and unacceptable political protest since the laws regulationg political protest are determined by their transgressions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek, 2006. p. 101
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 17
Keyword
aporia, deconstruction, demonstration, discourse theory, EMU, euro, gender, hegemony, identity, language, metaphors, movements, occupation, politics, political, political protest, poststructural, power, protest, referendum, riots, social movements, text, violence
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-798 (URN)91-7668-508-X (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-12-15, HSL2, Långhuset, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-11-24 Created: 2006-11-22 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Fridolfsson, Charlotte

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