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Political protest and the public sphere

Political protest is a central phenomenon in democratic as well as non-democratic societies. Political activists do not in the same way as political parties and interest organizations have direct access to the state and the political system. Their power primarily consists in the creation of visibility and resonance in the political public sphere. The goal of the project is to contribute to a better understanding of the public strategies of political protest and their political, social, and cultural implications. The project focuses on the following aspects: (a) how the use of new social media by political activists has created a more dynamic and unpredictable public sphere in democratic as well as non-democratic societies; (b) how political activists are central in constituting a global public sphere; (c) how political activists seek to ‘translate’ particular interests to a universal language in the public sphere; (d) how differences in political culture (locally, nationally) lead to different strategic and discursive opportunities for political protest; (e) how the border between ‘healthy’ liberal-democratic protest and ‘dangerous’ political extremism is negotiated in the public sphere. The project is centered round a forthcoming Danish language book that introduces to theory about political protest and social movements and treats the themes mentioned above in a number of more analytical chapters.