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Two Sides of a Barricade

(Dis)order and Summit Protest in Europe

Christian Scholl

Publication Year: 2012

Investigates how activists confront global powers with their street-level dissent. Two Sides of a Barricade argues that to construct global democracy, conflict and dissent must be taken seriously. Christian Scholl explores the political significance of the confrontations within four sites of interaction: bodies, space, communication, and law. Each site of struggle provides a different entry point to understand the influence of protester and police tactics on each other. At the same time, the four sites of struggle allow a comprehensive analysis of how the contestation of global hegemonic forces during summit protests trigger a preemptive shift in social control through increased deployment of biopolitical forms of power.

Published by: State University of New York Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

Through my teaching at the Political Science Department of the University of Amsterdam in the past years, many inspiring students have shown me again that good teaching should not follow the “banking model,” but create a context for critical dialogue and engagement. ...


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pp. xi-xiv

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Chapter 1: Barricades Are Back

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pp. 1-22

June 19th 2001. We had finally reached Genoa. After getting the few things we brought with us to the Carlini Stadium, which had transformed into a busy and crowded sleeping and convergence space, we enter a joyful parade for open borders and freedom of movement. There is music and chants everywhere, masses of bodies, and riot police in full gear who remain at a certain distance. ...

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Chapter 2: Global Dissent: Tactical Trajectories

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pp. 23-40

Joschka Fischer had been minister of external affairs in the German government for two years when his radical past “caught up” with him. Once this unofficial leader of the Green Party and ex-street fighter became minister in 1998, public opinion seemed to be most worried about the question as to whether he would still wear his sneakers in such a high-ranking position. ...

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Chapter 3: Understanding Interaction Tactically

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pp. 41-68

The most frequent urban manifestations of barricades during summit protests are burning dumpsters or cars. Since many major European cities have organized their trash system underground, however, dumpsters are vanishing from the imagery of street confrontations. ...

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Chapter 4: Bodies That Matter: The Epistemology of Street Interactions

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pp. 69-104

In the Dutch weekly HP De Tijd of February 1, 2008, one can find a strange picture on the third page: a bunch of clowns seem to be stuck between the legs of police officers who are forming a line to protect an anti-Islam demonstration of about 30 people on the Dam square in Amsterdam. One of the clowns happily waves his pink feather boa. ...

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Chapter 5: “Leave them no space!”: The Dialectics of Spatial Interactions

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pp. 105-140

To some it might have looked more like an ants’ nest than a well-organized action camp. Among the 5,000-people-strong tent camp in the northern German village of Reddelich, small groups are huddling. On the opposite side of the road delimiting the camp, a big crowd engages in a sit-in blockade, ...

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Chapter 6: Psy(c)ops, Spin-Doctors, and the Communication of Dissent

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pp. 141-174

Receiving the news about Andrej Holm’s arrest based on alleged participation in a terrorist group (see chapter 1) was unsettling for many activists involved in the G8 mobilization for Heiligendamm. While the abstract danger had always been present, I suddenly realized that the prospect of the police entering my house to take me out of my bed was becoming strangely concrete. ...

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Chapter 7: “A revolt is a revolt is a revolt”: Violence, Law, and the Exception

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pp. 175-202

A participant in the 2003 protests in Evian told me the following anecdote. As usual, the local press had anticipated riots, mayhem, and destruction. Geneva and Lausanne, the two cities where summit protesters concentrated, prefigured a “state of exception” and triggered fantasies of an entire city being smashed. ...

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Chapter 8: Back to the Barricades?

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pp. 203-216

This book started with the barricade for a number of reasons. First, historically, barricades have marked the emergence of antisystemic initiatives, the unfulfilled promises of the past that explode rather unpredictably in order to make another history possible. Therefore, I argue, barricades constitute an opening to the possible. ..


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pp. 217-220


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pp. 221-240


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pp. 241-264

Index, Back Cover

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pp. 265-272

E-ISBN-13: 9781438445144
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438445137

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 867739333
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Two Sides of a Barricade

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Subject Headings

  • Social movements -- Europe -- History -- 21st century.
  • Protest movements -- Europe -- History -- 21st century.
  • Opposition (Political science) -- Europe -- History -- 21st century.
  • Dissenters -- Europe -- History -- 21st century.
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