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Pranks in Contentious Politics

An Interview with Pauline Pantsdown (AKA Simon Hunt)

Ben Hightower, Scott East, and Simon Hunt

considering social movements and contentious politics. The expediencies and urgencies of real-world politics often make it difficult to prioritize time for critical reflection. This extended interview creates space for such a practice. One of the things that

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Aliza Luft

Slightly over a decade ago, Colin Beck proposed that social movement theory had much to contribute to the study of terrorism. In his article, Beck argued for the analysis of terrorism as “a form of contentious politics, analyzable within the basic

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Sheikhs and the City

Urban Paths of Contention in Sidon, Lebanon

Are John Knudsen

Beirut to the Sidon-based preacher. The growth of the Assir movement hence led to a temporary shift in the locus of contentious politics from the capital to secondary cities such as Sidon, and a conceptual shift from elite politics to that of grassroots

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Brian Callan and Giovanni A. Travaglino

In this first issue of 2021, we find ourselves still in this strange space of a viral pandemic that first emerged in 2019. Yet contentious politics persists in public places, and the present issue reflects Contention' s continued efforts to

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Introduction

Creative Practices/Resistant Acts

Nesreen Hussein and Iain MacKenzie

important aspect of contentious politics. While the articles in this issue demonstrate that any analysis of the roles, functions, and effects of creative practices of resistance requires an in-depth, almost ethnographic, concern with the detail of what

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“Your debts are our problem”

The politicization of debt in Azerbaijan

Tristam Barrett

Abstract

Unlike in other countries with debt-saddled populations, the issue of consumer debt has been weakly politicized in Azerbaijan. There have been no social movements of the kind that occurred around the financial crises in the United States, the European periphery, or even in Ukraine's post-revolution attempt at a “financial Maidan.” The lack of a public politics of debt left banks to act as predators, using a weak court system to intimidate people and obtain repayment of debts. Yet the constraints to the public sphere within which a contentious politics might unfold does not mean no such politicization exists. Using the example of Antikollektor, a successful anti-debt-collection agency in Baku, this article demonstrates the usefulness of building an understanding of civil society outside of the reductivist frames that shape recent debates over the authoritarian backlash against foreign-funded organized civil society in the former Eastern Bloc.

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Hollie MacKenzie and Iain MacKanzie

In this article we focus on the potential for an alignment of certain feminist artistic practices and poststructuralist conceptions of critique that may enable ways of theorizing practices of resistance and engender ways of practicing resistance in theory, without the lurch back into masculinist forms of dogmatism. It will be claimed that an ontological conception of art, considered as that which makes a difference in the world, can not only challenge the primacy of the dogmatic and masculine ‘subject who judges’, but also instill ways of thinking about, and ways of enacting, feminist artistic encounters with the capacity to resist dogmatism. The theoretical stakes of this claim are elaborated through complimentary readings of Deleuze and Guattari’s constructivist account of philosophy and Irigaray’s feminist explorations of what it means to think from within the 'labial', rather than from the position of the dominant phallic symbolic order. We argue that this creative conjunction between Irigaray, Deleuze, and Guattari provides the resources for a conceptualisation of both feminist artistic practice and the critical practice of poststructuralist philosophy as forms of resistance to the dominant patriarchal order, in ways that can avoid the collapse back into masculinist forms of dogmatism. Revel’s discussion of the role of constituent rather than constituted forms of resistance is employed to draw out the implications of this position for contentious politics. It is concluded that constituent practices of resistance can be understood as a challenge to the phallogocentric symbolic order to the extent that they are practices of a labial art-politics.

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Benjamin Abrams and Giovanni A. Travaglino

Just as there are many repertoires of contention, there are also many repertoires of scholarship. Much of our writing on contentious politics utilizes one specific repertoire: the empirical research article. And yet, there is a plurality of

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Introduction

Theorizing the Spatiality of Protest

Dimitris Soudias and Tareq Sydiq

, which is that “most studies bring in spatial considerations only episodically, when they seem important either for adequate description of contentious political events or for explaining why particular events occurred or unfolded as they did” ( 2001: 51

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Benjamin Abrams and Giovanni A. Travaglino

contentious politics fields. She offers a thorough historical review of the literatures she recruits for this project before turning to a distinctive empirical analysis of civilian participation in the Rwandan genocide. The second article in this issue