Legacies of Contention

Revisiting the 2011 Protest Wave

in Contention
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Abstract

Ten years ago, a seemingly titanic wave of contention swept the globe. This article reflects on how the impact of a wave of contentious political action that is now a full decade old manifests today. These “legacies of contention”—the historically contingent impact of contentious episodes—can variably re-enforce, undermine, or depart substantially from the original focus of a given contentious episode, a sign of how difficult it can be to extrapolate from the causal impact of contentious politics in the near-run. Herein we discuss the fates of some of the 2011 contentious episodes, including Syria, Greece, Israel, England, and the United States.

Contributor Notes

Mounah Abdel-Samad is an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at San Diego State University, where he teaches courses on administrative theory, organization behavior, and comparative public administration. Dr. Abdel-Samad conducted in-field research in South West Asia and North Africa on legislators and civil society and well as in-field research in San Diego on homelessness. msamad@sdsu.edu

Michael Boyle is a professor in the Department of Communication and Media at West Chester University. His research focuses on how news media present issues - including protest and social conflict - to the public and the implications of that news coverage on outcomes such as perceptions of media effects. MBoyle@wcupa.edu

Shawn Flanigan, PhD is a professor at San Diego State University. Her research focuses on how the needs of low-income populations, minorities, and vulnerable groups (like migrants) are addressed by non-state organizations and states. She has conducted field research in south Asia, Europe, the SWANA (MENA) region, and North America. sflaniga@sdsu.edu

Christian Garland holds degrees in Philosophy and Politics from the University of East Anglia and Social and Political Thought from the University of Sussex. He is a PhD candidate in International Political Economy Research at King's College, London. His research interests include: Marx, Frankfurt School Critical Theory, knowledge and instrumental reason (especially as applied to the rapidly changing nature of work), and the re-composition and restructuring of the Capital-labour relation in the early twenty-first century.

Tony Jefferson is an Emeritus Professor at Keele University who has researched and published widely on questions to do with youth subcultures, the media, policing, race and crime, masculinity, fear of crime and racial violence. He worked with Stuart Hall and others to produce Resistance Through Rituals (1976/2006) and Policing the Crisis (1978/2013). His latest book is Stuart Hall, Conjunctural Analysis and Cultural Criminology (2021). tonyjefferson45@gmail.com

Bob Jeffery is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Sheffield Hallam University. His long-term interests centre on questions of class inequality as they play out in various social domains (housing, welfare, mobilities, policing and identities). His most recent research focuses on experiences of low-paid and precarious work and the potentialities for trade union renewal. R.F.Jeffery@shu.ac.uk

Callie Maidhof is an Assistant Senior Instructional Professor and the Associate Director of Global Studies at the University of Chicago. She is currently at work on an ethnographic monograph, Borderline Settlers: Israel's Secular Middle Class in the West Bank. cmaidhof@uchicago.edu

George Sotiropoulos is adjunct lecturer of social theory at the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. He is also a member of the Void Network collective and writes regularly for its website. Sotiropoulos’ research interests and published work cover a wide range of themes, including current social movements and the history of revolutions. In recent years he has focused on the concept of justice, exploring the possibility and scope of a materialist theorization. This research led to his 2019 monograph, A Materialist Theory of Justice: The One, the Many, the Not-Yet. gsotiropoulos@isa.edu.gr

Contention

The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest

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