About this Research Topic
Following the onset of the global financial crisis, European anti-austerity and pro-democracy movements marked the beginning of a new cycle of protest. Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain experienced a notable increase in the levels of protest. Recently police violence in the United States also led to the beginning of a new cycle of protest, with protests and riots sweeping across the whole country. In social movement literature there has been an impressive amount of publications analyzing the emergence of new cycles of protest. However, there is a lack of academic research concerning the de-escalation and ultimately demobilization of social movements. Understanding the processes of de-mobilization and the plurality of phenomena that these may cover, ranging from individual disengagement to the political demobilization of an entire social movement sector, is therefore a vital challenge for social movement studies.
This Research Topic centers on both the macro-level of collective demobilization and the micro-level of individual disengagement. It especially welcomes papers adopting an integrative approach that links contexts, processes and actors. A non-exhaustive list of potential contributions of interest includes:
1. Which are the most significant factors in the mobilization phase (e.g. actors involved, organizational structure and unity, the state’s response) that shape the demobilization process?
2. Which are the critical events that act as a decisive push towards demobilization and individual disengagement?
3. What is the impact of the electoral cycle and the alteration of political elites on the level of protest?
4. Which are the cognitive and affective factors that enhance individual disengagement?
5. Does the disengagement pace differ for radical and moderate activists?
6. Individuals, who disengaged from protest politics, do they return to contentious politics at a later stage?
7. Regarding the anti-austerity protests, has demobilization been limited to anti-austerity movements or has it affected the whole social movement sector?
8. Have the collective action frames of anti-austerity protests lost their resonance?
9. Have the networks and organizations that have supported anti-austerity protests lost their mobilizing force and been replaced by more localized or temporary or issue specific networks?
Papers may include comparative research on different countries or focus on single-country case studies.
Keywords: Protest, Post-crisis, Activism, Demobilization, Disengagement, Anti-austerity, Cycles of Protest
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.