All explanations of racist violence, across historical periods and national contexts, have to face the tension between diversity and unity. On one hand, racist violence is very diverse, involving a wide range of actors, motives and means. On the other, diverse cases of racist violence typically occur at approximately the same time, against the same targets, and in the same places. Rather than solve this tension, existing research reinforce it by disaggregating individual cases into narrower, decontextualized categories, or by disregarding diversity altogether. This thesis approaches the problem of unity and diversity by locating cases of racist violence in time and space, examining how attacks emerge from causes located in meso-level interactions between different assailants, and between assailants and wider networks of racist protesters and their opponents in bounded geographical areas. Applying the processual framework from social movement theory, the thesis studies these interactions in the context of local protest against migrant accommodation in Sweden between 2012 and 2017. The thesis thereby observes a wide variety of assailants, including radical right activists, youth gangs and “ordinary” residents, interacting with local politicians and government authorities, moderate organizations and mainstream political parties across 85 local cases. In order to study these cases, the thesis combines protest event analysis of nearly 3000 violent and nonviolent events with qualitative case studies based on primary and secondary data from municipal and court documents, social movement organizations and political parties, social media, and 61 interviews with actors on different positions vis-à-vis migrant accommodation. The main outcome of the thesis is a typology of six pathways to violence, each consisting of a specific combination of causal mechanisms and occurring across a variety of empirical settings. The typology is based on the distinction of three different temporal sequences between violent and nonviolent protest, and two spatial orientations in the framing and organization of protest. Across four empirical chapters, the thesis develops the central causal mechanisms within each pathway, locates them in the course of the empirical cases, and shows how different pathways are associated with contextual conditions at the local and national level. The thesis details the processes through which violence emerges out of weakly coordinated sets of locals, private networks, radical right milieus, and cells of violent specialists, in parallel with, after, or independently of, nonviolent protest. The thesis contributes to the study of racist violence, and to the study of political violence more broadly. In the literature on racist violence, the thesis contributes to the bridging of unity and diversity by contextualizing instances of violence in their broader spatial and temporal setting. It also contributes to the interpretation of contextual causes, and to the interpretation of different types of actors in relation to violent protest. In the literature on political violence, the thesis contributes an analysis of violence in contexts where protest is weakly coordinated, informal and largely occurs in private settings. It thereby helps extend the analysis of political violence away from a focus on repeated public confrontations, and onto the dynamic between public and private interactions.

The times and spaces of racist violence: pathways to violence in protest against Swedish migrant accommodation, 2012–2017 / Lundstedt, Måns Robert. - (2021 Dec 20).

The times and spaces of racist violence: pathways to violence in protest against Swedish migrant accommodation, 2012–2017

LUNDSTEDT, Måns Robert
2021-12-20

Abstract

All explanations of racist violence, across historical periods and national contexts, have to face the tension between diversity and unity. On one hand, racist violence is very diverse, involving a wide range of actors, motives and means. On the other, diverse cases of racist violence typically occur at approximately the same time, against the same targets, and in the same places. Rather than solve this tension, existing research reinforce it by disaggregating individual cases into narrower, decontextualized categories, or by disregarding diversity altogether. This thesis approaches the problem of unity and diversity by locating cases of racist violence in time and space, examining how attacks emerge from causes located in meso-level interactions between different assailants, and between assailants and wider networks of racist protesters and their opponents in bounded geographical areas. Applying the processual framework from social movement theory, the thesis studies these interactions in the context of local protest against migrant accommodation in Sweden between 2012 and 2017. The thesis thereby observes a wide variety of assailants, including radical right activists, youth gangs and “ordinary” residents, interacting with local politicians and government authorities, moderate organizations and mainstream political parties across 85 local cases. In order to study these cases, the thesis combines protest event analysis of nearly 3000 violent and nonviolent events with qualitative case studies based on primary and secondary data from municipal and court documents, social movement organizations and political parties, social media, and 61 interviews with actors on different positions vis-à-vis migrant accommodation. The main outcome of the thesis is a typology of six pathways to violence, each consisting of a specific combination of causal mechanisms and occurring across a variety of empirical settings. The typology is based on the distinction of three different temporal sequences between violent and nonviolent protest, and two spatial orientations in the framing and organization of protest. Across four empirical chapters, the thesis develops the central causal mechanisms within each pathway, locates them in the course of the empirical cases, and shows how different pathways are associated with contextual conditions at the local and national level. The thesis details the processes through which violence emerges out of weakly coordinated sets of locals, private networks, radical right milieus, and cells of violent specialists, in parallel with, after, or independently of, nonviolent protest. The thesis contributes to the study of racist violence, and to the study of political violence more broadly. In the literature on racist violence, the thesis contributes to the bridging of unity and diversity by contextualizing instances of violence in their broader spatial and temporal setting. It also contributes to the interpretation of contextual causes, and to the interpretation of different types of actors in relation to violent protest. In the literature on political violence, the thesis contributes an analysis of violence in contexts where protest is weakly coordinated, informal and largely occurs in private settings. It thereby helps extend the analysis of political violence away from a focus on repeated public confrontations, and onto the dynamic between public and private interactions.
Settore SPS/11 - Sociologia dei Fenomeni Politici
Scienza politica e sociologia
33
racist violence; processual framework; radical right; political violence; refugee crisis
Scuola Normale Superiore
Della Porta, Donatella Alessandra
BOSI, Lorenzo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/125762
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