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2021 Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Politics and Gender

Micro-Patterns of Violence in the Context of Street Demonstrations During the G20-Summit in Hamburg 2017

Political Violence
Social Movements
Stefan Malthaner
Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS)
Stefan Malthaner
Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS)

Violent escalation in the context of street demonstrations is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon. Drawing on an in-depth analysis of violent confrontations as well as one-sided violence during the G20-summit in Hamburg in July 2017, this paper identifies characteristic micro- patterns of violence based on particular relational as well as spatial configurations and dynamics of situational interaction. It combines a processual perspective on political violence, which emphasizes patterns of strategic interaction and adaptation as well as interpretative processes at the meso-level of analysis, with approaches that pay closer attention to conditions, patterns, and the micro-dynamics of violence in face-to-face encounters. We argue that the theoretical value of this perspective lies, in particular, in the fact that it allows us to capture how the broader dynamics of protest events shape and “produce” particular situational configurations that facilitate escalation and result in particular forms of violence.
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