May Day demostration in Five European Countries.


Paterson, A., Wahlstrom, M., Wennerhog, M., Cristancho, C., & Sabucedo, J. M.


In this paper, we argue that there is an element of rituality in all political demonstrations. This rituality can be either primarily oriented towards the past and designed to consolidate the configuration of political power—hence official—or oriented towards the future and focused on challenging existing power structures—hence oppositional. We apply this conceptual framework in a comparison of May Day demonstrations in Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK in 2010. The demonstrations display significant differences in terms of officiality and oppositionality. Our study provides strong evidence that these differences cannot be explained solely—if at all— by stable elements of the national political opportunity structures. Instead, differences in degrees of oppositionality and officiality among May Day demonstrations should be primarily understood in terms of cultural traditions in combination with volatile factors such as the political colour of the incumbent government and the level of grievances.

Revista: Mobilization, 17(3), 281-300

DOI: 10.17813/maiq.17.3.u11178371006u588

Año: 2011