The contributors to this book aim to transcend that approach, arguing that to adequately analyze ongoing struggles, it is also critically important to trace the constitutive interconnectedness between social movements and power. This is the aim of the title “Prevent and Tame”: emergent strategies to prevent and tame protest—whether they are undertaken by the state or by factions within the movements themselves—have given rise to new kinds of social relations and regulations that call for a new approach to research on social movements and protest.
Inspired by Foucault and others, this book offers theoretical and empirical investigation into the implications that governmentality studies and subjectivation perspectives may have for a deeper understanding of the dynamics in the relationship between power and movements. The articles reflect on the effects of current neo-liberal or neo-social transformations on social movement practice, including the impact of surveillance, the criminalization and stigmatization of protest, and how these can lead movements to engage in self-taming behavior amongst themselves.
Taken as a whole, this book suggests that to take the struggles of social movements seriously, requires to acknowledge the complexity of the power dynamics in which they are involved. In so doing, the authors' aim is not to tame protest by over-amplifying its apparent obstacles, but to prevent its energy from being pointlessly wasted or misdirected (i.e. by being spent in the wrong places, in false conflicts, or even in fighting the clouds they cast themselves).
Includes contributions by Stephen Gill, Peter Ullrich, Florian Heßdörfer, Andrej Holm, Anne Roth, Marco Tullney, Michael Shane Boyle, Darcy K. Leach, Sebastian Haunss and Nick Montgomery