Protest Publics

Toward a New Concept of Mass Civic Action

  • Nina Belyaeva
  • Victor Albert
  • Dmitry G. Zaytsev

Part of the Societies and Political Orders in Transition book series (SOCPOT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Nina Belyaeva, Victor Albert
    Pages 1-5
  3. Dimensions of Protest Publics in the Recent Wave of Unrest

  4. Protest Publics and Political Change in Different Political Regimes

About this book


This book examines the waves of protest that broke out in the 2010s as the collective actions of self-organized publics. Drawing on theories of publics/counter-publics and developing an analytical framework that allows the comparison of different country cases, this volume explores the transformation from spontaneous demonstrations, driven by civic outrage against injustice to more institutionalized forms of protest. Presenting comparative research and case studies on e.g. the Portuguese Generation in Trouble, the Arab Spring in Northern Africa, or Occupy Wall Street in the USA, the authors explore how protest publics emerge and evolve in very different ways – from creating many small citizen groups focused on particular projects to more articulated political agendas for both state and society. These protest publics have provoked and legitimized concrete socio-political changes, altering the balance of power in specific political spaces, and in some cases generating profound moments of instability that can lead both to revolutions and to peaceful transformations of political institutions.

The authors argue that this recent wave of protests is driven by a new type of social actor: self-organized publics. In some cases these protest publics can lead to democratic reform and redistributive policies, while in others they can produce destabilization, ethnic and nationalist populism, and authoritarianism. This book will help readers to better understand how seemingly spontaneous public events and protests evolve into meaningful, well-structured collective action and come to shape political processes in diverse regions of the globe.


Arab Spring Authoritarianism Civil Participation Demonstrations Indignados in Spain Je Suis Charlie Protests Nationalist Populism Occupy Movement Political Change Political Movements Political Protests Protest Publics Public Policy White Revolution in Russia

Editors and affiliations

  • Nina Belyaeva
    • 1
  • Victor Albert
    • 2
  • Dmitry G. Zaytsev
    • 3
  1. 1.Public Policy Department, School of Political Science, Higher School of EconomicsNational Research UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Public Policy Department, School of Political Science, Higher School of EconomicsNational Research UniversityMoscowRussia
  3. 3.International Laboratory for Applied Network ResearchNational Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE)MoscowRussia

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking