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Title: 'Leave them no space' : checkmating political dissent in the policing of two UK international summits
Author: Christmann, Kris
ISNI:       0000 0004 7969 7567
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 2019
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This study examines how the state, through its main agencies, responds to and controls horizontally planned transgressive 'alter-globalisation' protest movements organised against two international summit meetings in the UK (being the 2009 G20 summit protest in London and the 2014 NATO in Wales, although I draw briefly on the 2013 G8 summit). These dissenting groups set out to challenge the state and the established political order and increasingly employ direct action and civil disobedience to make their protests seen and heard by global elites. Analytically, I take a critical human rights based approach as well using the strategic and tactical perspectives of Jaspers (2015) and Scholl (2012) viewing counter-summit movements and the authorities as 'players'in a strategic relational interaction with each other to gain advantage over the opponent. Methodologically, I use an ethnographic approach embedding myself within anti-globalisation protest groups as well as drawing opportunistically on a range of other primary and secondary data sources. My findings reveal that the state and its coercive arm, the police, do much to modify, delimit, and repress protest action. There has now been a transformation in summit policing (and public order policing more generally). The broad components of recent policing innovation includes the following key strategies: (1) careful selection and fortification of summit sites and establishing 'no protest zones' (2) the intensive (overt and covert) use of police surveillance practices to intimidate protestors, reduce anonymity at protest spaces and increase transparency and real time intelligence gathering; (3) the disruption and/or smashing of protestor critical infrastructure, including (but not limited to) convergence centres; (4) using non-lethal weapons against unarmed protestors to incapacitate them, enacted clandestinely as a method of dispensing 'street justice' and increasing the costs of participation, officially allowing police to control and retake any protest spaces; and (5) pre-emptive legal repression (including legal tools such as, banning orders, permits, and mass pre-emptive arrests, etc.) all of which distracts activist leaders and aids demobilisation. These tactics are strategically adapted to the prevailing conditions imposed by each particular summit, and interact dynamically, although not always incrementally, to protestor's own tactical repertoires.
Supervisor: McAuley, Jim ; McDaid, Shaun Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology ; JA Political science (General) ; K Law (General)