1st Edition

Spaces of Contention Spatialities and Social Movements

By Byron Miller, Walter Nicholls Copyright 2013

    As social movements have become more complex, geographers are increasingly studying the spatial dynamics of collective resistance and sociologists and political scientists increasingly analyzing the role of space, place and scale in contentious political activity. Occupying a position at the intersection of these disciplinary developments, this book brings together leading scholars to examine how social movements have employed spatial practices to respond to and shape changing social and political contexts. It is organised into three main sections: (1) Place, Space and Mobility: sites of mobilization and regulation, (2) Scale and Territory: structuring collective interests, identities, and resources, and (3) Networks: connecting actors and resources across space. It concludes by suggesting that different spatialities (place, scale, networks) interlink within one another in particular instances of collective action, playing distinctive yet complementary roles in shaping how these actions unfold in the political arena. By mapping state of the art conceptual and empirical terrain across Geography, Sociology, and Political Science, 'Spaces of Contention' provides readers with a much needed guide to innovative research on the spatial constitution of social movements and how social movements tactically and strategically approach and produce space.

    Introduction; I: Place and Space: Sites of Mobilization; 1: Putting Protest in Place: Contested and Liberated Spaces in Three Campaigns; 2: The Liberalization of Free Speech: Or, How Protest in Public Space is Silenced; 3: Struggling to Belong: Social Movements and the Fight to Feel at Home; 4: Place Frames: Analysing Practice and Production of Place in Contentious Politics; II: Scale, Territory and Region: Structuring Collective Interests, Identities and Resources; 5: ‘Polymorphic Spatial Politics': Tales from a Grassroots Regional Movement; 6: Overlapping Territorialities, Sovereignty in Dispute: Empirical Lessons from Latin America; 7: LimiteLimite: Cracks in the City, Brokering Scales, and Pioneering a New Urbanity; 8: Multiscalar Mobilization for the Just City: New Spatial Politics of Urban Movements; III: Networks: Connecting Actors and Resources Across Space; 9: The Built Environment and Organization in Anti-US Protest Mobilization after the 1999 Belgrade Embassy Bombing 1; 10: Energizing Environmental Concern in Portland, Oregon; 11: Networking Resistances: The Contested Spatialities of Transnational Social Movement Organizing; 12: Global Justice Networks: Operational Logics, Imagineers and Grassrooting Vectors; Spatialities of Mobilization: Building and Breaking Relationships


    Byron Miller, Walter Nicholls

    ’Interdisciplinary research is often invoked in the abstract, but rarely put into practice. Spaces of Contention powerfully reminds us of why it is such an important, if demanding, endeavour. Bringing together specialists from disciplines ranging from geography to sociology, from planning to political science, and more, this book provides a comprehensive account of the ways in which spaces shape contentious processes.’ Mario Diani, University of Trento, Italy and ICREA-UPF Barcelona, Spain 'Spaces of Contention is a landmark text that doesn’t just bring together leading international scholars of the geographies of social movements, helping establish this as an important field in its own right, but seeks to move the agenda forward by reconciling contrasting approaches in a holistic and generous way. In doing so, it opens up further challenges to think through the ways in which we can build an integrated approach that acknowledges, even celebrates, difference whilst making visible the political antagonisms that exist within and among social movements. Each of the 12 contributions would be an impressive ’stand-alone’ text...' Antipode