Tag Archives: Movement Tactics

Varieties of Anti-Corporatist Activism

By Paul-Brian McInerney

When I was in graduate school, my colleagues and friends introduced me to Charles Tilly’s Workshop on Contentious Politics. The workshop met weekly and featured a diverse pool of speakers from the sociology and cognate departments at Columbia and nearby universities. In structuring the workshop, Tilly created an environment of thoughtful deliberation. And while the topics presented at the workshop sounded interesting, they seemed very distant from my research interests at the time. Papers on state building, religious violence, political repression, and of course, revolutions were frequently discussed. These topics were far afield from the economic and organizational sociology I read for my research. Mildly daunted, I began attending the workshop anyway and soon became a regular. Continue reading


Filed under Essay Dialogues, New Ways to Define Activism

A Successful Strategy of Government Response: Waiting Out

by Yang Su

The Hong Kong Occupy did not end without its share of drama. It started with tear-gas, proceeded with a full course of street scuffs, and concluded with multiple arrests. But it was a far cry from those tragic endings in the past, which still haunt the nation’s memory and stain the regime’s legitimacy. During this 11-week confrontation, while the government gave in no ground to the protestor’s main demand, it instructed its police to use restraints, and it waited until the protest’s low points to clear the protest site. The result is a double victory in the short run: a political status quo and a diffusion of a crisis without bloodied hands. It is a strategy of waiting out. Continue reading

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Movements in East and Southeast Asia

After Umbrella Movement: Pursuing alternative strategies

by Chris King-Chi Chan

The growing Umbrella Movement has come to an end. Alex Chow, general secretary and student leader from the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS), told the media that no further occupation will begin in the short term, but expressed the need to think about other types of movement tactics including general strike and class boycott after the occupy site was cleared in the first day. Continue reading

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Talking Tactics for the HK Umbrella Movement?

By Andrew Junker

The Umbrella Movement and Occupy Central with Love and Peace face new challenges now that the occupation seems to have reached its conclusion. First among the challenges is, what to do next? How to keep the movement going in the absence of the tactic that made it a movement at all? I will speak to this issue from the perspective of my research on two other Chinese protest movements that flourished during direct and dramatic confrontations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and then later faced the dilemma of how to keep each movement going after confrontation ended. These two movements are the Chinese democracy movement of 1989, and especially its diaspora counterpart that mobilized after June 4th, and the religious group Falun Gong, which also mobilized outside of mainland China after homeland repression drove supporters underground. From these two cases, I draw the conclusion that unless Umbrella activists depart from the historically specific tactical repertoire of Chinese democracy activism, the uprising may go the way of June 4th: a wonderful flash in the pan of liberal spirit but ultimately a failure. Continue reading

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Movements in East and Southeast Asia