Mario Quaranta

Max Weber Fellow • EUI


Department of Political and Social Sciences
European University Institute
Via dei Roccettini, 9
50014 San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy

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Quaranta, M. ‘The ‘normalization’ of protester. Changes in political action in Italy (1981-2009).’ South European Society & Politics 19.1 (2014): 25-50
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Authors claim that political protest is ‘normal’ in contemporary democracies, which are, therefore, ‘social movement societies’. This article analyses the Italian case, showing that there has been an expansion and a gradual institutionalisation of political protest, but it also tests whether there has been a ‘normalisation’ of the protester. It is argued that in a ‘social movement society’ protesters are more heterogeneous than in the past. Using survey data spanning over 30 years we find that the association between several individual characteristics and participation in political protest weakens or disappears. However, complete normalisation of the protester has yet to be completed.

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