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In this article, we triangulate qualitative data regarding the framing of the pandemic and the strategic decisions taken by Spain's new populist radical right-wing party, VOX, with a quantitative analysis of aggregate polling data and individual-level survey responses to answer three questions: how has VOX framed the politics of the pandemic? What actions has VOX taken in response to COVID-19? Have the events of the COVID-19 crisis affected VOX's electoral chances? We argue that VOX's response to the pandemic has focused on augmenting the antagonistic relationship between itself and the political establishment, especially the left-wing government. Strategically, VOX has sought to leverage the health crisis to engage in legislative manoeuvres aiming, without success, to position itself as the primary party-in-waiting for right-wing voters. We also demonstrate that VOX has proven to be resilient against the potential for electoral decline that was widely prophesied at the beginning of the pandemic.
When an authoritarian regime collapses, what determines whether an opposition group will form a political party, be successful in mobilizing voters, and survive or dissolve as a group in subsequent years? Based on unique field research, Alanna C. Torres-Van Antwerp examines the origins of the dramatic political arc of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood - from winning a plurality of parliamentary seats and the presidency in the first free elections in eighty years to being ousted from office eighteen months later through a popular coup - and finds common causal factors that structured the fates of other formerly repressed opposition groups in five comparative cases. She demonstrates how the processes of party formation, electoral mobilization, and party dissolution after the ousting of an authoritarian regime were shaped by the way that regime structured the resources, incentives, and constraints available to opposition groups in the previous era.
Authoritarian regimes vary with respect to regime–opposition relations, along a continuum of more open to more closed, focusing on the degree of competition the regime permits during elections. The particular political opportunity structure facing any individual opposition group varies according to the strategies that the regime uses in dealing with that particular group: inclusion, co-optation, or exclusion. The microfoundations of both party formation and political mobilization do not operate in isolation or in the same way as they do in established democracies, but in fact interact with the effects of the political opportunity structure that existed during the prior authoritarian era. An examination of the common competing explanations for party formation and political mobilization show that, while each explanation arguably does play a role in shaping these outcomes, they are limited in their comparative utility and frequently fail to explain the actual variation observed in these cases. Instead, mechanisms link the structure of state–opposition relations and the political opportunity structure facing different groups to their relative decisions around party formation as well as to the tactics and effectiveness of political mobilization in founding elections. Finally, the common causes of opposition group dissolution interact with the opportunity structure of the authoritarian era.
Chapter 5, “Information Wars,” is the opening case study of four intelligentsia-built resistance systems, which consider how the intelligentsia responded to Nazi persecution with projects bent on maintaining national traditions and rebuilding a Polish state. It examines the one that undergirds the rest: underground information creation and trafficking that kept the elite connected and funneled news into and out of the city. In response to the closure of Polish-language press, radio bookstores, and libraries, a number of educated Poles created an underground world of secret newsletters and journals to keep the city informed about occupier behavior and the circumstances of the wider war. This project involved entangled networks of individuals who were brutally punished if caught, and the work of writing, editing, couriering, and reading underground press initiated many Varsovians into anti-Nazi “conspiracies.” Information sourced in the occupied city was not merely for local consumption but was painstakingly smuggled out by a sprawling network of Polish and international couriers toting encrypted information to the states of the Grand Alliance. This chapter argues that the ability of Poles in Warsaw to counter Nazi propaganda narratives with their own information was essential to all later successful opposition.
Chapter 2, “The Killing Years,” explains the two-wave Nazi police genocide against the intelligentsia in 1939–1940, its fallout, and how these initial killing campaigns shaped the Nazi German occupation administration for Poland. German anti-intelligentsia campaigning was bloody but ultimately drove the resistance it attempted to thwart. The first campaign, codenamed Operation Tannenberg, was coordinated with the military campaign in 1939 but delayed in Warsaw because of the siege. Tannenberg went awry and was complicated by the circumstances of the invasion and incoming occupation. After Nazi Germany established a civilian occupation under general governor Hans Frank, Frank revived anti-intelligentsia killing with his new campaign, the Extraordinary Pacification Action (AB-Aktion). This campaign’s violence shocked Poles and provoked the resistance it was intended to achieve. This chapter argues that the two Nazi genocidal campaigns failed but shaped the nature of Nazi occupation administration, and encouraged the first violent Polish resistance in response.
Chapter 8, “Spoiling for A Fight: Armed Opposition,” begins a two-part examination of violent resistance and how, when, and why Poles embraced or rejected it. This discussion is deliberately postponed in the story, as much of the existing literature focuses on military resistance as a shorthand for resistance as a whole, which it was not. Polish military resistance efforts, initially launched by officers and soldiers of the Polish Army in hiding under occupation, remained fractured and hamstrung by vicious Nazi reprisals until 1942. Despite its danger, myriad groups organized around plans for insurrection, spanning the political spectrum from orthodox communists to the fascist far right, and including Polish-Jewish participation. After the destruction of many such initiatives and the merging and reformation of others, one increasingly grew in size and strength: the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) eventually dominated a chaotic resistance landscape through the support of the Western Allies. This chapter argues that violent resistance was initially a disorganized catastrophe, and only late in the occupation did a few surviving underground militaries achieve the ability to influence the Polish population or threaten the German occupiers.
Chapter 9, “Home Army on the Offensive: Violence in 1943-1944,” dissects mature intelligentsia military resistance. As the tide of war turned and the Germans endured their first battlefield defeats against the Soviet Union, the consolidated Home Army grew aggressive. Its most effective move was a 1943 assassination campaign targeting Wehrmacht officers, Nazi police, and German administration personnel called Operation Heads. Heads intimidated the Germans and shifted occupation policy. The Home Army’s perceived success and the advance of the Eastern Front toward Warsaw in 1944 convinced underground military leaders that they were facing their last opportunity to launch a city-wide insurrection. Their rebellion, now known as the Warsaw Uprising, failed. Remaining German personnel in the city were reinforced and crushed the insurrection, slaughtered civilians, and destroyed the city. This chapter argues that military conspiracy, like Catholic resistance, had its successes but was ultimately dependent on the international situation and could not secure the practical support of the Grand Alliance in the face of both German and Soviet opposition.
Chapter 3, “Pawiak Prison,” places a spotlight on the main institution used to control the intelligentsia and their behavior: Pawiak prison. Nearly 100,000 “political criminals” – resisting elites, or those suspected of resistance – were held and tortured there between 1939 and 1944. The Warsaw Gestapo, working for Hans Frank’s General Government administration, utilized the former tsarist prison as a holding facility for Poles suspected of resistance to the occupation. It became symbolic of Nazi terror and hostility to the Polish national project, despite being confined behind the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto from fall 1940 on. The experience of confinement, mistreatment, and interrogation within the prison galvanized opposition projects for those who survived the experience. Nazi paranoia about potential Polish resistance kept Pawiak full and constant overcrowding demanded solutions: the mass execution of many prisoners, prisoner transfer to concentration camps in Nazi Germany, and the opening of a new concentration camp at Auschwitz to the southwest as an overflow facility. This chapter argues that Pawiak was both symbol and microcosm of how Warsaw’s German civilian and police administration attempted to control the Polish intelligentsia and its potential resisters after the killing campaigns concluded.
Chapter 6, “School of Hard Knocks: Illegal Education,” considers the second great intelligentsia occupation success: illegal underground education. From fall 1939, the Nazi General Government administration closed schools, universities, seminaries, and conservatories that served Polish students, arresting and imprisoning teachers and professors. This was a deliberate German attempt to control Poles in the long term and ensure German control over Lebensraum in the Polish space, since Nazi plans intended to utilize Poles as unskilled laborers and wanted to deprive them of education and the opportunity for social advancement. Warsaw University and city high schools re-formed underground, and “illegal” education taught pupils from childhood into their twenties. Studying initiated young people into underground political conspiracy, exposing them to great danger. It also kept teachers and professors employed and trained a new Polish intelligentsia to replace those killed in the genocidal campaigns of 1939-1940. As occupation continued, teaching and studying increasingly became the purview of Polish women as more and more Polish men turned to violent resistance. Despite draconian punishments, underground education was one of the most important successes of the occupation.
Chapter 4, “The Warsaw Ghetto: A People Set Apart,” considers how Polish elites grappled with Jewish victimhood in their midst and differentiates between Nazi targeting of Polish elites and the better known targeting and murder of Polish Jews. It traces initial Nazi persecution of Warsaw’s Jewish community, ghettoization in 1940, persecution within the ghetto, and its liquidation to the death camp at Treblinka in 1942, and the outbreak of violent resistance in 1943. This is contextualized against Polish antisemitism before and during the war and particular Polish elite reactions to the developing Holocaust. A handful of intelligentsia figures who reacted strongly to antisemitic persecution in various ways demonstrate the complexity of Polish response to the Nazi Holocaust and how prewar and wartime antisemitism widened gulfs between ethnic Poles and the Polish-Jewish community. It argues that, because of a combination of targeted Nazi violence and native antisemitism, Polish elite response to Jewish persecution arose very late, typically only in 1943 with the outbreak of the ghetto uprisings, which captured the attention of resistance-minded Poles.
This chapter provides a macro-historical context of Indonesia’s thirty-two years of authoritarian rule under President Soeharto and the country’s subsequent transition to democracy in 1998. Soeharto’s combined strategy of rapid development, depoliticization of the masses, and preferential treatment of specific groups carried important implications for the local political representation of ethnic groups. During Soeharto’s New Order regime, Golongan Karya (better known as Golkar), the political organization associated with Soeharto, developed a deep and dominant presence in villages throughout the country, effectively crushing alternative forces of political mobilization and engagement. Furthermore, in ethnically diverse areas, Golkar coopted and colluded with local members of certain ethnic communities while snubbing others. As such, even though Golkar was not an ethnic party in the traditional sense, in ethnically diverse districts Golkar officials who rose through the bureaucratic ranks appeared to come from one group at the expense of others, thereby exacerbating the politicization of ethnic identities over time.
Hamit Bozarslan, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris,Cengiz Gunes, The Open University, Milton Keynes,Veli Yadirgi, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
This chapter examines protest in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Prior to 1991, street protests in Iraqi Kurdistan played important roles in perpetuating local claims and broadcasting popular perspectives in a series of regimes that gave ordinary people few avenues for exercising influence. Attention to such protests highlights the fact that the Kurdish struggle under the Ba’ath was waged not only by peshmerga in the mountains but by civilians in towns and cities whose public manifestations of discontent continually pushed the limits of Iraqi authority and validated collective action as a legitimate form of political expression. Since 1991 and especially after 2003, street demonstrations have played an increasingly significant role in Iraqi Kurdish political life. The chapter divides such protests into three main phases, each differentiated primarily by shifts in state society relations, resources and mobilization capacity. Initially focused on improving service provision and infrastructure in specific locales, popular protests soon broadened in geographic and political scope to encompass systemic reforms calling for the redistribution of resources and the rule of law. Expanded meso-level mobilization capacity combined with newly potent master frames and forms of mobilization helped build and sustain a significant level of popular challenge to Kurdish authorities.
June Fourth has become an obsession for people affected by it, but the obsession is warranted. Even though the Communist Party's censorship, repression, and patriotic education efforts seem to have erased the history of June Fourth within China, revealers continue to push back against concealers and offer hope that the future of June Fourth studies will be bright.
Civil society actors collectively organized online and offline to nominate themselves and oppose the Vietnamese Communist Party in the 2016 legislative election. The level of opposition coordination among these independent self-nominees exceeded and qualitatively differed from previous atomized attempts in the 2011 election. External shifts in the political opportunity structure offer only a partial explanation for the increased coordination among independent candidates in Vietnam's 2016 self-nomination movement. In this article, I theorize that it is the combination of both opportunity structure and overlapping linkages across spheres of social contention and civil society, all accumulated from a prior history of protests and activism, that provide the conditions for the emergence of independent self-nominees and opposition coordination in single-party-elections. In Vietnam, a cumulative process of participation in social contention and civil society organizations during 2011 to 2016 allowed actors to develop linkages that strengthened their repertoires of contention and resonant frames of collective action. These linkages, combined with favorable political opportunities, effectively facilitated greater mobilization and coordination among independent self-nominees in the 2016 election.
Examines the relationships in the context of other cases of non-conformist, dissenting, and oppositional behaviors in the Nazi dictatorship. Argues that the women's involvement with a POW deliberately countered the dehumanization of enemies by the Nazi propaganda and in that sense was an act of resistance.
This chapter defines blame games as ‘microcosms of conflictual politics’ that are distinct from routine political processes. It then describes the blame-generating strategies used by opponents and the blame-management strategies used by incumbents during blame games. This chapter also answers the question of why it is particularly important to study blame games triggered by policy controversies. The chapter continues by introducing the theoretical framework used to explain blame game interactions and their consequences. The guiding idea behind the theoretical framework is that it is only possible to understand blame games by considering the institutional factors that characterize the political system in which blame games occur (the ‘political terrain’) and the issue characteristics at their roots, which determine the public’s reaction to a blame game (the ‘audience’). The framework strikes a balance between zooming in on the content of political conflict and securing comparability across controversy types.
Chapter 8 rewrites Clark County School District v. Breeden, which held that the plaintiff’s retaliation claim under Title VII failed because no reasonable person could believe that a single incident of harassment violated Title VII. The rewritten opinion, exposing the bias many women suffer in the workplace as a result of micro-aggressions and using the perspective of a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s shoes, holds that complaining about even a single incident of harassment is sufficient to constitute a reasonable belief that the plaintiff is experiencing harassment. The rewritten opinion also broadens the causation element in retaliation cases in two ways. First, it refuses to set a bright-line rule for the passage of time between the protected activity and the adverse employment action. Second, it allows mixed-motive causation rather than but-for causation, which would make retaliation claims easier to win and would have eliminated the Nassar case, where the Court held that plaintiffs had to prove that retaliation was the but-for cause of the adverse employment action.
Chapter 2 analyses the dialectic of “determinations of reflection” in the logic of essence. It shows that the relation of “opposition” is more fundamental than the relation of “diversity,” and that, therefore, individuals are constituted through the relation of opposition that obtains between them. Turning to Marx, I argue that the relation between capital and labour is necessarily oppositional in character. Thus, the seeming diversity in labour arrangements in different economic settings in capitalism functions only as an illusion that masks the deeper relations of opposition and domination. Finally, I discuss Catharine MacKinnon’s conception of gender formation, according to which the very categories of male and female are constituted by the relation of opposition and domination that obtains between them.
Recent attempts to revitalize Hegel's social and political philosophy have tended to be doubly constrained: firstly, by their focus on Hegel's Philosophy of Right; and secondly, by their broadly liberal interpretive framework. Challenging that trend, Arash Abazari shows that the locus of Hegel's genuine critical social theory is to be sought in his ontology – specifically in the 'logic of essence' of the Science of Logic. Mobilizing ideas from Marx and Adorno, Abazari unveils the hidden critical import of Hegel's logic. He argues that social domination in capitalism obtains by virtue of the illusion of equality and freedom; shows how relations of opposition underlie the seeming pluralism in capitalism; and elaborates on the deepest ground of domination, i.e. the totality of capitalist social relations. Overall, his book demonstrates that Hegel's logic can and should be read politically.
In 1989, those demanding human rights to reform the system versus those who fought to leave it combined to create an explosive crisis for the SED. Human rights served not just to rally a heterogeneous coalition of dissidents, but also provided an ideological justification for SED officials to dismantle their own power structure and abolish the party’s monopoly on power in the face of mass demonstrations and mass emigration. In planning for a new East Germany, former SED officials worked with dissidents to draft a constitution that would secure liberal democratic rights and freedoms alongside rights that would preserve the ideals of the socialist project. In 1990, however, the joint hopes of dissident activists and reform communists were dashed as the realities of East German economic collapse turned the population away from new utopian ideas towards realising human rights through reunification with the Federal Republic. The idealistic anti-capitalism of the dissident elite alienated a population that wanted both democracy and prosperity through human rights. While the dissidents were successful in ending state-socialist dictatorship through their campaign for human rights, they ultimately failed to expand upon the narrow and unsatisfactory human rights system of the capitalist West.