Demonstration is without a doubt the most common form of political expression, more so in democratic nations—where its legitimacy competes, relatively happily, with more conventional forms of participation such as the vote—than in non-democratic countries where demonstration accompanies attempts to revolt and overthrow.
In this thesis work, the authors offer a sociological and historical analysis of this political mode of action, with its norms and rules, its myths and legends, its glorious episodes and its darkest hours.
But most of all, beyond a classic interrogation on the place of demonstration in the repertoire of contemporary action and political struggle, it's also an analysis of the demonstrators themselves, and ´what makes them tick’ to which this work invites us.
Olivier Fillieule is a Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Lausanne (IEPI-Crapul) and Director of Research CNRS to CRPS (Center of Political Research at the Sorbonne, University of Paris I). Danielle Tartakowsky is a Professor at the University of Paris VIII and an Associate Researcher at CHS (Center of Social History of the 20th Century of the University of Paris I).