Video: Panel Discussion ZOiS Conference 2021

Politics from below: A Global Perspective


Panel Discussion ZOiS Conference 2021

This roundtable brings together four internationally renowned scholars of social mobilisation. They will discuss local, regional and global perspectives on the politics from below, focusing on the actors and strategies of mobilisation, the issues and emotions at stake, the linkages between different protests, political responses to protests, and the effects of mobilization. How distinctive or interconnected are contemporary cases of mobilisation from below? Is mobilization in the wider region of Eastern Europe comparable to mobilization in other regions? What surprises us about recent cases of mobilization and requires further research?


  • Graeme Robertson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Karolina Wigura (University of Warsaw)
  • Olga Onuch (University of Manchester)
  • Richard Youngs (Carnegie Europe)
  • Chair: Gwendolyn Sasse (ZOiS)

Politics from Below: Reasserting or Transcending the Democratic Paradigm?

ZOiS Conference 2021

What do recent regional or global trends of mass protests tell us about the state of democracy and authoritarianism and about state-society relations more generally? The ZOiS Conference 2021 explores the factors shaping recent waves of protest activism. Are there similarities in the strategies of mobilization used across regimes, spaces, countries and regions?  What is the age profile of those who make themselves heard in different political settings around the world? What is the role of different off- and online-spaces enabling or constraining mobilization? Has Covid-19 changed the politics from below? Through dialogue between different academic disciplines and area expertise, the conference will assess whether regional and global trends of mobilization from below fit into a democratization paradigm or whether it constitutes a new, local and potentially more radical form of politics that transcends the dividing line between democratic and authoritarian regimes.