The question of repression is important for social movement scholars and activists. On a practical level, activists need strategies to deal with repressive forces ? and build them by sharing their experiences and analyses. But the question of repression and mobilization is also very intriguing theoretically. Scholars have explored the contradictory effects of repression on mobilization (sometimes it inspires more mobilization, sometimes it effectively quashes it or pushes it underground; sometimes it is successful in characterizing protestors as legitimate targets of repression, and other times it delegitimizes the State and increases the legitimacy of the social movements; facing repression collectively can strengthen bonds between activists and strengthen movements or can lead to fragmentation; and so on).
Without wanting to be prescriptive and purely in the spirit of prompting critical reflection we offer these questions as themes for possible contributions: What are the effects of repression on activists and organizations (biographical effects, solidarity/trust within movement groups, evaluation of risk and participation)? What are the effects of repression on movements (over time, within particular national or local contexts, transnationally)? What are the effects of repression on civil society? What happens, as in Haiti or South Africa, when popular politics is targeted for repression but professional civil society is allowed to operate freely? How are particular narratives and projects such as „the war on terror“, „Operation Green Hunt“ in India, state paranoia about the „Third Force“ in South Africa and so on affecting social movements? strategies and experiences? How does the existence of new technologies affect repression and how are social movements dealing with these changes? How are supra national contexts, actors like multinational defense corporations and institutional frameworks like the European Union affecting repression of social movements on the national level? What are the connections between social movement tactics and repression? In particular, what is the relationship between violent state repression and violent social movement tactics? How are changes in repression intersecting with changes in social movements in different regions? Is a new global repertoire in protest policing emerging ? or is there increasing fragmentation in the ways movements and repressive forces are interacting?
The deadline for initial submissions to this issue, (Issue 5, to be published May 2011) is November 1st 2010. For details on how to submit to Interface please consult the „Guidelines for contributors“. on our website, and submit to the appropriate regional editor.