Linking Types of Protest Tactics and Structural Conflicts: Some Key Points from the Study of the Social Form of the Protest in the Basque Country
I suggest that nowadays this connection between types of conflict and protest is not total. To develop this idea, I present the concept of Social Form of the Protest, which refers to the characteristic types of conflict and protest tactics in a concrete place and time. Through the Protest Event Analysis technique, I apply it to the Basque case in the 1980-2013 period. In this case, I establish how whereas the structural conflicts remain fundamentally material –struggles around national liberation and modes of distribution of wealth-, the protest repertoires become progressively more auto-expressive, parodic and visually symbolic. To explain this process, I consider the dialectic interaction between creativity of protesters, repression of authorities and aesthetization of social practices caused by the specialization of time in the global late capitalism. Finally, I propose that in order to promote deep social changes through collective action, a certain coherence between types of protest tactics and structural conflicts –in function of their respective degree of materiality and symbolism- is required.