2011, the Continuation of 1989?: Measuring 2011 Protest Waves in the Global South on the World-Historical Perspective

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 15:00
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Chungse JUNG, State University of New York at Binghamton, USA
Are protest waves of the year 2011 the continuation of protest waves of the year 1989 or even before? One of the most distinguishable features of the protest wave in the global South over the long 20th century is the interrelationship between worldwide radical mobilizations and the worldwide intensification of nationalism and democratization. According to overall mapping out world-historical pattern of protest events, compiled from the New York Times (1875-2012), there are found four key movement clusters of the period and the region in popular protests in the global South: the years during the great resistance for national liberation and democratization in Latin America, Asia, and Africa in 1930s and the late 1950s, Asia and Eastern Europe in 1980s, and the Middle East and North Africa and Southern Europe in the early 2010s. As considering the protest waves of 2011 on the world-historical perspective, key findings could follow: 1) Quantitatively, the frequency and the duration of protest waves of 2011 is almost similar to the protest waves in the late 1980s but smaller and shorter than the protest waves in 1930s and 1950s. 2) The protest waves of 2011 are mostly located in the global Peripheral regions, while the protest waves of 1989 emerged in mostly the global Semi-periphery. 3) In terms of goal or opponent, there are shared similarities of protest waves between 1989 and 2011. Both are the great resistance for democratization, that is, “struggle against exclusion” rather than “struggle against exploitation.”