Two Sides of a Barricade

(Dis)order and Summit Protest in Europe

By Christian Scholl

Subjects: Sociology, Political Science, Criminology
Series: SUNY Press Open Access, SUNY series, Praxis: Theory in Action
Paperback : 9781438445120, 286 pages, January 2013
Hardcover : 9781438445137, 286 pages, January 2013

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Table of contents

1. Barricades are back
2. Global dissent: tactical trajectories
3. Understanding interaction tactically
4. Bodies that matter: the epistemology
5. "Leave them no space!" The microphysics of spatial interactions
6. Psy(c)ops, spin-doctors and the communication of dissent
7. 'A revolt is a revolt is a revolt.' Violence, law, and the exception
8. Back to the barricades

Investigates how activists confront global powers with their street-level dissent.


Two Sides of a Barricade argues that to construct global democracy, conflict and dissent must be taken seriously. Christian Scholl explores the political significance of the confrontations within four sites of interaction: bodies, space, communication, and law. Each site of struggle provides a different entry point to understand the influence of protester and police tactics on each other. At the same time, the four sites of struggle allow a comprehensive analysis of how the contestation of global hegemonic forces during summit protests trigger a preemptive shift in social control through increased deployment of biopolitical forms of power.

This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to Knowledge Unlatched—an initiative that provides libraries and institutions with a centralized platform to support OA collections and from leading publishing houses and OA initiatives. Learn more at the Knowledge Unlatched website at:, and access the book online at the SUNY Open Access Repository at

Christian Scholl is Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He is the coauthor (with Amory Starr and Luis Fernandez) of Shutting Down the Streets: Political Violence and Social Control in the Global Era.


"…Two Sides triumphs in its injunction to gather on this side of the barricade and reconnect with the political in a moment marked by its decline." — Social Movement Studies

"Two Sides of a Barricade has the wake-up call effect of a cold shower after a night of peaceful slumber. This is the kind of book that should be read by any academic who claims to use her or his scholarly authority for 'emancipatory' purposes." — Interface

"This is the most extensive firsthand analysis of the global anticapitalist movement to date. It takes cutting-edge European social theory and brings it to bare on the concrete conditions of summit protests in Europe. Anyone interested in these large protest events and the movements that engender them will be compelled to read this book." — Alex S. Vitale, author of City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics