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Street and fire: protests, insurgency and conflict management in Santiago, Chile

Grant number: 15/19686-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2015
Effective date (End): August 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology
Principal Investigator:Vera da Silva Telles
Grantee:Andrea Soledad Roca Vera
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/26116-5 - The govern of conflict in the production of the contemporary city: the case of São Paulo, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):18/04357-4 - Protests, violence, and the policing of dissent in Santiago: a political ethnography, BE.EP.DR

Abstract

This project explores two phenomena that have gained great visibility in the latest round of global protests that began in 2011. On the one hand, it examines the incorporation of a performative, non-lethal, and small-scale violence in the repertoires of protest from minority groups such as noted in a diversity of cities like Athens, Cairo, Sao Paulo, and Santiago. On the other hand, it accounts for the return of direct confrontation tactics in policing protests, supported by a militarized logic of management of urban conflict. In a context of emerging alter-globalization movements, both issues compel me to (re)think, first, the role of violence "from below" in contemporary politics and, second, the apparent normalization of the conflict between police and protest, especially in recent years in Western democracies. Drawing on a qualitative perspective, I will thus analyze the intersections and overlapping of these two lines of force by inquiring the mobilization carried out by the student movement in Santiago, Chile, which started in 2011 and opened up the largest cycle of public protests in that country since the restoration of democracy in 1990. To do so, it is fundamental to situating these violent protest repertoires both in a synchronic and in a diachronic axis, the former to think of potential influences and similarities on a global scale and the latter to assess the weight the popular resistance against the Pinochet regime in the 1980s. Thus the guiding research question is: what is the status of these rebellions "from below" in the political cartography of the contemporary city?