Brian Doherty

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations


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This article explores questions related to protest in Britain. It starts by defining protest. Protest has probably increased in Britain in recent decades. There are three main theoretical models that have been advanced to explain participation in protest. The first suggests that protest signifies a fundamental disaffection with the political system and that protesters are likely to be mainly anti-system radicals. A second model suggests that it is those with the most resources who are most likely to act politically. The third model suggests that protesters vary contextually according to the issue and the organizers. The impact of protests is discussed. Protest has certainly been a consistent feature of the development of British democracy since the early nineteenth century, and it continues to influence political culture and to shape public spheres of debate.

Keywords: protest; Britain; theoretical models; political system; protesters; British democracy; political culture

Article.  7519 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics

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