Partecipazione & Conflitto (PaCo) Vol. 15, No. 1 (2022)

SPECIAL ISSUE/1: “Between rebellion and governance: violence, legitimacy, and control by armed groups in civil wars”
Guest Editors: Siniša Malešević and Stefan Malthaner

SPECIAL ISSUE/2: “Bridging Social Movement Studies between Global North and South”
Guest Editors: Guya Accornero and Tommaso Gravante


Violence, Legitimacy, and Control: The Dynamics of Rebel Rule
Stefan Malthaner, Siniša Malešević


In this paper, we outline four key sociological processes that shape the character of rebel governance. Firstly, we review the complex relationships between rebel rule and state power and look at the ways social order is generated and maintained in the context of rebel governance. Secondly, we explore relational mechanisms of control and the capacity of rebel governance to penetrate the micro social world under its rule. Thirdly, we analyze the social mechanisms through which legitimacy is attained and maintained in a rebelocracy. Finally, we examine the organizational, ideological, and micro-interactional similarities between state- and rebel governance in order to understand how and why some forms of rebel rule transform into the established governmental structures while others fragment or collapse. We argue that in order to further develop our understanding of power relations in civil wars, we need to look at the details of concrete interactions and patterns of relationships at the local level, in which orders of violence, legitimacy and control manifest themselves in everyday life, the lived experiences of those who rule and are ruled, the practices and institutions that emerge from them, and the processes in which they are negotiated.

Keywords: civil war; political violence; rebel governance; power; legitimacy

Bridging social movement studies between Global North and Global South
Guya Accornero, Tommaso Gravante


Social movement studies are an interdisciplinary, multifaceted, and broad field transversal to different social and human sciences, which has been growing and consolidating since the late 1970s. Since then, and concurrent with the intensification and pluralization of protests and protestors around the world, the recognition and establishment of social movement studies inside different areas has accompanied the recognition of social movements as legitimate social and political actors. This variety and diversification of perspectives and object of study has helped to include some ‘hidden’ forms of protest which are particularly relevant outside Europe and USA, and specially in authoritarian and semi-democratic countries. Despite this, the field of social movement studies – especially in sociology and political science – still shows difficulties in integrating and dialoguing with other approaches to the study of conflict and resistance. Moreover, dialogue with other epistemological sources and particularly with the Global South’s knowledge about social movements is still hesitant. If we look at the other side of the coin, many studies on resistance, protest and social movements in the Global South reject what are sometimes considered hegemonic – or Eurocentric – social movement theories, which is also problematic. In front of this, and acknowledging the asymmetries in epistemic power relations, in our view, it is not a matter of opposing canter and periphery, or North and South, but of understanding, promoting and developing multiple activist and conceptual entanglements and collaborations. Against this background, thus, this special issue aims to contribute to the dialogue between conceptual perspectives, approaches and fields in the Global North and South around social movements and protest.

Keywords: Global South; Global North; social movement studies; epistemologies; conflict

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