Scientific article
Open access

Under The Spotlight: The Impact of Media Attention on Protest Policing

Published inMobilization, vol. 4, no. 2, p. 171-187
Publication date1999

Explanations of protest policing have neglected the "spotlight of the media." Based on data on repression and its media coverage in four Swiss cities from 1965 to 1994, our findings suggest that the mass media do have an impact on levels and forms of repression, along with political opportunity dimensions and levels of disruption. We identify two mechanisms. First, we show that the symbolic battles waged by protest groups and their outcomes affect the level of repression these groups face. More specifically, depending on whether the civil-rights or the law-and-order scenario wins in the public sphere, the police adopt different postures when facing disorders. Second, the police are also shown to be vulnerable to an increase of media attention during a protest campaign. When protest becomes a blind spot in the public sphere, repression increases.

Citation (ISO format)
WISLER, Dominik, GIUGNI, Marco. Under The Spotlight: The Impact of Media Attention on Protest Policing. In: Mobilization, 1999, vol. 4, n° 2, p. 171–187.
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Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:84642
ISSN of the journal1086-671X

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