Planet PhD

Patricio Saavedra: beyond peaceful protest

October 28, 2019

This week Patricio Saavedra from Sussex University tells us about his research into political protests around the world. Specifically, Patricio has studied the controversial issue of protester violence, and how public support for any non-peaceful action by protesters is affected by the ‘political openness’ in their country, i.e. the level of state repression.

 *** NB: this episode was recorded just before the recent protests in Chile ***

We speak about protests in the UK, Chile, Europe and Hong Kong, and police repression methods including water cannons, tear gas and infiltration. We also discuss the fascinating role of both media and social media in defining public attitudes towards protesters. How important is public approval for protesters’ actions? Has technology changed modern protests compared to past actions? How can social media help to mobilise protesters, bear witness to actual events, and document the brilliant creativity displayed in protest actions?  

Patricio also tells us about his research into student wellbeing, and gives us both his evidence-based and personal advice for PhD students - including the importance of building a community both at work and outside of work. 


For more on this topic, see Patricio’s latest Open Access paper:

Find Patricio on Twitter


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