Limits to protest: depoliticization, technological innovation and civic affect

June 29th,  Universiteitstheater 3.01, June 28th 2016, 16:30 – 18:00, drinks after.

How does protest come about? When and how do contentious publics emerge, and when do they fail to do so? In the context of Prof. dr. Jan Willem Duyvendak’s faculty professorship ‘Emotions & Institutions’ during this afternoon we invite you to discuss with us the emergence of protest movements, or rather, why sometimes contentious collective action does not come about. 

Bert de Graaff will elaborate on his PhD thesis, which shows how the rather steadfast worry of citizens around a specific technological innovation, mobile phone cell sites, is prolonged by specific policy practices which try to subdue it. A vicious cycle of feedback between citizens’ concerns and policy creation comes about which ensures that people continue to treat the installation of antennas for mobile phones with extreme caution. In reaction, Sander van Haperen and Davide Beraldo will take-up the perspective offered through their respective PhD researches which, instead, focus on successful mobilizations, in terms of network-building and scaling up, where the adoption of new technological devices, such as social media, proves to be critical. Imrat Verhoeven will briefly reflect on the three speakers’ contributions.

For more information, and to register please send an email to Yoren Lausberg at