Network multiplexity in collective action fields as “partial organizing”: A comparative illustration

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    Mario Diani
    University of Trento

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Mario Diani, University of Trento
Network multiplexity in collective action fields as “partial organizing”: A comparative illustration

Abstract
What is the link between radical, and at times violent, protest, the much broader forms of public contention to be found within civil society, and the inter-organizational networks that constitute its structure and one of its most important integrative mechanisms (Baldassarri and Diani 2007)? As the contentious politics approach has recently stressed (McAdam, Tarrow, and Tilly 2001; Tilly and Tarrow 2007), consistently with several earlier lines of political analysis (Barnes, Kaase et al. 1978; Tilly 1978), it is always problematic to draw a neat line not only between radical and more moderate forms of protest, but also between protest and more conventional forms of political and civic participation. Even terrorism is best conceived as a strategy, accessible to – and actually accessed by – a broad range of political actors, including state actors, rather than the preserve of a distinct set of ‘terrorist’ actors (Tilly 2004). For these reasons, it is difficult to associate different instances of contentious collective action (and their protagonists) to distinct repertoires based on dichotomies such as radical vs. conventional participation, violent vs. peaceful protest, or the like.