Scandia introducerar: Contentious Politics Studies. Forskningsfältet social och politisk konfrontation på frammarsch i Skandinavien.


  • Andrés Brink Pinto
  • Martin Ericsson


contention, contentious politics, repertoire, performance, social movement


In the last decade or so an increasing number of researchers in Scandinavia have become interested in the research field of contentious politics studies (CPS). The result has been a growing number of publications focusing on political contention. We have now reached the point where international research networks are being set up. Several interesting workshops and book projects are underway underscoring the rise of the field in Scandinavia. This article has three purposes: to introduce the field and its historiography from the 1990s to the present, along with its most important theoretical perspectives; to take on the thorny issue of translating the term contention into the Scandinavian languages, and indeed to argue for the importance of arriving at a workable definition of the term; and to survey the field as it stands in early twenty-first-century Scandinavia. In the article, the authors conclude that there are some district differences in the approach to the field in the three Scandinavian countries. In Sweden much of the research of the past decade or so has been micro-historical in approach, resulting in a number of in-depth studies of different episodes of contention. In contrast, the research done in Denmark has been largely macro-historical, focusing on longitudinal studies of contentious issues from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. The authors argue here that much can be gained by researchers from these different approaches working together, influencing one another in terms of theory and methodology alike. In conclusion, the authors argue for the importance of transregional and/or transnational studies of political contention.