Mobilized Contention: The State-Protest Movement Nexus

May 6–7, 2016

This conference is closed to the public.

“Mobilized Contention: The State-Protest Movement Nexus” focuses on government funding and control of social movements, nongovernmental organizations, and rebel groups—both inside and outside their national borders. The  question of when, how, and why state agents get involved in generating and sponsoring movements—as well as supporting protest activities directed against other movements and political actors, both domestically and abroad—and what kinds of dilemmas these initiatives pose to both states and civil society actors was important to Cold War politics, but has arguably assumed increased complexity and significance in the context of twenty-first century globalization. Comparisons of how these dynamics vary over time and by regime type are at the heart of our project empirically and analytically.

This conference is organized in three parts.The first meeting is sponsored by the Radcliffe Institute and meets in September of 2015. It operates as a planning session of organizers and a subset of participants in advance of soliciting the papers to develop and delimit the project design and generate a common set of questions, concepts, and definitions, as well as suggestions for individual papers. The second meeting is sponsored by WCFIA and the Asia Center and will include all participants. It will focus on the presentation and discussion of draft chapters for the volume. The third and final meeting will be sponsored by and held at the University of Hong Kong. It will present substantially revised versions of the chapters, plus a new synthetic theoretical chapter by the organizers to a larger audience of local academics.


Grzegorz Ekiert

Executive Committee; Faculty Associate; Harvard Academy Senior Scholar. Director, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies; Professor of Government, Department of Government, Harvard University.

Elizabeth Perry

Faculty Associate; Harvard Academy Senior Scholar. Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government, Department of Government; Director, Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University.

Xiaojun Yan

Assistant Professor, Hong Kong University.


Harvard University Asia Center, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the University of Hong Kong, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

See also: Conferences, 2016