The Paradox of Repression

Jarosław Chodak


The purpose of the article is to analyze the phenomenon described in the literature as "the paradox of repression", "backfire" or "political jiu-jitsu". First of all, the explanation of its essence and the significance for the course of asymmetric conflict. Next, the history of scientific reflection on the paradox of repression was presented. The presentation of various forms of social control is a starting point for the analysis of the way in which the participants in a conflict called "asymmetric" manage repressions. State authorities try to apply a number of techniques to stop indignation, while activists of the contestation movement may activate counter-techniques, especially if they have knowledge of the strategic nonviolent struggle and alternative sources of communication.The author argues that the paradox of repression is not a simple consequence of using brutal repression against a weaker opponent, but depends to a large extent on the communication policy of both sides of the conflict.


social control; repression; mobilization; asymmetrical conflict; nonviolent struggle

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Data publikacji: 2020-07-03 01:39:53
Data złożenia artykułu: 2020-06-28 13:05:49


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