University of Twente Student Theses


"We can't breathe" in these political structures - Political opportunity structures and anti-racism movements

Bleile, Rahel (2021) "We can't breathe" in these political structures - Political opportunity structures and anti-racism movements.

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Abstract:The death of George Floyd in May 2020 provoked anti-racism protests not only in the US but around the world. In France, George Floyd’s death caused the resurgence of protests, demanding justice for Adama Traoré, a Black man who died in police custody in July of 2016. He has been referred to as the “French George Floyd” in newspapers. Given the relevance of institutional racism and police violence against Black people in both the US and France, it seems appropriate and necessary to examine the relationship between the political opportunity structures of the countries and the prominent anti-racism movements. The bachelor thesis deals with the research question What explains the impacts of anti-racism movements in the US and France?. The question is answered in a comparative case study. Consulting political opportunity theory, it is argued that disruptive, assimilative, and alternative strategies employed by anti-racism movements as well as the political opportunity structures of the US and France explain variances in procedural, substantive, and public impacts. Using information obtained from semi-structured expert interviews, it is concluded that political opportunity structures and strategies do affect the countries’ impacts but that other variables such as institutional racism also play a significant role in the impacts achieved by anti-racism movements. The small sample size decreases the external validity of the study and is likely to distort the findings. By employing multiple strategies to address the system as well as the community directly, and taking political opportunity structures of their countries into account, anti-racism movements around the world can most effectively address the topic of racism and police brutality.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:71 sociology, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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