– Institut für Protest- und Bewegungsforschung

Protests are everywhere – they range from citizen initiatives against roads and development projects to revolts against authoritarian regimes; from street marches by radical supporters of the far-right to political messages sprayed on walls as graffiti. It is evident that these expressions of protest as well as public mobilisations by social movements are vital for democratic systems.

Yet, we still know little about their underlying dynamics: Who is drawn to street protests and who will rather choose other forms of resistance? Under which conditions are pro-democracy movements successful, when do they fail and why? How is the role of political organisations changed by the digitalisation of activism and by the fact that people increasingly communicate online? Which types of political activism are conducive to a democratic civic culture, and which ones actually further exclusion and discrimination?

These questions necessitate continued and systematic analyses. However, research on protest and social movements has mostly remained fragmentary and episodic. For the most part, studies of social mobilisation have been relegated to a niche existence within the social sciences. 

The Institut für Protest- und Bewegungsforschung (ipb, Institute for Protest and Social Movement Studies) was founded with the intention to fill this gap. As a research hub it connects more than 180 social movement scholars from Germany, Europe and across the world whose research is defined by a perspective on politics ‘from below’. This network aims to facilitate collaborative research projects in the spirit of public sociology and to contribute through its work to the development of sustainable solutions to pressing social issues of our times.

The mission of ipb is to:

  • conduct research projects and create expertise;
  • connect scholars in the field and make their research visible;
  • initiate public debates;
  • act as a point of contact for everyone who is interested in academic expertise on protests and social movements.

For further information please contact our managing director Ania Spatzier (info(at)protestinstitut.eu).