Policing political protest in Lithuania
2012 (English)In: Crime, law and social change, ISSN 0925-4994, E-ISSN 1573-0751, Vol. 57, no 4, 403-424 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article analyzes policing political protest in post-independent Lithuania. It argues that since the early 2000s, policing of political protest as an issue has increased in importance as Lithuania has experienced political mobilization and radicalization among groups disadvantaged by post-socialist reforms. It is suggested that police responses reveal precursor tendencies towards growing authoritarianism which has become more visible in the most recent period. In 2008, the onset of deep economic crisis across the region has generated rising social unrest (including outbreaks of street riot) as a result of government adoption of severe austerity measures. The article examines the growing centralization and militarization of policing and the increasing criminalization of public protest, as well as the restriction and litigation of organized dissent by authorities. At the same time, it also points to the internal contradictions of austerity programs which lack popular legitimacy both at the level of the state and society, including more vocal and militant labor unions; increasing challenges to the drift towards a new authoritarianism by the courts; and, paradoxically, the emergence of growing labor unrest within police force itself, with the potential to undermine authoritarian tendencies in policing ‘from within.’ The wider implications of (re)turn to post-communist authoritarianism to public order policing are discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2012. Vol. 57, no 4, 403-424 p.
policing, political protest, post-communism, economic crisis, Lithuania
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77459DOI: 10.1007/s10611-012-9363-4ISI: 000304854400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-77459DiVA: diva2:527151