Defending Dissent in a time of symbolic power

  • Pamela Kilpadi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Social Science (DSocSci)


This study investigates how the ways in which modern digital age, austerity-driven societies are structured can fuel discontent, rising popular support for authoritarian regimes and less tolerance of dissent in a wide range of country contexts. It applies recent theoretical work on social power in international relations and the work of Bourdieu and Wacquant on symbolic violence, poverty and social exclusion to the realm of elite geopolitics and (dis)information war. Several case studies are discussed from an ethnographic perspective. Semi-structured interviews are conducted with defenders of dissent and other human rights working in diverse national contexts to better illuminate how political ‘leaders’ create marginal categories of people to silence dissent and consolidate power.
Date of Award26 Sep 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorKevin Doogan (Supervisor) & Gary Bridge (Supervisor)

Cite this