How Can an Internal Political Crisis Be Managed?

Special Report: Continuity and Discontinuity in Activism
The Organizational Shaping of Activism, Maintaining Commitment, and Pathways of Defection
By Olivier Grojean

The study of organizational modelling of activism and the observation of interactions between institutions and individuals engaged and disengaged gain to be based on activists trajectories. Thus, analyzing the biographical trajectories of four activists being engaged in the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK), the aim of this paper is to observe the processes that lead to disengagement, and dynamic allowing instead the maintenance of commitment in a radical organization when it goes into crisis. After observing the diversity of attitudes that followed the arrest of PKK leader Öcalan, the article proposes to link these attitudes to the social conditions of possibility of commitment, then the modes of engagement and the social construction of attachment to the institution. It is then possible to see how individuals can negociate with the institution, and to what extent the defections are also a consequence of differentiated effects of disciplinary devices on certain groups or individuals.

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