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ARTICULATING PROTEST LEGITIMACY: A CASE STUDY OF COLLECTIVE ACTION FRAMING IN AN ENVIRONMENTAL CAMPAIGN

Issue: 2018 N 4

Tao Papaioannou
University of Nicosia

Abstract: Using the case of the “Save Akamas” campaign, an environmental initiative protesting for the protection of the Akamas National Park in Cyprus during the Cypriot financial crisis in 2015-2016, this study explored whether and how the campaigners utilised collective action frames to enhance their articulation of protest legitimacy. Based on 15 interviews with key protest organisers, the results illustrated that the protestors creatively employed several collective action frames in their struggle for public recognition, contextualisation and amplification of protest grievances. These frames were purposefully aligned to protest legitimacy while taking into consideration of clearly identifying direction/locus of responsibility attribution, enlarging the interpretive scope of one symbolic act and augmenting credibility of the proffered frames through social media. Ccombining collective action framing analysis with empirical legitimacy research, this study contributes to further understanding of strategies and processes of legitimation in issue-based citizen protests within the sociological theory of collective action.

Keywords: Environmental Campaigns, Social Protest, Framing Collection Action, Protest Legitimacy, Protest Strategies