chapter  5
Dimensions of Strategy
ByCharles C. Euchner
Pages 31

The mass media depict protest as the Elephant Man of politics: odd, deformed, and fascinating, a sideshow repulsive and alluring at the same time. Charles Tilly and Sidney Tarrow have argued that protest became a major part of political conflict only with the development of "modular" tactics and strategies. Strategy provides the broad outlines for conflict, which activists "fill in" with the specific tactics necessary to confront political adversaries. To develop an effective, long-term movement, activists must apply four basic dimensions of political action: time, space, force, and mind. The dimensions of force and mind overlap in important ways, but it probably makes sense to treat mind as a separate dimension of strategy. Violence can produce a major impact on all four dimensions of strategy. If the purpose of extraordinary politics is to force the opponent to acknowledge the importance of a cause, violence might be counterproductive.