Thursday, March 31, 2022

Op-ed: Malta’s 2022 election - Michael Briguglio

In my op-ed in today's Malta Independent, I give my interpretation to the results of Malta's national election. Link:

Image by KingWither - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Sunday, March 27, 2022

#Ħsibijiet (92): Kriżi PN

Meta klikka elitista ippruvat tirrovina kap elett demokratikament li ma nzertax magħżul minnhom, u meta għamlu l-istess ma' min iddefenda d-demokrazija, il-PN tilef mhux biss ir-rispett ta' bosta attivisti tiegħu stess, iżda ukoll ta messaġġ lil poplu li għalih hemm min hu 'magħżul' u min le. Minflok ma ppruvat tifhem lis-soċjetà Maltija u għalfejn il-PL baqa' jkabbar il-maġġoranzi , baqgħet tirrepeti narrativa sfiduċjata mill-poplu u tassumi li ħaddieħor bilfors injorant jew midneb. Min ippruva jtejjeb l-affarijiet bil-kelma t-tajba ingħata l-ġenb, u kultant anke stallett.

#Ħsibijiet (91): Verstehen

100 sena ilu, is-soċjoloġu Ġermaniż Max Weber ippreżenta il-kunċett ta' "Verstehen". Kien qed jirreferi għall-analiżi li tifhem l-motivazzjonijiet tan-nies fis-soċjetà. Dan jibqa' kunċett ta' importanza kbira: minflok ma tassumi li għandek il-monopolju tal-verità u li ħaddieħor huwa injorant, tkun saqajk ma' l-art. Is-soċjetà hija dinamika, magħmula minn nies riflessivi.

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

#Ħsibijiet (90): The most boring election ever?

Various voices in Malta's media sphere are noting that the 2022 general election looks conspicuous by how boring it is. The frenzy which usually characterizes elections in Malta, also seems to be missing in the streets. Of course, these observations leave out what is possibly happening behind the scenes, for example in house visits and closed meetings. What makes the news headlines and the social media rounds are not necessarily what reflect public sentiment. The 2017 general election was a clear example of this. 

I propose that the 'boring' hypothesis should be accompanied by other hypotheses, which, in turn, can intersect. For example, does a boring election reflect a maturing democracy? Does it reflect growing disenchantment, relative to the Maltese context? Is this due to what, according to surveys, looks like a clear victory for Labour? Is this due to external factors, most notably the Ukraine war and striving for 'normality' in this phase of the Pandemic?  

By User:Cavewiki - Parliament diagram tool, Public Domain,

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Sociological publication on protests in Malta

'Protests in a Small Island State during the Year of Covid-19: The Case of Malta’ is my  latest peer-reviewed publication, in international scholarly journal ‘Protest’ (Brill)

 This paper relies on protest event analysis (pea) to study protests held in Malta during 2020 and analyses specific features of those protests, namely issues, organisations, coalitions, venues, and types of protest. The study verifies how Malta’s status as a small state impacts protest, especially in terms of networks of activism and in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.

Findings show the environment as the most prominent issue, followed by the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and human rights, respectively. The most active actors were Repubblika and Occupy Justice on the Daphne Caruana Galizia issue; Movement Graffitti on the environment; and irregular migrants without organisational set-ups, who protested human rights violations. This study emphasizes the importance of considering the characteristics and opportunity structures of Malta as a small state. Such factors are not only reflected in the protest repertoire, but also in the way organisations and activists invest in social networks.

Despite certain trends regarding protest numbers, there was no correlation between covid-19 and the number of protests. Furthermore, the main issues characterising protests were similar to those of previous years.

The paper may be accessed at:
Individuals are eligible for free access to ‘Protest’ journal until 31 December 2022: Link:
Citation: Briguglio, M. (2022). Protests in a Small Island State during the Year of covid-19: The Case of Malta, Protest1(2), 299-328. doi: