Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Open Access Publication about protests in Malta

The following peer-reviewed article is now available as an open-access publication, in the academic journal 'Protest', published by Brill.

Briguglio, M. (2022). Protests in a Small Island State during the Year of covid-19: The Case of Malta, Protest1(2), 299-328. doi: https://doi.org/10.1163/2667372X-01020005

I am currently finalising a similar study for 2021 and collecting data for 2022 and 2023.


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.