Performing Democracy through Local Protests: The Case of Knitting Nannas Against Gas

Selen A. Ercan, Carolyn Hendriks

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the performative activities of local protests and considers their contribution to democracy understood in deliberative terms. Empirical insights are drawn from Knitting Nannas Against Gas (KNAG) – a locally based protest movement against coal seam gas (CSG) mining in Australia. The chapter applies a dramaturgical lens to analyse KNAG’s local protests, and examines their performative effects on the public sphere in divided communities contesting CSG. The case analysis illuminates the importance of local identities and ‘place’ in staging protests with communicative effect. It demonstrates how local protests, such as those performed by KNAG, can play a vital role in public deliberation by: i) opening up public debates to alternative modes of expression; ii) empowering previously excluded voices to enter the debate; and iii) facilitating communication and reflection in the public sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComplementary Democracy
Subtitle of host publicationThe Art of Deliberative Listening
EditorsMatt Qvortrup, Daniela Vancic
Place of PublicationGermany
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9783110747249
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2022


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