Double-Edged Rituals and the Symbolic Resources of Collective Action: Political Commemorations and the Mobilization of Protest in 1989
The year 1989 was rife with resonant political anniversaries in both Eastern Europe and China ̶ as well as being the two-hundredth anniversary of France’s first great democratic revolution. Democracy and the future of socialism were on many peoples’ minds. Communist elites hoped to use these anniversaries as opportunities to celebrate the triumphs of the last forty years, but dissidents found these anniversaries even more auspicious as occasions to condemn “really existing” socialism. As a result, popular revolts erupted from Beijing to Berlin.