Book Reviews

A Time of Riots and Martyrs: Alain Bertho’s Anthropology of the Present

Les enfants du chaos (Cahiers libres) (French Edition): Bertho, Alain:  9782707188779: Books

A Review of Le temps des émeutes andLes enfants du chaos by Alain Bertho

Alberto Toscano

Reader in Critical Theory, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Visiting Faculty, Digital Democracies Institute, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada


This article explores the analysis of the present advanced by the French political anthropologist Alain Bertho. It focuses in particular on his diagnosis of the terminal crisis of modern politics, giving rise to a ‘time of riots’, of non-strategic collective uprisings and disturbances, as well as a ‘time of martyrs’, of anti- and ultra-political forms of violence.


Alain Bertho – riots – politics – violence – jihadism

Alain Bertho, (2009) Le temps des émeutes, Paris: Bayard,

Alain Bertho, (2016) Les enfants du chaos. Essai sur le temps des martyrs, Paris: Éditions La Découverte,

Alain Bertho, (2018) The Age of Violence: The Crisis of Political Action and the End of Utopia, translated by David Broder, London: Verso.


Though the progress of anti-systemic movements in the past decade has been halting, at best contradictory, a wide swathe of commentators, mainstream or otherwise, has noted a worldwide proliferation of riots, uprisings and myriad forms of collective violence and contestation. The French political anthropologist Alain Bertho has produced what is, to my knowledge, the first attempt to synthesise this phenomenon and this moment, what he calls – in a formulation also used in Alain Badiou’s later The Rebirth of History – a ‘time of riots’.Badiou 2012. His theses are worth revisiting now, in terms of the debate surrounding the writings of The Invisible Committee and especially Clover’s recent Riot. Strike. RiotThe Invisible Committee 2009; Clover 2016; Toscano 2016. – but also in light of Bertho’s recent attempt (in the second book under consideration here) to link the time of riots to a surge in the 2010s of so-called ‘jihadi’ violence.

          It would be imprecise to say that Bertho systematises the planetary upsurge in insurgent collective violence over the last decade or so, since Les temps des émeutes is in many ways driven by an ethical and methodological polemic against those social-scientific research programmes and political perspectives that would seek, respectively, causally to explain or strategically to instrumentalise riots. Yet Bertho’s anti-social science or social anti-science, in equal measures anti-sociological and anti-political (opposed to all variants of modern or contemporary political theory), does seek to assert a fundamental global commonality underlying these phenomena of collective action which, in his eyes, are either rendered invisible or traduced by dominant frameworks of analysis.Le temps des émeutes is an essay in what Bertho calls a political ethnography of the present, written in a fluid, at times impatient style, combining polemical aperçu with concise descriptions and enumerations of contemporary insurgencies; it is divided into three parts, which, roughly speaking, define the phenomenon, detail its varieties, and draw its political lessons. The approach is relatively loose, making for a quick and engaging read, albeit one sometimes marred by the repetitive and rather minimalist nature of Bertho’s political and theoretical assertions.  

          The starting point for Le temps des émeutes is the 2005 riots in France, grasped as a definitive sign of the obsolescence of the traditional reading frames, in both social theory and political strategy, through which putatively similar events were interpreted across political modernity. It is evident that Bertho’s polemical target is the belief that the lens through which to understand such movements is one of class, understood as a social, political and subjective category. Yet a tension is present from the outset: Bertho’s affirmation of the irreducible singularity of riots, in axiomatic excess of any explanatory or political frame, is coupled with a conviction that there exists something like a ‘subjective globality of revolt’. This welter of seemingly inarticulate and disjointed, if massively present actions, all, in a sense, tell us ‘the same thing’. Singularity ends up conveying a kind of univocity. Bertho’s methodological fiat leads to a kind of anthropologicalepoché – the presupposition that we already know the why and wherefore of this surge in riots and uprisings must be suspended, along with the frameworks of intelligibility (sociological, Marxist, humanist, liberal, or what have you) which we’ve grown used to handling. ‘To the riots themselves’, so to speak.

          For Bertho, these riots define our contemporaneity, as a kind of discontinuity. The crisis (Bertho finished the book in 2009) is primarily political. It is a crisis ofpolitics, of our very conception of what can be characterised as political. Riots are not archaic, but neither, and this is just as crucial, are they continuous with the history of revolutions.

          For Bertho, rather than the increase in phenomena of violent collective action signalling a return to ’68, the latter, understood in its wider connotation – les années soixante-huit – is whatclosed a long cycle of popular mobilisation around the watchwords of work, class, revolution, nation and state that began in 1848, and which can be divided roughly into two further blocs, pre- and post-1917. Our moment is one that began globally around 1975, as more and more events of collective action escaped the classical-modern reading frame, establishing a kind ofinterregnum in which riots linked to a variety of occasioning causes (the death of young men, communal conflict, price-hikes, as well as anti-globalisation agitation) proliferate. The beginning of the twenty-first century sees the establishment of something like a new paradigm – though admittedly, this seems more of a negative paradigm, inasmuch as the regular pattern of these actions and the discernment of something like a ‘global subjectivity of revolt’ is not matched by political or discursive forms that could signal a clear break from the past, except in the weakness or absence of the subjects and programmes of political modernity.

          To stress the discontinuity, Bertho notes how even past riots that would superficially appear to be almost indistinguishable from those of our political conjuncture demonstrate the shift in political framings. Accordingly, he asks us to compare the Watts uprising of 1965 to the LA riots of 1992 (we could add, Brixton 1981 to London 2011), to stress that the same type of politicisation and symbolic sanction is no longer available (though we could say this might be, at least in part, the wisdom or the distortion of hindsight). Quoting Tocqueville, Bertho enjoins us to accept that there are moments in which the past no longer shines a light on the future.

          In responding to and studying a revolt it is required, according to Bertho, to think the foundational potentiality and subjective discontinuity of a revolt, as well as its ‘alternative episteme’. The two obstacles to this understanding are political instrumentalisation and causal analysis. For the latter, an event is not an event, it is a confirmation or expression of the already-familiar. Here, Bertho follows a strain of French anti-theoreticism, present in a different variant in the writings of Jacques Rancière, according to which, in social science and political theory, actors tend to be dispossessed of their action by intellectuals (though it is disputable whether Bertho can evade this problem, as he too imputes meanings to actions that might not be those voiced by the participants themselves). At the core of this perspective is a critique of ‘sociologisation’, understood as that theoretical and practical attitude which treats any political anger that goes beyond reformable material conditions as unworthy of sustained scrutiny or sympathy. The consequence is that ideas, political principles, and subjectivity – obviously Bertho’s core concerns – are written out. (There is an intriguing parallel not just with the writings of James C. Scott on resistance, or William Sewell’s on events, or Rancière and Badiou’s on political subjectivation, but also with Charles Kurzman’s suggestive The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran.)Kurzman 2004.

          To counter the explaining-away (i.e. the explaining) of riots, Bertho argues that putting oneself, albeit momentarily, ‘on the side of’ the rioters is also an epistemic condition for understanding – though not by projecting one’s subjectivity onto that of the rioters, in a kind of wishful substitutionism. Against this, Bertho offers a research programme, ‘the political ethnography of the present’, aimed at exploring the ‘ethnoscape of riots’.

          The implicit call to suspend our sociological attitude and turn to the riots themselves does not remove their ‘symptomatic’ value, which is not only to provide a political perspective upon a multi-faceted global crisis, but to serve as a lens into ‘illegitimate’, ‘unrepresentable’ subjectivities. Here, of course, Bertho notes the methodological problems encountered by historians of insurgency, namely the fact that the history of riots, as noted by Ranajit Guha and E.P. Thompson, among many others, is a police history. This problem is compounded, given Bertho’s stress on singularity, by a kind of ‘Midas touch’ conundrum: the roots of the riot are in what is foreclosed by politics, but, once the riot is symbolised, rising into political speech or organisation, and the dominated becoming dominant, however fitfully, it is in some sense no longer a riot.

          He asserts, in fact, that one of the drivers of the riots comes from that which – in the political sphere – cannot be spoken about, the hidden. The riots that have gained in extension and incidence in this new millennium are ‘mute revolts’ against silence, grounded on a refusal of, and not an incapacity for, interlocution. Their modes of communication refuse a common symbolic space as defined by the state, as can be registered in the life and circulation of uprisings on YouTube and other Internet platforms (which play a large role in Bertho’s own website, Anthropologie du présent).<>. Bertho also places ‘anti-summit’ confrontations within this broader spectrum of non-interlocutory anti-state violence – but are riots really so anti-communicative? Should we not heed the lessons of Thompson’s ‘Moral Economy’ essay,Thompson 1971. and discern a kind of grammar and address to these actions? Were not the summit and other protests of the late 1990s and early 2000s, bunched in by Bertho into his panorama, extremely (even excessively) dialogical, not least in terms of the choice of places and forms of protest?

          In a leitmotiv that gives the book its cadence – that of the unmediated confrontation between (superfluous) people and the state – at the heart of these uprisings is the authorities’ contempt, a common element from France to Algeria to China; a kind of official disqualification of life which bears some kinship with recent arguments by the likes of Judith Butler and Zygmunt Bauman (and, in a Marxian register evaded by Bertho, by Michael Denning on ‘wageless life’ and Mike Davis on uprisings in the ‘planet of slums’). Whence the centrality of ‘dignity’, in these struggles against a state that does not count everyone equally (and does not count some at all).

          Resonating with other contemporary commentators, from Stephen Graham to Mike Davis, Bertho puts urban violence, and the struggles against increasingly militarised urban policing, at the core of the new modes of collective action. He notes the way in which riots, such as those at Paris’s Gare du Nord in 2007, can turn non-places into places; how transport becomes a crossroad of contentions (as we can also glean from The Coming Insurrection);The Invisible Committee 2009. the prominence of urban dispossession and gentrification as triggers of rioting worldwide (Istanbul’s Gezi Park protests of 2013 here playing a signal role), giving rise to a sub-type: ‘uprisings of urban renewal’. All of these insurrectionary phenomena raise the question of how the forms of anomalous collectivity born in uprisings can newly articulate the immemorial question as to what kind of collectivity can be born in urban space, the classical and modern site of politicisation since Ancient Greece within the European and Mediterranean political imaginary and beyond.

          Bertho places this multifarious but intimately unified pattern of revolts in the context of globalisation and the dislocation of the state–nation–people trinity. Though he scants analyses of neoliberalism that would give more precision to this conjuncture, especially in terms of the functionalities of ‘law & order’ agendas, or of authoritarian populism, like other authors critically analysing urban violence he underscores the way in which states have effectively declared war on (parts of) their internal populations. In this police logic, the enemy is never a future partner in negotiation, but a criminal to be summarily dealt with. In the same process, of triage and targeting, states also exacerbate identitarian strategies. Yet we may wonder whether there is not a political and analytical danger in joining together pogroms and anti-police demos, anti-austerity revolt and football riots, one that would return us, albeit with a changed valence, to the sociology of the crowd, lurking beneath an ethnography of the riot.

          The riot, Bertho affirms, speaks to us of the state in the language of the forgotten. But he also argues against a kind of ultra-left optimism – the riot is not the omen of a new age of revolutions. Rather, following Sylvain Lazarus and Badiou, we get an image of the riot’s possible politicisation – when it is not instrumentalised for electoral ends, as he interestingly recounts in the case of Madagascar in 2006 – as a ‘prescription’ ‘at a distance from the state’. This seems to suggest that there is no internal dialectic of power in the riot; to imagine that when power is re-articulated from and around such uprisings (say in Ukraine’s Euromaidan, or Egypt’s Tahrir Square) the subjectivity of the riot has simply been left behind. This perspective seems to approximate a more radical version of Fox Piven’s model of ‘disruptive power’ (see her Challenging Authority).Fox Piven 2006. But, whereas Piven’s horizon is explicitly that of radical reformism in parliamentary capitalist settings, Bertho’s orientation is to a kind of subjective autonomy of (a curiously de-socialised) politics from the officially-constituted political sphere, or, in his words, towards ‘the cultural constitution of shared subjectivities outside the state’. Again, in this notion that the question raised by these uprisings is no longer that of taking power, there are resonances with various trends in contemporary political thought, as emblematised in figures like James C. Scott or John Holloway – though the tone, language, concepts and framework are in other ways radically different.

          What then is the political status of this age of riots? Bertho argues against the characterisation – deriving from Hobsbawm’s work on millenarian movements, and refunctioned in Badiou’s work from the 1980s to the present – of riots as pre- or proto-political, but he also shies away from the notion, dear to some anarchist or gauchiste milieus, that they would immediately express another politics. He also recognises the position, shared in certain cases both by detractors and participants, that they may not be political at all. Temporarily, he seems to settle on the idea that they are post-political, inasmuch as we cannot but treat the political in terms either of the vocabulary of political modernity (liberal, conservative or revolutionary) or simply in relation to constituted power. But, for him, the lesson of the riots is that they bear no transitivity either to a political sphere as it currently exists or to a revolutionary (or indeed communist) movement. The reformist path is also closed: though coming from a radical outside to the state, riots are not simply a call for integration, but a symptom of a real exhaustion of modern notions of the public, the state, collective action, and so on, which have surged in the context of the rise of neoliberalgovernance rather than liberal or social-democraticgovernment. Today’s riots are against global governance, but not for integration.

          What Bertho presents us with then is both a massively global, if variegated, phenomenon, of epochal scale, and a rather pessimistic prognosis – which he thinks is grounded in an anthropology rather than a political theory or sociology of the age of riots – that homologies, patterns, shared imaginaries, and a common antagonism to the governance practices of exclusionary states will not give rise to an actually shared subjectivity, to real practices of solidarity, but at best to a ‘synchronicity of consciousnesses’. As he writes:

Propagation is not possible or rather is not thinkable, very simply because the subjective geography of the world is not spatial and linear but reticular and aleatory. Contagion is not possible because in the absence of a strategic finality, there is no cumulative process or ‘convergence of struggles’ according to the hallowed expression from the syndical and political world. Without doubt there are passages, effects of recognition very simply because the riot is the paroxystic language of a popular and youth world whose existence escapes the established gaze but whose subjective charge is borne by the demand for possibility.

 (This assertion of the ‘paroxystic language’ of the subaltern echoes, albeit with inverted valence, Thompson’s asseverations against the ‘spasmodic view of popular history’.)

          For Bertho, it is incontrovertible that neither classical political theory nor historical materialism can contend with these phenomena of collective action and violence. The traditions of political modernity fail the reality test, and a root-and-branch redefinition of what politics means is necessary. This appears to have to start not just from a distance from the state (à la Badiou), but from an existential, one might even say vitalist, politics of the body, confronting the state in a raw, unmediated fashion. The spectre that haunts the world, suggests Bertho, is the terminally disaffected mass of the young, confronting a hermetic and besieged state, with the pure positivity (or perhaps pure negativity) of their bodies, and their ephemeral antagonistic collectives. The state’s refusal of mediation is matched by that of its adversaries. Revolts are the sign of the absence of politics, of a desperate desire for politics, for common words. Ironically, having underscored the end of demands and the refusal of interlocution, Bertho ends on the possibility of a revival of collective political speech, revitalised by the riots, but also somehow (though he would never use the term) sublating them, in a new politics of peace, at a distance from the state, anchored in principles (all these are terms and themes present in the work of Sylvain Lazarus and first articulated in the context of the Organisation politique he animated with Alain Badiou and Natacha Michel).Michel 2020.

          The idea of a saturation of political modernity, this end of history in a subjective key, also blinds the analysis to a possible attention to cycles and circulation of strategies. In effect, one of the most interesting questions to ask of the book and of Bertho, is how it stands in light of the tenuous, contradictory, but very real link between the phenomena that make up this age of riots and more ‘macro’-political anti-systemic challenges, from Greece to Spain, from Egypt to Ukraine. In order to think this question, I would argue, we need to recover the concept of transition and move beyond the critique of representation that, for all of its uses, also runs the risk of paralysing anti-systemic thinking and practice today.


As the subtitle of the second volume under review intimates, Bertho now wishes to extend the lessons and hypotheses of that earlier work, and of his ongoing online observatory on contemporary riots and related phenomena, Anthropologie du présent, into the analysis and response to the massive attraction that ISIS-type jihadism has for socially excluded and racialised youth. In other words, the proximate aim is to reflect on the connection between the generation of the 2005 French riots and the 2015 Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan atrocities (as Bertho tells us, writing ofThe Age of Violence was already under way when the latter attacks hit). The broader purpose, which prolongs Bertho’s effort to record and map riot-phenomena across the globe, is to define our political time as a time of catastrophic political disorientation, utter disjunction between people and governments, and a welter of morbid symptoms, particularly evident in the experience of marginalised youths, the ‘children of chaos’ of the book’s original French title.

          Bertho’s starting point is not just the subjective disorientation that manifests itself in an increase of antagonistic phenomena that struggle to find organisational or ideological cohesion (save for the fleeting ones of the assembly, the disappointing ones of parliamentarian recuperations, and the apocalyptic ones of jihadism); it is also the disorientation of our intellectual and theoretical discourse, which fails to discover the names and categories truly to think what are, to Bertho’s mind, massive planetary patterns of dissent, disaffiliation and destructiveness – patterns which he quickly, sometimes impressionistically traces, with his own quantitative charts, enumerations of significant or exemplary events, and anecdotal samplings from his field research (in France and Senegal, alongside Sylvain Lazarus). There is a tone of political urgency in this book, a desire to find practical and intellectual antidotes, which sets it somewhat apart from Les temps des émeutes, which was more of a cartographic rather than a prescriptive exercise. What is at stake is the pre-emption of what Lacan, in the epigram from the book taken fromSeminar VII, calls the ‘universal conflagration’ that would result from the victory of martyrs who have ‘neither pity nor fear’.

          The book is written in an engaging, brisk and accessible style, with but a sprinkling of theoretical references. It is an essay-intervention that presents itself as grounded in social-scientific research but uses the latter in a light manner, to sketch a composite portrait of a present adrift. The aim of the book is to draw the kaleidoscopic portrait of the global social and political suffering of vast populations treated as insignificant surplus, battered by financial crisis, manipulated by cynical media and bereft of representation, and to present this condition of exclusion and degradation as the background for the morbid politicisation represented by ISIS and its ilk. In this respect, in terms of recent debates, Bertho is firmly in the camp of those who present jihadism as an ‘Islamisation of radicalism’ (Olivier Roy’s formula) rather than a ‘radicalisation of Islam’, though he rightly questions this terminology in the plea for a different radicalism with which he concludes the book. As he writes: ‘We are dealing not with a radicalisation of Islam but with an Islamisation of the anger, disarray and despair of the lost children of a terrible era – children who find meaning and weapons for their anger in jihad’.Bertho 2018, p. 4.

          The image of the present that Bertho paints, though short on detail or texture, is impressive in its range and provocative in its insights. Though he does not skirt specificity – for instance that of the reactive nostalgia for the language of Republicanism or the confessionalisation of politics in France, or the specific motivations of riots across the world – his concern is to bring home the planetary commonalities. These are both aetiological – as in the remarkably consistent pattern across the world of riots originating in the police killing of a young man – and ideological – witness the contempt for ‘politics’ and distance from power and the state that manifest themselves across the most distinct of mobilisations, or the common lack of organisational cohesion that also marks them. Behind these commonalities is also a common loss, the loss of a political horizon of emancipation in which people and state could be organised in a futural nexus, and not be fated to collapse into atomisation or communalism. Far from being an anchor for politics, the ‘people’, when it is not a reactionary ethnic simulacrum, has become, in Foucault’s words, a ‘mute remainder of politics’. Rather than popular cohesion, collective phenomena are united more by a common repudiation of political power, by an ‘an unquenched anger, faced with the authorities’ autistic response to people’s real situations’.Bertho 2018, p. 26. It is this disconnection or disaffiliation, this absence of an affective or ideological cement, as well as of a strategic horizon, which dictates the conclusion that the mass mobilisations across the world in 2011 were in many ways on a par with those of 1848, 1917–19, 1968; they do not belong to the same ‘sequence’, they are ultimately discontinuous with those events. As Bertho observes:

across the world we are seeing the official establishment of a divorce between peoples and the powers that rule over them, whatever the nature of the states concerned. Given the lack of a common language, what we once called politics is no longer very useful for organising and giving sense to the relations between peoples and governments. This disappearance of politics is one of the characteristic traits of the transformation of the state’s role and the form it assumes in the context of globalisation.Bertho 2018, p. 31.

This collapse of traditional modes of representational politics is also the collapse in traditional modes of labour politics. Bertho registers planetary patterns of workplace confrontation, sometimes on a large scale (in China, for instance), but sees these more as jacqueries (his term) than in continuity with class struggles of the past, in the absence of durable subjective figures of class, of a worker We or Us that could organise the duration of political conflict – the ‘subjective sequence of class is indeed closed’, he writes.Bertho 2018, p. 42.

          In a manner that resonates, if ultimately disagrees, with Alain Badiou’s diagnoses (in The Communist Hypothesis, The Rebirth of History and his own response to the November killings in Paris,Notre mal vient de plus loin),Badiou 2010, 2012 and 2016. for Bertho the current moment is to be understood in terms of an absence, namely in light of the ‘collapse of the systems of political representation which allow for a generalised confrontation’.Bertho 2018, p. 3. More specifically, it is the ‘saturation’ of communism, as a secular organisation of popular hopes, a discipline of the event, in Badiou’s words, which is the abiding backdrop to the morbid symptoms of our present. Yet, arguing against Badiou, while marshalling the words of a common reference for both of them, the playwright Antoine Vitez, Bertho asserts that the collapse of the material reality of the idea of communism, of its capacity to structure, mobilise and impassion masses, is also the collapse of the idea. Radicalism itself must be reinvented, in and through inquiries into the realities of popular oppositional thought, and not continue to be mortgaged to a political nostalgia that treats the communist referent as itself invariant. The suggestion (which is also in keeping with his colleague, and once-comrade of Badiou, Sylvain Lazarus) is that once certain political categories are no longer the ‘subjective categories of critique and popular mobilisation’Bertho 2018, p. 82. they cannot be kept in artificial and suspended animation from a philosophical perspective. What must be confronted then is an ‘absolute historical discontinuity’, the ‘end of the revolutionary hypothesis’,Bertho 2018, pp. 83–4. an end further corroborated by the fact that the so-called revolutions of 2011 at no point established the link between popular initiative, political consciousness, militant organisation and the horizon of state power that was the defining trait of political modernity, from 1789 to the 1960s.

For Bertho, what we must face up to is the fact that current mobilisations, when they are not recaptured by their parliamentarian translation or simple coups d’état, take place at a distance from political power, they do not demand it. Thus, while popular political subjectivity has definitely been put back on the agenda, it is not the same or even a similar history that can be reborn: ‘The powers-that-be are shaken. But this popular subjective power does not carry an alternative figure into power in their place. The question of the state remains external to the mobilisation, and the mobilisation external to the state.’Bertho 2018, p 86. Furthermore, this subjectivity is definitely not cohering into anything resembling the modern or twentieth-century model of a political subject, built on the ‘trinity’ of class, consciousness and party, and, most significantly, on the ‘the articulation of a truth and an ethic outside of any revealed religion’.Bertho 2018, p. 90. Yet for all of the distance from Badiou, Bertho still accounts for the presence, of religiously-articulated violent political movements, in terms of an absence – not so much the communist idea as the communist vacuum. Our moment thus appears as composed of the ‘collateral effects’ of the collapse of communism. Notwithstanding a certain sympathy for this thesis, I wonder, first, whether it doesn’t involve the retroactive illusion of homogeneity that any such broad-brush periodisation involves, contrasting the present to a communistic political modernity spanning two centuries; and second, if it does not heavily underestimate the relativeautonomy of the jihadist phenomenon. There is a kind of progressive anthropological and political illusion perhaps at work here, whereby emancipatory politics – whether in its presence or absence – always comes ‘first’. Yet unlike with other writers on contemporary insurgencies, there is no great consolation in this primacy of revolt: ‘We can see no mode of organisation emerging that would be capable of carrying radicalism forward in the long term, of putting a strategy to work, of creating a space for the sharing of practices, experiences, knowledges and ethical choices.’Bertho 2018, p. 106. This deflating conclusion – even if difficult entirely to counter – makes the opening up onto the future at the end of the book rather melancholy, even desperate.


Badiou, Alain 2010, The Communist Hypothesis, London: Verso.

Badiou, Alain 2012, The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprisings, translated by Gregory Elliott, London: Verso.

Badiou, Alain 2016, Notre mal vient de plus loin: Penser les tueries du 13 novembre, Paris: Fayard.

Bertho, Alain 2009, Le temps des émeutes, Paris: Bayard.

Bertho, Alain 2016, Les enfants du chaos. Essai sur le temps des martyrs, Paris: Éditions La Découverte

Bertho, Alain 2018, The Age of Violence: The Crisis of Political Action and the End of Utopia, translated by David Broder, London: Verso.

Clover, Joshua 2016, Riot. Strike. Riot.: The New Era of Uprisings, London: Verso.

Fox Piven, Frances 2006, Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Kurzman, Charles 2004, The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Michel, Natacha 2020, Le roman de la politique, Paris: La Fabrique.

The Invisible Committee 2009, The Coming Insurrection, Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext(e).

Thompson, Edward Palmer 1971, ‘The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century’, Past & Present, 50, 1: 76–136, <>.

Toscano, Alberto 2016, ‘Limits to Periodization’, Viewpoint, 6 September, available at: <>.