Decades of scholarship have established that dissident activity provokes state repression when it threatens elite interests and legitimacy, but there has been research attention on how state repression diffuses through institutional channels such as courts. Legal settings operate as a key site for the construction and implementation of elite discursive strategies used to undercut the legitimacy of protesters and justify repression. Social movement research on repression and social control often glosses over these elite framing strategies, limiting our understanding of relationship between elite meaning work and repression. We address these gaps in the literature by examining the state's framing of a worker revolt against a 1953 currency reform in communist Czechoslovakia. Drawing on extensive archival materials, we analyze how the regime framed the event and how official frames influenced the legal repression of protest participants. Our research has important implications for understanding the relationship between legal repression and state cultural work.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.