We introduce a set of concepts and general guidelines for what we call Contentious Episode Analysis (CEA). In the footsteps of Dynamics of Contention (DoC), we attempt to develop a conceptual framework that improves upon the concepts originally introduced by McAdam, Tarrow, and Tilly (2001). Our analytical strategy is similar to that of DoC in that we also propose to decompose the episodes into their component elements—actors, actions, sequences of actions, pairs of actions—that can then be recombined in a systematic way. We suggest that contentious episode analysis holds out the promise to go beyond the narrative approach by infusing it with the rigor and explicitness, while maintaining a dynamic quality. At the same time, CEA aims to move beyond a narrow focus on protest activities by challengers by incorporating into the analysis a broader set of action repertoires by a broader set of actors.

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