Starting from a critique of protest event and political discourse analysis, we propose an extended methodological approach that has the quantitative rigor of event analysis but also retrieves the qualitative discursive elements of claims. Our political claims approach extends the sample of contentious actions beyond protest event analysis by coding institutional and civil society actors, and conventional and discursive action forms, in addition to protests by movement actors, This redefines the research object to acts of political claims making in a multi-organizational field. We use examples from a research project on mobilization about migration and ethnic relations in Britain and Germany to demonstrate the analytic gains that are possible with our approach. By situating protest and social movements, not just theoretically but also methodologically, in a wider context of political claims making, we are in a better position to follow the recent calls for more integrated approaches, which place protest within multi-organizational fields, link it to political opportunities and outcomes, and are sensitive to discursive messages.

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