In 2011 Times Magazine chose the protestor as the person of the year. Indeed, 2011 was a contentious year; protests were everywhere. The ‘Social Change and Conflict’ (SCC) group studies the antecedents, course and consequences of such protests. The core questions the group tries to answer, are : Who is taking part in protest events? How are they mobilized, and why are they protesting? Employing comparisons over time and place we aim at understanding how socio-political context matters. For instance, societies differ in terms of the social cleavages that are salient. How does that influence social protest? How is protest influenced by different protest cultures? How is protest influenced by repression? How does the interaction between demonstrators and police affect the atmosphere at a demonstration? What is the role of emotions? Other questions are: Do protests sort any effect? How does protest emerge? Another theme is the relation between party politics and protest politics, one exemplary project focuses on how trust and efficacy affect participation in protest politics and party politics in post-communist democracies. Some other members of the group study processes of identity formation in contentious times. An important theme in that setting is mobilization of tolerance and intolerance. These questions position the SCC-program in the core of sociology’s program PARIS. SCC-projects focus on any kind of participation in the political arena, be it protest politics or party politics.