Keywords: Territorial Conflicts; Urban Sociology; Social Change; Social Structure; Structural Contexts of Opportunities.
Empirical studies of territorial conflicts in Italy show the aversion of local movements against left-wing political parties. The closure of political opportunities structure does not explain the emergence of mobilisations, but it shapes the relational field of contention and has consequences on the political polarisation. In the first section I discuss the actuality of the concept of structure for sociological research; the second section is focused on the kind of historicism developed in contextual political analysis; the third section copes with sociological theory centred on opportunities and not only on constraints. The last section introduces the prominence of considering structural parameters of the population to improve the sociology of territorial conflicts, precisely around three main types of variation in a population (heterogeneity, inequality, and consolidation) to study and test hypothesis related to the political effects of social structures.