The concept of conflict is both crucial and equivocal in social sciences. Many meanings may be (and have been) ascribed to the word. Here, I seek to provide an empirical definition of social conflict that is linked to the notion of relation. The quality of the definition is tested by climbing down the ladder of abstraction and by using it for the definition and the clarification of a specific type of conflict, whose definition is often neglected in the social literature, that is, the political conflict which explodes in coalitions of political actors, where cooperation exists (or should exist).
Keywords: Contentious Politics; social movements; participation; conflict