10: Project Democracy in Protest Camps: Caring, the Commons and Feminist Democratic Theory

Drawing on empirical research on the movements of the squares, including Occupy and Nuit Debout, this chapter outlines the insights offered by feminist thought into the democratic practices of protest camps. The squares movements practised a kind of ‘project democracy’ by building an inclusive system of decision-making that facilitated the undertaking of projects. The chapter shows that, first, the squares movements operated with an expanded notion of civic duty that also included the reproduction of the civic body through activities of caring. Second, it demonstrates how care ethics, with their emphasis on dependence and vulnerability, informed the democratic practices of the movements of the squares. Third, it highlights how these movements challenged the connection between private property and democracy by operating with the logic of the commons, a framework of relationships based on the communal sharing of resources that places care and interdependence at the centre of democratic politics.

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Feminism and Protest Camps
Entanglements, Critiques and Re-Imaginings