Collection: Social Movements and Activism Collection

 

As a taster of our publishing in Social Movements and Activism, we put together a collection of free articles, chapters and Open Access titles. If you are interested in trying out more content from our collections, ask your librarian to sign up for a free trial

Social Movements and Activism Collection

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 97 items

Fear and agency are complex, interrelated and gendered phenomena for the madres buscadoras, the women searching for the disappeared in Mexico. These women operate in a context of unrelenting, multisided violence. At the same time, they choose to engage in activism that puts them at heightened risk of violence at the nexus of criminal organisations, state corruption and insecurity. This article investigates how the madres navigate contexts of gendered violence in Veracruz, Mexico, to engage in expressions of complex gendered agency. It makes the argument that we can understand why the fear of violence does not necessarily lead to demobilisation or inaction when we locate their activism within a hierarchy of fears. By recognising that the fear of never knowing about their missing loved ones outweighs the fears of violence that they are exposed to on a day-to-day basis, we gain insight into why they choose ‘fight’, rather than ‘flight’.

Open access
Author:

This chapter offers a new framing of how individuals and groups learn and practice unarmed civilian protection (UCP), in relation to feminism, gender, cultural identity and other subjectivities, exploring the ambiguous relationship of UCP to the wider field of humanitarian work and the ‘development–security nexus’ within the context of contemporary gendered and racialized capitalism. The article argues that care work not only supports and enables knowledge creation and sharing, but is itself a form of social reproduction that sustains and ‘makes’ UCP and thus the differential distribution of the burden of care and knowledge creation in UCP teams demands further attention. Furthermore; greater attention to the intersectionality of identities within the UCP community is essential to future scholarship and action around this practice; especially the importance of the eldership of older, more experienced men and women from the Global South, and the embodied knowledge that these elders recognize, carry and share with peers.

Full Access
Author:

The introduction provides a brief overview of the history and places of UCP/accompaniment, touching on issues of basic principles and practices, challenges to protecting civilians including a discussion of the comparative strengths of UCP vs militarized peacekeeping and civilian protection, connections to other fields such as critical security and human security studies, and critiques of the practice. It concludes with some thoughts about new directions in potential research/theorizing questions.

Full Access
Author:

The introduction outlines the aim of the book, the case study and theoretical approaches it draws on, and the overall book structure.

Full Access
Author:

Works of historical criminology do not have to be disinterested studies of past crime-related phenomena. Instead, they can represent practical attempts to intervene in the politics of crime and justice in the present. This article takes this claim to a critical conclusion; historical research in criminology can function as a weapon in contemporary political struggles and a way of injecting radical politics into criminological studies. To demonstrate this point, the article scrutinises the ways in which early critical criminologists in the US engaged in historical research as a way of doing politics and activism. To such criminologists, doing historical research was a form of praxis. Focusing on the works produced at the Berkeley School of Criminology in the 1970s, the article shows that the nurture of a historical interest was deemed to be a vital step in the development of a critical paradigm within American criminology.

Full Access
Author:

This article investigates processes of criminalisation and mechanisms of repression and control of oppositional political activism of Israel’s citizens, both Palestinians and Jews, given the state’s particular political formation as a ‘liberal settler state’ (Robinson, 2013). In order to do so, the article traces the ‘threshold of threat’ that leads to criminalisation and repression in Israel. I argue that the process of criminalisation and repression is tied with the construction of the concept of ‘threat’ and is always bound with race-making. Further, the article treats criminalisation as a multilayered process involving both state and non-state actors, and a range of informal and formal strategies. I further argue that the operational logic of the settler state dictates the strategies used to tolerate, contain, limit or crush dissent altogether. Since the Israeli state strives to maintain privileges to its Jewish citizenry, we can trace more reliance on ‘informal’ strategies of criminalisation towards its Jewish citizens, led by civil society organisations and actors, while the ‘formal’ strategies, led by the state, are preserved almost exclusively for dealing with Palestinian political activism. Finally, I argue that unravelling processes of criminalisation and oppression, triggered by the crossing of the threshold of threat, exposes state vulnerabilities and fragility. By tracing the shifting thresholds of threat we gain a window into the precarity of such a system of power and how it can be challenged and transformed. We can also learn what opportunities for resistance exist and what ‘openings’ must be seized.

Full Access
Author:

The introduction outlines the significance of global neoliberal capitalism – its achievements, failures and contradictions. Despite recurrent crises of capitalism, current critical thinking in the social sciences reveals unpredictable and uncertain futures. The introduction summarises the thinking of leading writers, which include: spontaneous collapse leading to the rise of a new but undefined social formation, a reformed liberal capitalism, state capitalism or the rise of parallel autonomous economies. Among the social scientists discussed are Randall Collins, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, Michael Mann, Branco Milanovic, Craig Calhoun and Georgi Derluguian, Immanuel Wallerstein, Alexander Buzgalin, Daniel Chirot, Wolfgang Streeck, J.K. Gibson-Graham and Samir Amin. The introduction explains why it is important to distinguish, theoretically, between different forms of capitalism and globalisation, and outlines six major alternatives. The book is organised into three parts: the three introductory chapters outline and criticise globalisation and neoliberalism; the next part outlines 20th-century alternatives to capitalism, it discusses their merits and failings; the final part considers current alternatives – their strengths and weaknesses – and finally my own proposal of regulated market socialism.

Full Access

In this Theory into Practice article we discuss the collective agency of Hong Kong medical workers in COVID-19 in the context of social movement unionism (SMU). In particular, the article utilises Dhatt’s framework defining factors influencing health social movements (2019). We focus on the way the pro-democracy movement underpinned and shaped the five-day strike by 7000 healthcare workers that forced the government to close the Hong Kong–China border in February 2020. We argue that the strike was made possible by the political opportunities linked to collective fear arising from the SARS epidemic in 2003 and to revitalised civil society resulting from the Anti-Extradition Bill Movement in 2019. It illustrates that framing strategies and organisational capacity capitalised on the discursive power and solidarity linked to these political opportunities. However, the failure to achieve demands related to resource redistribution, occupational safety and union rights reflect professionals’ dilemma on fulfilling their duty of care and the limitations of SMU in Hong Kong.

Full Access
Author:

Over the last two decades, political hackers, like the infamous Anonymous collective, have demonstrated their digital power and a willingness to use that power for their own political agenda. As communications, data, finances, activities, businesses and personal information become increasingly digitized and realized through the Internet, the birth of the modern information nation means that states and individuals are significantly dependent on cyberspace to survive, something that has not escaped the attention of the hacking community. Indeed, hackers have proven that they can exert significant power over individuals, corporations and even states, illustrating their technical ability and desire to influence the world through cyber-attacks. During this time they have shut down government websites across the globe; hacked Amazon, PayPal and Mastercard, costing $5.5 million in damages; aided in the Arab Spring revolutions by enabling secure communication between revolutionaries; released private corporate information; and attacked media companies over anti-piracy. And most recently, they have declared war on the Russian Federation following the invasion of Ukraine, releasing military information and hijacking state-owned media (Chirinos, 2022; Tidy, 2022). However, in a world increasingly obsessed with superheroes and villains, what do hackers represent? On the one hand, political hackers have been criticized and automatically denounced for acting outside the state apparatus, taking the law into their own hands (Thomas, 2002; Serracino-Inglott, 2013; Klein, 2015; Trottier, 2017; Loveluck, 2020). Their use of violence is seen as a tool to further their political ends, coupled with no direct means for controlling their activity, resulting in concerns that they represent a threat to society’s stability and the state’s monopoly on the use of violence.

Full Access
Author:

The introduction sets out the aim of the book to go beyond critique of present society and look for alternatives. It outlines: the breadth of alternatives covered, in theory and practice, current and future; the thrust of the book in going beyond polarizations and dichotomies and its argument for pluralism and complexity in pursuing alternatives; the emphasis on socialism as coming out of the many alternatives but also how socialism is pursued in the book, seeing the need for a pluralist and liberal approach. The introduction explains why the following themes were chosen for more in-depth analysis: utopianism, socialism, the democratic economy, and local/global levels. The chapter outlines how the book is international, discussing alternatives at a global level and located and relevant internationally, including in the Global South. The introduction also outlines how the book is designed for students and lay readers as well as experts.

Full Access