Was it nationalism wot won it?

As the early UK elections results started to confirm last Thursday’s exit poll predictions of an SNP landslide and overall Conservative victory in the 2015 General Election, Peter Mandelson was asked what went wrong for labour. His answer was that it was squeezed by two nationalisms – the SNP bringing Scottish nationalism into play north of the border while UKIP’s blue English nationalism took its toll elsewhere. And on Friday, as David Cameron reflected on the Conservative victory he stressed the need to bring together the nations of the United Kingdom. Given the...

Against resilience

‘Resilience’ has become a buzzword among a range of policy networks, wherein it serves as an ambition. People ought to become more resilient. The world is threatening: the economy, the climate and terrorism all figure as dangers against whose impacts we must resile. The fertile discourse of resilience spawns activity in research, policy development and service delivery. If we can educate our children to be resilient, if we can structure our communities to become resilient, we may survive a world of risk and then… And then what? This survivalist doctrine paradoxically...

Thread of Occupy talk at Peace History C...

Threads of Occupy on Prezi I was pleased to be invited to talk on Occupy at the opening panel of last week’s Peace History Conference, alongside Sam Walton (on the role of St Pauls), David Fernandez-Arias (on Occupy MCR) and Jacqui Burke giving us historical context with a reading of accounts from the Peterloo massacre. There’s lots of video available from this panel and Saturday’s talks here: http://www.peacehistoryhub.org/ My talk focused on the ideological content of occupation as a direct action tactic. You can flick through the Prezi presentation on...

Published: Social Movement Studies Speci...

From the editors’ introduction (with Jenny Pickerill): This article explores a number of key questions that serve to introduce this special issue on the ethics of research on activism. We first set out the limitations of the bureaucratic response to ethical complexities in our field. We then examine two approaches often used to justify research that demands time consuming and potentially risky participation in research by activists. We label these approaches the ethic of immediate reciprocity and the ethic of general reciprocity and question their impacts. We note,...

Just who do you think we are?

Tom asked: Just spent the morning listening to a couple of folks who were labour activists in the 40s and 50s. Now wondering how we organise politically under the sociological conditions of late modernity. If the class structure isn’t there to support the traditional labour movement (in the same way), what can we build instead? An important and tricky question, no doubt; in the following I may only succeeded in rewording it… What is it about the traditional class structure that has changed? Partly it has become much more globally dispersed, and so it is...