Direct Action, Democracy and Individuali...

Paper for presentation at the Alternative Futures and Popular Protest Conference, 15-17th April 2009, Manchester Metropolitan University. Abstract: Direct action (DA) is often considered to be a tactical approach to protest, utilised in the service of a wide range of causes. More recently, the notion that DA forms the basis of a radical social movement of itself has gained some currency (e.g. Doherty, Plows and Wall 2003). This paper argues that we should rather understand DA as an orientational frame: a structure of normative beliefs that can form a guide to...

Campaigning on Corporations: Stakeholder...

Presentation at Medsin Global Health Conference, University of Manchester, 29th March 2009. This talk was based on recent research into the campaign that persuaded Reed Elsevier to quit the defence sector. You can download the powerpoint slides here: Campaigning on Corporations Workshop...

Hackers and Users in Anti-War Activism

Short talk for the ‘Internet for Activists’ day organised at SOAS, 15 March 2009. The purpose was to outline two different ‘ideal typical’ attitudes that activists typically bring to their engagements with technology. Within recent anti-war activism most people have approached technology as users, interested in the technology itself only to the extent that it makes the ususal organisational and communicative tasks quicker or more efficient. The talk outlines a few examples of the hacker attitude in action in order to show some of the possibilities...

Only Connect

Piece for ‘Peace News’ written with Jenny Pickerill. This is a super-short summary of some of the research we carried out for Anti-War Activism and is available from the Peace News...

Understanding Meaning in Movements: A He...

Social movements contain structures of beliefs and values that guide critical action and aid activists’ understandings. These are worthy of interrogation, not least because they contain points of articulation with ideational formations found in both mainstream politics and academia. They offer an alternative view of society, economy and polity that is grounded in protagonists’ experience and struggle. However, the ideational content of social movements is often obscured by a focus on particular, immediate goals; by their orientation to certain forms of action;...

Diverging Attitudes to Technology and In...

Chapter to be published in the forthcoming book, Net Working/Networking: Politics on the Internet, edited by Tapio Ha¨yhtio¨ & Jarmo Rinne (2008, Tampere University Press). This chapter works with the categories of ‘hackers’ and ‘users’ that have developed out of sociological analyses of the adoption of new technologies. These terms have sometimes been used to describe particular technological subcultures such as Sherry Turkle’s work on the mainframe hackers around MIT in the seventies. More generally useful, however, is the indications...