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The 'New' Social Movements after 1989

Questions to prepare for seminar:

  1. Can partying/pleasure be political? If so, how?
  2. How do we define ‘direct action politics’?
  3. To what extent did the new social movements of the late1980s and 1990s reject and/or replicate the politics of Thatcherism and neoliberalism?
  4. What common characteristics, if any, can be traced across the new social movements?

Core Reading:

  • Jeremy Gilbert, Anticapitalism and Culture: Radical Theory and Popular Politics (2008) [Chapter 3. ‘Another World is Possible.’]
  • Timothy Bewes, Reification, or The Anxieties of Late Capitalism (Verso, 2002) [Part 3, Chapter 1 'The Pleasure Tendency'.]
  • Giorel Curran, 21st Century Dissent: Anarchism, Anti-Globalisation and Environmentalism (2007) [Chapters 7 and 8 on Reclaim the Streets and Earth First.]

Further Reading:

  • For roads protests, and rave culture (and their historical antecedents): George MacKay, Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance since the 60s (1996); Jordan, 'The art of necessity: the subversive imagination of anti-road protest and Reclaim the Streets' (Verso, 1998) [​​not available in Library but quite cheap to buy – worth a look, as John Jordan was one of the key players in Reclaim the Streets].
  • For music and rave culture: Jermy Gilbert and Ewan Pearson, Discographies: Dance Music, Culture and the Politics of Sound (1999), especially chapters 6 and 7; online archive available here
  • For the anti-globalisation/ alter-globalisation movement: Notes from Nowhere, We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism (2003); The Free Association, ‘On the Road’, in David Harvie, Keir Milburn, Ben Trott and David Watts (eds), Shut Them Down! The G8, Gleneagles 2005 and the Movement of Movements (2005) 17–26; Catherine Eschle, 'Constructing the anti-globalisation movement' Journal of Peace Studies 9:1 (2004), 61-84 [for a transnational perspective]; Paul Kingsnorth, One No, Many Yeses: A Journey to the Heart of the Global Resistance Movements (2003).
  • For 21st-century social movements: WJT Mitchell, Bernard E. Harcourt, Michael Taussig, Three Inquiries Into Disobedience (2013); Paul Mason, Why It’s Kicking Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions (2012); Richard Seymour, Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics (2017).