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State-centred but organizationally fragmented
Andy Smith

Socialiste became an empty shell Although this may be hard to believe following 2017’s presidential election when the PS ’s candidate, Bernard Hamon, only received 7% of the popular vote, one simply cannot understand political activism in France today without grasping the rise of this party in the late 1970s, the spreading of its influence over the following decade, but also its subsequent, and perhaps terminal, decline. As we saw in chapter 3, in contrast to countries such as the UK or Germany, the ancestry of this party did not emerge alongside a closely linked trade

in Made in France
Monika Gehlawat

Using political and critical theory, this article identifies in James Baldwin a model for citizenship unique to the Black artist who assumed the dual responsibilities of art practice and political activism. I engage with Baldwin’s fiction and his writing about other Black artists working in theater, film, dance, and music during the period of the civil rights movement. Across his career, Baldwin’s prevailing view was that, because of their history, Black artists have the singular, and indeed superlative, capacity to make art as praxis. Baldwin explains that the craft of the Black artist depends upon representing truths, rather than fantasies, about their experience, so that they are at once artists pursuing freedom and citizens pursuing justice. This article pays particular attention to the tension between living a public, political life and the need for privacy to create art, and ultimately the toll this takes on the citizen artist. Baldwin demonstrates how the community of mutual support he finds among Black artists aids in their survival. In his writings on Sidney Poitier and Lorraine Hansberry, his friendships with Beauford Delaney and Josephine Baker, as well as his reviews of music and literature, Baldwin assembles a collective he refers to as “I and my tribe.”

James Baldwin Review

James Baldwin Review (JBR) is an annual journal that brings together a wide array of peer‐reviewed critical and creative non-fiction on the life, writings, and legacy of James Baldwin. In addition to these cutting-edge contributions, each issue contains a review of recent Baldwin scholarship and an award-winning graduate student essay. James Baldwin Review publishes essays that invigorate scholarship on James Baldwin; catalyze explorations of the literary, political, and cultural influence of Baldwin’s writing and political activism; and deepen our understanding and appreciation of this complex and luminary figure.

Peace, progress and prestige

This study investigates internationalism through the prism of a small European country. It explores an age in which many groups and communities – from socialists to scientists – organised themselves across national borders. Belgium was a major hub for transnational movements. By taking this small and yet significant European country as a focal point, the book critically examines major historical issues, including nationalism, colonial expansion, political activism and international relations. A main aim is to reveal the multifarious and sometimes contradictory nature of internationalism. The Belgian case shows how within one particular country, different forms of internationalism sometimes clashed and sometimes converged.

The book is organised around political movements and intellectual currents that had a strong presence in Belgium. Each of the main chapters is dedicated to a key theme in European history: nationhood, empire, the relationship between church and state, political and social equality, peace, and universalism. The timeframe ranges from the fin de siècle to the interwar years. It thus covers the rise of international associations before the First World War, the impact of the conflagration of 1914, and the emergence of new actors such as the League of Nations.

With its discussion of campaigns and activities that ranged beyond the nation-state, this study is instructive for anyone interested in transnational approaches to history.

Banal activism, electioneering and the politics of irrelevance

This book is an ethnographic study of devolution and politics in Scotland, as well as of party-political activism more generally. It explores how Conservative Party activists who had opposed devolution and the movement for a Scottish Parliament during the 1990s attempted to mobilise politically following their annihilation at the 1997 General Election. The book draws on fieldwork conducted in Dumfries and Galloway – a former stronghold for the Scottish Tories – to describe how senior Conservatives worked from the assumption that they had endured their own ‘crisis’ in representation. The material consequences of this crisis included losses of financial and other resources, legitimacy and local knowledge for the Scottish Conservatives. The book ethnographically describes the processes, practices and relationships that Tory Party activists sought to enact during the 2003 Scottish and local government elections. Its central argument is that, having asserted that the difficulties they faced constituted problems of knowledge, Conservative activists cast to the geographical and institutional margins of Scotland became ‘banal’ activists. Believing themselves to be lacking in the data and information necessary for successful mobilisation during Parliamentary elections, local Tory Party strategists attempted to address their knowledge ‘crisis’ by burying themselves in paperwork and petty bureaucracy. Such practices have often escaped scholarly attention because they appear everyday and mundane, and are therefore less noticeable. Bringing them into view analytically has important implications for socio-cultural anthropologists, sociologists and other scholars interested in ‘new’ ethnographic objects, including activism, bureaucracy, democracy, elections and modern knowledge practices.

Debates Surrounding Ebola Vaccine Trials in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
Myfanwy James
Joseph Grace Kasereka
, and
Shelley Lees

therefore became a space for people in eastern DRC to protest the central state’s ineffective governance as well as the protracted presence of foreign actors: ‘resistance’ toward the response became a form of political activism. Narratives surrounding Ebola business were a political commentary about the epidemic political economy, the forms of exclusion and inequality it reproduced, as well as the continued neglect of priorities such as security, basic services or other deadly

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Cathrine Brun
Cindy Horst

Practice? Humanity, Politics and Political Activism ’, Journal of Civil Society , 18 : 2 , 142 – 60 . Rapatsa , M. ( 2016 ), ‘ Ubuntu and Capabilities Approach: Basic Doctrines for Calibrating Humanitarian Action ’, European Review of Applied Sociology , 9 : 12 , 12 – 19

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Abstract only
Mary Bridges Adams and the fight for knowledge and power, 1855–1939

This book revisits the history of British socialism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the light of the life and work of Mary Bridges Adams. Mary's activities within the Labour movement, and as a campaigner for improvements in working-class education, challenged established elites in ways that are important for understanding of this watershed period. The book first contains an overview of Mary's life with a focus on her route into the socialist movement. Then, the book presents micro-histories and uses prosopography to show that socialism is both lifestyle and a form of organised political activism. It puts these elements together to provide a bridge between the social, political and education history. The discussion of the issue of parental choice, considered in relation to her son's education biography, acts as mediator between the personal and the political, to examine the importance of education to the pioneering generation of British socialists. The book also contains a discussion of different aspects of Mary's political practice, in an attempt to formulate a new interpretation of the making of the British welfare state. It injects a gendered dimension into the analysis of the independent working-class education movement and examines Mary's social action and milieu in the First World War.

Female activism, diaspora and empire in the British world, 1850–1940

The Orange Order began as an Irish Protestant society in rural Co. Armagh, following the Battle of the Diamond against the Catholic 'Defenders' on 21 September 1795. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the organisation had consolidated its position as a Loyalist, anti-Catholic bulwark against revolution in Ireland and had begun to spread across the rest of the British Isles. Exploring the experience of Orangewomen in England, Scotland and Canada tells us far more than just how and why they became members of the Orange Order. This book demonstrates how largely ordinary, working-class women engaged in conservative associational life and political activism during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, subverting various gender norms in their public work. Through migration and diasporic networks, these women were connected to their Orange sisters throughout the world and played a central role in upholding a British imperial identity well into the twentieth century. The Orange Order is often characterised as a thoroughly masculinist brotherhood, associated with Irish sectarian violence. While the Order in Scotland was largely dominated by working-class women, in England we see the organisation embracing a far broader spectrum of social backgrounds. Irish politics and identity were clearly important to Potter and the many thousands of women who were members of Canada's Ladies' Orange Benevolent Association (LOBA). The world of Protestantism conventional gender ideologies and women's public activism, came to prominence through the women's Orange Order.

Open Access (free)
Passion and politics in the English Defence League

‘Loud and proud’: Politics and passion in the English Defence League is a study of grassroots activism in what is widely considered to be a violent Islamophobic and racist organisation.

The book uses interviews, informal conversations and extended observation at EDL events to critically reflect on the gap between the movement’s public image and activists’ own understandings of it. It details how activists construct the EDL, and themselves, as ‘not racist, not violent, just no longer silent’ inter alia through the exclusion of Muslims as a possible object of racism on the grounds that they are a religiously not racially defined group. In contrast activists perceive themselves to be ‘second-class citizens’, disadvantaged and discriminated by a ‘two-tier’ justice system that privileges the rights of ‘others’. This failure to recognise themselves as a privileged white majority explains why ostensibly intimidating EDL street demonstrations marked by racist chanting and nationalistic flag waving are understood by activists as standing ‘loud and proud’; the only way of ‘being heard’ in a political system governed by a politics of silencing.

Unlike most studies of ‘far right’ movements, this book focuses not on the EDL as an organisation – its origins, ideology, strategic repertoire and effectiveness – but on the individuals who constitute the movement. Its ethnographic approach challenges stereotypes and allows insight into the emotional as well as political dimension of activism. At the same time, the book recognises and discusses the complex political and ethical issues of conducting close-up social research with ‘distasteful’ groups.