Archive for the 'Resistance Studies' Category

FAT ACTIVISM

Stellan Vinthagen October 30th, 2013

Written by Tova Crossler Ernström, student at the undergraduate course Power, Resistance and Change, University of Gothenburg

In What’s fat activism? (2008) Charlotte Cooper describes a dominant model for talking about and understanding fatness in the 21st century that she claims isn’t seen as a model at all in Western society, but simply as common sense, as the truth. This model poses fatness as a problem and links it to things like disease, greed, laziness, ugliness and underclass. Even though the model has it’s roots in medicine, it is maintained by several different power structures, and stakeholders such as drug companies, food retailers, the fashion industry, diet industries, advertising and government policymakers. Cooper describes fat activism as ways of challenging this model.

As the spread of the model is so extensive, it can be challenged at many different sites, and with a great varierty of methods. As Jennifer Lee puts it: ”There are different approaches to fat activism, from community building and trying to change fat people’s attitudes towards their own bodies, to changing institutional policies and getting voices heard in the media” (Lee, 2012).

Fat activism can be a fat person wearing a bikini in public or using the word fat without shame or any pejorative connotations (Revolting fatty, n.d.). It can be putting size acceptance bookmarks in magazines in the store, deciding not to make negative comments about other people’s bodies, or boycotting all diet products (either as an individual decision or by organizing a collective boycott) (Chastain, 2012, August 1st). It can also focus on legal rights, like working to pass an ordinance against height- and weight related discrimination (Schuyler, 2003).

What all of these things have in common is that they are done with the purpose of challenging the dominant way of thinking about fat and fat people – and/or the discrimination that follow from it.

Fat studies

Closely tied to fat activism is the academic field of fat studies. Within this field researchers and students use an interdisciplinary approach and take a ”questioning view of dominant paradigms relating to fat” (Cooper, 2008, p.18). It is also a field with a pronounced aim for social justice, and many of the people doing research in the field are also well-known fat activists. In fact, engaging in fat studies may itself be a type of fat activism. On her blog Obesity timebomb, Cooper describes a fat activist as someone who ”thinks about fat in ways that challenge, question and critique most mainstream thinking about fat” (Cooper, 2013, May 1st). As scholars of fat studies examine and question medical and other discourses on fat, they are doing the type of critical thinking (combined with expression and sharing of these thoughts) that is often described as central to fat activism.
References

Chastain, Ragen. (2012, August 1st). Three dangerous fat activism myths [Blog post].
Retrieved October 6, 2013, from http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/three-dangerous-fat-activism-myths/

Cooper, C. (2008). What’s fat activism? (University of Limerick Department of Sociology Working Paper Series, WP2008-02). University of Limerick.

Cooper, C. (2013, May 1st). The Basics: What is a Fat Activist? [Blog post].

Retrieved October 7, 2013, from http://obesitytimebomb.blogspot.se/2013/05/the-basics-what-is-fat-activist.html

Lee, J. (2012). A big fat fight.

Retrieved September 29, 2013, from http://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-207/feature-jennifer-lee/

Revolting fatty. (n.d.) What revolution?

Retrieved October 2, 2013, from http://revoltingfatty.com/about/

Schuyler, N. (2003). Living large. Stanford magazine, august/july 2003.

Retrieved October 3, 2013, from http://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=36867

Lecture: The Art of Not Being Governed; A History of State Evasion

Stellan Vinthagen April 29th, 2013

Welcome to an unique opportunity

A world-leading resistance researcher gives a public lecture at the University of Gothenburg

The Art of Not Being Governed; A History of State Evasion

James C. Scott,
Professor of Political Science and Anthropology at Yale University

At 14.00-16.00, May 14, 2013, at room 220, Annedalsseminariet, School of Global Studies, Campus Linné, University of Gothenburg.

This lecture deals with the challenging reinterpretation Scott makes of Southeast Asian ‘ethnic’ groups or ‘indigenous’ as stateless resistance cultures, rather than fixed and traditional identities. In his book The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (2009), Scott wrote: ‘Zomia’ is a new name for virtually all the lands lying above roughly 300 meters all the way from the Central Highlands of Vietnam to northeastern India and traversing six Southeast Asian nations. It is an expanse of 2.5 million square kilometers containing about 100 million minority peoples of truly bewildering ethnic and linguistic complexity. My thesis is simple, suggestive, and controversial. Zomia is the largest remaining region of the world whose peoples have not yet been fully incorporated into nation states. These hill peoples are best understood as runaway, fugitive, maroon communities who have, over the course of two millennia, been fleeing the oppressions of state-making projects in the valleys slavery, conscription, taxes, corvée labor, epidemics, and warfare. Virtually everything about these people’s livelihoods, social organization, ideologies, and even their illiteracy, can be read as strategic choices designed to keep the state at arms length. Their physical dispersion in rugged terrain, their mobility, their cropping practices, their kinship structure, their pliable ethnic identities, and their devotion to prophetic, millenarian leaders are designed to avoid incorporation into states.

A limited number of places will be available at a restaurant afterwards for the post-seminar social gathering from 16:30. Please register at stellan.vinthagen@resistancestudies.org

Map/info of the Campus area: http://www.globalstudies.gu.se/english/about+us/addresses- communication/

James C. Scott is Sterling Professor of Political Science, professor of anthropology, and codirector of the Agrarian Studies Program, Yale University, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (For more info on Scott, see the next page)

All identities, without exception, have been socially constructed: the Han, the Burman, the American, the Danish, all of them…. To the degree that the identity is stigmatized by the larger state or society, it is likely to become for many a resistant and defiant identity. Here invented identities combine with self-making of a heroic kind, in which such identifications become a badge of honor. (pp. xii-iii.)

A short bio

James C. Scott is s Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology at Yale University, and the director of the Program in Agrarian Studies. Scott’s work focuses on the ways that subaltern people resist dominance. His original interest was in peasants in the Kedah state of Malaysia. During the Vietnam War, he took an interest in Vietnam and wrote The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Subsistence and Rebellion in Southeast Asia (1976). In Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (1985) Scott expanded his theories to peasants in other parts of the world, and in Domination and the Arts of Resistance: The Hidden Transcript of Subordinate Groups (1990) he argued that all subordinate groups resist in ways similar to peasants. Scott’s theories are often contrasted with Gramscian ideas about hegemony. Against Gramsci, Scott argues that the everyday resistance of subalterns shows that they have not consented to dominance.

Selected bibliography:

  • Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play. Princeton University Press, 2012.
  • The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. Yale University Press, 2009.
  • Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale University Press, 1998.
  • Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. Yale University Press, 1990.
  • Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. Yale University Press,

    1985.

  • The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia. Yale

    University Press, 1979.

On May 24: A double-seminar on Resistance and Social Movements

Stellan Vinthagen May 21st, 2012

On May 24 the Resistance Studies Network (RSN) and Forum for Social Movement Studies (CSM), University of Gothenburg,
invite to a double-seminar:

Thursday 24 May 13.15-15
‘Resistance’ vs. ‘Social Movements’ – a Conceptual Discussion
Mona Lilja & Stellan Vinthagen, Resistance Studies, and Håkan Thörn & Åsa Wettergren, Forum for Social Movement Research
Room: 419, Annedalsseminariet, Campus Linné
The seminar is based on two papers (attached), one on ‘resistance’, one on ‘social movements’

Thursday 24 May, at 15.15-17.00
‘Every movement claims it reinvents democracy’
Indignados, mobilisers, experts and transition activists and their claims for democracy

By Geoffrey Pleyers, FNRS & University of Louvain
Among his latest books are ‘Alter-Globalization. Becoming Actors in the Global Age’ Polity, 2011
The seminar is based on a paper that will be available one week before the seminar at www.resistancestudies.org
The seminar is at Annedalsseminariet, room 419, at Campus Linné, location descriptions at www.globalstudies.gu.se

Radikala nätverket: Historiska perspektiv på politisk radikalism

Stellan Vinthagen March 28th, 2012

Ur Radikala nätverkets program på Lunds universitet våren 2012:

“History from the Inside Out: The Amistad Africans and their Struggle against Slavery while in Jail, 1839-1841”

28 maj, 14.15-16.00, Sal 3, Historiska institutionen, Lund

Marcus Rediker, University of Pittsburgh
This presentation will explore the well-documented experience of thirty-six African rebels who were incarcerated in American jails after a successful uprising on the Cuban slave schooner Amistad in 1839. Against a fiery backdrop of slave rebellion around the Atlantic in the 1830s, how did African insurrectionists and American abolitionist reformers work together, inside the jail, to build a legal defense campaign, a network of support, a political alliance, and a social movement?

Radikala nätverket är en plattform för forskare intresserade av politisk radikalism i det förflutna och idag. Med ”radikal” menar vi alla grupper som försökt att revolutionera – snarare än reformera – hegemoniska sociala och politiska institutioner, vare sig de har befunnit sig till höger eller till vänster på den politiska skalan, eller har verkat för förändring med våldsamma eller icke våldsamma medel.

Radikala nätverket arrangerar två till fyra seminarier per termin. För att bli medlem av Radikala nätverkets e-postlista, kontakta magnus.olofsson [at] hist.lu.se.

Seminars at Forum for Civil Society and Social Movement Research (CSM), Department of Sociology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Stellan Vinthagen February 10th, 2012

CSM Seminars Spring 2012

Welcome to seminars at Forum for Civil Society and Social Movement Research (CSM), Department of Sociology

Wednesday 15th of February 9.50 -16.30

Linnésalen, Mediehuset, Seminariegatan 1B, Campus Linné

URBAN UPRISINGS IN CONTEMPORARY EUROPE

Paris 2005, Athens 2008, London 2011 – What’s next?

Friday 2 March 14.15-16

Room F417, Skanstorget 18 (with Sociology of Emotions seminar)

Jonas Lindblom, Gothenburg University

EMOTION WORK STRATEGIES IN THE ANIMAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

Tuesday 13 March, 14-15.30

Room F417, Skanstorget 18 (with GCGD)

Mats Fridlund, Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg

AFFORDING TERROR: THE MATERIALITIES OF TERRORISM DURING 19TH CENTURY GLOBALIZATION

Wednesday 21 March 13.15-15

Room F417, Skanstorget 18 (with Sociology of Emotions seminar and Allmänna Seminariet)

Helena Flam, University of Leipzig

EMOTIONS AND IDENTITY

Thursday 19 April 15.15-17

Clare Saunders, University of Southampton

THE RISE AND FALL OF DIRECT ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE UK

Monday 21 May 9.00-17

CSM RESEARCH WORKSHOP

Wednesday 23 May 13.15-15)

Room F417, Skanstorget 18 (with Allmänna Seminariet)

Thomas Olesen, University of Aarhus:

GLOBAL ACTIVISM AND POLITICAL SYMBOLS

Thursday 24 May 13.15-15

Mona Lilja & Stellan Vinthagen, Resistance Studies, and Håkan Thörn & Åsa Wettergren, CSM

’Resistance’ vs. ’Social Movements’ – a Conceptual Discussion

Room: 419, Annedalsseminariet, Campus Linné

Tuesday 5 June 13.15-15

Room F417, Skanstorget 18

Rick Fantasisa, Smith College, USA

CULTURES OF SOLIDARITY RECONSIDERED

Visit CSM:s homepage: http://www.sociology.gu.se/english/research/research_groups/csm/

Urban Uprisings in Contemporary Europe

Stellan Vinthagen December 18th, 2011

FSSK, CUS and CSM invite you to a conference day:
Urban Uprisings in Contemporary Europe
Paris 2005, Athens 2008, London 2011 – What’s next?

When: Wednesday 15th of February 2012. 9.50am -16.30 pm
Where: Linnésalen, Mediehuset, Seminariegatan 1B, Campus Linné

A Spectre is stalking Europe – the spectre of suburban youth revolts. Europe is a
continent marked by growing inequality, racism and social tensions. In recent years we
have seen battle like pictures on TV from Paris, Athens, Lyon, Rotterdam, Copenhagen
and most recently in London and other British cities. During the last two years different
areas in the metropolitan districts in Sweden has also become a part of this picture.
How should we understand this development, how do we explain these uprisings? Are
there general patterns that could be seen in all cities?
The unit for Contemporary Cultural Studies (Forum för Studier av Samtidskultur -
FSSK), the Centre for Urban Studies (Centrum för Urbana Studier) and Gothenburg
CSM (Forum for Civil Society and Social Movement Research), all at Gothenburg
University, arrange a one day conference on these issues and we welcome you to this first
conference day in a series on urban movements and urban change.
The conference is free (and includes coffee and bun) but has a limited number of seats.
We therefore require that you send us an email if you like to participate before the 8th of
February to ensure your seat.

Email to:
catharina.thorn [at] kultur.gu.se
ove.sernhede [at] gu.se
hakan.thorn [at] sociology.gu.s

Resistance Studies Seminars, Gothenburg, Fall Schedule 2011

Stellan Vinthagen September 15th, 2011

Welcome to the new schedule for resistance studies seminars at Gothenburg university!

We are this semester, as before, offering a meeting place for critical discussions on resistance, from various perspectives and by different seminar presenters. Everyone that is interested in critical discussions on resistance is welcome: researchers, students, activists, journalists, authors, or others that find the themes interesting.The seminars are at Campus Linné, see a map at www.globalstudies.gu.se or directly at this link.

If you want to get regular emails about the coming program of seminars, let our seminar organizer Per Ström know you are interested: email (without the spaces between letters) per. strom @ yahoo. se

We start early with an extra seminar already on September 22 with Professor Evelina Dagnino, from Campinas University, Brazil on “Civil society: theoretical challenges and practical dilemmas from a Latin American perspective”. Seminar is in English. Thursday 15:15-17 at the A-building in room A-206 (see map). The seminar is organized with the help of Associate Professor Edmé Dominguez at School of Global Studies. If you have questions about this seminar, please email directly to Edmé: edme. dominguez @ globalstudies. gu. se

September 29 with Paul Routledge, Reader at University of Glasgow. He will talk on “Climate Justice as Alterhegemony: The Case of the landless movement in Bangladesh”. Seminar is in English. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalsseminariet (Room 303).

September 27 with Irene Molina, Docent i kulturgeografi, Uppsala Universitet och medlem i ArA, Föreningen Antitrasistiska akademin. “Förorten och det symboliska politiska våldet”. Seminar are in Swedish. Tuesday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 303.

October 13 with Ramzi Abdou, Palestinian Youth Activist, Student in Political science from Gaza University. United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East “UNRWA” in GAZA. “Culture of Resistance vs. Defeat”. Seminar are in English. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 303.

October 27 with Mathias Wåg, Redaktör för antologin I stundens hetta och ansvarig utgivare för tidningen Brand. “I stundens hetta – Svarta block, vita overaller och osynliga partier”. Seminar are in Swedish. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 419.

November 10 with Paulina de los Reyes, professor i ekonomisk historia och verksam vid Ekonomisk Historiska Institutionen, Stockholms Universitet. “Intersektionalitet, makt och motstånd”. Seminar are in Swedish. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 303.

November 24 with Elin Andersson, aktivist och freelansjournalist. “Är det verkligen fred vi vill ha? – om risken för ett nytt krig om ockuperade Västsahara”. Seminar are in English or possible Swedish. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 303.

December 8 with Sven-Eric Liedman, professor i Idé- och lärdomshistoria vid Göteborgs Universitet. “Hets – marknadsliberala skola med konservativa ideal”. Seminar are in Swedish. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet, hörsal.

As the drop excavates the Stone – The work of Amnesty International from a resistance perspective

Stellan Vinthagen May 25th, 2011

Amnesty International is one of the largest and most recognized human rights organisazitions in the world with more than 2.8 million supporters worldwide in about 150 countries. Traditionally, Amnesty has worked with the promotion of the civil and political rights, even though the organization during this time has claimed that all of the rights in the UN´s Universal Declaration on Human Rights are valid. Thus, big changes have occurred within the organization during the last couple of years. Today, Amnesty also work with the promotion of the economic, social and cultural rights. This work was set forth in the launch of the global campaign “Demand dignity” in May of 2009. Within this campaign, Amnesty is recognizing that poverty is in fact a result of human rights violations. Even the methods for activism that Amnesty is using have partly changed during the years.

During this seminary we will present the changes that have occurred within Amnesty as an organization during the last couple of years. Our focus point will be the activist work within the Swedish section, because this is what we have experience from. We will connect the work of Amnesty to relevant resistance theories in order to create a picture of how the organization can be considered to be an actor of resistance, both nationally as well as internationally.

Elin Åman is currently a student at the masters program in Human Rights at School of Global Studies and an active member of Amnesty International. She is the coordinator of the Swedish sections special group for economic, social and cultural rights.

Johanna Tjernström has a Master’s degree in Global Studies at School of Global Studies and is an active member in Amnesty International, among other things as a board member of the district of Gothenburg.

Annedalsseminariet – Seminariegatan 1A
Thursday 15.00 -1700. Seminar will be in English at room 419.

Welcome to the seminar
Free and open for everyone

Call for papers: Resistance Studies Panel at ISA, San Diego, 2012

Stellan Vinthagen May 12th, 2011

Dear Resistance Researchers,

We are planning to organise a resistance studies panel at the International Studies Assocation (ISA) in San Diego  2012 (see http://www.isanet.org). Organisers of the panel are Mona Lilja and Stellan Vinthagen. The plan is: (1) to discuss resistance studies (2) to meet each other live! (3) to make our work known for others who might be interested. So, if you think this is interesting, join us! Send your abstracts (with title) to Stellan Vinthagen (stellan[dot]vinthagen[at]gmail[dot]com) at the LATEST the 22 May, and then we will put up the panel and connect your paper to the panel. If many people submit papers we register the ones we get first.

However, we are also planning to have meeting and dinner during the same day as our panel, and all will be invited to this that show interest.

All the best,

Mona Lilja and Stellan Vinthagen

Extra Seminar: Genome Hackers

Stellan Vinthagen May 2nd, 2011

Extra seminar with resistance relevance:

Genome Hackers: How amateur biologists are challenging Big Bio and making Dna hackable Seminar, Friday 6th May, 10:00-12:00, rum F417, Skanstorget 18, Gothenburg

Alessandro Delfanti is a PhD candidate in Science and Society at the  University of Milan and the International School for Advanced Studies. He has been a visiting fellow at the UCLA Center for Society and Genetics in Los Angeles. His research interests are related to open access and open source and how these practices interact with scientists’ cultures and the socioeconomic configuration of contemporary biology. Alessandro also tackles science, intellectual property and today’s
capitalism as a journalist and a political activist. He teaches Sociology of New Media and is an editor of the open access Journal of Science Communication. Genome Hackers is the title of his PhD dissertation.

COP: A Living Movement: Toward a World of Peace, Solidarity, and Justice

Stellan Vinthagen April 5th, 2011

Joint Conference of PJSA and the Gandhi King Conference

Hosted by the Christian Brothers University, Memphis, TN ~ October 21-23, 2011


The Peace and Justice Studies Association and The Gandhi-King Conference

Jointly present a dynamic conference experience:

“A Living Movement: Toward a World of Peace, Solidarity, and Justice”

The Peace & Justice Studies Association (PJSA) and the Gandhi-King Conference (GKC) are pleased to announce our first-ever jointly sponsored annual conference. The PJSA and the GKC are partnering this year to promote dynamic exchange among individuals and organizations working for a more just and peaceful world. This partnership promises a unique conference experience that combines the best of scholarly and grassroots perspectives on the pressing justice issues in our communities and around the globe.

We invite submissions for the 2011 Annual Conference, to be held on the campus of Christian Brothers University, in Memphis, Tennessee, from Friday October 21 through Sunday October 23, 2011. We welcome proposals from a wide range of disciplines, professions, and perspectives that address issues related to the broad themes of solidarity, community, advocacy, education, and activism as they are brought to bear in the pursuit of peace and justice.

Our goal is to create a stimulating environment where scholars, activists, educators, practitioners, artists, and students can build community and explore interconnections. We invite participants to engage in various modes of exploration, including papers and presentations, hands-on practitioner workshops, and a youth summit. We aim to foster an experience in which attendees will have multiple opportunities to meet and dialogue in both formal and informal settings, against the unique historical backdrop of Memphis, TN.

The deadline for proposal submissions is April 15, 2011. Abstracts are limited to 150 words, and must be submitted electronically through the PJSA website.

For more information, contact: info@peacejusticestudies.org or info@gandhikingconference.org

COP: Nonviolent Civil Resistance

Stellan Vinthagen April 5th, 2011

Call for Papers (Please forward and distribute widely)

Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change volume 34

Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, a peer-reviewed volume published by Emerald Group Publishing, encourages submissions for Volume 34 of the series. This volume will have a thematic focus on nonviolent civil resistance and will be guest edited by Lester Kurtz (George Mason University) and Sharon Erickson Nepstad (University of New Mexico). We encourage submissions on the following topics: variations of nonviolent strategies, the effects of repression on nonviolent movements, reasons for the recent rise of nonviolent revolutions, factors shaping the outcome of nonviolent struggles, and the international diffusion of nonviolent methods.

Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change (RSMCC) is a fully peer-reviewed series of original research that has been published annually for over 30 years. We continue to publish the work of many of the leading scholars in social movements, social change, and peace and conflict studies. Although RSMCC enjoys a wide library subscription base for the book versions, all volumes are now published both in book form and are also available online to subscribing libraries through Emerald Insight. This ensures wider distribution and easier online access to your scholarship while maintaining the esteemed book series at the same time.

RSMCC boasts quick turn-around times, generally communicating peer reviewed-informed decisions within 10-12 weeks of receipt of submissions.

Submission guidelines

To be considered for inclusion in Volume 34, papers should arrive by October 1, 2011.

Send submissions as a WORD document attached to an email to BOTH Lester Kurtz and Sharon Erickson Nepstad, guest RSMCC editors for Volume 34, at lkurtz (at) gmu (dot) edu and nepstad (at) unm (dot) edu. Remove all self-references (in text and in bibliography) save for on the title page, which should include full contact information for all authors.

  • Include the paper’s title and the abstract on the first page of the text itself.
  • For initial submissions, any standard social science in-text citation and bibliographic system is acceptable.

For more information, please visit the RSMCC homepage.

Please forward and distribute widely.

COP: A Decade of Terrorism and Counter-terrorism since 9/11

Stellan Vinthagen March 30th, 2011

A Decade of Terrorism and Counter-terrorism since 9/11: Taking stock and new directions in research and policy

Call for Papers

Organising body: Critical Studies on Terrorism Working Group (CSTWG) of the British International Studies Association

Supported by: The British Academy, Consortium for Research on Terrorology and Political Violence; Communication Research cluster, University of Strathclyde

Location(s): University of Strathclyde and Glasgow City Chambers, Central Glasgow.

September 11, 2011 will mark ten years since the terrorist attacks on America and the start of the global ‘war on terrorism’. The extensive changes engendered by these processes in the last decade have yet to be fully understood and appreciated. There is consequently a real need for rigorous and sustained retrospective analysis. In a year that will see a wide range of special commemorative and academic events, this conference will seek to assess the widespread impact of terrorism and counter-terrorism since 2001 from a distinctly ‘critical’ perspective. More specifically, the conference will foreground inter-disciplinarity and seek to review what we have learnt in a period of unprecedented interest in the study of terrorism and counter terrorism. There will be a range of debate sessions between ‘critical’ and ‘mainstream’ scholars, and engagement with policy actors, including speakers from the government ‘Contest II’/’Prevent’ campaigns, the police, legal officials, civil libertarians and Muslim community representatives.

Key note speakers include Joseba Zulaika (University of Nevada in Reno), Michael Stohl (University of California Santa Barbara), Michael Scheuer (ex-CIA), Richard Jackson (Aberystwyth) Caron Gentry (St Andrews) and Dr. Bob Lambert (Exeter, ex-Special Branch)

The conference is intended to play a significant role in the expansion of interest in, and the re-orientation towards a more empirically informed and theoretically sophisticated practice of, studies of terrorism and political violence. Subsidiary aims include to foster knowledge exchange between social science and natural science disciplines; and to contribute to the re-evaluation of policy on terrorism and counter terrorism.

Scholarship on terrorism has expanded exponentially in the past decade. The subject itself is clearly of major importance inside and outside the academy. While the conference is an initiative from scholars who are part of an openly ‘critical’ working group on terrorism, the conference organizers are concerned to open up dialogue on the shared problems of data, methods and theory which most observers agree are important issues in ‘terrorism studies’. We will bring together an unusually interdisciplinary group including exponents of both ‘orthodox’ and ‘critical’ terrorism studies, and those from other areas of social and natural science who are often not part of the mainstream discussion of ‘terrorism’.

There will be a strong policy and civil society element to the conference with policy actors and human rights activists debating responses to terrorism, civil liberties, and ‘suspect communities’.  We will also host roundtable discussions featuring those with experience of political violence from a variety of conflicts.

In addition, we will host advanced research training workshops for conference participants, together with interdisciplinary research sessions including a small number of ‘master classes’ where leading researchers will reflect on interdisciplinarity and on their own research methods and practice. We intend  to offer both early career and established scholars an opportunity to discuss practical questions outside the formality of the set-piece keynote addresses and we hope that this will encourage sharing of new and developing methods in the field especially in the context of the new opportunities and issues thrown up for methods by new digital technologies. We hope to use these methods workshops to focus in the interdisciplinary workshops on fostering research networking for the future.

Conference themes
The conference is intended to look back and review how we have understood terrorism and counter-terrorism, and attempt to think through where the study of terrorism and counter-terrorism should go from here. Themes in the conference include, among others:

•    ‘Non-state terrorism’, including but not limited to terrorism as an instrument of power;
•    ’State terror’ and repression, including, but not limited to Western State terror;
•    ’Counter-terrorism’, risk governance and ‘radicalisation’;
•    ‘Advances in terrorism studies’ with a particular focus on data, methods and theory, including the contribution of critical terrorism studies;
•    ‘Communicating terrorism’: cybersecurity, social media, influence agenda, public diplomacy, information operations and strategic communications;
•    Gender and terrorism/counter-terrorism;
•    Historical materialism, terrorism and counter-terrorism;
•    The war on terror and the global South;
•    The ways in which conflict resolution can inform the study of terrorism and counter-terrorism policy.

The conference will include a mix of plenaries, keynotes, panel, debate and workshop sessions.

Abstracts and Expressions of Interest
The organizing committee welcomes the submission of
1.    Abstracts (max. 350 words) on these and related topics;
2.    Panel proposals (with a minimum of 3 abstracts, plus a short overview of the panel (circa 250 words))
3.    Workshop proposals (with either a policy/civil society or methodological/practical orientation max 350 words of workshop description plus max 250 words on any individual elements)
All abstracts will be reviewed by the organizing committee to meet rigorous academic standards. Abstracts will be reviewed for relevance, conceptual quality, innovation and clarity of presentation. At least one author of accepted papers is required to attend the conference in order to present the paper.

Abstracts should be sent to Jan Bissett jan.bissett@strath.ac.uk by Wednesday 1 June 2011.

Publication
Papers from the conference will be selected competitively for inclusion in either:
1.    A special issue of the journal, Critical Studies on Terrorism; or
2.    An edited volume on the conference theme published by a major academic publisher.
These outputs will be edited and overseen by an overlapping editorial team led by the organisers. It is anticipated that the journal will focus on advances in terrorism studies. The book will focus substantively on 9/11 and its legacies incorporating interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives. The edited collection will be divided into key sections reflecting the conference themes. It is important to note that the papers for the book will be needed in near final draft form in advance of the conference.
Costs: Conference costs  will be announced shortly. It is envisaged that full costs will be around £200 with reductions for student, policy and civil society participation. Accommodation will not be included in conference costs and should be booked separately. It is the responsibility of delegates to book their own accommodation. A list of hotels, hostels and B&Bs will be provided by the conference organizers.

Conference organizing committee
David Miller (Strathclyde) (convenor), Helen Dexter (Manchester), Piers Robinson (Manchester), Dave Whyte (Liverpool), Vicki Sentas (King’s), Bela Arora (University of Wales, Newport), Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet (Manchester), Jessie Blackbourn (Salford), Idrees Ahmad (Strathclyde), Roy Revie (Strathclyde), Steven Harkins (Strathclyde), Rizwaan Sabir (Strahclyde), Tom Mills (Strathclyde), Cyrus Tata (Law, Strathclyde), Rachel Hendrick (Strathclyde), Rani Dhanda (Strathclyde)

Administrative support Jan Bissett:jan.bissett@strath.ac.uk
Conference blog: http://decadeofterrorismandcounterterrorism.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/911plus10

Keynote speakers
The conference will hear several keynote addresses from world leading authors on terrorism and political violence.  Each Plenary speaker will also run a Masterclass on research techniques in terrorism specifically aimed at Postgraduate students and early career researchers.

Keynote addresses confirmed so far:
Joseba Zulaika is the Director of the Centre for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada in Reno and an anthropologist by training. Among his research interests are the international discourse of terrorism. His 2009 book Terrorism: the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy was published by the University of Chicago Press. His recent explorations of terrorism focus in particular on the role of intellectuals and reflect on the domain of terrorism studies.

This self-reflexive focus – which is comparatively rare in academic work on terrorism – is the reason why we particularly want Prof Zulaika to deliver a keynote at the conference.
Michael Stohl is Professor of Communication at the University of California Santa Barbara. Stohl’s current research focuses on organizational and political communication with special reference to terrorism, human rights and global relations. Stohl’s foundational work on state terrorism, his focus on Terrorism as communicatively constituted violence, and his current work on terrorism networks and counter terrorism are the key reasons why he is being invited to deliver a keynote. He will also lead a workshop on network analysis in relation to terrorism.

Michael Scheuer (invited) spent 22-years with the CIA in which he held various positions including Senior Adviser for the Usama Bin Laden Department, Chief of the Southwest/Southeast Asia Counternarcotics Operation, and Chief of the Sunni Militant Unit. Dr. Scheuer is the author of Imperial Hubris. Why the West is Losing the War on Terrorism (2004) and Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of the United States (2003), as well as Marching Towards Hell: America and Islam After Iraq (2008).

Richard Jackson Professor in International Politics (Aberystwyth). He is the founding editor of the journal Critical Studies on Terrorism. Together with Jeroen Gunning and Marie Breen Smyth, Richard Jackson is co-editor of the Routledge Critical Terrorism Studies Book Series. Richard Jackson has published numerous books and articles on terrorism-related issues and international conflict resolution.

Caron Gentry was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas and has recently taken the post of Lecturer at the University of St Andrews. Her previous work has been published in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence.  Her research interests are gender, terrorism and political violence.

University of Gothenburg Resistance Seminars Fall Schedule 2010

Stellan Vinthagen September 5th, 2010

We invite you all to the new semester of Resistance Studies Seminars. For the seventh time we have a full and interesting number of seminars that explore critically the meaning of resistance and its various articulations. All seminars are this time on Swedish.
September 16 with Marcus Regnander and Mattias Ström, International Solidarity Movement – Researchers. Nonviolent Resistance and State Repression in Hebron. Seminar is in Swedish. September 16. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 419.

October 13 with Tiina Rosenberg, Professor of Gender Studies. Från protest till motstånd: Utgaångspunkt Ulrike Meinhofs text Vom Protest zum Widerstand. Seminar is in Swedish. October 13. Wednesday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 419.

October 28 with Salka Sanden, author. 1990-talet och den autonoma rörelsens framväxt i Sverige. Seminar is in Swedish. October 28. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 419.

November 11 with Daniel Hjalmarsson, Akademikerförbundet SSR. På jobbet är väl alla hetero…?: Öppenhet och stängda dörrar på sveriges arbetsplatser. Seminar is in Swedish. November 11. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 419.

November 25 with Mats Adolfsson, historian. Svenska uppror: bondeuppror och gatukravaller. Seminar is in Swedish. November 25. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 419.

December 9 with Mattias Gardell (or another member of) Ship To Gaza. Seminar is in Swedish. December 9. Thursday 15:15-17.00 at the Annedalseminariet at Room 419.

After the seminar there is a post-seminar gathering at restaurant Gyllene Prag (Sveag. 25) from 17:00 and onwards. We eat, drink and continue the discussions from the seminar in a more informal way. You are welcome to attend even if you was not at the seminar!
Annedalsseminariet, Seminariegatan 1A, close to Linneplatsen. see description how to find at: http://www.globalstudies.gu.se/kontakt
Welcome!

Meta-activism project

jj September 3rd, 2010


The Global Digital Activism Data Set (GDADS) is the first attempt to quantitatively study digital activism as a global phenomenon. It is an all-volunteer project to create an open case study database under a Creative Commons license that will be accessible to scholars and activists around the world.

We are currently in the process of collected digital activism case studies from around the world and inputting them into a database on GoogleDocs. You can download a free copy of the data set here and learn more below.
Current Needs

- Open Case Study Submissions: To submit a case study to our master list, please click here to access the online form. (August, 2010)
- Volunteers: We currently have a waiting list of over 1,000 cases waiting to be entered into the database. To volunteer to assist with this task, please contact Mary AT Meta-Activism DOT org. (August, 2010)
FAQ

Who is making the data set and who can use it?
This is an open initiative, where the data set will be created by volunteers. To volunteer to be part of this project, email contact AT meta-activism DOT org. The final data set will be available under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license to allow maximum proliferation of the results.

Is it easy to submit a case?
Yes, submitting a case takes only a couple of minutes. The case study submission form (bit.ly/yourcase) asks for only 5 pieces of information about each case:

1) Title
2) Year
3) Country
4) 1 to 3 Sources
5) Your Contact Info

What types of case studies will be accepted?
In order to make the data set useful to the widest array of scholars and activists, we are defining the parameter very broadly to be:

1) Any instance in which digital technology is used in a campaign for social or political change that is initiated by citizens, either as individuals or through a nonprofit organization.
or
2) Any action in which citizens help create a public discussion of social and political change issues where no space for these discussions currently exists.

The reason for the second criterion is that what is political action differs from country to country, depending on the level of political freedom. Writing a blog post about the importance of elections does not challenge the status quo in the UK, but it is radical political speech in China. The goal is to include as much information in the data set as possible and then for scholars to extract from the data set the cases and variables that are useful to their own work.

What types of sources are permissible?
Because case studies of digital activism come from the popular press and citizen journalism as well as traditional peer-reviewed academic journals, we are adopting the relatively open Wikipedia standard for verifiability of sources : the information in the case study should be sourced from “reliable, third-party (independent), published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.” (more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability).

While some cases are submitted individually to the data set, we are finding many caches that contain large numbers of cases that have already been created by other organizations in the fields of digital activism capacity-building and citizen media. Our principal sources so far have been Global Voices, Tactical Technology Collective, DigiActive, MobileActive, Video Volunteers, and FrontlineSMS.

Why isn’t the live case study spreadsheet public?
The live GoogleDoc spreadsheet contains the personal email addresses of people who submit cases, for the purposes of data verification and to build the GDADS community. In order to protect their privacy we have opted to keep the live list private. However, you can download a static version of the case study list at meta-activism.org/case-studies.

How will the data set be created?
The data set will be created in 2 steps:

1) Collection of Case Studies: We are currently building our list of global digital activism case studies. If you are aware of a case study that should be in our data set, please submit it using this form. You will be asked to title your case study and also provide year, country, and one to four sources (online resources preferred, as they are easier to access).

2) Coding of Case Studies: Once we have a usable number of case studies, we will begin a call for coders. Anyone can volunteer to code a case study. Each coder will be given basic information about the case (title, year, country, sources) and 30 days to read those sources and submit the data through a second form. If you are interested in being a coder, please submit your name and email address to contact AT meta-activism DOT org so you can be contacted when this phase begins.

How will the code book be created?
The code book will be created in 3 steps

1) Open Coding: Coding categories will developed through analysis of actual case studies. In the first phase, volunteers will code 10 to 15 cases assigning whatever variables they think makes sense and recording the results on a single GoogleDoc spreadsheet. This will lead to some redundancy, but the hope is that we will be able to identify a broad range of variables.

2) Creation of Consensus Version: After these 10-15 case studies have been coded, the coders will compare the variables they have all come up with and a consensus list of variables will be determined. This consensus list will be the basis of the form that the volunteer coders will use to code the rest of the case studies.

3) Amendment: Limited amendments to the original coding standard may be made after the consensus version is created.

How can I learn more or get involved?

Email – Mary AT meta-activism DOT org.

Call for proposals: The Underground Railroad Resistance Against Slavery

Stellan Vinthagen September 2nd, 2010

Abolishing Slavery in the Atlantic World: The ‘Underground Railroad’ in the Americas, Africa, and Europe

The Tenth Anniversary Underground Railroad Public History Conference
Sponsored by the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc.

April 8 – 10, 2011 at Russell Sage College, Troy, New York

Where there was slavery, there was resistance, escape, and rebellion. The Transatlantic Slave Trade (1400s to 1800s) was a global enterprise that transformed the four continents bordering the Atlantic, and that engendered the formation of a multifaceted and international Underground Railroad resistance movement.

The broad geographic nature of this freedom struggle is the theme of the 2011 UGR Public History Conference. We invite proposals that address capture, enslavement, and resistance within and across borders in Africa, Europe, and the Americas, historically and contemporarily, as well as proposals that address the preservation of the voices of the past and their relationship with us today.

Possible questions to be considered:

  • What were the similarities and differences among the slave systems created by Europeans in the Americas?
  • How did the enslaved and their allies engage in resistance, rebellion and revolution in the four continents and the Atlantic Ocean?
  • What were the forms that global abolitionism took?
  • What roles were played by escaped slaves, inlcuding those who crossed national borders?
  • What is the range of experience captured by slave narratives and testimonies in various countries and on different continents?
  • How did Africans and people of African descent involve themselves with indigenous peoples in the countries and colonies of the Americas and the other continents?
  • What are contemporary manifestations of this international freedom struggle?
  • How can we preserve the voices of the past and relate them to us today?

Proposals on related questions, not directly on this theme, are also welcomed.

Proposals may be for a 60-minute panel session, workshop, cultural/artistic activity, media production, poster, or other exhibit that addresses these questions and this theme. When possible, activities should encourage audience interaction. Proposals should include: title, content description, type of presentation, names and contact information of presenters, target audience, and technology needs.

Proposals should be submitted by July 31, 2010 Via postal mail to:
URHPCR, PO Box 10851, Albany NY 12201 or via email to urhpcr2011@gmail.com

For more information, call 518-432-4432

“The gold standard of Underground Railroad conferences… bringing together an extraordinary spectrum of attendees, ranging from noted scholars and authors to large numbers of interested laymen, in spirited and informative workshops which both bring history alive and open new avenues of research.” — Fergus M. Bordewich, author, Bound for Canaan

Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc. researches, preserves, and retells New York’s regional history of the Underground Railroad, highlighting the role of African-American freedom seekers and local abolitionists

Globalization and Resistance: An Anarcho-Primitivist Perspective

Stellan Vinthagen April 26th, 2010

Extra seminar 3/5, kl. 13.15 – 15.00, Annedalsseminariet, Sal 204.

John Zerzan, lecture and discussion on the theme
Globalization and resistance – an anarcho-primitivist perspective.

John Zerzan (born 1943) is an American  anarchist  and primitivist philosopher and author. His works criticize agricultural civilization as inherently oppressive, and advocate drawing upon the ways of life of prehistoric humans as an inspiration for what a free society should look like. Some of his criticism has extended as far as challenging domestication, language, symbolic thought (such as mathematics  and art) and the concept of time. His five major books are Elements of Refusal  (1988), Future Primitive and Other Essays (1994), Running on Emptiness (2002), Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections (2005) and Twilight of the Machines (2008). A collection of his most fundamental texts on the roots of civilization, “Origins” (2010), is currently being published by Black and Green Press and FC Press.

Zerzan’s theories draw on Theodor Adorno’s concept of negative dialectics to construct a theory of civilization as the cumulative construction of alienation. According to Zerzan, original human societies in paleolithic  times, and similar societies today such as the !Kung, Bushmen and Mbuti, live a non-alienated and non-oppressive form of life based on primitive abundance and closeness to nature. Constructing such societies as a kind of political ideal, or at least an instructive comparison against which to denounce contemporary (especially industrial) societies, Zerzan uses anthropological  studies from such societies as the basis for a wide-ranging critique of aspects of modern life. He portrays contemporary society as a world of misery built on the psychological production of a sense of scarcity and lack.  The history of civilisation is the history of renunciation; what stands against this is not progress but rather the Utopia which arises from its negation.

Avhandling om motstånd mot heteronormativ könsmakt

Stellan Vinthagen April 4th, 2010

Vi har glädjen att meddela att Cathrine Wasshede är nu klar med sin avhandling om motstånd mot heteronormativ könsmakt: Passionerad Politik (2010).

Avhandlingen presenteras och försvaras offentligt vid Göteborgs Universitet, Sociologiska institutionen, den 9 april, kl 13:15, hörsalen Sappören, Sprängkullsgatan 25, Göteborg.

Om du vill veta mer om boken eller beställa den så kolla in: www.bobbox.se

Buycott – an everyday way of resistance

Linnea Andersson March 2nd, 2010

Buycott is a form of political participation, which has emerged from its opposite, boycott. As our society becomes more and more ruled by, and in a direction towards, commercial interests, the power to choose what to buy (or not to buy in the case of boycott) is a significant way to affect trade and hopefully it will, in the end even the policy. In the consumer society it is difficult (if even possible) to fully remain outside the “market” and that is why making a selective purchase is an important way to make a difference as a consumer.

The way to use political consumption as a resistance movement can for instance be to choose ecological, fair trade, or vegetarian products. However, it can also be to support groups, movements or certain geographic territories (which are dependent on economical contribution to make a living). It is often put in action when selecting our food, which can make consequences since we spend such a good part of our income on what we eat.  Of course, this way of political activism can also involve what clothes to wear, what car to drive or which electric utilities you choose.

I agree in Vinthagens thoughts about how the individual (the subject) is shaped by the power but still can act as an action operator and hence can make resistance.[1] Even though the consumer society and the market of course have an impact on the consumer (particularly through advertising) we aren’t forced to buy certain products. (At least not in the western world).

Boycott (to choose not to buy, or to refuse to participate in something) has been studied as a method for political impact since the 1970’s but has been used in history long before that. Buycott, on the other hand, has not been studied much at all. However, ESS (European Social Survey) did include selective/targeted consumption in one of their question surveys in European countries. In Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland and Germany over 45 percent of the respondents declare that they have engaged in either boycott or buycott the last year.[2]

Buycott is of course in many ways an elitist form of resistance, since not anyone can refrain the food that is available and ecological and fair trade products is in general more expensive than others. Nevertheless, in the western world it is spreading, and one cannot help to think that we who can choose and can be selective have a responsibility to do so.


[1] Vinthagen, Stellan (2001) in Makt och internationella relationer/Leif  Eriksson & Björn Hettne (red.). Page: 205. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

[2] Bengtsson, Åsa (2008). Politiskt deltagande. Page: 145-147. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Subaltern

Eleini Rau February 24th, 2010

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak asked : Can the subaltern speak? I remember reading her essay with that question at the top of the page and wondering what subaltern meant. I soon realised that how Spivak uses the word may not be the same as other thoerists, thus adding to the confusion. However, debate over the meaning of a word often suggests that the word is powerful and may even end up changing the way we think. The word was used by Antonio Gramsci when he reffered to the “non hegemonic groups or classes”[1] and this defintion is simlar to the one still used today. For some it is another way of discriping the position of “the other”. Both the term “the other” and the subaltern refers to a person that is politically, socially and geographically outside the hegemonic power structure. However it seems as if Spivak, who is still an icon in the discusion of the subaltern, is a bit upset by the use of the word as a synonym for oppressed, she clamis that subaltern is not the same. The subaltern subject is without a voice, it can not be heard by the people inside the hegemonic power structure. The subaltern is voiceless due to sexism, racism, classism and global and local structures of power. The oppressed on the other hand, can in fact be heard, can still be a part of a hegemonic structure.

                      By using the Spivaks definition it becomes obvious that it has the power to pin point the position of those who are never heard, those who can’t speak. And in doing so it may bring attention to  “the archives of power”, or the history of the hegemonic group. If you are never heard, your voice and your experiences will never be included in the official story, history will be written without you.

                      But resistance towards a subaltern position is possible! Homi Bhabba uses the word hybridety to discribe how subaltern subjects can repeat and combine certain representations and create new “truths” which in fact undermine existing conceptions. [2] Bhabbas most famous exampel is how people in India during the colonial era re-interpreted the christan message in terms of cannibalism and vampyrism, eating flesh and blood.


[1] Stephen Morton, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, (Routledge, New York, 2002), s 48

[2] Mona Lilja och Stellan Vinthagen (red), Motstånd, (Liber, Malmö, 2009), s 78

Many new blog posts will come soon! Focus: “Resistance concepts”

Stellan Vinthagen February 11th, 2010

This semester (Jan-June) we have our third full-time class on the undergraduate course on “Power, resistance and change”. This year our 30 students will make short postings on different concepts related to resistance. Last year these kind of texts were posted on our Resistance Wiki, but since we had to close the Wiki due to very much spam, we now try instead with ordinary blog posts.

We invite students of resistance studies all over the world to add their comments and views on these concepts. Our students will be happy if they get response and if you give comments you will also add to our website as a resource on resistance studies. All blog posts as well as comments are searchable, making the site all the time grow as a resource on resistance studies. (Try for example a search on “revolution”).

If anymore people feel like adding to the site as a blogger, feel free to make contact to me: write “stellan.vinthagen” and then add “@” and after that “resistancestudies.org”

Resistance studies meeting at ISA, New Orleans, Feb 16-20?

Stellan Vinthagen January 31st, 2010

Some of us within the Resistance Studies Network are going to the International Studies Association (ISA) conference in New Orleans, USA, Feb 17-20. See the conference site at: http://www.isanet.org/neworleans2010/

There will be a panel on resistance studies on Feb 17. If there are more people from the network coming to the conference, it would be great to meet up. Let us know if that is the case. Email to me: write “stellan.vinthagen” and then add “@” and after that you add “resistancestudies.org”.

See you in New Orleans!

Preventing Nonviolent Political Revolutions

jj January 16th, 2010

In recent decades more unarmed than violent revolutions have succeeded in removing regimes in political revolutions. Some of these are well known and others very under-researched. Even more cases has not (yet?) been successful.

I’m for the moment collecting information for a report on what the authoritarian regimes are doing to prevent masses of unarmed protesters to successfully remove unpopular regimes.

As we have seen in Iran and many other places the old power-holders have closed down internet and mobile phone systems to prevent the opposition from communicating internally and inform the rest of the world on what is going on. In Burma they moved the capital to a remote place in the forest and closed the new city. This was obviously done to prevent demonstrations outside the legislative buildings. In China we have recently seen activists from the opposition disappearing. In Russia NGOs are not allowed to receive money from external donors. In Belarus it is more and more difficult to register NGOs. Curfews, brutal police violence, extensive surveillance,…. The list is very long on actions by governments to prevent the opposition from succeeding.

I’m trying to get an overview over what is done by governments and other power-holders to reduce the efficiency of oppositional movements. In this work I need help and are asking everyone to send me reliable cases, stories, and reports on these types of activities. Please provide me with sources when possible.

All info could be sent to johansen (dot) jorgen (at) gmail (dot) com

I promise to send each informant a copy of the report when it is done.

Members of the network at a nonviolent resistance conference in India

Stellan Vinthagen January 15th, 2010

Some members of the Resistance Studies Network will be participating in an antimilitarist conference in Ahmadabad, India during the next coming two weeks. Activists and scholars from around the world will meet to discuss the profiteers of war and international and local nonviolent resistance. It is about the connections between forced removal of local communities, the transnational corporations’ resource extraction and military production, the war machine and our possibilities to forge transnational collaboration to resist such anti-human processes.

The conference is organized by the War Resisters International. Among the key speakers are the world renouned author and anti-militarist activist Arundathi Roy, toghether with Medha Patkar from the resistance movement NBA against the Narmada dam project and Ashis Nandy, a famous gandhian author. You find more information about the conference here.

Depending on time and Internet availability we hope to give a report during the conference. Stay tuned!

There is an inescapable link between the globalisation-induced displacement, dis-employment and dispossession that are results of internal wars and ravage local, traditional and indigenous natural-resource based communities everywhere. There is a linkage between these and the monstrous international wars – whether they are fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo or Somalia. The biggest challenge therefore is to build alliances that are local and global at the same time, and those that not only resist injustice but also present alternatives.” 

Medha Patkar

Recomended site on “iRevolution”

Stellan Vinthagen January 6th, 2010

A specialized site on “iRevolution” is something that might be of interest for resistance students. “An iRevolution is the individual’s revolution in self-sufficiency, self-determination and self-survival facilitated by information communication technology.” On the site you can find entries on a lot of things connected to this theme, as e.g. civil resistance, cyberactivism, SMS social revolutions, etc. The site is run by the PhD-candidate Patrick Meier and is part of his dissertation work on the concept. Check it out!

Link to the site: http://irevolution.wordpress.com/

First Resistance Studies Seminar on Jan 7 2010: Gender and Activism

Stellan Vinthagen December 30th, 2009

Due to the lack of time, we send this out the schedule for the first seminar 2010. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive schedule for the whole spring, now in early January. It will be posted here at the website as soon as it is done. 

We will continue as usual every other Thursday, starting January 7 with Cathrin Wasshede.

Cathrin Wasshede is a doctoral student since spring 2002. Her research focuses on the construction of gender and sexuality among young political activists in the extraparliamentary movement on the political left. Her research interests include feminist theory, political culture, identity, social movements, and questions related to methodology. Her seminar will be held in Swedish and details are listed below.

 

MotstÃ¥nd och gränserfarenheter: Inordnandet av människor i köns- och sexualitetskategorier fungerar som en disciplinerande och subjektiverande kraft. Vi blir till som subjekt, vi blir människor och vi blir begripliga. PÃ¥ detta seminarium belyser jag motstÃ¥nd mot detta i form av disidentifikation och abjektifiering, d v s en verbaliserad form av abjekt/abjektion, utifrÃ¥n mitt pÃ¥gÃ¥ende avhandlingsarbete i sociologi. När den förkastade positionen används som utgÃ¥ngspunkt för motstÃ¥ndet – exempelvis genom att, som nÃ¥gra av aktivisterna i mitt material gör, ”använda smutsen som vapen” eller identifiera sig som intergendered – utmanas och överskrids gränser mellan det inkluderade och det exkluderade, det begripliga och det obegripliga. Kan dessa gränserfarenheter bidra till förändring av den heteronormativa könsmaktsordningen?

 

For those who want to familiarize themselves with Cathrin Wasshedes research we recommend this paper: Den Gode, den Onde, den Normale: Motstånd och ambivalens – unga aktivistmän i närkamp med heterosexualitet (Download directly by clicking on the link). 

 

See you, as usual Thursday 15:15-17.00 at room 403 at the Annedalseminariet; Seminariegatan 1A, close to Linnéplatsen. After the seminar there is a post-seminar gathering at restaurant Gyllene Prag (Sveag. 25) from 17:00 and onwards. We eat, drink and continue the discussions from the seminar in a more informal way. You are welcome to attend even if you was not at the seminar!

 

The new organizer, from January 2010 and onwards, of the Resistance Studies Seminars is Per Ström. If you want to suggest a seminar, one you yourself make a presentation or one were you know someone who could be interested to make a seminar, feel welcome to mail to Per. He can be contacted at: write “per.strom” and then @ and add “yahoo.se”

Why do certain attempts of “people power” revolutions fail?

Stellan Vinthagen December 19th, 2009

We have seen many political revolutions the last decades. According to many researchers there are some 30-40 succesful revolutions the last 30 years. For example the overthrough of Milosovic in Serbia, the breakdown of apartheid in South Africa after a massive international and domestic anti-apartheid movement did make the country impossible to govern, and we have seen several cases in the former Eastern Europe in 1989-1990, e.g. Poland and East Germany. And the last couple of years we have seen several similar cases as in Georgia and Ukraine.

But we have also seen a number of serious attempts of similar strategies: popular demonstrations, general strikes, boycott and massive civil disobedience – but with a failure to produce a revolutionary change. E.g. in Burma 1988 and 2007; in Palestine during the late 1980s in the “first intifada”; in China at the Tianamen Square 1989; in Iran this summer and in Belarus during the last election. What do these cases have in common that makes them fail? Or are they all unique cases with special reasons for the failure (so far) in creating a strong enough “people power” that forces the regime to change?

Since this is something we are looking at in our Nordic Nonviolence Study Group, we would be happy if there are any suggestions of literature, factors, processes, or other helpful ideas of how to understand these cases.

Next Resistance Studies Seminar: Prayer and Resistance

Stellan Vinthagen November 29th, 2009

On Thursday, the 3 Dec 2009, Lisa Westberg, will conduct a seminar  On faith, prayer and resistance. How may prayer and spiritual practice contribute to acts of resistance? Lisa will also explore what role faith has in the context and culture of resistance. She will give examples from several faith traditions such as Hindu, Christian, Native American and Pagan, primarily in Swedish and American settings. The Seminar text is possible to download here.

Lisa Westberg is minister in the Swedish Church, Teol. Mag. (2007), and Bach. of Fine Arts – International Politics and Global Ethics (1994); Hatha Yoga Cert. Teacher and community gardener. 

The seminar is in English, will happen the 3 Dec at 15:15-17:00 at Annedalsseminariet, Campus Linné, Gotheburg, Sweden, in Room  403 (see directions at www.globalstudies.gu.se). After the seminar we will gather at the Resturant Gyllene Prag and eat and continue the discussions (from 17:15-). More information on the seminar exist at the link “Seminars” above.

Everyone welcome!

People Power and Unarmed Resistance (New book)

Stellan Vinthagen November 15th, 2009

“People Power – Unarmed Reistance and Global Solidarity”: A book by activists and researchers edited by Howard Clark

Transnational solidarity can be crucial for movements of nonviolent struggle – in helping them emerge, in accessing contacts and resources, and in applying leverage on a regime or corporation. However, some “transnational advocacy networks” have been criticised for “taking over” from local organisers and ultimately having a disempowering impact. The starting point of this book is that the prime role for transnational solidarity is to strengthen the counter-power of those resisting domination and oppression.

  • Analyses from Serbia, Burma, Zimbabwe, Colombia, India and Palestine
  • Experiences from the work of Peace Brigades International, Nonviolent Peaceforce, Balkan Peace Team, International Solidarity Movement, International Women’s Peace Service, Ecumenical Accompaniers for Peace in Palestine and Israel, Voices in the Wilderness
  • Accounts of solidarity networks such as Women in Black, with Turkish war resisters, diaspora groups, Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transexual groups in Africa, and the World Social Forum
  • Debate on the criticisms of external funding and training in the “colour revolutions”

Published by Pluto Press (London) – US distribution by Palgrave Macmillan.

On sale online at the War Resisters’ International web shop

Nonviolent Livelihood Struggle and Global Militarism: Links & Strategies

jj October 26th, 2009

International Conference, Ahmedabad, India, 22 – 25 of January 2010
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There is an inescapable link between the globalisation-induced displacement, dis-employment and dispossession that are results of internal wars and ravage local, traditional and indigenous natural-resource based communities everywhere. There is a linkage between these and the monstrous international wars – whether they are fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo or Somalia. The biggest challenge therefore is to build alliances that are local and global at the same time, and those that not only resist injustice but also present alternatives.

Medha Patkar

War Resisters’ International is cooperating with Indian partner organisations for an international conference investigating the links between local nonviolent livelihood struggles and global militarism, including war profiteering. This participatory conference will bring together campaigners from all over the world to analyse the role of states and multinational corporations in depriving local communities of their sources of livelihood, and learning from the experience of nonviolent resistance at various levels – from the community to the global – and at various phases, from preventing displacement to planning for return.

More info here.

Registration here.

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