Protest With(out) Organisation
The seven papers published in this 2nd Issue of Protest With(out) Organisation explore many of the core themes and narratives captured in the 1st Issue, and extend these further in critical directions. For example, as well as continuing to focus on the diversity of activism and protest that (hope to) encourage new opportunities for social and environmental justice to take root within 'human society', appeals are also made for more intersectional forms of activism to come to the fore; activism which takes seriously the exploitation of both non-human animals, and more-than-human worlds. Elsewhere, the importance for individuals to be aware of, and sensitive to, specific socio-spatial configurations of oppression and injustice is re-emphasised, as is the conviction that injustice(s) can be better challenged by encouraging more bespoke forms of individual and collective activism into being. Indeed, the reader will also be invited to consider the benefits of stepping back from 'the present', and to aiming to understand more deeply historical lessons of activism, protest and organisation. While not fetishizing history/ies of activism and organisation, and thereby neglecting the unique and unprecedented opportunities and challenges of the here and now, important arguments are engaged to demonstrate how this knowledge and awareness can be applied and adapted in useful and meaningful ways.
Another central theme that runs strongly throughout the Special issue is the importance of thinking carefully about the multiple 'means' and 'ends' of academic research in this context. How can researchers be confident that (we) are harnessing the most suitable methodology/ies and methods that will empower, engage and represent the protestors/ protest movements that we desire to learn more about? Many authors are highly conscious of the complex identities, and ethical concerns, that come with the territory of the ""academic-activist"". Given these critical, and under-explored dynamics it is encouraging to see new insights and experiences being shared in this Special Issue. For example, honest reflections how author(s) have negotiated access to activist groups and, as importantly, how their positionality has informed their approach to analyzing, writing up and presenting their findings within the conventions and expectations of a published article are forthcoming. Hopefully this emphasis on the research process will encourage 'good' or 'innovative' practice to be made elsewhere, and speak directly to other academics who desire to work with - and indeed within - similar activist groups or organisations in future."
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