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Why Social Movements Matter

  • Old Staff Common Room Queen's University Belfast Belfast (map)

Social movements and popular struggle are a central part of today’s world, but often neglected or misunderstood by media commentary, as well as by experts in other fields. In an age when struggles over climate change, women’s rights, racism, austerity politics, warfare and surveillance are central to the future of our societies, we urgently need to understand them better.

In many ways social movements are part of our everyday lives, though often not recognised as such. They have shaped and reshaped the social world dramatically over the past quarter-millennium, with a long and complex relationship between social movements, political parties and the left. Movements have their own processes of learning and theorising which represent a very different way of thinking; partly because of this, they have made major contributions to intellectual life.

Laurence Cox, one of Europe’s leading social movement researchers, will give a short talk around these themes, drawing his new book Why Social Movements Matter. The talk will be followed by discussion.

Copies of the book are available in No Alibis Bookstore (83 Botanic Avenue).