Contending the crisis: What role for extra-parliamentary British politics?
- 343 Downloads
This article argues that the existing literature focusing on the effects of the global economic crisis on, and the subsequent change in, British politics have thus far failed to adequately consider the role of extra-parliamentary political activity. The present article partly responds to this absence by presenting the results of event data analysis covering a period from December 1978 to December 2012. The key trends observed are a cycle of contention that occurred between the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 and the end of 2011, in addition to a general rise in the numbers of extra-parliamentary events; a shift towards a new form of materialist politics; an initial rise in the confrontational nature of extra-parliamentary activity, followed by a move towards a more informational form; and the emergence of two new key actors within British extra-parliamentary politics – anti-cuts campaigners and radical activists. Although these trends do not appear yet to be producing corresponding policy outcomes, the article suggests that we might be witnessing signs of cultural change resulting from the rise of extra-parliamentary British political activity.
KeywordsBritish politics extra-parliamentary politics social movements political participation global economic crisis
Earlier drafts were presented at the ECPR SGIR Conference, Stockholm, 2010, and the ECPR General Conference, Reykjavik, 2011. The author acknowledges comments by Saori Shibata, Owen Worth, Ian Bruff, Liam Stanley, David Chandler, the anonymous reviewers, and the editorial guidance of Peter Kerr.
- Bauman, Z. (2011) The London Riots – On consumerism coming home to roost, Social Europe Journal. http://www.social-europe.eu/2011/08/the-london-riots-on-consumerism-coming-home-to-roost, accessed 3 February 2012.
- Bosi, L. and Uba, K. (2009) Introduction: The outcomes of social movements. Mobilization 14 (4): 409–415.Google Scholar
- Camp for Climate Action. (2011) Metamorphosis: A statement from the camp for climate Action, http://climatecamp.org.uk/2011-statement, accessed 3 February 2012.
- Coleman, L.M. and Tucker, K. (2012) Between discipline and dissent: Situated resistance and global order. In: L.M. Coleman and K. Tucker (eds.) Situating Global Resistance: Between Discipline and Dissent. London: Routledge, pp. 3–16.Google Scholar
- Franzosi, R. (2004) From Words to Numbers: Narrative, Data, and Social Science. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Harris, J. (2011) The scale of the challenge is shocking us into action. The Guardian, 23 December.Google Scholar
- Inglehart, R. (1997) Modernization and Postmodernization: Cultural, Economic, and Political Change in 43 Societies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- King, D. and Rueda, D. (2008) Cheap labor: The new politics of ‘bread and roses’ in industrial democracies. Perspectives on Politics 6 (2): 279–297.Google Scholar
- Koopmans, R., Statham, P., Giugni, M. and Passy, F. (2005) Contested Citizenship: Immigration and Cultural Diversity in Europe. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Kriesi, H.P. (1996) The organizational structure of new social movements in a political context. In: D. McAdam, J.D. McCarthy and M.N. Zald (eds.) Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements: Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Cultural Framings. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 152–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Maiguashca, B. (2012) Looking beyond the spectacle: Social movement theory, feminist anti-globalization activism and the praxis of principled pragmatism. In: L.M. Coleman and K. Tucker (eds.) Situating Global Resistance: Between Discipline and Dissent. London: Routledge, pp. 141–155.Google Scholar
- McDonald, K. (2006) Global Movements: Action and Culture. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Meyer, D.S. and Tarrow, S. (eds.) (1998) The Social Movement Society: Contentious Politics for a New Century. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
- Morales, L. (2009) Joining Political Organisations: Institutions, Mobilisation and Participation in Western Democracies. Essex, UK: ECPR Press.Google Scholar
- Reese, E. (2011) They Say Cutback, We Say Fight Back!: Welfare Activism in an Era of Retrenchment. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
- Snow, D.A., Cress, D.M., Downey, L. and Jones, A.W. (1998) Disrupting the ‘Quotidian’: Reconceptualizing the relationship between breakdown and the emergence of collective action. Mobilization 3 (1): 1–22.Google Scholar
- Tilly, C. and Tarrow, S. (2007) Contentious Politics. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
- Verba, S., Nie, N.H. and Kim, J. (1971) The Modes of Democratic Participation: A Cross-National Comparison. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- YouGov. (2013) Trackers: The Economy 2 October, http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/vk3mxh59s4/YG-Archives-Pol-Trackers-Economy-021013.pdf, accessed 7 October 2013.