Resisting Colonisation: The Politics of Anti-Roads Protesting

  • Wallace McNeish
Part of the Explorations in Sociology book series (EIS)


Habermas (1976, 1987) argued that the incremental extension of state authority coupled with economic restructuring in advanced capitalism has generated an ongoing crisis of legitimation. A primary manifestation of this crisis is the growth of new movements of protest and resistance which are a reaction against the dominant paradigm of unmitigated capitalist growth and the concomitant expansion of a technical logic and instrumental rationality which impoverishes culture, democracy and the environment. Using quantitative data from a postal survey of the social and political attitudes of protesters affiliated to the national anti-roads coalition Alarm UK, and qualitative data from in-depth interviews with individual activists and protesters,1 I shall argue that the highly innovative and oppositional anti-roads protests which have taken place in recent years in the UK are a prime example of what Habermas describes as ‘resistance to the colonisation of the lifeworld’.


Social Movement Road Building Resist Colonisation Trunk Road Environmental Lobby 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© British Sociological Association 1999

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  • Wallace McNeish

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