chapter  4
19 Pages

InterAction Australia

Countering the politics of fear with netpeace
WithAnna Halafoff

The early 21st century can be characterised as a time of heightened human and environmental risks, including that of terrorism and climate change, with public intellectuals and scholars calling for new frameworks of activism that unite diverse social movements to combat the politics of fear and find new sustainable ways of living together. In this chapter, I present a case study of Australia’s multifaith youth movement, InterAction, which was initially modelled on the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core. Through analysis of narratives collected in interviews with InterAction’s founders and participants, I map the development of this movement, finding that not only did InterAction, at its height, fulfil the multifaith movement’s principal aims but that in more recent years these young people have branched out beyond the movement into wider spheres of influence and impact. Finally, I argue that while the multifaith movement’s wave did crest in the late 2000s and has since abated as I predicted, lessons from the movement can still be instructive to subsequent social movements addressing today’s most pressing issues.