The politics of the twenty-first century is marked by dissent, tumult and calls for radical change, whether through food riots, anti-war protests, anti-government tirades, anti-blasphemy marches, anti-austerity demonstrations, anti-authoritarian movements and anti-capitalist occupations. Interestingly, contemporary political protests are borne of both the Right and Left and are staged in both the Global North and South. Globally, different instances of protest have drawn attention to the deep fissures which challenge the idea of globalisation as a force for peace. Given the diversity of these protests, it is necessary to examine the particular nature of grievances, the sort of change which is sought and the extent to which localised protest can have global implications. The contributions in this book draw on the theoretical work of Hardt and Negri, David Graeber and Judith Butler, among others, in order explore the nature of hegemony, the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring, the responses of authorities to protest and emotion and public performance in, and representation of, protest. The book concludes with David Graeber’s reply to reviews of his recent The Democracy Project: A History, A Crisis, A Movement.
This book was published as a special issue of Global Discourse.