Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for the Study of a Transnational Europe

Political Citizenship and Social Movements

University of Portsmouth, 27-28 June 2016

BSA Citizenship Study Group and the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Standing Group on Citizenship. Sponsored by University of Portsmouth’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Citizenship, ‘Race’ and Belonging Research Group and the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.

Keynote Speakers:

About the conference

Recent cultural, social and political events reveal how citizenship and social movements collide and interact in increasingly nuanced and complex ways. Occupy, the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, Gezi Park, Sans Papiers, No Borders demand that we re-assess this relationship and think beyond the classification of citizenship and formal political membership. Aided by technological transformations, social movements emerge as both local/global in orientation - from environmental rights, animal rights, gender and sexual rights, migrant and refugee movements to demands for colonial reparations and indigenous land claims.  Whilst traditionally understood as the enactment of civil or political ‘citizenship’, scholars have begun to explore how social movements themselves provide alternative spaces for the play, disruption and even (re)theorisation of citizenship. Importantly for Citizenship Studies, the participation of those without formal rights in social movements complicates our sovereign understanding of the citizen. Equally, whilst civil and political citizenship has usually been studied and understood as a product of European history, exploring social movements helps us recognise the global dimensions of being political as well as its radical contingency. This two day interdisciplinary conference addresses these issues by exploring how citizenship and social movements continue to reshape each other. 

In exploring the interrelationship between citizenship and current social movements we presented papers across several fields of study, including political philosophy, political geography, sociology, legal studies, education and political studies. In order to understand how citizenship studies can help us understand social movements and how social movements reconfigure citizenship we are interested in research on:

  • Participation; social movements as resistance; protest and contemporary rights claims.
  • The development of social/political trust, social movements and political subjectivity.
  • The role of identities in citizenship and social movements.
  • Mobilisation, new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and social and political movements.
  • New trans-nationalisation of citizenship and social movements. 
  • Social movements as sites for education, practice and learning.


Download the programme here: Political Citizenship and Social Movements 2016

Further information:

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