The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Centre for the Study of Social and Political Movements
The study of social and political movements at Kent has a long and distinguished history,
beginning with Frank Parkin's work on middle class radicalism and the peace movement, and Krishan Kumar's work on revolutions. Since the Centre was established in 1992, it has continued to bring together work on a variety of contemporary forms of social and political movements and collective action, with some emphasis upon environmental movements.
The Centre was a founding member of the ERASMUS network 'Social movements, conflicts and political action', a connection which offers the possibility of exchanges with several European centres of social movement research. Other links have been developed with the Social Science Research Centre in Berlin (WZB), the Centre d'Etude des Mouvements Sociaux in Paris , and through active participation in the European Consortium for Political Research and the Research Committees of the ISA and ESA.
The Centre's approach to research is methodologically pluralistic and interdisciplinary, and we do not exclude any topic that can be construed as relevant to the study of social and political movements.
We seek to build on an existing concentration of strength that is unique in the UK.
Full-time permanent staff
- Chris Rootes (Environmental Politics & Sociology / SSPSSR, Director)
- Davina Cooper (Kent Law School )
- Maria Drakopoulou (Kent Law School)
- Frank Furedi (Sociology / SSPSSR)
- Chris Pickvance (Urban Studies / SSPSSR)
- Larry Ray (Sociology / SSPSSR)
- Richard Sakwa (Politics)
- Balihar Sanghera (Sociology / SSPSSR)
- Ben Seyd (Politics)
- Doug Stokes (Politics / International Relations)
- Iain Wilkinson (Sociology / SSPSSR)
- John Wills (History)
Collectively, the members of the Centre bring together a remarkable range of expertise in the study of social movements: Much of the research undertaken by Centre affiliates has attracted funding from the European Commission, UK research councils, or charitable foundations. The Centre has also attracted a notable concentration of postgraduate research students.
Major projects on which work is continuing include:
- Democracy in Europe and the Mobilization of Society (DEMOS), part of FP6 STREP project, a 7-national comparative project funded by European Commission DG Research and coordinated by Donatella della Porta, European University Institute (started in September 2004 and concluding August 2008).
Further details http://www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/demos/index.html
- Transformation of Environmental Activism (the TEA project), a comparative study (EC funded) of the changing nature of environmental activism in eight European countries.
Further details http://www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/tea/
- Burning Issues: the politics of waste incineration. This grows out of the PEM project, a comparative study (EC-funded) of the role of environmental movements in the politics of waste management.
Further details http://www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/polsoc/pem.htm
- Environmental policy implementation in Hungary (ESRC-funded).
- A large-scale, survey-based study of environmental and housing movements in Russia , Hungary and Estonia (ESRC-funded)
A major part of the output of the Centre has been in the form of PhD theses.
Professor Christopher Rootes
Centre for the Study of Social and Political Movements,
School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
University of Kent,
Kent CT2 7NF
Telephone: 01227 823374
Fax: 01227 824014
Research students (and their topics) include:
- Baris Gencer Baykan : Anti-GM mobilizations: the Big Tomato campaign in Turkey
- Steve Hendry : The organisational forms of environmental movement organiisations and their consequences
- Aleh Ivanou : Local environmental organisations in Moscow
- Anastasios Papadimitriou : The impacts of social movements
- Stephan Price : Moral praxis and life course within the environmental movement
- Preeyaporn Prompitak : Environmental Movements and NGOs in Thailand
Recent PhDs include:
- John Karamichas : Logics of Green Party Formation in Greece and Spain
- Clare Saunders : Dynamics of interaction in London's local environmental networks
- Jeffrey Roberts : Development of Nationalism in Scotland
Other PhD students have worked on:
- urban social movements
- aspects of the conflict in Northern Ireland
- the anti-nuclear movement in Britain and France
- women in the British peace movement
- the anti-racist and anti-fascist movement in Britain
- a critical exploration of theories of 'new' social movements
- an application of social movement theory to community development in Hong Kong
- The development of environmental movements in Russia and Hungary
- Local environmental networks
- The mass media and the environmental movement
- The transformation of the Italian Communist Party
- Populism in Greece and southern Europe
- Social movements in Mexico
- Development of the permaculture movement
We are always interested in recruiting new postgraduate students. We have a good record of attracting ESRC-funded students and supervising them to successful completion, and we are often able to offer highly qualified research students assistance in the form of studentships, full or partial fees bursaries and / or teaching assistantships.