Interrogating democracies

From the outside, political mobilisation may seem like a straightforward affair. Committed to a specific cause, individuals come together to form groups. These groups, in turn, seek to galvanise yet other individuals in an effort to influence wider sections of the public. A similar assumption occasionally informs notions of inclusion: like human rights activists in the late eighteenth century, advocates of inclusion hope that, cascade-like, an ever greater number of groups will benefit from inclusion as the state takes on board the self-evident truths of equity and equality.

The theme of political mobilisations and advocacyis all about complicating this picture. In particular, it will examine three inter-related questions that have occupied the minds of stakeholders and academics alike. First, how do groups emerge and why are some groups more successful than others? Second, what kinds of political culture and what kinds of situations give rise to mobilisations? And third, how can we prevent certain mobilisations from taking place and how can we ensure that mobilisations in the name of inclusion succeed?

The theme brings together a number of our key research strengths across the Humanities and Social Sciences. We will be focusing on the emergence of and response to diverse forms of political mobilisation and advocacy from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, including History, English Literature, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology, Politics and International Relations. Our research includes the examination of nationalism and fascism; environmental, social and political protest; historic and contemporary forms of populism and radicalisation; democratisation and de-democratisation; personality psychology and social psychology as they relate to different forms of mobilisation; and strategies of recognition and redistribution.