Making sense of Irish movements


Ireland is a paradoxical site for social movements – at times the site of some extraordinary and very effective movements and at others a desert. This post links to work coming from a range of projects over the years attempting to understand different aspects of the alterglobalisation movement in Ireland, working-class community organising and the specificities of Ireland as a movement landscape.

Irish movements and the crisis:

The movement of movements in Ireland:

  • a critical space for social movements in Ireland (with Margaret Gillan, in Rosie Meade and Fiona Dukelow, Defining events: power, resistance and identity in 21st century Ireland, 2014)
  • Revolution in the air? images of winning in the Irish anti-capitalist movement (with Liz Curry; Irish Journal of Sociology, 2010)
  • The Grassroots Gatherings: networking a “movement of movements” (Red and Black Revolution, 2007)
  • News from nowhere: the movement of movements in Ireland (Social Movements and Ireland, 2006)
  • Globalisation from below? “Ordinary people”, movements and intellectuals from Seattle to Genova to war (William Thompson Summer School 2001, updated 2002)

Working-class community organising in Ireland:

  • Eppur si muove: thinking “the social movement” (Marxism and Social Movements, 2013)
  • Building utopia here and now? Left and working-class utopias in Ireland (Ecopolitics Online journal, 2007)
  • Social movements never died: community politics and the social economy in the Irish Republic (with Caitríona Mullan; Rethinking Marxism conference and ISA / BSA social movements conference, 2001)
  • Outside the whale: (re)thinking social movements and the voluntary sector (with Martin Geoghegan; Alternative Futures and Popular Protest conference, 2001)

Ireland as a social movement landscape:

A particularly important nexus for social movement struggles in Ireland is the long-standing Workers Solidarity Movement, which also maintains the invaluable archive.