Globalizing Resistance Against War? A Critical Analysis of the Theoretical Debate through a Case Study of the 'New' Anti-War Movement in Britain

Liberal cosmopolitans characterize the movement as a consensual force of opposition against war in general in the form of ‘global civil society’ acting on the basis of ‘universally’ shared values. Radical poststructuralists regard it as a preliminary example of the ‘becoming’ Multitude that as a consensual but yet diversified global body of opposition wages ‘a war against war’. Both approaches advocate global strategies of resistance for social movements generally. Their premises are challenged by the state-centric approach. It criticizes them for framing political struggle in highly abstract terms and stresses that global and symbolic forms of resistance lack strategic engagement and thus escape power in the ‘post-political’ struggle.

The study critically analyzes the theoretical debate from the perspective of ‘critical theory in political practice’ aiming to improve and develop it further. It demonstrates through an empirical case study of the ‘new’ anti-war movement in Britain that the connection of dominant theoretical discourses to the existing anti-war movement is inadequate and problematic. It suggests that instead of defining political projects of resistance in a way which enables their conceptualizations to be autonomous from practice and their normative suggestions and visions to diverge from the premises of the movement, theorists must engage with the movement in order to establish an emancipatory dialogue in the true sense of critical theory capable of transforming the relationship between theory and political practice, knowing and being, into something more reflexive and dialectical. The thesis contributes insights for developing the theoretical debate further by suggesting that instead of the dualistic ‘either-or’ logic, a ‘both-and’ approach would not only reflect more accurately the way in which the relationship between the local and global - as well as many other concepts - are conceived within the movement but would also provide a more productive and comprehensive perspective for conceptualizing power and resistance in the context of social movements more generally. 

Acta Universitatis Lapponiensis 193
354 s.
Seppälä Tiina
Tuotekoodi 017563
30,00 €