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Political Research Exchange - PRX

Occupy London in Local and International Context

Nikos Sotirakopoulos
University of Kent
Christopher Rootes
University of Kent
Nikos Sotirakopoulos
University of Kent

Whilst a great deal of literature has already been published on Occupy Wall Street, little of that literature is based on systematic empirical evidence, and little has been published on the extraordinary phenomenon that was Occupy London / St Pauls. We seek to remedy that
• first, by setting Occupy in its context, especially in relation to its immediate precursors, the global justice / anti-globalisation movement, the movement against climate change, and the anti-capitalist and student movements;
• second, by deploying evidence collected by a variety of social scientific research methods on Occupy London, but drawing especially on open-ended interviews focusing upon Occupiers’ politics with 40+ participants
• third, by assessing the evidence in order to place Occupy in relation to its antecedents, to determine what was novel about it and what its impacts have been, and to consider what it might portend for the shape of unconventional / uninstitutionalised politics in the foreseeable future. Was Occupy a logical outcome of its antecedents, a radical innovation with profound implications for the future of democratic politics, or a moment of protest produced by an extraordinary conjuncture created by the legacies of domestic precursors, the examples of overseas contemporaries, the economic situation, disillusionment with mainstream politics, and the chance occupation of the doorstep of St Paul’s cathedral?

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