The newly established Political and Social Movements Specialist Group exists to promote research and scholarship of political and social movements, protests, political campaigns and political engagement, broadly conceived. This includes the study of a range of institutional and non-institutional, extra-parliamentary actors, groups and networks. The group considers those types of contentious political groups and acts including, but not limited to, social movement organisations, ‘movement parties’, ‘movements in parties’, local community groups, campaign groups, riots, strikes, rebellions, revolts and hostile outbursts that are politically motivated, thus framing protests and social movements as inherently political actions and entities. 




If you are interested in getting involved with the group, please click the "Join This Group" button or get in touch with the convenors.


The Political and Social Movements SG is (co)organising  panels for the PSA 2021 conference in Belfast, Monday-Wednesday 29-31 March  2021.

Political and Social Protest Movements before and during COVID19

Over the last year there have been numerous national (UK) and international protests, including, but not limited to: Black Lives Matter (BLM), student protests against predicted algorithmic school and college qualification results, and NHS nurses protest on 'no pay rise'. Tensions have arisen during COVID between BLM and counter movements, and there have been confrontations between the anti-lockdown movement and the police. 


This panel seeks to explore and to interrogate the action repertoires of these episodes of collective action (for example, online and off line protests), the network connections between different movements, the competitive and conflictual dynamics of these and other mobilizations both before and during COVID19. 


We ask a number of questions:


  1. Do any of these movements have unifying ideologies, or are they disparate and contingent? 
  2. What are the tensions and divisions both within and between these mobilizations?
  3. How have movement and mobilisation dynamics changed over the last year since the outbreak of COVID19
  4. Has COVID hindered or enhanced the ability to protest, e.g. what are the ‘new’ repertoires of social movements?


To be part of this SG panel the convenors ask for a title, abstract and a short biography of 200 words. Please email the convenors by 10th October, 2020.

We are also Co-Organising a panel with Yound Peoples Politics group too, details to follow.


The PSA’s network of 60 Specialist Groups offers a research focus for all members and covers a vast range of specialities within the discipline. SGs provide an opportunity for groups of academics who share a common interest in a particular area of the discipline to organise meetings, coordinate communications, and as outlets for research – as well as giving PSA members opportunities for developing their academic impact and professional development.”


Convenors can view the SG Handbook here.


If you would like to learn more or have any questions, do get in touch via or with Arianna Giovannini (, the Specialist Groups Trustee

Contact Us

Joseph Ibrahim

Role: Convenor
Institution: Leeds Beckett University

John Roberts

Role: Convenor
Institution: Brunel University

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