The politics of protest: Ethics, strategies, and problems

University of Birmingham
Wednesday 13 March 2024 (13:00-15:00)

In this thought-provoking masterclass, theories of civil disobedience and tales of 'successful' protests, both historical and contemporary, come to life. Prepare to be captivated by stories of the sit-in movement led by SNCC in the US South during the 1960s, the resilience displayed during hunger strikes in Northern Irish prisons amid The Troubles, and the bold contemporary efforts of Just Stop Oil protestors disrupting natural gas supply chains in the UK.

You will take part in discussions that dissect the very essence of civil disobedience. Diving into the minds of political theorists, we will explore together how they conceptualise the purpose, aims, and ethical limits of protest. As we analyse activist interviews, statements, and video, you'll a first-hand glimpse into how protestors view their political agency and the change they aspire to bring.

In small groups you'll design your own civil disobedience or protest campaign. Consider the ethical implications, weigh the risks for protestors and third parties, and crystalise the objectives you hope to achieve. This masterclass is an opportunity for you to actively shape a campaign for causes that matter to you before presenting your proposed courses of action to the rest of the group.

Who can attend this masterclass?

This event is open to all Year 12 and 13 students; you don't need any specific experience to be able to attend. Explore the rest of our masterclasses for more fun learning opportunities.

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Questions? Email the team