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Globalisation and Resistance: Explorations in Global Contestation

by Andreas Bieler on September 11, 2019

During the Spring semester 2019, students on the module Globalisation and Resistance in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham-UK carried out independent research projects. In addition to writing a 4,000 word essay, they also composed shorter blog posts about their research projects for a wider audience. This post provides a brief introduction to the various posts, which are published on the blog Globalisation and Resistance.

Several of the student projects focused on current, left and progressive moments of resistance:
Ana Maria Cupes – One Thousand Definitions of Freedom: what Occupy teaches us about resistance.
Fotini Iacovou – Yellow Vests, a modern Anti-austerity crusade: What does the future hold?
Michelle Villamarin – Mega-mergers threaten our right to healthy and accessible foods!
Louis Verrall – The Bolivarian Revolution: a Popular Backlash against Neoliberalism.
Edward Gill – How cronycapitalism resulted in the 2011 Tunisian Revolution.

This also included a notable intervention on LGBT+ issues, which have become very much part of a left-progressive agenda:
Giovanni Schiazza – RuPaul’s Drag Race has (in some sense) fucked up Drag.

Unsurprisingly considering current struggles around climate change policies, environmental issues featured prominently too:
Henrik Årby – Fruck Off: Nottinghamshire people say no to shell gas.
Charles Hammond – ETHICS VS PROFITS: a German case study.
Kyle Scott Pirie – Deepwater Horizon, Nine Years Later.

Other students, however, provided a longer historical perspective, linking moments of globalisation and resistance back to imperialism and the Cold War:
Tochi Imo – Globalisation – An Imperial Initiative? The fight of the Ogoni people.
Mukunthen Muthuramalingam – Modernity’s curse: Excavating the historical roots of theSinhalese-Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka.
Velislava Gateva – The Largest Capitalist Challenge.

Importantly, several students realised that resistance to globalisation is not necessarily a progressive enterprise, analysing popular protests linked to radical Islamic tendencies as well as right-wing politics:
Sophia Gaine – ISIS: a resistance to neoliberal hegemony.
Daniel Oyebamiji – Brexit and the Failure of Neo-Liberal Economics.
Maxwell Clarke – Globalisation, Resistance and Trump: contesting the political economy of globalrestructuring.

Last but not least, one student introduced the class to a highly unexpected resistance movement, an alliance of forces pushing for modernisation in Afghanistan:
Jumah Mohammadi – Afghanistan and the Enlightenment Movement: modernisation in troubled times.

Overall, these projects provide wide-ranging insights into the multiple ways of current political contestation around the world. 

Andreas Bieler
Andreas Bieler is Professor of Political Economy at the University of Nottingham and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ).

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