Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.489248
Title: Ecological direct action and the nature of anarchism : explorations from 1992 to 2005
Author: Duckett, Michael Robert
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2006
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Abstract:
In this thesis I study the radical environmental movement, of which I am part, by combining the analysis of texts and the textual record of discussions with my own extensive participant observation. More specifically, I look at the direct action undertaken by radical eco-activists and examine the relationship between this and the anarchist tradition. My research demonstrates, first, that anarchism is alive and well, albeit in a somewhat modified form from the `classical anarchism' of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In researching today's direct activists, therefore, I have also been examining the nature of anarchism itself. I show that anarchism is to be found most strongly in the dialogue that takes place between activists on the ground, engaged in practical struggles. It is from here, in the strategic debates, self-produced pamphlets, and open-ended discussions of radical environmentalists focussed on practical and immediate issues, that I draw much of my data and ideas. In pursuing this project, I present an understanding of anarchism as a pluralistic and dynamic discourse in which there is no single, correct line on each issue. Instead, the vigour of anarchism is revealed through the dissent and reflexive debate of its practitioners. This understanding of anarchism, while contrary to a static project of ideological mapping or comprehensive summary of a tradition, may be in keeping with both contemporary theory, and also the anarchist tradition itself. To pursue this understanding of anarchism, I elaborate an `anarchist methodology of research' which is both collective and subjective, ethically-bounded and reflexive. This draws on the experience of politically engaged researchers who have sought to draw lines of consistency between their ideals and the practice of research. The various forms of ecological direct action manifested in the UK between 1992 and 2005 provide the main source material for this thesis. I survey the practice and proclamations of anti-roads protesters, Earth First!, GM crop-trashers, peat saboteurs, Reclaim the Streets and others, particularly my own local group, `Tyneside Action for People and Planet'. Also considered are the explicitly anarchist organisations of the UK, and the direct action wings of related social movements. Comparison with these non-ecological movements serves to highlight influences, alternatives and criticisms across the cultures of anarchistic direct action, and contributes to the overall diversity of the anarchism studied.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.489248  DOI: Not available
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