Political Participation in the Corbyn Movement

PhD Thesis

Adams, J. 2023. Political Participation in the Corbyn Movement. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Arts and Creative Industries https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8w48y
AuthorsAdams, J.
TypePhD Thesis

Within the resurgence of socialist activity that accompanied Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the British Labour Party between 2015 and 2019, one critical but sometimes overlooked aspect was the movement’s emphasis on an expanded sense of political participation. This form of participation focused initially on an increased role for Labour Party members and forging a wide coalition with grassroots groups, but it also hinted at a future in which political participation extended not only to public ownership, but to policy-making at every level (Graeber, 2020). The aim of my research was to better understand how this expanded sense of political participation operated, how it responded to the wider status of political participation in the UK in the 21st century, and how it challenged power. I also sought to test the extent to which my militant research methodology could contribute to the movement. Militant research broadly prioritises political struggle over the academic pursuit of knowledge (Halvorsen, 2015). Within this militant research, which has been informed by the immanent philosophical tradition, I have organised with several political groups throughout Corbynism and post-Corbynism. This generated a militant research assemblage that brings together experiences, materials, and affective registers. I argue that some political participation within Corbynism and post-Corbynism can be understood as minor emergences. Within these emergences we occasionally glimpsed ‘bone-deep’ (Tuck, 2013) political participation. This stands in opposition to the ‘nightmare’ (Miessen, 2010) participation that dominates within our conjuncture. Within bone-deep participation, a radical approach to difference and unity points to where some of the key ‘wins’ (Cox, 2019) have challenged power.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8w48y
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online21 Aug 2023
Publication process dates
Completed15 Jun 2023
Deposited21 Aug 2023
Copyright holder© 2023, The Author
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