Discursive Ambiguity: A Critical Evaluation of the Discourse Surrounding the Arms Trade

Introduction The discourse surrounding the arms trade is an area that remains under-theorised. Perhaps this is because it relates more to concepts of legitimacy than to the study of security –which naturally tends to focus on more the arms industry’s security implications. Equally, despite its attempts to appear and be treated like any other commercial … Continue reading

The Aldermaston Ethnography, 2010 (abridged)

Activists removed from road by Police

  Aldermaston 2010: context The context of this ethnography is the February 15th Aldermaston blockade, an annual event in a half-century long tradition of resistance and direct action against nuclear weapons. The ‘Big Blockade’ is a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and Trident Ploughshares joint action. The stated aims of the blockade are multifaceted. Most … Continue reading

An Introduction to the Activist Ethnography

Originally written for the Sociological Imagination, July 2010. Having become a self-defined ‘activist’ at some point in 2008, the stories told by older members of my affinity group at Warwick University always held great appeal. When they spoke of old protests, sit-ins, and comrades in direct action, certain people who I had never met before … Continue reading