Advance Pre-final Movement Edition ! For Reading, Discussion, and Debate on a ‘Not-for-Re-Publication/ Distribution’ basis

The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?

The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance

Edited by Jai Sen
Forthcoming in 2017, co-published by OpenWord (external link) and PM Press (external link)

We are living today through an extremely turbulent period in history. These two books are extraordinary collections of extraordinary essays from around the world on recent and contemporary world movement that can help us understand and grasp the nature of the moment we are in and the times we are entering, and to plan ahead, as individuals, within movements, and collectively.

The editor and members of what has come to be nicknamed the ‘MOMBOP team’ (Movements of Movements Book Organising Project) have all along wanted to make all the essays and other material that had been prepared for the two books available as early as possible and as widely as possible, and most especially to people in movement and to students.

The co-publishers, OpenWord (external link) and PM Press (external link), have agreed to the idea that the material contained in the manuscripts for the books can and should be made available in advance, with the only restriction being that the material be available on a ‘Not for Re-Publication? / Distribution’ basis. We at CACIM are accordingly making available here ALL the material prepared both for Book One and for Book Two. The goal of this project is to stimulate widespread awareness of and discussion of the material in the books - and also to give advance publicity to the forthcoming books, due out in 2017.

To go to the Table of Contents for Book One, What Makes Us Move ?, and from there to the material in the book, press Here.

To go to the Table of Contents for Book Two, Rethinking Our Dance, and from there to the material in the book, press Here.

You can pre-order your copy of The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? now, at PM Press (external link).

About the Books :

Our world today is not just ‘a world in crisis’ but also a world in profound movement, with increasingly large numbers of people joining or forming movements, and not just in relation to the crises we are facing, but also looking beyond : Local, national, transnational, and global. The dazzling diversity of ideas and experiences recorded in the two books comprising The Movements of Movements capture and reflect the extraordinary drama of uprisings and movements in our times. Taking internationalism seriously without tired dogmas, they provide a bracing engagement with many of the central ideas and issues of practice that emerged from local and global struggles from 2006 to 2010, a key foundational period for contemporary movement. Reaching back also to the 1960s and forward to 2015, the essays - by outstanding activists and scholars from across the South as well as the North, and both Indigenous and Settler - cross borders and swords to look at the politics of caste, class, gender, sexuality, religion, race, and indigeneity, and dance from the local to the global.

What Makes Us Move?, the first volume, provides a foundation for understanding the extraordinary range of uprisings that have taken place around the world since 2011 : Tahrir Square in Egypt, the Occupy movement across North America and Europe, the indignados in Spain, Gezi Park in Turkey, and others. It draws on the rich reflection that took place during this period following the huge wave of creative direct actions the preceded it, including 1968, the Zapatista outbreak, the Battle of Seattle, and formations such as Peoples’ Global Action and the World Social Forum, and also maps the emergence of political Islam.

Rethinking Our Dance, the second volume, critically engages with the thoughts and strategies that course through this wide range of movements, and reflects on possible futures. Collectively, the essays go way beyond individual movements. Together, they make comprehensible the world of movement we live in, and contribute to a dance of ideas between and across movements, including in terms of language, grammar, and syntax.

Contributors to The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? : Taiaiake Alfred, Tariq Ali, the late Daniel Bensaïd, Cho Hee-Yeon?, Ashok Choudhary, Lee Cormie, Jeff Corntassel, Laurence Cox, Guillermo Delgado-P, Andre Drainville, David Featherstone, Christopher Gunderson, Emilie Hayes, the late François Houtart, Fouad Kalouche, Alex Khasnabish, Xochitl Leyva Solano, Roma Malik, David McNally?, Roel Meijer, Eric Mielants, Peter North, Shailja Patel, Emir Sader, Jai Sen, Andrea Smith, Anand Teltumbde, James Toth, Virginia Vargas, and the late Peter Waterman

Contributors to The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance : Kolya Abramsky, Ezequiel Adamovsky, Oussenia Alidou, Samir Amin, Chris Carlsson, John Brown Childs, Lee Cormie, Anila Daulatzai, Massimo De Angelis, The Free Association, David Graeber, Josephine Ho, John Holloway, the late François Houtart, Jeffrey Juris, Michael Löwy, Tomás Mac Sheoin, Matt Meyer, Muto Ichiyo, Rodrigo Nunes, Michal Osterweil, Shailja Patel, Geoffrey Pleyers, Stephanie Ross, Jai Sen, and Nicola Yeates


Someone once suggested that movement cannot be thought, it has to be lived. In other words, social movements – the coming together in processes that build the power to bring about change – stem not from any kind of blue-print that can set out an ideal for the world we ought to live in; nor can there be a simple step-by-step guide on how to get there. At the same time, there can’t be movement without a collective effort to understand the shared and embodied experiences that constitute it, along with the problems, concerns and trajectories that arise in struggle. It’s this kind of critical reflection that the authors assembled in this volume undertake, providing intelligent and engaged analyses that avoid any stifling dichotomies - whether between theory and practice, activism and academia, or indeed between thinking and feeling. Possible futures right now in the making become legible in how ‘The Movement of Movements’ doesn’t shy away from the complex and unsettling issues that shape our time while thinking through struggles for social and ecological justice in the wider contexts of their past and present.

Emma Dowling is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Middlesex
University, London, UK. Her current work is concerned with the
politics of the global financial crisis.

This collection offers a thought-provoking opportunity to parse multiplicities and recent directions in global justice organizing. Sen's framing in this book sets us up to take stock of two decades of social and political movement in terms of dynamic motion : Not only as strategy and organization, but as kinaesthetic experience,embodied transformation through space and time. This agile cluster of contributors leads us through the cumulative dialectic of zapatismo, altermondialisme, and their various permutations and relations in resistance to global capitalism, guiding the steps of the social dance repeatedly back to earth from the ethereal spaces of hypermobile globality to place feet on the ground in the most deeply rooted sites of embedded struggle. But the ground has kept shifting too, calling up new motifs in the music of alternative worlds : The nuanced, critical emphases on indigeneity, spirituality, gender and ecology, rich with specificity and insight, locate us unmistakably in our present moment with its lessons gleaned of recent history and praxis, even while bringing us full circle to the themes introduced an unbelievable twenty years ago. We shall not be moved. We shall move. We shall keep moving.

Maia Ramnath is a teacher, writer, activist, and dancer/aerialist.She is the author of Decolonizing Anarchism : An Anti-Authoritarian? History of India’s Liberation Struggle (2012)and The Haj to Utopia : How the Ghadar Movement Charted Global Radicalism and Attempted to Overthrow the British Empire (2011), is currently a member of the Institute for Anarchist Studies board, and teaches history at Penn State University in the US.

Edited by Jai Sen, who has long occupied a central position in an international network of intellectuals and activists in movement, this is an important contribution to a developing internationalism that doesn’t assume that the North Atlantic left has all the answers for the rest of the world and which recognizes that emancipatory ideas and practices are often forged from below. The dazzling diversity of ideas and experiences recorded in this extraordinary book really captures something of the fluidity and diversity within the actually existing movements of movements struggling for a more just world. This book, refreshingly free of tired dogmas, non-sectarian, taking internationalism seriously, and reaching back to 1968, provides a bracing window into some of the central ideas to have emerged from within movements in the sequence of struggle that unfolded from 2006 to 2010.

The essays here range across the globe, look at the politics of caste, class, gender, religion and indigeneity, and move from the local to the global. This book will be useful for activists and intellectuals in movement - be they in universities, parties, trade unions, social movements or religious organisations – around the world.

Richard Pithouse teaches politics at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. He is a widely published and translated intellectual whose work is rooted in day-to-day participation in popular struggles.

To go to the Table of Contents and from there to the material :

For PART 1, What Makes Us Move ?, press Here.

For PART 2, Rethinking Our Dance, press Here.

CACIM @ WSF 2011