Ruth Kinna, Loughborough University and Maria Rovisco, Leicester University

4 December 2018

Colleagues and friends of CAPPE are invited to a celebration of the book series Radical Subjects In International Politics published by Rowman & Littlefield International in partnership with CAPPE.

This launch will feature two talks by Ruth Kinna and Maria Rovisco and a drinks reception.

Ruth Kinna, What Is Radicalism? 

We all know have strong intuitions about radicalism and what it means, but giving the term political content is not straightforward. This talk will provide a short history of radicalism and argue that movements give the term meaning and ideological content.

Maria Rovisco, Pop-Up Democracy: Square Politics and Political Theatre 

In this talk I am concerned with what occupations of public space – the act of taking the square – offer to the understanding of protest as political performances. Looking at the case of the indignados social movement’s occupations of public space, I argue that city squares became a stage for a political theatre in which the indignados go on to articulate their democratic struggles for social rights and a new way of doing politics, which is highly performative, and constitutive of their collective identity. I show how the narrativization of protest (that is, who we are, what we demand, the collective story) matters less than the dramatization of protest (that is, the staging of their identity through symbolic acts and objects) in order to assure the movement’s visibility and collective self-representation in a global public sphere. The protesters rely strongly on the use of a shared visual culture and performance to express discontent and to communicate ‘who they are’ to a transnational audience of interested and engaged citizens.


Ruth Kinna is a political theorist in the School of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. She is the editor of the journal Anarchist Studies and series editor of Rowman and Littlefields, Radical Subjects in Politics and International Politics.

Maria Rovisco is a Lecturer in Media and Communication at the School of Media, Communication and Sociology at the University of Leicester. She has research interests in migration, cosmopolitanism, new activisms, arts and citizenship, and visual culture. She is currently researching the artistic and civic practices of UK-based migrant and refugee artists and the visual communication practices of anti-austerity activisms. Among her recent publications are the co-edited books The Ashgate Research Companion to Cosmopolitanism (Ashgate, 2011) and Cosmopolitanism, Religion and the Public Sphere (Routledge, 2014) and Taking the Square: Mediated Dissent and Occupations of Public Space (2016).

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