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History Revolutionary

Impulse to Act

A New Anthropology of Resistance and Social Justice

edited by Othon Alexandrakis

contributions by Jessica Greenberg, Eirine Avramapoulou, Irene Peano, James D. Faubion, Neni Panourgia, Tania Ahmad, Cymene Howe, Petra Rethmann, John Postill, Marianne Maeckelbergh, Alex Khasnabish & Athanasiou Athena

Indiana University Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2016
Revolutionary, Civics & Citizenship, Cultural
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    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
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    Oct 2016
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What drives people to take to the streets in protest? What is their connection to other activists and how does that change over time? How do seemingly spontaneous activist movements emerge, endure, and evolve, especially when they lack a leader and concrete agenda? How does one analyze a changing political movement immersed in contingency? Impulse to Act addresses these questions incisively, examining a wide range of activist movements from the December 2008 protests in Greece to the recent chto delat in Russia. Contributors in the first section of this volume highlight the affective dimensions of political movements, charting the various ways in which participants coalesce around and belong to collectives of resistance. The potent agency of movements is highlighted in the second section, where scholars show how the emerging actions and critiques of protesters help disrupt authoritative political structures. Responding to the demands of the field today, the novel approaches to protest movements in Impulse to Act offer new ways to reengage with the traditional cornerstones of political anthropology.

About the authors

Othon Alexandrakis' profile page

Jessica Greenberg's profile page

Eirine Avramapoulou's profile page

Irene Peano's profile page

James D. Faubion's profile page

Neni Panourgia's profile page

Tania Ahmad's profile page

Cymene Howe's profile page

Petra Rethmann is assistant professor of anthropology at McMaster University. Her work has been published in American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Anthropologica, and The Anthropology of East-Europe Review.

Petra Rethmann's profile page

John Postill's profile page

Marianne Maeckelbergh's profile page


Alex Khasnabish is a writer, researcher and teacher committed to collective liberation living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on unceded and unsurrendered Mi’kmaw territory. He is a professor in sociology and anthropology at Mount Saint Vincent University. His research focuses on radical imagination, radical politics, social justice and social movements.


Alex Khasnabish's profile page

Athanasiou Athena's profile page

Other titles by Petra Rethmann

Other titles by Alex Khasnabish