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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

ESRC research funding success

Published: 15 May 2009 Origin:  Politics and International Relations

Dr Clare Saunders has been successful in securing ESRC research funding for a European Collaborative project entitled 'Caught in the Act of Protest: Contextualising Contestation', led by the University of Antwerp. Along with co-applicant Christopher Rootes (University of Kent), Clare will work on the project for four years, analysing social movement protests and mobilisations in the UK and Europe.

The research project will collect data through surveys of participants in three or four large-scale protest events per year in the period 2009-2012 in the UK, and will address several key research questions by analysing data from a combined dataset of country-cases in the broader project: the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.

The project will ask:

  • Who attends protests?
  • Why do people attend protests?
  • What is it about conventional politics that leads members of the public to attend such protest marches?
  • Do protesters see protest as an alternative, and perhaps more effective means of influencing politics than voting?
  • Are they dissatisfied with the current political system?
  • Do they decline to vote?
  • To what extent do they trust governmental institutions to deliver fair and just policies?
  • What is the current status of the global justice movement?
  • Is there continuity in protest participants?
  • Do activists perceive themselves to be a part of the global justice movement?

The research award, of over £230,000, illustrates the growing strengths of the division of Politics and International Relations in securing prestigious ESRC funding.

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