Reviews

Please scroll down this frequently updated page for links to book reviews related to the series.

Rabin Chakraborty: “Book Review: The Movements of Movements, Part 1: What makes us move?”

Frontier, 2018

The book titled - “The Movements of Movements -Part-1: What makes us move?” is about worldwide people’s movement as well as of the people who are involved in those movements. It is a compilation of essays, edited by Sir Jai Sen, and written by people who are either actively involved in the movements or are close associates of the movements.

In his excellent introductory note, the editor gives a broad outline of the book by stating that - “This book is about people in movement; it is about women and men who feel moved to do something about the world around them and about the social and political movements for justice and liberation that they form. …In a way, it is more than this. It is an attempt to present (and to see and to hear and to feel) the extraordinary drama of the flow of social movement taking place across the world in our times, that we are so privileged to be a part of or to be witness to, perhaps more than ever before in history”.

Continue reading at Frontier

Sara Smits Keeney: “Book Review: The Movements of Movements. Part I: What Makes Us Move?”

Humanity & Society, 2019

Reviewing a volume of collected readings presents many challenges, however, the craft that Jai Sen puts into this publication speaks to his insight and keen ability to "compose" a truly remarkable piece. The Movements of Movemments reads like a musical scrore that motivates social movement academics to begin to rethink and challenge their approaches to studying this phenomenon. Part 1: What Makes Us Move? is the first part in a two-vloume series, it also is the fourth volume in the OpenWord's Challenging Empire series. The book opens with a poem by Shailja Patel, a Kenyan poet, playwright, and activist, entitled What Moves Us. Although the poem was not write as an introduction for this book, it eloquently illustrates what I believe Sen is trying to do in this collection:

...grapples with the chasms of all that's gone before. Negotiate the heartbreak of decades of betrayal. Stretch our brains until we feel it, to hard analysis, until we get it, unpack systems, structures, models, mine the data, map the stories, 'til we know what works and what does not. What truly moves us.

Continue reading at Humanity & Society

Valentine M. Moghadam: “The Movements of Movements – A Review Article.”

Socialism and Democracy, 2019

In early December 2018, I was completing Part 1 of this big two-volume collection of essays, and in his concluding chapter, Laurence Cox’s core message of “listening and learning” and of “being loyal to each other” resonated as I heard news of the angry protests in France against president Emmanuel Macron’s fuel tax.1 The protesters, mostly from rural and low-income areas, were aggrieved because the rise in diesel fuel tax would add to their already considerable financial burdens, but they also were angry because Macron had not been listening to them. Could it be that across the globe, many politicians and even activists who shared Macron’s view of the need to reduce carbon emissions had not been listening or learning from people whose lives had been upended by over 30 years of business-friendly economic policies? Is it a wonder that in France, angry citizens engage in street protests (recall Charles Tilly’s famous book The Contentious French), and in other countries they may vote for right-wing populist parties?

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Eve Ottenberg: “Why New Social Movements Are Different.”

The American Prospect, 2018

A new book from social reformer Jai Sen explores the international age of protest.

In mid-March, a Canadian alliance of First Nation tribes led protests in British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. This action followed other indigenous protests in Canada and the United States over the past few years, over Keystone XL, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and the Bayou Bridge. One of the most widely covered of these protests, the anti-DAPL demonstrations at Standing Rock, was led by the Standing Rock Sioux, which unfolded in tandem with their lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers. Under President Obama, the Corps finally denied an easement for the construction of the pipeline. With little apparent care for the Sioux's concerns, President Trump promptly reversed that move.

Continue reading at The American Prospect