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Fishbowldiskussion: ‚Wes Brot ich ess…‘ – Probleme und Aussichten der privaten Finanzierung von Protestforschung

Ort: TU Berlin, Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft, Hardenbergstraße 16-18, Raum 6.06
Zeit: Montag, 30. September, 17.30 bis 19 Uhr
Moderation: Wolfgang Stuppert

Die am Göttinger Institut für Demokratieforschung durchgeführte und von BP finanzierte Studie „Bürgerproteste in Deutschland“ hat zu Beginn des Jahres einigen Staub aufgewirbelt. Lobby-Control und die tageszeitung streuten den Verdacht, dass BP sich von der Studie Vorteile in den energiepolitischen Auseinandersetzungen mit der Umweltbewegung und mit Bürgerinitiativen erhoffen würde. Zudem hätten die Göttinger Forscher_innen nicht von sich aus transparent gemacht, auf wessen Rechnung sie arbeiteten. Die Finanzierung durch BP und der Umgang damit wurde auch auf der deutschsprachigen Liste von Protestforscher_innen diskutiert.

Die Kritik an der Göttinger Studie wirft ein Schlaglicht auf die Situation der Protestforschung in Deutschland. Auf der einen Seite fehlt es an Institutionen mit dauerhafter Finanzierung. Damit sind die Möglichkeiten der öffentlich geförderten Protestforschung eingeschränkt. Auf der anderen Seite melden Unternehmen und unternehmensnahe Stiftungen Interesse an den Themen Protest und Bürgerbeteiligung an. Viele der potenziellen Geldgeber sind allerdings Partei in einem Konflikt mit sozialen Bewegungen oder sie werden als solche wahrgenommen.

Wie diese Situation unter Protestforscher_innen im Allgemeinen und im Institut für Protest- und Bewegungsforschung im Besonderen wahrgenommen wird, wollen in einer Fishbowldiskussion zu Tage fördern. Die Moderation übernimmt Wolfgang Stuppert.

Die Diskussion ist der Auftakt des Herbst/Winterprogramms im Kolloquium ‚Politik von unten‘, das danach wieder 14-tägig stattfindet. Mehr Informationen zum Kolloquium und das vollständige Programm sind auf der Unterseite des Kolloquiums abrufbar.


Occupy Research Collective Convergence (ORCC): Activism & Research Ethics, London, 30 June 2012

Time: 10:00-17:00 Saturday June 30th

Venue: Pearson Building, University College London, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 6BT (enter from Gower Street).

Are you researching Occupy or contemporary social movements?
Are you involved in Occupy or other forms of activism?
Are you interested in using research to take action towards creating other possible worlds?
Are you keen on research which respects activism?

This one day convergence will focus on the ethics of researching within-and-beyond the Occupy movement. We would like this to be the beginning of an ongoing conversation about the ways in which research can complement, inform, challenge and present social movements and radical politics.

This convergence aims to provide an open space in which to share ideas about the ethics of Occupy, activism and research. The agenda is fluid and will be finalised collectively at the start of the day, but themes might include:

The ethics of Occupy and the role of critique in activism.
Activism & institutional relationships; within and against the neoliberal university.
Consensually researching consensus-based movements; research for/research about; approaching (re)presentation.
Participatory methodology; research dissemination and freedom of access; radical publishing; militant research; collaboration and mutual aid in research.

This Convergence is being organised by the Occupy Research Collective. We are an open network of activist-researchers working within and around the Occupy movement. We aim to bring together a broad variety of research and researchers, from students and academics, to social and community researchers working outside academia, to unofficial researchers – anyone interested in thinking and doing research for the sake of activism, knowledge or other purposes. We want to experiment with alternative, collective ways of doing, disseminating and collaborating on research and publishing, helping to counter the increasing neoliberalisation of the university and research environment, and finding new ways to support each other as radical researchers.

In the meantime please join the email list (below) to start sharing and discussing readings. If you have any questions, you can contact us:

By email: occupyresearchcollective(at)
At our website
And by joining our mailing list

See the video documentation of the meeting here (bad audio quality in many clips)

Social Movement Studies is seeking papers on the theme of ‘Ethics of Research on Activism’ for a special issue to be published in 2012.

Every stage of the research process into social movements can introduce complex ethical questions. The issues we choose to address are often highly politicised and often involve our own moral judgements and sympathies. The groups and individuals with whom we engage, whether directly or through documentary records, may be in positions of peculiar vulnerability. They may be relatively powerless by virtue of their social situation, their activities may be covert or illegal, they may face a high risk of repression. The data we gather, then, has special risks associated with it, but ethical challenges do not stop once we insert our own analyses. Rather, we must make choices about what we report, in what terms we report it, and what we leave unsaid, judging the risks faced by research respondents and deciding on the importance of giving voice to those who feel under-represented in their societies. Moreover, we must choose which audiences we wish to address. Are we satisfied, having elicited ‘rich data’ from our research respondents, to use these solely in pursuit of intellectual plaudits in the academy? Or should we seek to speak for or against the movements we study, risking the appearance of condescension to movement participants and excessive political involvement to our scholarly peers? Attempts to engage in the coproduction of knowledge with movements also pose difficult ethical and scholarly questions. How much co-production should there be and how are mutual interests to be negotiated? To
what extent should academics serve activists and to what extent is their independence compromised by doing so?

These issues and many more are likely to be familiar to anyone who has engaged in research on social movements, whatever the particular methodological techniques they employ. While some of these ethical challenges may seem unique to the study of social movements, we also believe that the lessons available here may be much more broadly applicable to original research in a number of cognate fields. We hope to use this special issue of Social Movement Studies as a forum for open and honest debate on the problems and opportunities inherent in our research activities. This issue will become both an essential point of reference for researchers in our field and also a valuable set of reflections for all academics occupied with research in sensitive or complex social environments.

We are seeking proposals for papers on any aspect of the ethics of research on activism. Contributors should reflect on actual experiences of research on social movements and, where possible, consider the reactions of relevant communities to their work, where that might include movement participants, funders or other audiences. Proposals that include activists‘ voices directly through co-authorship or a conversation format are also encouraged.

Details in der pdf-Version

Titelbild: Performance von Pussy Riot auf dem Roten Platz (Foto: Pussy Riot Blog)

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