Monday, 20 January 2014

"Understanding European movements" gets accelerated paperback release

Understanding European Movements now in paperback; inspection copies available

Cristina Flesher Fominaya and Laurence Cox (eds.),
Understanding European movements: new social movements, global justice struggles, anti-austerity protest
Routledge 2013, 268 pp.

Paperback: £24.95, ISBN 978-1-13-802546-2
Hardback: £80.00, ISBN 978-0-415-63879-1
E-books and inspection copies also available:

Due to the high levels of interest, Routledge have given Understanding European Movements an accelerated paperback release, just 6 months after the hardback edition. This has happened faster than reviews could be published (to date only one review is available, in German): the book has sold widely on word of mouth alone and the importance of its subject matter.

European social movements have been central to European history, politics, society and culture, and have had a global reach and impact. Today, six years into a new cycle of movements which have shaken Europe from Iceland to Greece and from Spain to the Ukraine, the need for an adequate understanding of social movements in Europe
is greater than ever. The drive-by commentary of pundits with no real grasp of movements, journalistic anecdotes geared to the attention span of the mainstream news cycle, and the spurious wisdom of commentators who cannot even speak the languages of the movements they are discussing, are no substitute for real, engaged scholarship.

Understanding European movements draws on the the ethnographic and historical research of a new generation of scholars participating in the Council for European Studies' network on social movements to offer a comprehensive, interdisciplinary overview of the key dimensions of European movements over the past forty years. The book's editors
are co-founders of the open-access social movements journal Interface and well known in the field. Cristina Flesher Fominaya is also an editor of the journal Social Movement Studies and author of Social movements and globalization: how protests, occupations and uprisings are changing the world (Palgrave) while Laurence Cox is co-editor of Marxism and social movements (Brill) and director of the MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.

Understanding European movements is a richly-textured book, with chapters exploring the global justice / alterglobalisation movement, anti-nuclear power activism, social centres / squatting, peasant organisation, anti-roads protest, EuroMayDay and climate justice, Indignados and anti-austerity protest and cases from Italy, France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Iceland and transnational organising. The book explores the European tradition of social movement theorising, the historical continuities and breaks between different waves of movements in Europe, the construction of social movements on a European scale and the analysis of contemporary anti-austerity movements.

One peer reviewer commented that the book "will fill a big gap in the academic literature on recent and contemporary movements, and on the application of European social movement theory"; another wrote "I'd love to have a book that: introduced students to the Global Justice Movement and the 'anti-austerity' movements; examined the latter movements' continuities with the former, and the continuities of both with even earlier movements; and did all this in terms of European social movement theory".

The first review to be published, by Sabrina Zajak in the Forschungsjournal soziale Bewegungen, commented "This book can be recommended to a wide readership interested in the theory and empirical reality of social movements, but also to readers with a general interest in European history and the history of thought." That readership can now access the book at a paperback price, while those teaching in the field can now offer their students an approach to European movements which is both up-to-date and historically grounded and which covers a wide range of countries and movements without attempting to homogenise them under a single idea.

The Council for European Studies' Reviews and Critical Commentary carried an in-depth interview with Cristina Flesher Fominaya about the book, available online at

Publishers' website: