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Resisting Militarism

Direct Action and the Politics of Subversion

Chris Rossdale

Hardback (Forthcoming)

An intimate study of imaginative, highly passionate, subversive and often mischievous world of British anti-militarist activists

  • Provides a unique critical insight by looking at militarism from the perspective of its opponents
  • Takes examples from groups including the Campaign Against Arms Trade, Stop the Arms Fair Coalition, the Space Hijackers, Smash EDO and the Plowshares movement
  • Draws on a range of critical traditions including poststructuralism, feminism, queer theory, postcolonialism and anarchist political theory
  • Makes a case for the radical and ethical potential of prefigurative direct action

In the past 15 years, UK anti-militarist activists have auctioned off a tank outside an arms fair, superglued themselves to Lockheed Martin’s central London offices and stopped a battleship with a canoe. They have also challenged militarism in many other everyday ways. This book explores why anti-militarists resist, considers the politics of different tactics and examines the tensions and debates within the movement.

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    1. Militarism and Anti-Militarism
    2. Researching British Anti-Militarism
    3. Structure of the Book
  1. Anti-Militarist Direct Action
    1. A Brief History of British Anti-Militarist Direct Action
    2. (Anti-)Representation
    3. Prefiguration
    4. (Anti-)Strategy
    5. Empowerment
  2. Conceptualising Militarism
    1. Militarism and Institutions
    2. Banal Militarism
    3. White Poppies, Blue Hoodies
  3. Feminist and Queer Anti-Militarism
    1. Feminist Anti-Militarism?
    2. Three Cases
  4. Agents of Security
    1. Critical Security Studies and the Politics of Agency
    2. Doing Security
    3. Negotiating Agency
  5. Resisting Security
    1. Deconstructing Security
    2. Unsecurability
    3. Politics of In/Security
    4. Spectacular Resistance
  6. Contestations
    1. Peace Camps
    2. Vulnerability
    3. Humour
    4. Desiring Militarism
  7. Diversity
    1. Diversity of Tactics
    2. Violence and Nonviolence
    3. The (White) Limits to Diversity
  8. Dis/Obedience
    1. Disobedient Subjects
    2. Obedient Subjects
    3. Strategies of Dis/Obedience
    4. Making Mischief
  9. Regimes
    1. The Arms Trade Treaty
    2. Repressive Regimes
    3. Liberal Militarism
    4. Racialisation
    5. Recovering Radicalism


List of Interviews


About the Author

Chris Rossdale is a Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Chris Rossdale has dug deeply into the internal debates and decisions that precede specific direct actions - die-ins, demonstrations, trials, peace camps - that activists have launched to expose and challenge diverse forms of contemporary militarism. "Resisting Militarism" will be salient and engaging for anyone trying to tease apart the myriad strands of militarism and the careful political analyses it takes to shine a bright light on each strand.

- Cynthia Enloe, Author of The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging Persistent Patriarchy

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