Social centres, anarchism and the struggle for Glasgow's Commons

Crossan, John (2015) Social centres, anarchism and the struggle for Glasgow's Commons. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis charts the work of a group of people in their efforts to set up a social centre in Glasgow. A social centre is like our once prolific community centre but with an explicit political character and agenda. They are social and cultural hubs where people can take part in a variety of communal events (e.g. dancing, cooking, eating, game play or simply hanging around). They are also places that encourage political debate, organization and action. Crucially, users are encouraged to participate in the day-to-day running of the centres. Social centres have a rich history in European radical politics. While proponents of various political philosophies use social centres, they are most commonly associated with anarchism. Anarchism is a tradition of political thought and practice that aims to build a society based on mutual aid and mass democratic participation characterised by a rejection of all forms of human domination over other humans. In this work I explore a variety of political and cultural initiatives employed by anarchist-influenced activists in Glasgow as they struggle against the neoliberalization of the city. It is the intention of this thesis to highlight the totalizing impositions of neoliberal urban governance and anarchist-inspired alternatives to these impositions, which I argue, constitute a different way of knowing and engaging with the city. These alternatives are prefigured in the doing of social centre work.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Anarchism, democracy, neoliberalism, urban, commons
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Earth Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Featherstone, Dr. David and Andrew, Professor Cumbers
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Dr John M Crossan
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6655
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2015 11:29
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2015 12:14

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