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The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and radical democracy

Chalcraft, John ORCID: 0000-0002-0302-9306 (2019) The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and radical democracy. In: Feldman, David, (ed.) Boycotts Past and Present: From the American Revolution to the Campaign to Boycott Israel. Palgrave Critical Studies of Antisemitism and Racism. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK, 287 - 310. ISBN 9783319948713

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Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-94872-0


This chapter argues that the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, far from being anti-Semitic, can be usefully compared with recent radical democracy movements. Drawing on participant observation over a number of years, the chapter explores the core features of the BDS movement’s trans-local mobilizing project: highly diverse constituencies, rights-based and inclusionary identities and principles, networked and non-hierarchical organization, and a direct-action and participatory repertoire of collective action. The chapter emphasizes a distinctive feature of the movement’s strategy: it seeks to address and change political society without aiming to take up an established position of power within political society itself. The chapter argues that the movement’s radically democratic features, far from implying chaos, weakness, and failure, help account for this particular movement’s cohesion and potency.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2016 15:47
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2021 23:04

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