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Laurence Cox

Cox Laurence

Image rights: Laurence Cox

Laurence Cox (Dublin / Maynooth) grew up with social movements and has been actively involved ever since, in a wide range of different movements and countries and at many different levels: from alternative press editor to co-founding movement networks, from running mailing lists to stuffing envelopes and from summit protest spokesperson to creating alternative kindergartens. Over the years he has been particularly committed to building links between social movements in Ireland, to dialogue between anti-capitalist activists and working-class community organisers, and to movement media and education. He has been an academic, busker, meditation teacher, father, party activist (in a previous century), blogger, translator and (failed) dishwasher.

As a teacher and researcher Cox stresses the ways in which social movements generate knowledge, and attempts to reclaim the "frozen movement knowledge" of earlier generations from being used for purely academic purposes: as a founding editor of the global social movements journal Interface; working with activists doing participatory action research into their own movements; and as a co-founder of the NUIM Masters in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism. He has a long history of involvement in popular education work and alternative education projects of different kinds.

Cox has published widely on the "movement of movements", working-class community organising, social movement cultures, activist theorising and new religious movements. Currently he is working on an edited book collection on Marxism and social movements (with Colin Barker, John Krinsky and Alf Nilsen), one on European social movements (with Cristina Flesher Fominaya) and a project (with Alicia Turner and Brian Bocking) on the strange life of U Dhammaloka, an Irish-born migrant worker in turn-of-the-century Burma who became an important activist in the anti-colonial Buddhist revival, using western freethinking (atheist) arguments to challenge Christian missionaries and imperial power. He is committed to movement-relevant research and to co-publishing.

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Laurence Cox

LAURENCE COX 

Essay of the month

Gramsci in Mayo: a Marxist perspective on social movements in Ireland

The question of how to understand the national and regional peculiarities of social movement organising was central to Gramsci’s thought.

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