Occupy London As Pre-Figurative Political Action

Neil Howard, Keira Pratt-Boyden

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This paper reflects on the Occupy London encampment as an example of pre-figurative political action. The paper articulates the major media-political criticism of Occupy as “unwieldy” and “in search of a narrative” (Anonymous 2012), before drawing on case studies of two of the Occupation's components – the Tent City University and the Welfare and Well-being Group – to suggest that this criticism fails to understand the intentional choice that “directionlessness” represented. Indeed, the refusal to adopt formal leadership or any pre-defined ideological goal was a conscious strategy which pointed towards the kinds of possible future(s) desired.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-741
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopment in Practice
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aid accountability
  • globalisation
  • civil society - partnership
  • participation
  • governance and public policy
  • poverty reduction


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