The Party’s Not Over: Network politics and the 2010-11 UK Student Movement

  • Bruce Robinson Salford University Manchester
Keywords: student movement, 2010, demonstrations, occupations, tuition fees, academia, organisational forms, , democracy, accountability, political strategy


In late 2010 a mass student movement emerged in the UK in a series of spectacular demonstrations and a wave of occupations in response to the trebling of university tuition fees and the education cuts of the Tory-LibDem coalition. There followed a debate about its organisational forms in which "organising without organisations", Internet organising and a leaderless movement of autonomous groups became prominent themes. This intervention uses examples from the movement to argue that this model cannot deal with a number of issues necessary if it is to be sustainable and effective in bringing about radical political change: forms of democracy and accountability; the determination and implementation of a political strategy; and the formation of political organisations that can attract long term commitment and go beyond individualised responses. This suggests limitations to this model as an organisational strategy for the movement.
How to Cite
Robinson, B. (1). The Party’s Not Over: Network politics and the 2010-11 UK Student Movement. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 12(3), 431-442. Retrieved from