New Publication: Activists Forever? Long-Term Impacts of Political Activism


Olivier Fillieule, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland

Erik Neveu, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Rennes, France


Activists Forever? explores the consequences of political involvement on an individual’s life. While much of the research in this area has focused on the motivations of entire protests groups, the editors of this volume propose an approach that focuses on actors. This book examines political involvement’s socio-biographical effects, or the ways in which political commitment generates or modifies dispositions to act, think, and perceive, in a way that is either consistent with or in contrast to the results of previous socialization. The contents explore what political involvement leads to rather than what causes involvement. Using a variety of case studies, this collection of essays provides global coverage with a focus on participation in major protests in the 1960s and significantly broadens our understanding by looking outside the United States. These essays look at the lasting effects of activists’ knowledge, connections, and symbolic capital on their future participation in politics, as well as their personal and professional lives.


Introduction: Activists’ trajectories in space and time

Part I. From Shades of Red (or Blue) to Shades of Grey: The Ageing of Yesterday’s Activists:

1. The diversity of activist outcomes: the role of ideology in shaping trajectories of participation; 2. Biographical impacts of activism in the French ‘May ’68’; 3. Life stories of former French activists of ‘May ’68’: using biographies to investigate the outcomes of social movements; 4. Women in political activism: the biographical resonances of the ’68 student movement in a Latin American context;

Part II. Terrorist Violence, State Repression and Activists’ Experiences

5. ‘Join up’, they said!The biographical consequences of engagement in Morocco for the 1970s generation and its children; 6. From militancy to activism: life trajectories of Sikh women combatants; 7. ‘Married forever’, activists forever? What the multi-level and interactionist approaches to the study of ‘exit’ reveals about disengagement from radical organizations in contemporary Turkey; 8. Contextualizing the biographical outcomes of provisional IRA former activists: a structure-agency dynamic

Part III. Biographical Trajectories in Times of Transition. Social Movement Activists into Politicians?

9. When prophecy succeeds: the political failure of dissidents in the new Czech democracy; 10. From grassroots activism to the cabinet, round-trip: the puzzling trajectory of a peasant leader in Post-Communist Poland; 11. Red t-shirt or executive suit? About some biographical consequences of contentious engagement in the workers’ party in Recife, Brazil;

Addendum: life history as a tool for sociological inquiry; References; Index.


For more information, and to order, visit: and enter the code FILLIEULE2019 at the checkout in order to obtain a 20% discount (valid till Nov 15 2019)


December 2018

228 x 152 mm c.360pp 4 b/w illus.

Hardback 978-1-108-42872-9