Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-8bbf57454-zdbn7 Total loading time: 0.198 Render date: 2022-01-25T06:12:12.633Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

4 - Student Politics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 March 2021

Donatella della Porta
Affiliation:
Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
Lorenzo Cini
Affiliation:
Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
Cesar Guzman-Concha
Affiliation:
Université de Genève
Get access

Summary

Introduction

When activists plan a mobilization campaign, decide the timing of their actions, prepare their public discourses and design the modes in which they will attempt to involve their constituencies, among other crucial aspects of all protest movements, they show how agency is at the centre of resistances and struggles. But protest movements are situated historically. Activists do not decide in a vacuum. History, institutions and cultures leave an imprint on the contemporaneity of social movements, not only as structures that condition and limit but also as sources of creativity and agency. To understand what student activists do and how they do it, we must look at the characteristics of the organizations in which they act, where these organizations come from, their connections with the party system, and the traditions of activism that feed and shape the new generations of students.

In this chapter, we focus on two dimensions to explain the ways in which students react to changes in the HE sector. First, the extent to which the student body has access to decision-making instances, at levels that include university governance and the governance of the HE sector, is examined. The question to be answered here is: how do students relate to state and educational institutions? The recognition of students as counterparts, stakeholders or customers signals different ways in which the state regulates students’ access to key instances of decision making. Similarly, access can be regular (institutionalized and regulated by law) or exceptional (dependent upon the willingness of university or political leaders to include students in their decisional bodies). It is maintained that the degree of institutionalization of student representation within HE fields shapes the ways in which students access HE decisional bodies, organize their claim-making and other activities, and helps form their interests and demands. The kind of relations between student organizations and authorities constitutes an important component of the structure of opportunities available to students.

The second dimension, which we call student politics, conceptualizes the forms that student activism takes, irrespective of the degrees of formalization and recognition from the state. The main question here is: how do students do politics?

Type
Chapter
Information
Contesting Higher Education
Student Movements against Neoliberal Universities
, pp. 97 - 128
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×