Thursday, 19 May 2016

Water charges discussion at SAI plenary

The plenary discussion at this year's Sociology Association of Ireland conference was on water charges protests, with Rory Hearne, Mary Murphy, Laurence Cox and Niamh Gaynor. The soundcloud from the session can be heard here (about 90 minutes).

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Deadline for internal postgrad funding applications: June 1st

The deadline for applying for internal funding for taught MAs is June 1st. This site has details of the sixty €2,000 taught MA scholarships and the €5,000 alumni scholarships (for Maynooth graduates and currently-graduating students). For full details on fees and funding see this post.

All about the course here and what's been happening recently here.

If there was ever a time to get strategic about changing the world, surely now is the time...

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

"We Make Our Own History" half price, reviews, debate

Radical publishers Pluto Press have put all their books on half price until May 9th, via this page. That includes We Make Our Own History: Marxism and Social Movements in the Twilight of Neoliberalism, by CEESA's Laurence Cox with Alf Nilsen. We Make Our Own History just got some very striking reviews from Bill Carroll in Socialist Studies and Chris Gunderson in Interface. An older list of reviews and podcasts is online here.

The recent discussion in Connolly Books with John Bissett, Margaret Gillan, Andrew Flood and Fergal Finnegan is online here (audio). In mid-May the book will be the subject of a plenary session at the Sociological Association of Ireland with Colin Coulter, Marie Moran and Fergal Finnegan again.

Monday, 11 April 2016

MA CEESA - a masterclass in changing the world


Around the world today, movements and communities are making history – or trying to.  Austerity is being challenged across Europe.  Elsewhere massive popular movements are challenging the powerful:  from Latin America and Hong Kong to Turkey and US cities. In Ireland, struggles around water charges, fracking, abortion rights and direct provision are shaking the old certainties that “there is no alternative” to neoliberalism, that being co-opted by  state institutions is the only game in town, that communities are powerless, that we are condemned to an endless rerun of the same party politics.

The need for change is huge and the outcome is still all to play for. We see seemingly unstoppable movements squashed - and seemingly hopeless ideas winning against all the odds. Movements seem to come out of nowhere and shake the powers that be – but then it can be hard to see a way forward. What makes the difference, and how can our movements really change the world?

Are you
-        Active in political and social justice struggles?

-        Committed to community activism but frustrated by the co-option of the sector?

-        Fighting to preserve radical education in a seemingly cold environment?

-        Politically minded but don’t know how to turn that into an effective and radical practice?

-        Involved in NGO or trade union activism but feel constrained by structures?

-        Committed to a more equal and just society but unsure how to build on this commitment?

-        Interested in spending a year with experienced activists and community educators?

The Masters in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism (CEESA) at Maynooth responds to the crisis as we learn from each other’s struggles in dialogue between different movements, different communities and different generations. The course is not tied to any single movement and participants come from many different communities and countries. Some are experienced activists who want to go back to education; others are people who are just getting involved in movements. 
This lively mixture of ages, backgrounds, experiences and questions is an integral part of what makes the course so rewarding. Together we are building a diverse network of movement activists, radical educators and campaigners for equality and creating new alliances for change. See the video at

The course team are experienced practitioners and engaged researchers working on equality, radical education and movement struggles. The course combines political strategy, bottom-up organising methods and social analysis with a wide range of learning and research approaches.  Its focus is on “useful” knowledge for change and encompasses a practical but radical look at the issues facing movements today. We don’t just learn within the classroom: we organise joint events with a huge range of community groups and social movements in Ireland as well as running events with international activists like Hilary Wainwright, John Holloway, Selma James, Ian Manborde, Jane McAlevey, Eurig Scandrett, Rhetta Moran, Firoze Manji, John Krinsky…

Often we are told we have to choose between our politics and “real life”. This Masters shows how to integrate the two with confidence, practicality, solidarity, emotional resilience, seeing the bigger picture, taking time out to reflect and supporting each other for the long haul. Participants re-engage with their own movements refreshed, with new ideas, thinking and networks, to set up new projects, to find work in movement organisations, to go on to further education - and bring back what they have learned to their own struggles.