Social Movement Studies Britta Baumgarten Memorial Prize 2022

Social Movement Studies

"We dedicate this memorial prize to a wonderful colleague who left us far too soon, Britta Baumgarten (1975-2018). Britta deserves to be remembered for many reasons, not least as a role model for social movement scholars. Britta was an excellent and generous scholar and a good friend to the Journal, allowing us to publish her work but also serving as a thoughtful reviewer.

The jury awards the Britta Baumgarten prize 2022 to ‘Slow Justice: A Framework for Tracing Diffusion and Legacies of Resistance’ by Kate J. Neville and Sarah J. Martin. We find this to be a singularly ambitious, original and well-written article, which develops a framework around the concept of 'slow justice' to understand the ways in which environmental movements might have invisible, less tangible and complex positive consequences that are difficult to see and measure, with non-linear patterns of causality, and effects that may spread well beyond initial spatial confines and over time. Flipping Rob Nixon’s concept of ‘slow violence’ on its head, the authors suggest a three-part typology of social movement connectivity, simplified as ‘people’, ‘projects’ and ‘processes’ and then illustrate its potential in an intriguing case study of a period of contention over a pipeline in Mackenzie Valley in northern Canada in the 1970s. The article offers a powerful riposte to both simplistic understandings of social movement ‘impact’ and to climate pessimism. While we might quibble with some aspects of their typology and its application, we think this is crucially important, agenda-setting work for both social movement studies and environmental activists, of wide resonance, and we look forward to seeing the authors develop their ideas in the future."

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Social Movement Studies