Jamie is a political and cultural sociologist whose research explores contemporary social movements, popular protest and cultures of resistance. His work has focused on anti-austerity movements in the UK, the global Occupy movement, ecological struggles and resistance movements across Latin America. His current work addresses the role played by water in a range of political mobilisations. Jamie’s work employs a variety of engaged methods, particularly ethnographic ones, and uses a broad critical theoretical literature, in particular Deleuze and Guattari, social movement studies and various Marxist traditions. He has published work on themes of populism, the spatiality of protest, collective speech, and the poetics of propaganda.
Jamie is also interested in the politics of production and consumption in branded culture, and he convenes the MA in Brands, Communication and Culture. He is Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy.
Jamie’s research interests centre on contemporary movements, particularly in the Global North, organising around issues of economic justice, climate crisis and the resurgent nationalist right. He has published work on themes including : populism; occupation and the spatiality of protest; the role of collective speech in political organisation; and literary readings of social movement theory. Empirically, Jamie’s work has addressed movements such as: Occupy Wall Street and Occupy London; the UK anti-fracking movement and global ‘Blockadia’; the UK anti-austerity movement; anarchist antifascism; ‘water protector’ movements; and Welsh nationalism. This also draws on a wider research interest in histories of anarchist organising, indigenous struggle and slave resistance.
Jamie is interested in the applications of Deleuze-Guattarian concepts to social movement analysis, and to debates on political organisation across the Marxist, post-Marxist and anarchist traditions. His current work also draws on political ecology, feminist new materialism and ecocriticism, part of a wider interest in the intersections of sociology, poetry and literary fiction.
He is interested in the problem of producing engaged but critical research on political movements, including debates surrounding autoethnography and ‘militant’ ethnography.
Publications and research outputs
Matthews, Jamie. 2023. Waves, Floods, Currents: The Politics and Poetics of Water in Social Movement Analysis. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, 55(6), pp. 1822-1840. ISSN 0066-4812
Matthews, Jamie. 2019. Populism from below? Occupy, ‘the 99%’ and the problem with representation. The Sociological Review Magazine, ISSN 2754-1371
Matthews, Jamie. 2019. Populism, inequality and representation: Negotiating ‘the 99%’ with Occupy London. The Sociological Review, 67(5), pp. 1018-1033. ISSN 0038-0261
Matthews, Jamie. 2018. Occupation as refrain: territory and beyond in Occupy London. Social Movement Studies, 17(2), pp. 127-143. ISSN 1474-2837