Alternative futures and popular protest 2019

The Twenty-Fourth Alternative Futures and Popular Protest Conference will be held on 15-17th April 2019 at the University of Manchester. From 1995 to 2018 this hugely successful series of international conferences has been organised by Colin Barker and Mike Tylesley at Manchester Metropolitan University. Colin and Mike are now retired, and so we are very pleased to be able to move the conference less than half a mile down Oxford Road, where it will now be organised by an AFPP Organising Committee, largely based in the Sociology Department at UoM.

The Conference rubric and structure will remain much as in previous years. The aim is to explore the dynamics of popular social movements, along with the ideas which animate their activists and supporters and which contribute to shaping their fate.

Reflecting the inherent cross-disciplinary nature of the issues, previous participants (from over 60 countries) have come from such specialisms as sociology, politics, cultural studies, social psychology, economics, history and geography. The Manchester conferences have been notable for discovering a fruitful and friendly meeting ground between activism and academia.

Call for Papers

We invite offers of papers relevant to the conference themes. Papers might address such matters as:

  • contemporary and historical social movements and popular protests
  • social movement theory
  • utopias and experiments
  • ideologies of collective action
  • social movements and everyday politics

To offer a paper, please send a title, abstract (max 300 words) and 4-6 keywords to the organisers at including ‘ABSTRACT SUBMISSION’ in the email subject field.

If your abstract is accepted we will also ask you to supply a written paper in advance of the conference, which will be distributed to all participants in advance. Ideally, this would take the form of a fully-referenced working paper, of 6-8,000 words in length in MS Word .docx, Adobe .pdf or compatible format. However, some speakers have submitted different kinds of documents in the past (e.g. extended notes; powerpoint slideshows and so on). We are open to the submission of such documents instead of a working paper as long as they successfully communicate the main argument and evidence base for your paper to a scholarly audience and without the need for specialist software.


  • Receipt of abstracts: Monday 11th February 2019. We aim to respond by 1st March.
  • Conference registration: Monday 1st April 2019
  • Receipt of full papers: Monday 1st April 2019
  • These are final dates. The earlier we receive abstracts, and actual papers, the better.

Arrangements & Fees

The conference will run from lunch-time Monday 15th April until after lunch on Wednesday 17th April 2019 at The Manchester Meeting Place, Sackville St, Manchester (Download a .pdf local map, or use Google Maps link). Registration fees cover participation, three lunches and coffee breaks. Fees are set at:

Full rate: £150
PGR/precarious: £90
The ‘PGR/precarious’ fee is intended for doctoral students and those on short term contract work where there is no access to discretionary funds for conferences.

Conference participants will also be invited to dine together at two local (and not too expensive) restaurants on the two conference evenings with payment to be made directly at the restaurants.

For queries by email:

The AFPP Organising Committee

Cristiana Olcese, Gemma Edwards, Kevin Gillan, Luke Yates, Meghan Tinsley, Pete Lampard and Simin Fadaee.

The Twenty-Fourth Alternative Futures and Popular Protest Conference is supported by The University of Manchester Department of Sociology and the School of Social Sciences Small Grant Scheme.

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