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Book Launch: Rebel Politics

On 30 October 2019 the Department of Politics and International Relations launched Dr David Brenner’s new book Rebel Politics: A Political Sociology of Armed Struggle in Myanmar’s Borderlands with a panel discussion on the changing dynamics of the civil war in Myanmar, one of the most entrenched armed conflicts in the world.

people sitting at a desk talking

Book launch of Rebel Politics

Based on long-term research inside the Kachin and Karen rebellions, Rebel Politics analyses the relations between rebel leaders, their rank-and-file, and local communities in the context of political and geopolitical transformations in Myanmar’s borderlands. Using ethnographic methods and social theory, it provides an insight into the hidden social dynamics of political violence, ethnic conflict and rebel governance. In doing so, the book explains how revolutionary elites capture and lose legitimacy within their own movements and how the internal politics of rebel movements drive wider dynamics of war and peace.

The book launch featured a roundtable discussion with David Brenner (Goldsmiths), Kai Htang Lashi (Kachin National Organisation), Lee Jones (Queen Mary University of London), and Shona Loong (University of Oxford). It was chaired by Sanjay Seth (Goldsmiths).

More information about Rebel Politics can be found here:


Interview with Dr Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi

Book cover

Revolution and Its Discontents, by Dr Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi

Recently arrived lecturer in Comparative Political Theory, Dr Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, has given an interview to e-zine Jadaliyya about his new book, Revolution and its Discontents: Political Thought and Reform in Iran (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019). You can find the interview here:

Book Launch for Dr Rachel Ibreck

On 10 October, staff and students joined Dr Rachel Ibreck, lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Goldsmiths to celebrate the launch of her book – South Sudan’s Injustice System: Law and Activism on the Frontline – with a panel discussion at SOAS, University of London. The panel included Benjamin Avelino (South Sudanese community leadership UK in Europe), Matt Benson (Conflict Research Programme, LSE), and Prof. Alex de Waal (World Peace Foundation, Tufts University), and was chaired by Mawan Muortat (South Sudan political analyst).
people sitting at a desk

Rachel Ibreck (centre) talking at her book launch at SOAS

Rachel’s book argues that legality matters intensely in South Sudan, the world’s newest ‘fragile’ state. Plural and competing laws and authorities have governed throughout the atrocious civil war since 2013. South Sudanese people have been subjugated by legal practices, with colonial and authoritarian roots. Yet in the midst of a protracted violent conflict, people still turn to accessible ‘customary’ courts, and South Sudanese legal activists strive to make a more humane legal order from below, using social networks and cultural resources to respond to injustices. The struggles in courts and prisons are revealing about the power of law, and the possibilities for transforming violent conflict.  More information on the book can be found here:

A Conversation Connecting Racism and Migration

Image from cover of GJSS

Illustration by Raquel Durán

Peter Rees, PhD researcher in PIR working on citizenship, has recently guest co-edited an issue of the Graduate Journal of Social Science under title of ‘A Conversation Connecting Racism and Migration: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives’: which can be found at The editors of the issue are all doctoral researchers and participants in the PhD Migration Reading Group at Goldsmiths. The issue explores, from a variety of angles, the relation between race and migration in contemporary experience and emerges from a symposium held at Goldsmiths in 2017.