Bridging the activist-academic divide: feminist activism and the teaching of global politics

Catherine Eschle, Bice Maiguashca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
174 Downloads (Pure)


Our starting point in this article is the widespread belief that academia and
activism are separate worlds, driven by contrasting aims and imperatives
and governed by different rules. Such a view is based on a series of takenfor-granted and highly problematic ontological dichotomies, including mind/body, theory/practice, reason/emotion, abstract/concrete and ‘ivory tower’/ ‘real world’. Perhaps most fundamentally, these serve to set up thinking and reflecting in opposition to doing or acting. Thus in both activist and academic characterisations of what it is that they do, we find the frequent assumption that academics theorise and write, while for activists ‘action is the life of all and if thou dost not act, thou dost nothing’; academics exercise their cognitive skills, while activists are animated by passion; academics are impartial commentators on the
world while activists are partisan, polemical advocates; academics work
in elite institutions while activists are embedded in the everyday, ‘on the
streets’ or at ‘the grassroots’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-137
Number of pages19
JournalMillennium: Journal of International Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • feminist activism
  • global politics


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