The affective spaces of global civil society and why they matter

Mark Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Many early-career researchers aim at making research socially engaged. In the initial stages of my research on international volunteering for development I learnt very quickly that any push towards social justice has been blunted by the damaging mechanisms of neoliberal power. The temptation is therefore to make research socially engaged by exposing such malign presences of power in volunteering organisations. This paper grows out of this interest and builds an argument of how researchers can engage power and write into being a better future. This brings into contrast the capitalocentric orientation of fieldwork preparation against the micro-processes of meeting and being with other bodies come together to constitute work in the field. Through work with an NGO in New Delhi the case is put that such meetings of bodies are affective and this is central to making research socially engaged. Affective moments give rise to love, solidarity and hope. Making research sensitive to such intersubjective moments writes into being the possibilities of a better and more just future. The paper makes an attempt to put this approach to research into practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalEmotion, Space and Society
Early online date31 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


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