"This Has Become Our Politics": A Comic About Researching The Impact of #Spycops

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products




Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherThe Sociological Review
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2020
Publication type

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products


This comic is based on research I conducted with environmental activists who have been spied on by undercover police officers (or ‘spycops’) in the UK. As discussed in the comic, the scale and scope of undercover policing and intimate state surveillance is believed to have been huge, with more than 150 officers spying on over 1000 political groups. Spycops perpetrated a range of harms, and I interviewed activists to try and better understand the way this has impacted environmental activism. I decided to make a comic as a means of visually representing the findings of the research, in the hope that it would be make it more accessible. The comic also provided a visual space for some autoethnographic reflections on the implicit challenges of doing research of this kind.

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