Militant and Activist Research around the World

3th Workshop

EA-UFMG, Belo Horizonte (Brasil) 3-9 March, 2023

Resulting from the collective reflections developed in the scope of the project “Urban struggles for the right to the city and urban commons: Europe and Latin America”, this workshop focuses on the interactions between scientific research and activism in urban studies. More specifically, it proposes a space for discussion and reflection on the place, the difficulties, the powers and the limits of activist/militant research in universities and educational and research institutions interested in urban spaces. Many of the researches hosted in the cooperation project developed between the University of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) and Uppsala University adopt the perspective of militant research, with scholars engaged in the different urban struggles who research while acting politically. This swedish-brazilian project contributes to ongoing research and training activities, while offering the opportunity for international peer collaboration and learning from the different adopted theoretical frameworks, case studies and research results. In that sense, the activities of the proposed workshop are unfolding the collective reflections that strengthen the collaborative and international partnership between the two institutions and researchers, expanding the exchange of research knowledge on urban social movements, the right to housing and the right to the city in different contexts. By looking at the particular position of the “researcher-militant” we want to reflect on the ways in which knowledge is produced from active engagement in this reality, highlighting the dilemmas that taking this position implies. Based on the different disciplines involved in the project and on the different academic contexts, between Europe and Latin America, we want to question the ethical, methodological and epistemological implications of the articulation between research and action in urban studies. The topic will be approached through specific research cases brought by project members, through a series of workshops, providing transnational exchanges of experiences on the practices and knowledge of engaged research. This meeting aims to strengthen international academic collaboration in dialogue with local urban social movements, from an initiative to promote dissemination of impact in the research environment while producing concrete effects on the social struggles it investigates and supports. Thus, we hope that the workshop can have a positive effect on the beginning of the academic careers of young researchers and doctoral students that have links or work together with social movements, providing ways to welcome new ways of doing research in the field of urban studies in an engaged and critical way.