Call for Papers: Future of Activism Research Workshop (April 21 & 22, 2023), Sponsored by the Ford Center of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Social movement activism continues to play a prominent role in politics, business, and culture. On the politics side, movements such as Black Lives Matter on the left and the Covid policy resistance movement on the right have been prominent. In business, #MeToo has significantly shaped workplace policies at the same time that the labor movement has experienced a resurgence. Culturally, activism has bled into the kinds of media we consume and become an integral part of individuals’ online lives. These movement “moments” have been accompanied by new types of resources (e.g., transnational organizational networks) and tactics available to activists (e.g., social media campaigns). Now is a good time to reflect on the question of: what next? The purpose of this conference will be to highlight new scholarship on social movement activists who are shaping our political, economic, and cultural worlds, with a key focus on how these worlds are being reshaped by technologies and changes to social and conventional media. We are also interested in the changing ideological landscape of social movements, including the consequences of polarization.

On April 21 and 22, 2023, at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, we will convene a small number of scholars in a workshop to present and discuss their research on the current and future directions of activism. The conference will be an intimate gathering and will allow for rich and in-depth discussion of the papers. If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please submit a 1-2 page abstract by January 30. You can upload your abstract at this link ( The abstract should contain a description of both the empirical context, theoretical perspective, and analytic approach of the paper. Prior to the workshop, we will ask participants to share a working paper with all other workshop participants. The Ford Center will provide lodging and subsidize the travel costs for one author of each paper presented at the workshop. We expect to accept between 10-12 papers. If you have any questions about the workshop, feel free to reach out to the organizers, Brayden King ( and Ed Walker (

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