A Party for Autonomy: Jeremy Corbyn and the Social Movements of 2010

Seth Wheeler

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This thesis is concerned with tracing the continuity of social movement actors between two social movements, that on face value appear to contain diametrically opposed politics: the autonomist wing of the domestic student movement of 2010, and the movement that emerged in support of Jeremy Corbyn’s Leadership of the Labour Party in 2015.
This thesis asks to what extent participation in both movements can be comprehended as an extension of a particular moment’s logics and politics - as an Event in Badiouan terms, or as a means to maintain social networks, ideas and resources during a moment of low reception - as an abeyance structure.
From this position the thesis claims that the Assemblage - an idea lifted directly from the work of Deleuze and Guattari - provides a better framework for comprehending the origins, continuity, and transformations of social movement actors than a reliance on either the Event or Abeyance theory alone may offer.
In the process of this work, I explain the activity of ‘autonomist activists’ now engaged in an apparently contradictory project aimed at seizing state power, using the languages and analysis of Autonomist Marxism itself. This novel adaptation of Autonomist Marxist theory claims a new direction for autonomist inflected social movements is underway, that can only be rendered apparent in reference to its own languages.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Bradshaw, Alan, Supervisor
Award date1 Feb 2023
Publication statusUnpublished - 2023


  • Autonomy
  • Activism
  • Labour Party

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