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Earlier in life I worked in a variety of contexts from agriculture to transport to prisons and these experiences taught me to appreciate and value the trade union movement, its history and means of organising. I was awarded a scholarship with the support of my union – the Public and Commercial Services Union (then - CPSA) to study at Ruskin College in Oxford where I won the Hind Prize for outstanding scholarship in Labour Studies. Afterwards I entered Higher Education and have spent my time since studying, writing, teaching about, and participating in, various forms of collective action concerned with social justice and social change.


Teaching interests

Social-Ecological Resilience: Discourses and Practices; Understanding Violence; Movements for Social and Ecological Justice; Human Rights; Peace and Change.


I am interested in the relationship between agency, participation and social change in the context of global complexity. This includes a focus upon the production and exercise of political power, the establishment of social norms and the analysis and subsequent contestation of these processes by social and cultural movements. I am presently working with activists and colleagues from the labour movement in the UK and US on new forms of social (movement) unionism. I also have an interest in US politics, the use of violence as a political means, representations of conflict, including war photography and visual methods in the social sciences.

Date Role Title / Description Funder Award
01-SEP-16 - PISocial Movement Unionism

Professional activities

  • Ruskin College, Oxford. - Diploma in Labour Studies
  • Lancaster University - BA (Hons) 1st Class
  • Lancaster University - PhD
  • Edge Hill University - Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Local Policy Studies
  • Cardiff University - Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences
  • Royal Geographical Society and Institute for British Geographers, Royal Geographical Society and Institute for British Geographers: To advance scholarly research in the areas of Human and Physical Geography
  • International Sociological Association, International Sociological Association: To advance the scholarly pursuit of Sociology
  • 01-JAN-17: - Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • Advisor: Editorial advisor for Emerald publishing’s book series


Peer Reviewed Journal
TitleAnalysis: Voices from the movement: What can the Trade Union Act (2016) tell us about trade union organising? (2017)
AuthorsPorter, F.; Blakey, Heather; Chater, M.; Chesters, Graeme S.; Hannam, M.; Manborde, I.
TitleSocial unionism and the framing of ‘fairness’ in the Wisconsin uprising (2016)
AuthorsChesters G.
JournalLocal Economy
TitleSocial Movements and the Ethics of Knowledge Production (2012)
AuthorsChesters G.
JournalSocial Movement Studies
TitleSocial movements and regeneration: Within, without, against? (2009)
AuthorsChesters G.
JournalLocal Government Studies
TitleOther worlds are possible (2005)
AuthorsChesters G.
JournalOrganization and Environment
TitleComplexity and Social Movements: Process and Emergence in Planetary Action Systems (2005)
AuthorsChesters, Graeme S.; Welsh, I.
TitleGlobal Complexity and Global Civil Society. (2004)
AuthorsChesters, Graeme S.
TitleRebel Colours: 'Framing' in Global Social Movements (2004)
AuthorsChesters, Graeme S.; Welsh, I.
TitleSocial Movements: The Key Concepts (2010)
AuthorsChesters, G. and Welsh, I.
TitleComplexity and social movements: Multitudes at the edge of chaos (2006)
AuthorsChesters G.;Welsh I.
JournalComplexity and Social Movements: Multitudes at the Edge of Chaos
TitleWe Are Everywhere: the Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism (2003)
AuthorsAinger, K., Chesters, G., Credland, T., Jordan, J., Stern, A. & Whitney, D.
Book Chapters
TitleShould universities actively help build peace? Reflections from Programme for a Peaceful City (2018)
AuthorsChesters, G., Cumming, L., Khatun, A
JournalThe Role of Universities in Conflict, Post Conflict or Contested Environments
TitleSocial Movement (2015)
AuthorsChesters, Graeme S.
TitleSocial Movements and the Ethics of Knowledge Production (2014)
AuthorsChesters, Graeme S.
TitleSocial movements and regeneration (2009)
AuthorsChesters G.
JournalUrban Regeneration Management: International Perspectives
Other Publications
Other typeBlog
TitleSome Thoughts On The Mid-terms (2018)
AuthorsChesters, G.
PublisherOverpass Light Brigade
Other typeWorking Paper
TitleThe death of collective identity? Global movement as a parallelogram of forces. (2007)
AuthorsChesters, Graeme S.; Welsh, I.
Other typeArticle
TitleComplexity and social movement(s): Process and emergence in planetary action systems (2005)
AuthorsChesters G.;Welsh I.