QUT Centre for Justice member, A/Prof Erin O’Brien has had a paper published in Business and Politics titled, ‘Banning indirect boycotts: Contentious interactions and the role of the state in marketplace activism’ by Erin O’Brien, Hope Johnson, and Yu-An Murray.
This article analyses two key instances of the state declaring an intent to prevent activists from protesting through the market – the UK’s attempt to ban the ‘boycott, divest and sanction’ (BDS) campaign against Israel, and the Australian Government’s attempt to ban environmental activists from engaging in secondary boycotts to target mining companies. By investigating how indirect boycotts were problematized by state actors, we aim to reveal the rationale behind the state’s intervention in marketplace politics. Our findings indicate that opposition to the political cause behind the boycott, rather than a problematization of the strategy itself, drives state intervention.
Read the full article here.
Dr Erin O’Brien is an Associate Professor and ARC DECRA Fellow in the School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology. Her research examines political activism, advocacy, and participation with a focus on political consumerism. Dr O’Brien’s current research examines the political mobilisation of consumers, shareholders and investors on a range of social justice issues including modern slavery and environmental degradation.
Erin’s Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship (2021-2024) titled ‘Australian civil society combating modern slavery with ethical consumerism’ examines the shift in the framing of responsibility between the state, civil society, and corporate actors, and the norm adoption of ethical consumerism as a solution to complex multi-jurisdictional issues.
Dr O’Brien is concerned with studying the interplay between activists and the state in the construction of knowledge and formation of policy.
Erin also leads the QUT Centre for Justice Modern Slavery Research Group which seeks to improve the knowledge and understanding of the issue of modern slavery and labour exploitation.