Ann Mische – Associate Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame and a faculty fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Her work focuses on processes of communication, deliberation and leadership in social movements and democratic politics.  Using a combination of interpretive and network-analytic approaches, she discusses the challenges to leadership and coalition building posed by the participation of activists in multiple institutional sectors, including partisan, civic, religious, corporate, labor and social movement networks. She has examined these dynamics in her study of Brazilian youth politics in the 1990s (see below), and is currently extending this analysis to the dynamics of the recent wave of anti-regime protest in Brazil and elsewhere. In addition, she is interested in how the cultural construction of the future influences actions, relations and political process.  After a number of theoretical explorations (American Journal of Sociology 1998; Sociological Forum 2009), she is beginning an empirical study of the discursive and relational dynamics of future-oriented deliberation in transnational arenas of policy-development and political intervention. As a pilot project, she is analyzing future-oriented discourse in the (often fierce) debates over proposals for a “green economy” in the documents of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) and the accompanying “People’s Summit.”  She examines how network location, power disparities, and cultural genres influence modes of future projection, including variations in time horizon and a relative emphasis on predictions, values, and strategies. Mische’s book, Partisan Publics: Communication and Contention Across Brazilian Youth Activist Networks (Princeton University Press 2008) was awarded an honorable mention for the 2009 Best Book Award of the ASA’s Political Sociology section.  This book examines the relationship between partisanship and civic association in Brazilian youth politics during 20 years of democratic restructuring.  She tracks the trajectories of five “micro-cohorts” of activists through overlapping institutional sectors, examining the distinct styles of political communication and leadership that developed in different regions of the field.  She considers the implications of these styles – and the forms of political mediation and leadership they give rise to – for democratic politics in Brazil and elsewhere. Her articles on the Brazilian case have appeared in Poetics, the International Review of Social History, and several edited volumes, including Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action (Oxford 2003) and Social Movements in Latin America: New Theoretical Trends and Lessons from a Mobilized Region (forthcoming from Ashgate).  She has also written broader theoretical articles on agency, culture, temporality, and social interaction.

Current Research

I am working on several related projects: 1) a study of partisan ambivalence and the rejection of institutionalized politics in the recent protests in Brazil; 2) a study of future-oriented discourse in the contentious debates over the “green economy” in the United Conference of Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the accompanying “People’s Summit”; and 3) a new book project on how individual and collective projections of future possibilities influence deliberation and decision-making. This study will compare the discursive and relational dynamics of future-oriented deliberation in local communities, social movements, and policy arenas.



Journal Articles

"Measuring Futures in Action: Projective Grammars in the Rio+20 Debates" Theory and Society 43 (2014)
"Projects and Possibilities: Researching Futures in Action" Sociological Forum 24 (2009)
“Composing a Civic Arena: Publics, Projects, and Social Settings” (with Philippa Pattison), Poetics 27 (2000)

Book Chapters

“Relational Sociology, Culture and Agency,” in John Scott and Peter J. Carrington eds., The Sage Handbook of Social Network Analysis (Sage, 2011)
“Cross-Talk in Movements: Rethinking the Culture-Network Link,”  in Mario Diani and Doug McAdam, eds., Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action (Oxford University Press, 2003)


Other Accomplishments & Recognitions
  • Awarded honorable mention for the Best Book Award of the American Sociology Association’s political sociology section (2009)

Upcoming Deadlines

No Deadlines In The Near Future