This is a small category, which generally exists alongside one of the other groups. Activist research is a form of inquiry that involves working with activists to explore problems that they consider important through research methods that they endorse. Researchers and activists collaborate to define problems, design and conduct the research, and interpret and apply findings. While the researcher themselves are certainly activists, the research that they produce is regularly used to underpin conventional campaigns and protests. For instance, the Chilean Student movements worked with policy researchers to produce a policy document that argued against commercialised education systems, and used this document as academic backing for their protests against the government’s tertiary education system. Similarly, the countless pieces of academic work which were sparked by the South African Student Fee protests, if harnessed and publicised correctly could be seen as activist research which assists movements in future.
For more information check out the Protest Resilience Toolkit by CIVICUS