Joel Busher is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK. His primary research interest is in the micro-social processes through which people achieve, or are frustrated in their attempts to achieve, sustained mobilisations, and how understanding these processes can inform policy and practice.
*** Winner: BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize 2016 *** A deeply penetrating study ofã aã movement that shatters conventional ideasã of left/right and racist/antiracist. ã ã Busher's skilled and sensitiveã ethnographyã providesã new insight intoã how the EDLã created a sharedã world of anti-Muslim activism, andã how this world unraveledã in a cycleã of resentments, infighting,ã and skepticism.ã ã Kathleen Blee, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh, USA Approachably written and closely observed, this book gets inside the life worldã of EDL activists - a bunch of peopleã more complicated and varied than commonly imagined.ã Anyone wishing to understand the complexity and the contradictions at the heart of the English Defence League should read Joel Busher's fascinating book. Tim Bale, Professor of Politics, Queen Mary University of London, UK Political causes emerge, change, cross-breed, and subside in complex ways. The English Defence League is a fascinating case, which emerged from networks of football hooligans, became a lightning rod for anti-Muslim sentiment, and yet resisted the racist slogans of the far Right. This fine book takes us inside the heads -- and hearts -- of the League's participants. Professor James M. Jasper, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, USA Stepping in the shoes of English Defence League activists, Joel Busher paints an insightful inside-picture of the British anti-Islam movement. Years of carefully documented fieldwork yield a thick and rich description of a movement that rocked Great Britain for some time. Bert Klandermans, Professor of Applied Social Psychology, VU-University Amsterdam, the Netherlands The English Defence League has been labelled fascist, racist, and extremist; its foot-soldiers have been disparaged as mindless thugs. Joel Busher is no EDL-sympathizer, and yet confronts such glib generalizations in this lucid and penetrating book. Busher really gets up close to reveal the essential heterogeneity of those who took to the streets and marched under the EDL banner. This is a superlative study. Everyone with an interest in anti-Muslim activism should read it. Professor Nigel Copsey, Teesside University, UK Busher's The Making of Anti-Muslim Protest: Grassroots Activism in the English Defence League is a masterful piece of story-telling, sewn together with solid theoretical insights into the individual and ecological dynamics that help to explain the rise, fall, and continuity of the EDL. This boots on the ground approach allows us to hear clearly how members at once distanced themselves from racist identities while nonetheless avowing racist sentiments. Professor Barbara Perry, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada As an analysis of a cross section of the group's supporters, this book is full of important insights. -- Dr Paul Jackson, Searchlight Magazine, Spring/Summer 2016