what we do
the action/research/collective [a/r/co] is a network of independent researchers who aim to support social movements in their meaningful contributions to fighting structural injustice, inequality, and violence.
we conduct small, tailor-made research projects on demand of community-organizers and activists.
we investigate background facts, gather information and try to make knowledge more accessible. civil society groups can use this as a basis for analyzing political developments, discussing goals and developing strategies.
all work for a/r/co is independent, confidential and unpaid.
who we support
we work for self-organized, non-state, non-profit and non-corporate actors who stand up for a more equitable and just society, including groups
whose work and values are:
- cooperative and solidarity-oriented
- anti-authoritarian, or
- advocating queer liberation
what we offer
upon request, we conduct small-scale investigation initiatives that meet the specific needs of your community or activist group.
you tell us what you need, and we see what we can do, depending on our time resources, access to sources, and consistency with our values.
formats and methods may include:
- background research for speeches, texts and campaigns
- literature overviews on topics of interest (e.g. on the success of particular protest tactics in history or other contexts)
- media screening/monitoring on political developments
- content/discourse analysis of media (written or audio/ visual), speeches, policy documents, etc.
- social media and network analyses
- overview of theories & typologies that help understand political phenomena
- theory-practice transfer (e.g. joint workshops)
- facilitate contact and knowledge-exchange with other activists in your country and abroad
- collection & analysis of statistics
- interviews and surveys with persons of interest
- participant observations (e.g. at demonstrations, political events, court cases)
- observation at street demonstrations (e.g. of police behavior, of far-right demonstrators), counting or survey of participants (e.g. about their motivation to join)
- archival research (e.g. in public archives on historical data or incidents in a particular city)
- (comparatives) case studies (e.g. of other social movements, other countries, cities, contexts, …)
- translation of movement documents from other languages (incl. spanish, italian, greek, french, german)
- collection of training materials
- systematization and visualization of collected information
- development of participatory and collaborative research initiatives
- informal academic peer-review for early career scholar-activists and researchers (e.g. developing research projects, phd proposals, …)
- review and edit texts for publications, reports, or websites in english, italian, and german
- whatever else comes into your mind and sounds both meaningful and feasable…
what topics we have worked on
- protest tactics & cycles
- history of social movements & resistance
- police & state violence
- far-right discourse, politics & violence
- visual communication, memes & online media
- artistic activism
- platform & internet governance
- digital activism & repression
- global north-south relations
- racism & (neo)colonialism
- migration & refugee politics
- international cooperation
- gender & power relations
- (post-) conflict dynamics
- conflict transformation & dialogue
- and some more…
most commonly, activists themselves have much more expertise in their field of action than researchers. but while being busy with educating, agitating and organising, they may simply lack the time for deep dives and background investigations. this is where we as researchers offer our solidarity.
aiming to fit the needs of communities and movements, we support their commitment to knowledge-production, education and mobilization, which seems all the more necessary in light of the increasing right-wing tendencies that appear in various shades: from hostile operations of state institutions to the blatant violence of racists and fascists.
‚a/r/co‘ is not only the acronym for action/research/collective.
‚arco‘ also means ‚arch‘ or ‚bow‘. it serves as a bridge between research and activism, but also as an instrument that supports activists in shooting their powerful weapons.
who we are
we are a loose network of people who have a background in academia and enjoy doing research with political relevance. some of us also have experience in political activism and social movements.
we are financially and institutionally independent.
this gives us the freedom to support who we want, but also limits our capacities in terms of time and resources.
we are currently based in berlin and london.
we speak english, german, italian, greek, and spanish.
how to contact us
to see if we can contribute to your work, please make an initial contact via mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(your mail will be encrypted if you write it from a Protonmail account).
for a more detailed exchange, we will suggest a secure digital communication channel or a personal meeting, depending on your location.