Dr Benjamin Abrams

Research Fellow, School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies at UCL



After receiving his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2017, Benjamin was appointed as the Director of Studies for Human, Social and Political Sciences for St Catharine’s College (and as an affiliated Lecturer in the faculty), where he lectured on Social Movements, Revolutions and Contentious Politics, and supervised undergraduate and graduate students on a range of topics in Sociology and Political Theory.

In 2019, after a short stint as a Teaching Fellow in Political Sociology, Benjamin took up a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at SSEES.

Benjamin's research focuses on exploratory macro-causal comparisons and case studies, designed to generate new, durable theoretical insights. His approach fuses these macro-level techniques with in-depth investigative within-case methods, with a specialism in the analysis of ethnographic interviews and archival sources. His research covers the following topics:


Benjamin's research on revolutions has answered questions such as: how the shape of revolutionary coalitions prefigures revolutionary outcomes; how revolutionary waves initiate new protests elsewhere; and how revolutionary movements demobilise after contentious conflicts. He also has an interest in broader questions of revolutionary theory.

Mass Mobilisation

Benjamin's last major research project was on 'mobilisation beyond the movement': instances of spontaneous mass mobilization, carried out by people who are neither members nor affiliates of organized movements. This project developed an entirely new model of mass mobilization: the Affinity-Convergence Model of Mobilization. Benjamin is currently preparing a monograph, based on the project.

Resistance Movements

Benjamin's current major research project concerns the nature of resistance movements, and is funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The 'Resistance to Populism' project examines how modern societies respond to and resist the rise of populist regimes. In addition to his work on modern societies, Benjamin also works on the theory and comparative history of resistance movements from 1870 to the present.

Benjamin is editor in chief of Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest.