About the Institute

The Autonomous Research Institute for Direct Democracy and Social Ecology is an organization of independent activists and scholars dedicated to the documentation and study of ordinary people’s social revolutions throughout history.  As the name of our institute implies, we also investigate the relationship of these social movements to the natural world. We hope our work will illustrate that the well-being of our ecology is intimately connected to the abolition of all hierarchy and oppression in human society and that all ecological crises are also social crises. 

Based in Midway, Georgia the scope of our work is simultaneously local and global.  Our scholars and activists have studied (and in many cases, participated in) direct-democratic liberation movements around the globe and across the reach of history: from the Ogeechee Insurrections to Pan-Africanism; from the Civil Rights/Black Power movement to the Occupy movement, and beyond.

Through our research, writing, and activism, we hope to critically chronicle social movements from the past and become an intricate part of these diverse movements and moments in the present, placing them into conversation with one another as we uncover their common thread of ordinary people’s self-organization and social liberation.

Throughout history, ordinary working-class people have consistently resisted the imposition of hierarchy and coercive authority through revolutionary movements of their own creation and direction. They have organized and re-organized themselves over time into new and ever more democratic social institutions that arise from the bottom ranks of society. In doing so, this human collective has also asserted their interdependence with the rest of the natural world. This historical process of creating self-organized and directly democratic institutions gives us the hope of a viable collective social and ecological future.


Convening Council:

Dr. Modibo Kadalie

Dr. Janis Coombs Reid

Andrew Zonneveld

W. Jay White

Visiting Researchers:

Dr. Olga Cielemęcka


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