Sandra Grey is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research focuses on social movements and citizen engagement in democracy. Sandra is currently working on a project examining on four decades of contentious political activity by the women’s, union, and anti-poverty movements of New Zealand. Her recent publications in this field include a chapter on the New Zealand women’s movement in Rethinking Women in Politics; an edited collection Women’s Movements: Flourishing or in Abeyance? co-edited with Marian Sawer; and, Voices of the community: the community and voluntary sector’s role in New Zealand democracy, a report co-authored with Charles Sedgwick. As well as her keen research interest in social movement activism and civil society politics, since 2010 Sandra has been the spokesperson for the Campaign for MMP. And during 2011 and 2012 Sandra took leave from Victoria University to work full-time as the National President of the Tertiary Education Union.
- "More than two decades ago, Colin Lankshear called upon university staff to find energy for day-to-day resistance and challenge, for critiquing and debating university policy, and for establishing active networks with activist organisations and/or political elites."
- "The aim must be to build ‘complex activity networks’."
- "This seems at odds with the stated mission of Universities New Zealand, which is to advance university education and research activity, to promote ‘the common interests of the universities nationally and internationally’, and to contribute ‘well-argued, unified responses to developments that may impact on university autonomy’."
- "We have to do this as a strong collective, however, not as individuals who can be picked off one by one, so the first step is to stimulate widespread appreciation that change is both needed and possible."
- "While some may assert that my ‘situatedness’ within the union means I am uncritical and unthinking, my role as an academic demands that my critique of the NHE environment is public, rigorous and open to dialogical engagement."
- "Related forms of activity have been evident in our own institutions."
- "It mobilises concepts drawn from social movement and non-violent conflict research to understand activist techniques, and it is informed by ‘lived’ activism and scholarship in the form of document analysis."
- "These are but a few examples of the ‘insider tactics’ being used by staff concerned about the NHE environment and its impacts on teaching, learning and research."
- "Examining the public proclamations of Universities New Zealand (the New Zealand Vice Chancellors Committee) demonstrates this problematic tendency in action."
- "As Erik Olin Wright has noted, ‘to most people capitalism now seems the natural order of things’."