Dr Michael Briguglio has a doctorate in sociology and is a senior lecturer at the University of Malta. His main research interests are environment, politics, social movements and social policy, and he has published several scientific contributions on these topics. He also co-edited the book Sociology of the Maltese Islands. He is one of the founders of the Malta Sociological Association and is a member of the European Sociological Association, the International Sociological Association and the Political Studies Association.
Michael is an established drummer in the Malta rock scene. He co-founded the band Norm Rejection in 1994 and joined Dripht in 2000, releasing three albums and two EPs with Norm Rejection and three EPs with Dripht.
Michael has been involved in civil society and politics since the 1990s. He commenced his activism in 1994 with Moviment Graffitti. In 1997 he was instrumental in the change in legislation that meant that the selling of public land now required parliamentary approval. This followed protests and a six-day hunger strike against the Portomaso project, which involved the cheap sale of public land. That year Michael was also active in the successful campaign in favour of stipends. In 1999 he co-founded Front Kontra l-Golf Course, which eventually succeeded in stopping the development of a golf course the size of Sliema on agricultural land in Rabat. In 2003 Nature Trust gave Michael the Green Outstanding Personality award.
Michael was also active in the campaign for EU membership and co-founded the successful Yes to Divorce campaign. He was also the first politician in Malta to publicly express support for same-sex marriage.
In 2015, he co-founded Front Ħarsien ODZ, and as part of this movement he co-organised the Save Żonqor protest, which was the biggest ever environmental protest in Malta, with 4000 people protesting against the private university development at Żonqor Point. He also co-founded Civil Society Network, and as part of this network co-organised a number of protests for justice and against corruption, including the biggest ever civil society protest in Malta, with 15,000 people calling for justice in the aftermath of the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Michael was active in Alternattiva Demokratika – the Green Party – between 1998 and 2017, first contesting elected office with the party in 2003. In those elections he was elected to the local council of his hometown, Sliema. He was elected again in 2006, 2012 and 2013. He led the party between 2009 and 2013. In 2013, Michael received the highest ever number of first-preference votes for an AD candidate in a general election (741 on the 10th district) and in the Sliema local council elections (727, winning 8.2 per cent of votes). He was part of the Nationalist Party’s coalition for good governance in the 2017 general election and contested the 2019 European Parliamentary elections, obtaining 3,134 first count votes going up to 4,625 in final vote.
Michael Briguglio is a columnist with the Malta Independent.