Browsing by Subject "social movements"

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  • Reyes-García, Victoria; Andrés-Conejero, Oriol; Fernandez-Llamazares Onrubia, Alvaro; Diaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Molina, José Luis (2019)
    Society's understanding of a conflict is mediated by information provided in mass media, for which researchers stress the importance of analyzing media portrays of stakeholders in a conflict. We analyze information from the Bolivian press regarding the construction of a road crossing the Isiboro-Secure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS). Using stakeholder's and social network analyses, we explore stakeholder's positions and alliances as represented in the media and contrast it with previous scholarly work. We found that some actors cited as central in scholar analyses of the conflict are largely absent in the media (e.g., private investors, conservationist sector) and that the media tend to present stakeholders as having more homogeneous positions than the academic literature does while also neglecting some important alliances in their account. The media also suggests that Indigenous communities are forging stronger alliances with urban sectors and civil society, alliances not stressed by researchers.
  • Keskinen, Suvi (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)
    Gender and Politics
    The chapter analyses the establishment and expansion of antiracist feminism in the last decade throughout the Nordic region, with new groups, media sites, and public events organised, especially in the large cities. Keskinen examines antiracist feminist and queer of colour activism in which the main or sole actors belong to groups racialised as non-white or ‘others’ in Nordic societies. A fundamental argument developed in the chapter is the central role and potential of these emerging social movements in the reconfiguring of political agendas and tackling pressing societal issues, due to its capacity to overlap and connect the borders of antiracist, feminist, and (to some extent) class-based politics. The chapter further argues for the usefulness of theorising the neoliberal turn of racial capitalism as the societal condition in which feminist activism takes place.
  • Teivainen, Teivo (2019)
    Based on conversations with and publications of Samir Amin, the article explores connections between his ideas on global political strategy and sexual self-determination. One of the questions is about struggles related to homosexuality in Africa. To what extent did he believe that some of the demands for sexual self-determination, including certain forms of feminism and LGBT rights, were so overly embedded in Eurocentrism that they were not fully suitable for popular struggles in many parts of the Global South? The question is framed in the context of state-centric conceptions of the political. Even if some of the analysis includes a critical tone toward his strategical options, it also highlights the continuing importance of Samir Amin as a point of reference for future struggles to create transnational and global instruments for democratic transformations.
  • Rönkkö, Lauri Mikael (2008)
    This Master´s thesis analyses how the World Social Forum WSF has emerged as a new global civil society space in the context of the expansion of economism and general depolitisation (cf. Teivainen), facilitated by the internationalisation process and supranational opportunity structures (cf. Tilly and Tarrow). The WSF brings together besides national social movements and their transnational coalitions also new types of transnational social movements and networks. It challenges essentially the expanding democratic deficits at local and national levels, but especially at the international level. Recent research has confirmed the high degree of critical debate on democracy present in social forums: especially internal democracy emerges as an important topic of discussion for the activists (cf. Della Porta). One of the main debates of the WSF is found around the questions whether to favour efficiency over participation or specialization over equality, or vice versa. This dilemma is reflected in the dispute whether the WSF should continue to follow Open Space methodology or move towards a political actor. The aim of this study is to analyse these competing discourses and framings among WSF movements, mirroring discourses to the four models of public sphere presented by Ferree, Gamson, Gerhards and Rucht, and the four conception of internal democracy of Donatella della Porta, and how they are implemented in WSF internal practices. Study identifies three major framings: the movement of movements framing tends to advocate the representative democracy model and the vertical party-type organisations following associational democracy models, i.e., delegation of power and the majority decision-making. The horizontal framing typically criticize the vertical structures and representative practices, and have instead developed horizontal network politics and follow constructionist democracy ideals, emphasizing priority of the prefigurative politics over the efficiency of decision-making. Another main issue explaining the divisions among WSF movements is their divergent relation to the axis of national/ transnational spheres and the changing power relations between these spheres. The open space framing typically relates to the transnationalism as an opportunity like those sympathising horizontal framing. Although no satisfactory solution seems ready yet to address the main organizational dilemmas of the WSF, some progress can anyhow be observed. Consequently, the WSF should be seen as a laboratory of prefigurative politics, developing and testing new form of politics and alternative democratic practices, a global civil society space where excluded voices gather and discuss alternative political and economic practices. It empowers local, national and transnational social movements to create new projects and alliances, and creates new identities, as well, perhaps new type of transnational identities as well.
  • Caruso, Giuseppe; Teivainen, Teivo (2020)
    Various social movement debates on organizational design have hinged on the possibility and political usefulness of devising post-representational, a-representational or anti-representational spaces. We analyse organizational options and obstacles that the WSF faces. A denial of representational dynamics may leave internal power and structural imbalances unattended. We raise the question whether the WSF process can intersect the current instances of activism across the planet including the climate justice movement. We explore its changing attitudes toward representational decision-making. Finally, we suggest that the relationship between traditional organization-building and internet-mediated decision-making practices developing at the intersection between the local, the global and the virtual could be debated on the road to the next global WSF, likely to take place in Mexico.
  • Sundström, Satu (2001)
    This work studies the Anti-MAI front, a coalition of social movements, which opposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). MAI raised more objections and tensions than any other international agreement of an economic nature at the heart of civil society; by the time of closing the negotiations over 600 social movements around the world had joined the resistance. The main concepts of the work are the New Social Movements (NSM), global civil society, global politics and subpolitics. Subpolitics, as defined by Ulrich Beck means the shaping of society from below. In this study NSM are seen as subpolitical actors. Global civil society is the context in which the social movements interact. Global politics is perceived through the concept of global arena, which consists of a variety of actors. These actors determine which issues are brought to the global political agenda. The aim is to present how and why MAI was opposed. It is claimed that MAI became a symbol of economic globalisation. Social movements also presented their own views on how economic globalisation should be regulated. Primary data consists books and articles written by the representatives of the Anti-MAI front. The study shows that the Anti-MAI front politicised the MAI deal by pointing out the far-reaching effects of the deal. They also pointed out the political implications of economic globalisation. Global civil society should be seen as the counterpart of global economy. It does not question the state sovereignty. The view emphasising the confrontation between the state and the new social movements is questioned. Anti-MAI aimed at safeguarding the state against the effects of global economy. It seems quite evident that the impact of movements on global politics becomes more important in the future.
  • Sundström, Satu (2001)
    Tämä työ tarkastelee kansalaisjärjestöjen muodostamaa Anti-MAI rintamaa, joka vastusti monenkeskistä investointisopimusta Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). MAI herätti suurta vastustusta; kun neuvottelut lopetettiin vastarintaan oli liittynyt yli 600 järjestöä kaikkialta maailmasta. Työn tarkoitus on selvittää miten ja miksi MAI-sopimusta vastustettiin. MAI-sopimuksesta tuli taloudellisen globalisaation symboli. Siten se tarjosi kansalaisjärjestöille mahdollisuuden nostaa esiin laajempaa kritiikkiä sääntelemättömiä globaaleja markkinoita kohtaan. Kansalaisjärjestöt esittivät myös omia näkemyksiään siitä, miten globaalia taloutta tulisi säännellä. Työ keskittyy ensinnäkin kansalaisjärjestöjen rooliin globaaleina toimijoina, toisekseen globaalin kansalaisyhteiskunnan merkitykseen kansalaisjärjestöjen toimintaympäristöna ja kolmanneksi globaalin politiikan arenaan. Tutkimusaineisto koostuu Anti-MAI rintaman edustajien kirjoista ja artikkeleista. Työn keskeisiä käsitteitä ovat uudet yhteiskunnalliset liikkeet (NSM), globaali kansalaisyhteiskunta, globaali politiikka sekä ‘subpolitics’ eli ‘ruohonjuuritason politiikka’. Ulrich Beckin määrittelemänä 'subpolitics' tarkoittaa yhteiskunnan muuttamista alhaalta. Tässä työssä uusia yhteiskunnallisia liikkeitä pidetään poliittisina toimijoina. Työ tarkastelee globaalia kansalaisyhteiskuntaa kansalaisjärjestöjen toimintaympäristönä. Globaalia politiikkaa tarkastellaan käyttämällä apuna käsitettä globaalista arenasta, joka koostuu moninaisista toimijoista. Toimijat määrittävät sen, mikä katsotaan kuuluvaksi globaalin politiikan agendalle. Väittäessään MAI-sopimuksen ulottuvan poliittisina pidettäville alueille Anti-MAI rintama haastoi vastapuolen keskusteluun poliittisen määrittelystä ja teki siten poliittiset implikaatiot näkyviksi. Rintama vaati myös taloudellisen globalisaation sääntelyä. Tutkimuksessa on havaittu, että Anti-MAI rintama politisoi MAI-sopimuksen tuomalla esiin sen vaikutukset. MAI-sopimuksen poliittisen luonteen paljastaminen mahdollisti myös globaalin talouden poliittisten implikaatioiden tarkastelun. Globaali kansalaisyhteiskunta on globaalin talouden vastavoima, joka ei kyseenalaista valtion suvereniteettia. Näkemykset, jotka korostavat valtion ja uusien yhteiskunnallisten liikkeiden vastakkainasettelua on kyseenalaistettu työssä. Anti-MAI pyrki suojaamaan valtiota globaalin talouden vaikutuksilta. Kansalaisjärjestöjen merkitys globaalille politiikalle tulee kasvamaan.
  • Khutkyy, Dmytro (2019)
    Contemporary technologies facilitate democratic participation in a digital form. And Pirate Parties claim to represent such an empowered electronic democracy. Thereby this study examines whether Pirate Parties are actually social movements practicing and promoting electronic democracy. For this aim, the research applies the 'real utopias' framework exploring desirable, viable, and achievable alternative social designs. In terms of methods, the inquiry is based on the analysis of expert interviews and political manifestos. The study revealed that Pirate Parties are genuine democratic initiatives, widely implementing principles and mechanisms of electronic democracy. Overall, the studied Pirate Parties foster member participation at all stages of policy making. Even though Pirate Parties have achieved low electoral results for public offices, their models of internal democratic organization and political ideas are proliferated by other parties.
  • Varro, Guilherme (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This Master’s Thesis discusses the politicization of social movements through the case study of the Chilean university student movement between the years 2011 and 2017. The main objective of this research is to identify the effects of the politicization of the national university movement on the educational reforms carried by the government from 2014 onwards. The term politicization shall be related to the movement’s levels of embedded autonomy across time and is assumed to be essential to the changes taking place at the political dimension. The research was carried through an extensive analysis of both primary and secondary data, including more than 170 news articles; books written by two former student leaders; organizational and governmental reports; public and private statistics; and six reform bills. The collected data was examined through a diachronic incorporated comparison and a temporal qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). This Master’s Thesis main theoretical framework is aligned with Markus Kröger’s Theory of Contentious Agency and his notion of embedded autonomy within the state. Through a temporal qualitative analysis of five contentious mechanisms that define the level of embeddedness of social movements, it was possible to analyze the strategies used by the Chilean university student movement on a yearly basis, since 2011, and relate it to their overall influence on the national educational agenda. The findings presented point out to the embeddedness of the university student movement within the State – and therefore its politicization - from 2014 onwards, mainly as a result of the mobilization space and efforts from the previous years. I assume that the effects of the politicization of the Chilean university student movement, in line with its embedded autonomy post-2014, can be verified through the approval of four educational reform laws that addressed some of the students’ main demands, including: increasing public spending on higher education and strengthening public universities; implementing new criteria for access to public universities; gradual universal gratuity in higher education; criminalization of profit in the education system; recognition of education as a right; and progressive advancements on students’ participatory rights in state-controlled universities.
  • Alajoki, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Women’s movements in Bolivia have long been divided into different feminist groups and organizations on the one hand, and indigenous women’s movements on the other. Indigenous women have generally considered feminism to be an urban, middle-class ideology that is not compatible with their conception of gender and does not represent them. They have preferred to be active within the indigenous movement, which stresses the idea of decolonization as key to achieving gender equality. Even with these differences, attempts have been made by different women’s movements to work together in order to have a stronger voice around gender-specific issues in the national debate. In this thesis, frame analysis is employed to examine such efforts of cooperation. The data is a report published in connection with a conference that brought together representatives from several different women’s organizations, with the goal of advancing dialogue between them. The frames that these activists use are examined in order to analyse how those frames address differences between women and what kind of frames are most successful in using differences as strength. The frames that emerge from the data are grouped into three broad categories. First, there are universalistic frames that see a common identity of women and a shared experience of oppression as a starting point for solidarity. Second, there are local frames that ground themselves in the specific struggles to find common ground between different women’s movements in the Bolivian context. These frames base the idea of solidarity on common goals and agendas. Third, there are frames that take a personal approach and present personal accounts of struggles and processes of change. These frames are able to incorporate multiple identities into a personal narrative and to treat solidarity and coming together as an ongoing and open-ended process. The frames in this data that are best able to celebrate differences as strength are certain local and personal frames that move away from broad, conceptual definitions of patriarchy and feminism and towards lived experiences and shared struggles. They focus on the process of coming together and building alliances, which opens them up to differences and to dialogue. However, a more profound analysis of power and privilege is still lacking in all these frames.
  • Hämäläinen, Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Contemporary social movement leadership is a debated topic among social movement scholars. The social movements that organize action partly on digital platforms are often considered as leaderless and horizontal. However, recent research has revealed power dynamics and informal leadership within these movements. The scope of this master’s thesis is to build understanding of this informal leadership that concerns different levels and layers in the online and offline contexts. As a case study, the master’s thesis examines the yellow vests movement in France and seeks to discover what kind of similarities and differences emerge when comparing the dynamics of the yellow vests movement to other contemporary social movements. The research method was digital media ethnography that enabled efficient tracing of the phenomenon in different digital media platforms. The fieldwork that lasted for over a year concentrated on key Facebook accounts and French and English digital news media. Three key events emerging from the social media accounts were analyzed more closely to understand the dynamics of the yellow vests movement. The research findings reveal informal leadership within the yellow vests movement in France. This result supports recent research concerning the dynamics of contemporary social movements. However, informal leadership of the yellow vests movement is visible and thus differs from the leadership of anonymous social media administrators. Visibility enables new personalized communication tactics that are applied to strengthen emotional togetherness in the movement. The informal leadership of the yellow vests movement is also distributed between key figures and other participants in the movement network, highlighting collective action. Based on the research observations, it can be argued that the structure of the yellow vests movement is not horizontal, but key figures of the movement operate as central points or hubs in the network. Thus, it can be argued that the contribution and determination of the prominent figures in different contexts lay the foundation for the longevity of the yellow vests movement in France. The results indicate that informal leadership cannot be ignored in the research of contemporary social movements. Based on the findings, it is suggested that future research should concentrate more closely on how informal leadership is channeled in various ways to achieve the goals of the movement.