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Vienna, RCSL at ISA Forum 2016


Wednesday 13 July
9.00-10.30 - Roundtable I: Recent Global Social Movements - Abstracts

Chair: Jesús Sabariego

Jesús Sabariego, Coimbra, Centro de Estudos Sociais,
Project funded by FCT-Portugal
Recent Global Social Movements and public awareness of Democracy and Human Rights

Since 2011, different social movements have come forward in many parts of the world against the background of the global crisis. Considering their extraordinary impact on the media and public opinion, it is urgent to develop research on them Several recent projects are opening new paths and setting up new challenges, not only for scientific research, but also for the agenda of social, political and economic organizations in our changing world. In the European Union those social movements became more visible with the 2013 “Alter Summit”, an encounter to exchange experiences among European social movements celebrated in Athens (Greece). In Latin America, examples are the brazilian movements "Passe Livre" and the movements against the FIFA World Football Championship in 2014 and the Olympic Games 2016 and the recent street demonstrations reclaiming military intervention over the democratic political system. A characteristic of what we call here the “Recent Global Social Movements” is that they are claiming for a direct participation in “a real democracy”. Interestingly, the European Parliament declared Citizen of the Year 2013 the Spanish Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (Platform of those affected by the Subprime mortgage crisis, PAH in its Spanish acronym), one of these RGSMs, thus recognizing the impact of these social movements on the public awareness of democracy and Human Rights. Further to the above mentioned projects, the panel proposed aims at discussing this impact, taking advantage of different approaches integrating different Social Sciences´ methodologies, from social movements studies to sociology of law.

Keywords: Recent Global Social Movements; Democracy; Human Rights; Public Awareness; Europe.

Major references

Badiou, A. (2012): El despertar de la historia. Madrid, Clave Intelectual.

Byrne, J.; Wells, R.; Lewis, M. et al. (2012): The Occupy handbook. Boston/New York, Black Bay.

Calle, A. (2013): La transición inaplazable. Salir de la crisis desde los nuevos sujetos políticos. Barcelona, Icaria.

Castells, M. (2012): Aftermath: the cultures of the economic crisis. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Cruells, M. and Ibarra, P. (Coord.) (2013): La democracia del futuro. Del 15M a la emergencia de una sociedad civil viva. Barcelona, Icaria, pp. 169- 178.

Della Porta, D.; Diani, M. (2012): Movimientos Sociales. Madrid, Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas.

_____ and Mattoni, A. (Eds.) (2014): Spreading protest: Social Movements in times of crisis. Colchester: ECPR.

Grofman, B.; Trechsel, A. H. and Franklin, M. (ed) 2014): The Internet and Democracy in Global Perspective: Voters, Candidates, Parties, and Social Movements. [Electronic resource e-book]: Springer.

Maloney, W. A. and van Deth, J. W. (Eds) (2010): Civil Society and Activism in Europe: Contextualizing Engagement and Political Orientation. London, Routledge.

Matias, M.; Costa, S.; Nunes, J. A. (2007): “El derecho medioambiental desde abajo y la democracia en la sociedad del riesgo: experiencias portuguesas en el contexto europeo”, in Sousa Santos, B.; Rodríguez- Garavito, C. A. (orgs.): El derecho y la globalización desde abajo: hacia una legalidad cosmopolita. Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Anthropos, pp. 324-342.

Tejerina, B. and Perugorría, I. (Eds.) (2012): Global movements, national grievances: mobilizing for “real democracy” and social justice. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Universidade del País Vasco.

Toussaint, E. (2012): “La indignación mundial y su marco internacional”, in Fernández, J., Sevilla, C. and Urbán, M., ¡Ocupemos el mundo! Occupy the world!. Barcelona, Icaria, pp. 27-40.


Cícero Krupp da Luz, Faculdade de Direito do Sul de Minas – FDSM - Brazil
Transnational Mega-events and Recent Global Social Movements

Mega-events are singular moments for States to support their reputation and status to the international level, and as governments able to organize and host an international event with responsibility, competence, and structure to the domestic level. Although it has public appeal, public money, and a global public good, they are mainly fostered by private organizations which are associated with private transnational corporations. The World Cup, the Olympic Games and other sports mega-events have been politically contested in its late appearances. In Brazil, 2014, the costs of the stadiums, non-priority infrastructure, tax privileges have been the main reason people was mobilized against it. However, other problems have been surfaced as a suspension of fundamental rights in favor to the mega-event accomplishment as labor rights, political demonstration, corruption, and police violence. The objective of this paper is to explore the recent global social movements (RGSM) that have emerged from reactions to these mega-events, especially those concerning the last and upcoming World Cups and Olympic Games. The research question aims to answer if there is a pattern of RGSM for sports mega-events in a global perspective or if Brazil was a single case of resistance to those events. The methodology is to compare the RSCM concerning economic expenses and fundamental rights suspensions in different countries and its political regimes.

Keywords: Recent Global Social Movements; Transnationality; Mega-events; Brazil


Pierre Guibentif, Dinâmia’CET-IUL, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
Recent global social movements as a cognitive and practical challenge for the social sciences

Today, social sciences, and sociology in particular, have to add to their research agenda the study of what we may call recent global social movements. New social entities are playing an increasing role in our globalized world, apart from states, international organizations, multi-national companies and internationally operating NGOs. What is at stake here, however, is not only to produce knowledge about these entities. It is also to discuss reflexively (Bourdieu) the practical relationship between social sciences and these entities. Indeed, this relationship appears to be rather paradoxical. On the one hand, science plays a role in the processes which lead to the formation of social movements, in the first place economics, but also sociology, notably sociology of social inequalities and theories of globalization. On the other, science is denounced for being an instrument of governance and for producing expert knowledge accessible only to an elite. So this relationship needs to be analyzed as such, and this analysis reopens the old question of the relationship between science and politics, now that new players are participating in the political processes, changing the nature of these processes. This discussion acquires particular complexity in the sociology of law. As a matter of fact, jurisprudence faces a similar challenge, having to rethink the relationship of law and politics. And sociology and jurisprudence both will have to deal with this crucial question raised by these changes in the political processes: is it possible to experience and effectively defend rights without the background of differentiated jurisprudence and science (for different approaches to this topic: Reemtsma, Supiot, Teubner).

The paper aims at contributing to this discussion, on the basis of observations and experiences gathered in Portugal during the recent financial crisis, and of a comparison of Portugal with other European countries.

Keywords: Recent global social movements, rights, science and politics, sociology of law, reflexivity



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