Opening Session with Saskia Sassen, Donatella Della Porta and Maha Abdelrahman

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 09:00-10:30
Location: Hörsaal 41 (Main Building)
RC48 Social Movements, Collective Actions and Social Change (host committee)
RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements

Language: English

We live in a time of deep reconfigurations of democracy, social movements and activism. Five years after the start of a major global movements’ wave in 2011, the panorama for social movements and democracy in the 2010s is a contrasting one. How do new trends in social movements study help us to grasp this fast evolving situation and the changing forms and meanings of both social movements and democracy?
The decade started with a spread of emancipatory movements and democratic openings. After a phase of intense mobilizations, some of these activists have developed democratic and emancipatory practices in their daily life, while others experiment a partial shift to the institutional politics arena. By the mid-2010s, the panorama for social movements and democracy looks however far more contrasting. The democratic project has however come under serious threat. Social movements are repressed, journalists are killed, and citizens are spied by their states. Even in democratic regions, citizens seem to have little impact on major economic and political decisions. At the same time, conservative, racist and far-right movements are gaining impetus in the West and in the East, jihadism attracts thousands of young people from different regions of the world.
What have been the impacts, the challenges and the limits of emancipatory and conservative movements in the 2010s? How do the new trends in social movement studies help us to grasp these transformations and the challenges faced by social movements and democracy?

Saskia Sassen, Donatells dela Porta and Maha Abdelrahman will address these most pressing issues from different angles and will no doubt lead to lively, challenging discussion and conference.

Session Organizers:
Breno BRINGEL, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Benjamin TEJERINA, University of the Basque Country, Spain
Social Movements and Sociological Theory
Saskia SASSEN, Columbia University, USA