Between Strategies of Transnational Activism and Tripartite Dialogue: The Strategic Mechanism of Market-Based Lobbying
Social movement organisations and labour unions team up on the transnational level in order to cope with the global power of multinational companies and missing or ineffective labour regulations that put labour conditions at risk along the global value chain. What are the common strategies of these cross-movement alliances in the global governance architecture?
Recent literature on global labour governance point at the helpful guidance by complex and dynamic models of strategy-making in private politics (Den Hond/de Bakker/de Haan 2010, den Hond/de Bakker 2012, Mena/Waeger 2014, McDonnell/King/Soule 2015) and at the interconnections of transnational attempts for institution building between the state and the market arena (Fransen/Burgoon 2013, den Hond/Stolwijk/Merk 2014, Zajak 2017, Kryst/Zajak 2017 forthcoming).
By the further development of a strategic-interactionist approach (Jasper 2004) and its adaption to the global labour governance architecture I identify strategies of alliances of social movement organisations and labour unions in two varied qualitative case studies: The Clean Clothes Campaign (1990-2016) and the European Banana and Agro Industrial Product Action Network (1994-2016) both develop strategies between a) transnational activism and b) transnational social or tripartite dialogue that are within each case strongly interconnected over time.
One of the interactive mechanisms between these two types of strategies that I trace back is the strategic mechanism of market-based lobbying (a->b): Private governance schemes, originally invented by social movement organizations, are supported in the political(-administrative) arena, amongst others by labour unions. Examples of this mechanism show how social movement organisations and labour unions with different strategic preferences jointly develop strategies that blur the lines between the actors’ groups and their strategic actions and arenas, and emphasise the need for longitudinal interactionist strategy analysis.