Neoliberalization, Precarity and Social Movements in the Brics Countries: Towards New Perspectives

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements (host committee)

Language: English

The onset of the twenty-first century has witnessed substantial shifts in the vectors of economic and political power that structure the workings of the world-system. It is above all the rise of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, China, India, and South Africa – that have called into question the future of western dominance in world markets and geopolitics. 

Mainstream narratives of the economic and political ascent of these emerging powers tend to highlight the potential that this process holds for poverty reduction and progress towards higher levels of human development. However, the neoliberal developmental trajectories of the BRICS countries are shot through with socioeconomic fault lines that relegate large numbers of people to the margins of current growth processes, where life is characterized by precarity. And these fault lines give rise to new forms of popular resistance that range from highly localized single-issue protests to sustained social movements oriented towards structural transformation.

This panel will bring together international scholars whose work seeks to develop new critical perspectives on neoliberalization, precarity and social movements in the BRICS countries. Focusing how neoliberalization and precarity generate distinct forms of mobilization and conversely how social movements shape neoliberalization and precarity, the contributions will push towards a critical conceptualization of the political economy of development in the BRICS countries that unearths the economic, social, and political contradictions that tend to disappear from view in mainstream narratives.

Session Organizers:
Alf NILSEN, University of Agder, Norway and Karl VON HOLDT, SWOP, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Oral Presentations
Neoliberalization and the Politics of Dispossession in India: Investigating Three Moments in a Contentious Trajectory
Anand VAIDYA, ANAND, University of Bergen, USA; Kenneth Bo NIELSEN, University of Bergen, Norway; Alf NILSEN, University of Agder, Norway
Public Demonstrations
Gayatri MENON, Azim Premji University, India; Aparna SUNDAR, Azim Premji University, India
Between Neoliberalism, 'corruption' and Social Crisis in South Africa
Karl VON HOLDT, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Social Movements in Brazil- from 1988 to 2013-2018: Two Different Political Cycles
Maria da Gloria GOHN, UFABC-Federal University of ABC, Brazil