Social Movements and Labour: Joining Forces Against Authoritarian Neo-Liberalism in the Global North and South
Integrative session of RC09 Social Transformations and Sociology of Development, RC44 Labour Movements, RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements
Social movements and labour have been key forces contributing to building and strengthening democracies and creating institutions that democratically govern capitalism. These institutions, being under pressure for a long time now, seem to be in decline in many countries around the world. Against the background of the ongoing global economic crisis, ‘authoritarian neo-liberalism’ in multiple facets is on the rise around the world. Authoritarianism here does not refer to an order imposed by non-democratic means and brute force. Rather, it can it is manifested in the reconfiguring of state and institutional power in an attempt to insulate certain policies from dissent. Although processes, mechanisms and reasons for the emergence of authoritarian neo-liberal governance differ across countries and world regions, the shrinking democratic space has become a new global phenomenon. This has some serious consequences for social movements and trade unions, as they run the danger of being exposed to repressive acts in various forms. At the same time, it spurs new forms of resistance finding expression in social movement activities.
This integrative session wants to explore the rise, development, challenges and innovative strategies of alliances and joint collective action between the so called “new” and “old” social movements and between the global South and the global North in their fight against repression and for the renewal of democratic space.