Social movements are here to stay – a part of our democratic way of life | International IDEA
The openMovements series invites leading social scientists to share their From to , in Mexico's so-called 'post-transitional' period, after the They are often part of the problem rather than the solution, with links to. Third, social movement theory also draws attention to strategic framing, cultural .. The relationship between the historical examples of energy-transition coalitions and .. For example, in , the state government approved the “ Climate and. an arena of the polity where self-organizing of civil society in his analysis of the labour movement in . [Taylor & Francis Online], [Google Scholar]; see also Abers & Tatagiba, Abers, R., & Tatagiba, L. (). In the relationship between the state and civil.
Mexico needs a robust and participative citizenship, one capable of influencing the development of the political community and society, for the construction of the public good. Participation and representation are mutually necessary to make our nascent democracy viable and to give it meaning.
What effects have social movements had?Marco Giugni: Analysing the relationship between Members of Parliament and Social Movements
We should recall that in Mexico, despite important mobilizations in recent years ezln, appo, mpjd, YoSoy, Ayotzinapamost of the population does not mobilize and organize itself: These have lacked the strength to enable the confluence of a wider range of social and political organizations in order to assemble broad alliances between diverse social sectors. Furthermore, for various reasons, none of these activist sectors has lasted long, or at least long enough to make a defining impact on the issues in question and in the transformation of society.
However, some of these movements have succeeded in making a forceful and influential presence felt.
They have not resigned themselves to simply questioning the status quo. On the contrary they have sought to translate their work, resources, experience and imagination into concrete proposals for the construction of alternative solutions to the various vicissitudes and issues affecting Mexican society — despite the relative lack of ultimate success in achieving their aims. They have opened up vital debates around the processes of solidarity both within Mexico and abroad, attracting considerable sympathy and creating great expectations.
Nevertheless, they have also suffered major setbacks and made serious slip-ups, disheartening activists and the population at large. The repression and criminalization of protest in Mexico has grown at an alarming rate in recent years. Sometimes these problems have been caused by internal mistakes within the movements. The democratic and egalitarian hopes underpinning these struggles have left in their wake political failures, broken dreams and unfulfilled promises.
These popular mobilizations have not led to a destabilization of the neoliberal economic system that has held sway in Mexico since the s, a system that has wreaked so much damage by aggravating poverty and increasing inequality. Neither have they constituted an inflection point to alter the hegemony of the seemingly dysfunctional representative political model. In other words, they have not prevented deep and enormous damage being done to the social fabric.
In addition, we are currently at a watershed when many sectors of society are openly questioning the traditional values of modernity, and the political and economic structures that it has engendered or which have been updated and become more deeply rooted in the past forty years.
Democracy and social movements in Mexico | openDemocracy
Similarly, in recent years, collective action has risen again, as the collective awakening of one or more social groups fragmented in Mexico that have dared to question the current regime and economic model, as well as the dominant political culture. These activists have had the guts and imagination to demand rights, freedoms and democracy, better conditions in which citizens can demand respect for their increasing number and range of rights, the end to violence, poverty and inequality.
And finally, the inequities of neoliberal accumulation strategy are compounded by the persistent limitations of social provisioning that characterizes public policy in contemporary India see Harriss Heller and Fernandes The intertwined coexistence of democratization and neoliberalization complicates the analysis of the extent to which the movements of subaltern groups have been able to drive transformative processes in the direction of a more effective and substantive democracy in India.
Importantly, there are a number of seemingly contradictory tendencies at play. However, Indian popular politics continues to be reinvigorated by new conflicts — most recently around land acquisitions and mining Oskarsson and Nielsen — and continuously produces new oppositional political subjectivities, most notably, perhaps, in the field of feminist mobilization Roy These shifts and contradictions underscore the persistent need for fine- grained explorations of the complex equations of democratization and neoliberalization in contemporary India that are capable of discerning both the achievements and the limitations of social movements in driving processes of democratic deepening over time.
It is toward this end that we offer the wide-ranging studies that comprise this volume. In post-independence Bihar, the abolition of the zamindari system of land tenure gradually weakened the position of large landlords, and much of the land that former zamindars were forced to relinquish came into the hands of their former tenants, many of whom came from peasant caste backgrounds, including the Yadav, Kurmi and Koeri castes.
Democracy in Social Movements
Yet the expanding economic status of many backward caste cultivators in the wake of the green revolution conflicted with their continued political marginalization. This gap was exploited first by the socialist opposition under Ramonohar Lohia, and later by Lalu Prasad Yadav, who became the foremost proponent of backward caste empowerment from the s onwards. It also point to the contours of an emerging opposition to the neoliberal Hindutva project: She focuses particularly on the consequences of the increasing internationalization of Dalit feminism, most importantly via global fora such as the UN, the World Social Forum, and the Global Justice Movement.
Yet at the same time, Dalit feminists have being increasingly, if only partially, influenced by neoliberal discourses stemming from their activities within a UN-World Bank framework. To Hardtmann, this has produced a new form of hybrid identity among Dalit feminist international non-governmental organizations I NGOs that needs to be interpreted in the context of specific political situations, specific histories regarding knowledge production, and specific relations between activists and the state.
This hybridity finds expression in new and different organizational forms and discourses among Dalit feminists that have become intertwined and interdependent in intricate ways over the last decades.
This strategy, or multi- pronged approach, perceptively recognises that the state is neither a monolith nor a static entity, but rather one that is changing and changeable in response to social movements — as well as to local and global forces. She argues for the need for not just challenging the new ways in which, under the pretext of nationalism, states reproduce patriarchal subjects, but also to democratise gendered social relations beyond the state. By looking at how rights defined under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act NREGA — in effect since — interact with a more localised politics of claiming rights from the state, Nayak asks whether the enactment of the right to work is significant; whether the law can be said to have socially transformative potential; and, crucially, whether social movements can contribute to a deepening of democracy by drawing on rights-based legislation.
In addition, activism also leads to the kind of piecemeal democratization of everyday gendered social relations, as discussed by Desai. In this sense, Nayak argues that social movements can indeed democratise Indian democracy insofar as novel rights under NREGA are drawn on by collective actors to challenge the local state, allowing for broader claims-making including demands for work at NREGA sites by women workers. And yet, ambiguity, contingency, contradictions and reversals are constant companions of this form of democratic deepening, indexing the need for better understanding the contextual limits of collective action in situations of rights-based popular mobilization.
Scrutinising this celebratory account of the power of civil society in contemporary India, Sharma shows how the international and national context combined to constitute a very hospitable environment for the emergence of RTI legislation.
Thus, while the grassroots mobilization behind RTI was certainly not trivial, there were other, equally important social and political forces at work in its making. Comparing the impact of these two acts in the context of two of the strongest anti-mining movements in Orissa since s — in Kashipur and Niyamgiri respectively — Dash argues that the FRA ushers in a far more potentially powerful and relatively accountable rights regime that both governments, industrialists, Adivasis and activists find hard to ignore.
At the same time Dash points to the same kind of tension between differently empowered actors with varied interests, thus exposing both the potentials and limitations of these laws to deepen democracy and change for the better the relationship between Adivasis and the state see also Ramesh, forthcoming.
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Michael Gillan takes us into the domain of labour. Based on an analysis of the trajectory of labour organization and mobilization in India, Gillan argues that there is no easy answer to this question: All outcomes will be shaped and constrained by the mode through which the state and capital seek to achieve reforms; the ability of unions to overcome historical political fragmentation and organizational weaknesses; and finally, the extent to which labour organizations can advance a coherent social and political agenda and explore points of connection and solidarity with other social movements.
As a reflection of the prevailing political and economic climate, Gillan highlights the vast gulf between the potential for movements to contribute to democratic deepening and the realization and demonstrated effect of this agency, showing how, at present, the depth of the challenge presented by a hostile state and capital cannot be underestimated.
Of particular interest is the phenomenon of cross-class alliances within prominent Indian social movements, and the extent to which such alliances in fact benefit the labouring class.
The crux of the matter, however, is to formulate a pro- labouring class strategy that by necessity must be place-specific, but without becoming fragmented. Similar to Gillan, Pattenden suggests that while the state is always broadly pro-capital, it is never completely so; and at times it may even help to provide the conditions for pro-labouring class change in spite of itself.
For that reason, strategic engagement with the state will be appropriate at certain times and in certain places. Overall democratic deepening, the destabilization of local agrarian structures brought about by the demise of landlordism, and state interventions in the form of e. Their evident failure to do so in Telangana is a fitting reminder of the mutually constitutive, two-way nature of social movements and state formation.
Many of the chapters make specific mention of the current Modi regime, and notice with concern its implications for the terms of engagement between subaltern social movements and the state in India today.
In the concluding chapter, Nielsen and Nilsen follow up on these concerns to highlight some of the challenges that popular projects for deepening democracy are faced with today. In combination, the chapters in Social Movements and the State in India offer rich and stimulating accounts engage with the broader question of democratic deepening in India across a range of sites of contention. To this end, we hope that this introduction has offered a useful, if tentative, framework for such an ongoing dialogue.
The Naxalite Uprising, London: Two Faces of Protest: University of California Press. Gandhi's Rise to Power: But Saturday was also noteworthy. Social movements are often issue-based collections of individuals. Thus, social movements can put in check democratically elected political leaders with populist and demagogical tendencies that may, in the long run, not provide realistic and sustainable policy alternatives.
Social movements and new communication technologies Social movements are shaping modern democratic political life.
Propelled by a blog post in the aftermath of the financial crisisthe movements soon became a media sensation and later disseminated to other regional hubs. Various factors have contributed to the allure of these movements.
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On the other hand, social movements have been particularly savvy to maximize the potential of new communication technologies to directly engage with their followers and put pressure on politicians. Currently, about 40 per cent of the population has access to the internet, a major increase since when less than 1 per cent did.
Mobile phones also are broadly used: Likewise, with the proliferation of social media platforms, people have more ways to reach government representatives who use social media. Facebook has more than 1 billion daily userswhile Twitter had million users as of Marchand Instagram had million monthly active users as of December At the same time, traditional telecommunications have morphed.
TV also has been forced to adapt to this new tech-driven era. Most shows, for instance, offer short streamed clips on YouTube in the hopes of gaining traction with the viewers.