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Direct Democracy in the Neoliberal Crisis

Over recent years, social movements formed in response to European neoliberal austerity measures have played an increasingly important role in referendums. This is the first book to bridge the gap between social movement studies and research on direct democracy. It draws on social movement theory to understand the nature of popular mobilisation in referendums.

Co-authored by one of the world’s leading authorities on social movements, the book uses unique case studies such as the referendum on independence in Scotland, the consultations on independence in Catalonia, the Italian referendum on water, the referendum on the Troika proposals in Greece and the referendum on the debt repayment in Iceland, to illustrate the ways the social movements that formed as a consequence of the 2008 financial crash have affected the referendums’ dynamic and results. It also addresses the way in which participation from below has had a transformative impact on the organisational strategies and framing practices used in the campaigns.

Looking at general issues of democracy, as well as the political effects of neoliberalism, this topical book is ideally suited to understand the reasons for the Brexit result and will be read by a wide audience interested in social movements, referendums and democratic innovation.

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139 NINE Active citizens, social movements and social transformation Introduction This chapter builds on the previous chapter’s analysis of active citizenship via third sector engagements in public policy processes and politics. The discussion moves on here to explore active citizenship and social movements, with a particular focus on social movements committed to mobilising for social change. As previous chapters have already suggested, the distinction between third sector organisations and social movements is not totally clear cut and active citizenship

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In an unjust pandemic world, social movements are essential services. But the question of how to transform a system under pressure is a delicate one. The scale of the need, the poverty, the lack of housing, the immune-compromised, the children and elders pushes us towards the state. Like social movements over the last few hundred years, movements demand more benefits, more space and more resources. Such demands may paradoxically strengthen a system that helped to create racial, class and other inequalities. Without our usual repertoire, how can we ensure that

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Crisis, Solidarity and Change in a Global Pandemic

EPUB and EPDF available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply shaken societies and lives around the world.

This powerful book reveals how the pandemic intensifies socio-economic problems and inequalities across the world, whilst offering visions for a better future informed by social movements and public sociology. Bringing together experts from 27 countries, the authors explore the global echoes of the pandemic and the different responses adopted by governments, policy makers and activists.

The new expressions of social action, and forms of solidarity and protest are discussed in detail, from the Black Lives Matters protests to the French Strike Movement and the Lebanese Uprising.

This is a unique global commentary on the current crisis and the contemporary world.

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227 TWELVE Turning the tide: a role for social movements Bryn Jones and Mike O’Donnell The Introduction to this book emphasised that the adoption of a few disparate policy alternatives will not shift the dominant neoliberal paradigm. Nor can displacement be achieved by a Damascene conversion of a handful of senior politicians and policy makers. Nor, we must concede, solely by illuminating ideas and prescriptions from academics and commentators. Historically, shifts of the sociopolitical consensus ‘at the top’ have involved the intermeshing of all of these

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PART III Social Movements, Mutual Aid and Self- Reliance during COVID- 19

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131 SIX Rethinking globalisation through convergence: active learning for social movements Jenneth Parker … collective action is nourished by the daily production of alternative frameworks of meaning, on which the networks themselves are founded and live from day to day. (Melucci, 1996, p 70) Introduction This chapter aims to explore ways of facilitating effective collaboration between environmental and development organisations (as social movements) to meet the political challenges of global sustainability. It will discuss the framing of a new way of

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The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging and changing social movements worldwide. Since the beginning of 2020, the crisis has been reconfiguring the social movements landscape within and across countries. This chapter discusses the changing patterns of mobilization during the crisis. Using examples from Germany and beyond, it pays particular attention to the reconfiguration of the social movements landscape as expressed in two ways. First in terms of new challenges for progressive social movements, including restraints on their protest mobilization, reduction of

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153 EIGHT Global social movements: beyond the competent public sphere? Introduction In The Power of Identity Castells (2010) notes that the move towards global network societies has given people a ‘reflexive’ awareness of the world around them. We can now be constantly connected to one another through the likes of digital media and this brings about a continual awareness of the world. Castells also argues that globalisation has created what he terms as ‘project identity’. Based on a number of cultural and social attributes, project identities give rise to

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In recent decades, international politics has been heavily shaped by disruptive non-state actors such as social movements. IR theorists have developed an enormous body of knowledge about supranational governance over the last decades, but have often had difficulty grasping the logic and political meaning of the informal actors who contest international institutions. 1 Social movement studies, on the other hand, has accumulated a great deal of knowledge on these informal actors, but has historically focused on national developments or country comparisons and

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