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Globalization from Below: Transnational Activists and Protest Networks

Donatella della Porta
Massimiliano Andretta
Lorenzo Mosca
Herbert Reiter
Volume: 26
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Globalization from Below
    Book Description:

    Presenting the first systematic empirical research on the global justice movement, Globalization from Below analyzes a movement from the viewpoints of the activists, organizers, and demonstrators themselves. The authors traveled to Genoa with anti-G8 protesters and collected data from more than 800 participants. They examine the interactions between challengers and elites, and discuss how new models of activism fit into current social movement work.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9763-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. 1 Globalization and Social Movements
    (pp. 1-26)

    November 30, 1999. In Seattle, a city that, thanks to Microsoft, has become emblematic of the New Economy, some fifty thousand demonstrators protest against the third World Trade Organization (WTO) conference that had assembled to launch the Millennium Round, a new series of negotiations aimed at increasing market liberalization, in particular in investment and public services. A few months before, in Geneva, a coalition of organizations from various backgrounds, which had already (successfully) mobilized to prevent the signing of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), called for the protest in Seattle. As with the MAI, the WTO negotiations were accused...

  6. 2 The Development of a Global Movement: Network Strategies, Democracy, Participation
    (pp. 27-60)

    Studies on social movements have stressed the role of organizations in mobilizing protest. The likelihood that an individual will commit to collective action for the common good is lessened by the tendency of an individual to avoid the costs of actions whose benefits would extend to all (Olson 1963). Only an organization capable of distributing selective incentives—information, knowledge, symbols, material resources, social spaces—can increase collective commitment to political mobilization.

    Beginning with Olson’s insights, scholars of social movements have developed a specific approach focusing on analysis of organization, organizational resources, and interorganizational relations (McCarthy and Zald 1973, 1977). While...

  7. 3 Master Frame, Activists’ Ideas, and Collective Identity
    (pp. 61-91)

    Although forms of contentious transnational actions against international institutions existed prior to the movement against neoliberal globalization (Gerhards and Rucht 1992; Rucht 1999), they often took the shape of transnational protest campaigns—“campaign” meaning “a thematically, socially and temporarily interconnected series of interactions that, from the viewpoint of the carriers of the campaign, are geared to a specific goal” (della Porta and Rucht 2002, 3). Today, by contrast, the movement against neoliberal globalization links different transnational protest campaigns and provides a shared master frame and a series of organizational structures (SMOs, NGOs, national associations) that interact periodically in transnational events...

  8. 4 Global-Net for Global Movements? A Network of Networks for a Movement of Movements
    (pp. 92-117)

    The Internet is often considered a symbol of globalization and a means for disseminating ideas and moving capital at the global level. The Internet is both an opportunity and a challenge for social movements. Similar to earlier technological innovations (Tarrow 1998, ch. 3), it has broadened political communication and made it easier and faster. It gives the new movements what printing, the postal system, the telephone, and fax represented for movements in the (far and more recent) past. At the same time, however, it contains risks typical of new technology, namely, generating alienation by eliminating face-to-face contact and increasing hierarchical...

  9. 5 Media-Conscious and Nonviolent? Protest Repertoires
    (pp. 118-149)

    Studies on social movements have often emphasized the importance of protest as a form of action, which if not unique is at least more typical of the “powerless” (Lipsky 1965). Starting from the idea of a repertoire of protest, studies went on to examine how the forms of action developed and how they were adapted to environmental circumstances. Research pointed, in particular, to the tension between the limitedness of known, legitimate repertoires and the need on the part of the movements to invent new (and newsworthy) models in their interactions with the state, its police forces, and the mass media...

  10. 6 Transnational Protest and Public Order
    (pp. 150-195)

    Social movements direct their demands to institutions chiefly by using forms of protest. Their very use of unconventional forms of action involves the state not just as a counterpart in negotiation on the movement’s objectives, but also as the guarantor of public order. One important aspect of the institutional response to the protest is the strategies for controlling it. An important theme is the relationship between police and movements.

    In authoritarian regimes the sole criterion for evaluating internal security forces is their efficacy; in democratic systems the chief pointer to the democratic success not just of the police as an...

  11. 7 Politics, Antipolitics, and Other Politics: Democracy and the Movement for Globalization from Below
    (pp. 196-231)

    “Democracy of the moderns”—that is, contemporary democracy as a system that governs territories of large dimensions—is fundamentally representative democracy: decisions are made by representatives, through standardized procedures, that are supposed to guarantee equality among citizen-voters and (electoral) accountability of those who represent them. The model of direct democracy runs against this one; it is based on un mediated participation by the public in decision making and is defined as “the democracy of the ancients.” Participation not restricted merely to elections is also essential for modern democracies that gain legitimacy through the principle of majority decision making and through...

  12. 8 The Global Movement and Democracy
    (pp. 232-248)

    The protests in favor of globalization from below have been seen as an example of the emergence of a global public sphere as well as of the reemergence of a demand for a new politics. The movement for a globalization from below differs from movements that preceded it: it has a variegated identity, a weakly linked organizational structure, a multiform action repertoire. These features are shaped and changed in interactions with a complex, multilevel political system; the movement challenges the meaning of politics and democracy when specific decisions, and rule making more generally, are shifted to a supranational level of...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 249-266)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 267-294)
  15. Index
    (pp. 295-300)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 301-302)