Studying Social Movements against EU Austerity
Organised by the Global Dynamics research cluster on ‘Structural Adjustment comes to Europe’
The recent austerity packages and labour market reforms in Europe have fuelled a range of protest actions and incidents of social unrest. While most of these movements and protests are still organised at local, regional or national levels, they are increasingly targeting policies that have to a large degree been shaped by politics at the EU level. There is however now also a range of emerging transnational campaigns and initiatives against EU austerity. These overlapping, transnational and also contradictory dynamics require a rethinking of established approaches for understanding social movements, and the formation and articulation of social struggles in the European social terrain.
The objective of this workshop is to reflect upon existing perspectives for studying social movements in the European Union and beyond, and to discuss new avenues for investigating the scope, mode and content of social protests in the context of EU austerity. Core questions could include e.g.
How do local and transnational dimensions of anti-austerity processes interact and intersect?
How are frames, strategies, practices and repertoires diffused within and between movements?
Can we speak of anti-austerity movements as a transnational wave of protest? (eg. actions of many
anti-austerity movements also encompass other issues of democratization, global governance, gender, environmental justice, self-determination etc.)
How do the ongoing developments link to previous transnational social struggles?
What are the most appropriate methods for studying anti-austerity movements?
To facilitate in-depth engagement, the workshop will be organised in two parts, on consecutive days: a PhD workshop where young researchers will have the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from peers and faculty; and a research workshop with established researchers from a range of perspectives. The workshop is explicitly pluralist, discussion and disagreement will be core components of the programme. Confirmed key speakers include Cristina Flesher Fominaya (University of Aberdeen), Maria Kousis (University of Crete) and David Bailey (Birmingham University).
The organisers invite paper abstracts of ca 300 words by 28 February 2015 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate whether you are a PhD researcher. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out in the first week of March. Conference contributions should be submitted by 30 April. There is a limited amount of travel and accommodation grants available for participants. Please indicate in your submission whether you require funding to attend the workshop.
Please note – in conjunction with this event, there will also be a meeting between anti-austerity activists and scholars on 8/9 May, jointly organised by Transform! and the research cluster. The aim is to discuss the strengths and weakness of transnational anti-austerity protests, and talk about strategies for the coming year. Workshop participants are welcome to join, the programme for this will be circulated in due time.