Tag Archives: social movements

It’s not just the World Cup Brazilians are protesting about

The World Cup has highlighted Brazil’s dissatisfaction with the mega-development involved in building the tournament’s infrastructure. But the football stadiums are just the latest in a long line of Brazilian mega-developments, including building venues for the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Belo Monte Dam and the Cuiaba-Santarem Highway – all of which have caused controversy.

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Radical Thinkers: Steffen Böhm Presents Hegemony and Socialist Strategy by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe


4 Mar 20147:00 pm | Studio | £5.00

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Steffen Böhm is Director of the Essex Sustainability Institute and Professor in Management and Sustainability at the University of Essex. His research focuses on political economies and ecologies of organization, management and the environment. He was a co-founder of the open-access journal ephemera: theory & politics in organization, and is co-founder and co-editor of the new open-access publishing press MayFlyBooks as well as Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements. He has published three books: Repositioning Organization Theory, Against Automobility, and Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets.
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Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of articulating Political Discourse Theory(PDT) together with Organizational Studies (OS), while using the opportunity to introduce PDT to thoseOS scholars who have not yet come across it. The bulk of this paper introduces the main concepts ofPDT, discussing how they have been applied to concrete, empirical studies of resistance movements.In recent years, PDT has been increasingly appropriated by OS scholars to problematize and analyzeresistances and other forms of social antagonisms within organizational settings, taking the relationaland contingent aspects of struggles into consideration. While the paper supports the idea of a jointarticulation of PDT and OS, it raises a number of critical questions of how PDT concepts have beenempirically used to explain the organization of resistance movements. The paper sets out a researchagenda for how both PDT and OS can together contribute to our understanding of new, emerging or- ganizational forms of resistance movements.

Anti-leaders(hip) in Social Movement Organizations: The case of autonomous grassroots groups

Abstract: Through the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement, the idea of horizontal, leaderless organizationhas come to the attention of the mass media. In this article we explore radical, participative-democratic alternatives to leadership through an empirical study of four Social MovementOrganizations (SMOs). Whilst there has been some writing on leadership within SMOs, ithas mirrored the ‘mainstream’ assumption that leadership is the product of individual leaderspossessing certain traits, styles and/or behaviours. In contrast, critical leadership studies (CLS)recognize that leadership is a relational, socially constructed phenomenon rather than the resultof a stable set of leadership attributes that inhere in ‘the leaders’. We utilize this framing toanalyse how leadership is understood and performed in anarchist SMOs by examining how actorsmanage meaning and define reality without compromising the ideological commitments of theirorganizations. Furthermore, we also pay attention to the organizational practices and processesdeveloped to: (a) prohibit individuals from permanently assuming a leadership role; (b) distributeleadership skills and roles; and (c) encourage other actors to participate and take-up these roles inthe future. We conclude by suggesting that just because an organization is leaderless, it does notnecessarily mean that it is also leadershipless.

From sustainable development to green economy: the constant and accelerated onslaught of capital on nature (in Portuguese)


Abstract: Informed by a Marxist theoretical perspective, the aim of this essay is to critically reflect on the relationship between capital and nature and specifically the ‘Rio process’, which started in 1992 and continued with the recent Rio+20 conference. In this process we have seen a discursive evolution from sustainable development to green economy. We argue that these two terms nevertheless relate to fundamentally similar and continuous practices, enabling capital to co-opt once radical concepts, such as sustainability, in order to include them in its logic of accumulation. In this essay we discuss a range of authors to critically reflect about capital’s recent reorganization attempts and its continuous onslaught on nature, which aims at preserving its continuous growth, counteracting the crisis in which it is immersed.

full text available on Academia.edu

(Im)possibilities of Autonomy: Social Movements in and beyond Capital, the State and Development


Abstract: In this paper we interrogate the demand and practice of autonomy in social movements. We begin by identifying three main conceptions of autonomy: (1) autonomous practices vis-à-vis capital; (2) self-determination and independence from the state; and (3) alternatives to hegemonic discourses of development. We then point to limits associated with autonomy and discuss how demands for autonomy are tied up with contemporary re-organizations of: (1) the capitalist workplace, characterized by discourses of autonomy, creativity and self-management; (2) the state, which increasingly outsources public services to independent, autonomous providers, which often have a more radical, social movement history; and (3) regimes of development, which today often emphasize local practices, participation and self-determination. This capturing of autonomy reminds us that autonomy can never be fixed. Instead, social movements’ demands for autonomy are embedded in specific social, economic, political and cultural contexts, giving rise to possibilities as well as impossibilities of autonomous practices.

full text available on Academia.edu

Moving Management: Theorizing Struggles against the Hegemony of Management


Abstract: How do groups resist the apparently all-encompassing discourse of management? Rejecting current theories of resistance as ‘re-appropriation’ or ‘micro-politics’, we argue that resistance may be thought about as hegemonic struggle undertaken by social movements. We identify four major resistance movements that engage with management: unions, organizational misbehaviour, civic movements and civic movement organizations. We argue that these forms of resistance differ in terms of location (civil society or workplace) and strategy (political or infra-political). We chart out the possible interconnections between these different modes of resistance and detail how these interconnections are established. By doing this, the paper provides a framework for understanding the many forms of resistance movements that seek to disrupt the hegemonic discourse of management.

full text available on Academia.edu