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Section 6. Partecipazione e movimenti sociali (Participation and Social Movements)

Chairs: Fabio De Nardis, Gianni Piazza

The section promotes panels for the study of the transformations of political participation and social movements (new actors, organizations and strategies) in a phase characterized by the financial and economic crisis and the profound changes in the political and social context (Internet, the ongoing process of European integration and globalization, etc.). The economic crisis accelerates the processes of de-democratization at the national level and the detachment of people from traditional party politics, eroding the popular sovereignty and the socio-political foundations for the conventional participation and decision-making processes in the mass liberal democracies. If reflections on the post-democracy are partly confirmed by the evidence, predictions of an inevitable decline of civic engagement is not confirmed. On the contrary, political participation has found new forms of expression and channeling that have revitalized and transformed both the more traditional forms of participation and the more unconventional forms emerged in the sixties-seventies, especially when it has gained greater profile of engagement of young people and women. Nevertheless, also new forms of non progressive movements have (ri) emerged (as the many right wing populist movements and extremist groups in several European country as well as at the EU level), which raise the controversial question for scholars about the side effects of ‘bad social capital’ and how to study them. Waves of mobilizations have developed in recent years, both in Western countries and in other contexts (e.g. the Arab Spring), showing many elements that were already present in the processes of transnational mobilization of the past (e.g. the global justice movement). It seems to gradually emerge a new paradigm of collective action with new communication channels (web, social networks, mobile telephony), multiple identities, different forms of coordination and resource mobilization, new practices and experimental democracy inside social movements. In this context, an electoral democracy limited to a ritual of request for electoral consent to delegate the “professional politicians” and/or the so-called “technical” people to manage resources and problems of the state is largely inadequate. The issue of a participatory democracy emerges strongly, especially in times of economic crisis, with the growing importance of the movements who claiming to be the true ‘representative’ of citizens demands and criticizing the politicians to cope with the crisis, experience new practices to increase the capacity for action and the citizens’ powers. Indeed, in a period of crisis and increasing difficulties for the people in European countries, if the left-wing political-institutional actors are absent or too weak and fragmented, a growing space is left to the mobilizations and protests promoted by the populist right movements and parties. On the other hand, new urban and territorial movements are emerged, gen¬erating alternative discourses, performing new practices, and rethinking new types of relationship with the local state in seeking to respond to social demands that neither the market not the state have managed to do; in particular these news mobilizations, claiming the “right to the city”, oppose the continuous commodification of the urban areas, the devastation of the territories and the dismantling of the welfare state system. To investigate and reflect not only on the nature of the new forms of “resilience” and “resistance” practices, but also on how they reflect the social, cultural and political transformations (e.g. their impact on the overall political, and often party systems) becomes essential. Political participation scholars must figure out if a new logic of collective action that rests on social, organizational and cultural foundations “structurally” different from those of the past is really emerging. They must also understand how this logic can live with the transformations of post-democratic political representation. The section hosts panels addressing these issues, starting from empirical research that reflect the adequacy of the theoretical and methodological tools until now used to analyze, understand and explain these processes. Panels with a comparative approach and giving a special attention to methodology will be welcome. At the same time, this section aims to host panels with the goal of discuss the relationship between social movements and traditional political actors (ie political parties, unions, associations), left wing and right wing social movements, as well as the role of the digital technologies in local, national and transnational mobilizations and the outputs of social movements.
 

Panel 6.1 Regime changes, democratization processes and the fostering of democracy quality: The role of intermediate institutions In memory of Giulio Regeni (I)


The panel intends to commemorate Giulio Regeni by hosting papers by young scholars on the role played by intermediate institutions in democratic transitions, installations and consolidations. This topic draws from Regeni’s work, which was focused on trade unions and labour movements in post-2011 Egypt. The panel broadly defines intermediate institutions as those organizations and structures of interests connecting the civil society with governmental bodies. Accordingly, it welcomes papers that focus on trade unions, labour movements, political parties and all other relevant organizations strategically located ‘in-between’ the society and the State (e.g., interest groups, social and/or religious movements, traditional and new media, etc.) in the processes of democratic transition, installation and consolidation. First, as for what concerns democratic transitions, the panel welcomes papers underlining how intermediate institutions may trigger mass mobilization processes (e.g., Haggard & Kauffaman, 2016). Second, within democratic installations, papers may address intermediate institutions as precious brokers between contending political forces (e.g., Morlino, 2015). Third, during the processes of democratic consolidation, contributions may analyse whether intermediate institutions are able to perform the representative (e.g., Linz & Stepan, 1996) and the anchoring (e.g., Kuenzi & Lambright, 2001; Morlino, 2005; Storm, 2014) functions representative democracy expects from them. Finally, the panel welcomes papers assessing whether and to what extent intermediate institutions are useful to enhance the degree of substantive responsiveness in established democracies (i.e., the quality of democracy; Roberts, 2010). Priority will be given to empirical contributions focusing on the MENA region, although no preclusion holds concerning the methodology and the approach employed.

Chairs: Fedra Negri, Valeria Resta

Comparing movement-parties in India and Italy – contributions and challenges to democratisation
Cristiano Gianolla (cgianolla@gmail.com)
AbstractThe political crises experience by liberal democratic regimes provides a space of innovation that favours the emergence of new political actors, both in civil society and in electoral politics. In some cases, the civil engagement and political commitment are seen as sequential in order to provide new path of democratisation able to overcome the political shortcomings exposed by the political crises. In this dynamic emerge ‘movements-parties’ that are able to convoy mass mobilisation in new political engagement based on an aspiration to enhance democratic engagement and quality. While the political crises implies that society is alienated from the political sphere, these movement-parties provide responses attempting to bridge the two. They bring novelty and enthusiasm and tend to brake the rule of an establishment that they consider unfit to devolve power to the represented. They propose a renewed political commitment for the representatives and inaugurate forms of intermediation that encompass populist feature with innovative perspectives; they aim at reinvigorating representation by expanding participation. The emergence of these new parties bring a wave of renovation that reflects changes in other political forces, but they also raise democratic challenges to the form of the democratic debate. The paper proposes a comparative approach of the Indian Aam Aadmi Party and Italian Movimento 5 Stelle, in order to understand the contribution of movement-parties in different liberal democratic regimes and civilizational settings. The empirical findings benefit of two ethnographic studies of four and seven months carried on with activists of both movements in India and Italy respectively. The study includes the analysis of the contexts, forms of organisation, discourse, concrete innovation and shortcoming that will allow evaluating potentialities and limits of their contribution to the democratisation process.

Re-defining ethno-nationalism in times of crisis: Solidarity networks and resistance in Bosnia Herzegovina
Chiara Milan (chiara.milan@sns.it)
AbstractBosnia Herzegovina is a country that faces a state of “permanent crisis”: its post-conflict, war-torn society is confronting a long-term economic and social crisis that stems from the (still uncompleted) process of transition from a socialist market to a liberal economy. Over the years, this resulted in the progressive pauperization and increasing social inequalities of its citizens. Moreover, the Bosnian Herzegovinian society is a deeply divided one, in which “ascriptive ethnic ties have generated an antagonistic segmentation of society” (Nagle and Clancy 2010, 1). In the recent years, the socio-economic crisis turned into a crisis of legitimacy of the domestic authorities, blamed for blindly imposing socio-economic reforms, known as “structural adjustment programs”, requested by the EU to convert the socialist system into a liberal market-oriented economy. This envisaged a wave of neoliberal privatizations to the detriment of the most vulnerable social category, the working class. The crisis of legitimacy, coupled with the plummeting socio-economic conditions of the broader population, brought forth a series of mass protests that swept the country since 2012, and culminated in the “Social Uprising” of 2014. Enraged and dissatisfied towards “a system of social inequalities produced by neoliberal forms of exclusion from the social citizenship” (Sekulić 2014, 5), the citizens of the post Yugoslav country took to the streets, claiming their rights to a decent life and urging the resignation of their power holders. The waves of protest brought about new spaces for citizen-based rather than ethnicity-based politics, as well as the emergence of new political subjects and grassroots civic initiatives in which identities other than the dominant ethno-national ones could be exercised. The mobilization strengthened the existing networks among movement organizers, and activated bonds of solidarity that were previously nonexistent or very loose, bringing forth brand-new cross-groups coalitions. In the aftermath of the 2012-14 popular protests, new experiences of resistance resulted in the creation of activist networks linking diverse constituencies and social groups, community-led initiatives that translated into the opening of social centres, and grassroots support to the single-handed occupation of a factory in order to oppose its privatization process. Similarly, in the aftermath of the protests new political subjects such as independent trade unions and popular campaigns were organized to oppose the commodification of urban and rural spaces. Several activists defined these protests as “part of the resocialization process, against the atomization of individuals as subjects”. How do new collective identities overcoming ethno-national divides emerge in times of crisis? To what extent the critical juncture of the economic crisis further the development of “beyond ethnic” social coalitions? Are ethnic antagonisms sidelined, and the concept of solidarity rediscovered, only temporarily in fraught times of economic hardship? The paper foregrounds the transformations that occurred in the Bosnian Herzegovinian society over the last five years, and elucidate the ways in which the citizens of the former Yugoslav country reacted with an unprecedented level of contention to the enduring corruption of their power holders, the long-lasting economic decay, and the consequent pervasive job loss. Furthermore, it discusses the extent to which the neoliberal restructuring of the country on the one hand pauperized the population, and on the other hand fostered the emergence of a renewed solidarity grounded in deprivation rather than in ethnicity. By bridging literature on social movements with literatures on ethnicity, democratization and post-conflicts society, the paper argues that, in times of crisis, collective identities other than ethno-national ones can be activated, and that, under certain circumstances, differences of status and class, rural or urban origins, can prove more salient than ethno-national ones. The in-depth case study is grounded on interviews with activists, academics, and external observers, as well as participant observation and document analysis, conducted in the country between 2012 and 2015.

Giulio Regeni, at the origins of his research
Azzurra Meringolo (a.meringolo@iai.it)
AbstractThe author will present unedited works written by Giulio Regeni before the beginning of his PhD. By doing so the author wish to unfold Giulio's interests and sensitivities that finally pushed him to undertake the career of researcher in such field wherein Political Science meets the North African region.

 

Panel 6.1 Regime changes, democratization processes and the fostering of democracy quality: The role of intermediate institutions In memory of Giulio Regeni (II)


The panel intends to commemorate Giulio Regeni by hosting papers by young scholars on the role played by intermediate institutions in democratic transitions, installations and consolidations. This topic draws from Regeni’s work, which was focused on trade unions and labour movements in post-2011 Egypt. The panel broadly defines intermediate institutions as those organizations and structures of interests connecting the civil society with governmental bodies. Accordingly, it welcomes papers that focus on trade unions, labour movements, political parties and all other relevant organizations strategically located ‘in-between’ the society and the State (e.g., interest groups, social and/or religious movements, traditional and new media, etc.) in the processes of democratic transition, installation and consolidation. First, as for what concerns democratic transitions, the panel welcomes papers underlining how intermediate institutions may trigger mass mobilization processes (e.g., Haggard & Kauffaman, 2016). Second, within democratic installations, papers may address intermediate institutions as precious brokers between contending political forces (e.g., Morlino, 2015). Third, during the processes of democratic consolidation, contributions may analyse whether intermediate institutions are able to perform the representative (e.g., Linz & Stepan, 1996) and the anchoring (e.g., Kuenzi & Lambright, 2001; Morlino, 2005; Storm, 2014) functions representative democracy expects from them. Finally, the panel welcomes papers assessing whether and to what extent intermediate institutions are useful to enhance the degree of substantive responsiveness in established democracies (i.e., the quality of democracy; Roberts, 2010). Priority will be given to empirical contributions focusing on the MENA region, although no preclusion holds concerning the methodology and the approach employed.

Chairs: Fedra Negri, Valeria Resta

Il secondo divorzio cruento: sindacato e stato nella rivoluzione tunisina
Lorenzo Feltrin (l.feltrin@warwick.ac.uk)
AbstractIl paper analizzerà le relazioni storiche tra stato e sindacato in Tunisia, al fine di capire il complesso ruolo di quest’ultimo nella rivoluzione democratica del 2011. Il movimento sindacale tunisino ha occupato una posizione politica centrale sin dai tempi della lotta per l’indipendenza, centralità riconfermatasi negli ultimi anni quando il sindacato si è messo alla guida del processo di dialogo nazionale che gli è valso il Premio Nobel per la Pace. La ricerca presentata si basa sulla realizzazione di 50 interviste qualitative, la raccolta di 700 articoli di giornale attinenti a questioni sindacali, l’analisi di documenti sindacali, statistiche socioeconomiche e legislazione del lavoro. Le strategie statali finalizzate al controllo dei sindacati sono qui classificate su tre dimensioni. Gli incentivi organizzativi – per esempio il monopolio della rappresentanza a una confederazione unica o i finanziamenti pubblici al sindacato – non sono un beneficio diretto ai lavoratori iscritti ma avvantaggiano piuttosto funzionari e leader sindacali. Gli incentivi sostanziali mirano al consenso della base dei lavoratori – per esempio aumenti salariali, espansione del welfare e sicurezza dell’impiego. Le costrizioni limitano l’autonomia del sindacato sanzionando i membri indisciplinati. La distinzione tra incentivi sostanziali e incentivi organizzativi è uno strumento per analizzare le divergenze interne al sindacato stesso, evitando così di ridurlo a un’entità monolitica. La Tunisia postcoloniale, guidata dal leader nazionalista Habib Bourguiba, può essere considerata come un caso sui generis di corporativismo autoritario populista, sistema basato su un’alleanza gerarchizzata tra “borghesia nazionale”, burocrazia statale, settori della classe media e lavoratori protetti. Lo stato concede alti livelli di incentivi organizzativi e sostanziali in cambio della rinuncia all’autonomia politica da parte del sindacato e dei lavoratori protetti, che sono quindi soggetti anche a stringenti costrizioni. La specificità tunisina risiede nel fatto che lo stato non è mai riuscito a imporre un controllo indiscutibile sul sindacato unico Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (Ugtt) – e in particolare sulle sue strutture di base e intermedie – a causa di una continua resistenza radicata nella genesi autonoma del movimento sindacale. Tuttavia la concessione di incentivi organizzativi e sostanziali in cambio dell’alleanza politica dell’Ugtt costituiva il fondamento del patto sociale alla base della politica di sviluppo “socialista” degli anni ‘60. I cambiamenti sociali favoriti dalla modernizzazione economica e dall’espansione dell’educazione facilitarono una prima sfida al corporativismo autoritario. Il 1968 vide una radicalizzazione del movimento studentesco anche in Tunisia. La ribellione si propagò all’Ugtt man mano che gli studenti rivoluzionari entravano a far parte di una forza lavoro ormai consolidata e spesso disposta ad affiancarli nel loro attacco alla leadership del sindacato stesso. Parallelamente, la crisi fiscale dello stato minacciava la riproduzione del regime populista, imponendo crescenti limiti all’uso degli incentivi sostanziali. Le mobilitazioni spinsero la segreteria nazionale dell’Ugtt a dichiarare lo sciopero generale nazionale il 26 gennaio 1978, data ricordata come il “giovedì nero” a causa del pesante intervento dell’esercito. La rivista Politique hebdo descrisse gli eventi come “il divorzio cruento” tra stato e sindacato. Non riuscendo a controllare il sindacato con i metodi abituali, lo stato ricorse alla repressione più dura nel 1978 e nel 1985. I due giri di vite prepararono la via per l’aggiustamento strutturale neoliberista. Ben Ali, divenuto presidente nel 1987, ricostituì l’alleanza tra stato e sindacato. Nella fase neoliberista, il corporativismo autoritario assunse una nuova forma: gli incentivi organizzativi si informalizzarono con un ruolo più evidente di corruzione e clientelismo, gli incentivi sostanziali si contrassero progressivamente, le costrizioni al contrario aumentarono. Il risultato fu un corporativismo autoritario più clientelare, meno costoso e più repressivo, che possiamo denominare “post-populista” perché allontanò il regime dalle sue basi sociali originarie – in particolare tra la classe media salariata e i lavoratori protetti – e lo aprì ai capitali internazionali e alla cerchia di uomini d’affari vicini al presidente. La segreteria nazionale dell’Ugtt ridivenne manifestamente schiacciata sulle posizioni del regime, come esemplificato dall’umiliante dichiarazione di sostegno alla candidatura di Ben Ali prima di ogni elezione presidenziale. La variante “low cost” del corporativismo autoritario rafforzò la polarizzazione interna – creatasi negli anni ’70 – tra sindacalisti di base politicizzati e membri delle alte strutture dirigenti, consolidando nei primi una identità di “militanti” in lotta contro la “burocrazia sindacale” oltre che contro il regime. Il crescere della tensione diventò evidente nel corso degli anni 2000 e portò la battaglia per la democrazia all’interno della confederazione stessa. Il Congresso di Monastir del 2006 fu marcato da uno scontro frontale tra “militanti” e “burocrati”, che nel 2007 diede il via a una campagna di sospensioni dei dissidenti dal sindacato. Nel 2008 alcuni sindacalisti di base si misero alla guida della rivolta per il diritto al lavoro – inizialmente spontanea – nella regione mineraria di Gafsa. Il lungo conflitto si concluse con la sospensione dal sindacato dei leader della protesta e la loro incarcerazione da parte dello stato. Per far fronte a questa nuova escalation di restrizioni alla democrazia interna, i dissidenti dell’Ugtt si federarono nell’Alleanza Sindacale Democratica e Militante. Il 17 dicembre 2010 cominciò la rivolta della gioventù precaria nella regione emarginata di Sidi Bouzid. La protesta fu immediatamente affiancata dai militanti sindacali politicizzati, che tentarono di inquadrarla organizzativamente, di politicizzarla e di diffonderla grazie alla loro rete nazionale. Il 25 dicembre l’Alleanza Sindacale Democratica e Militante convocò una manifestazione di solidarietà a Tunisi, la prima nella capitale, che fu repressa dalla polizia e sconfessata dal segretario generale dell’Ugtt Abdessalem Jerad. I militanti sindacali colsero l’occasione per innalzare la pressione sugli organi dirigenti dell’Ugtt e l’11 gennaio la Commissione Amministrativa Nazionale autorizzò gli scioperi generali regionali. Il 12 gennaio, lo sciopero generale nella regione industrializzata di Sfax segnò un salto qualitativo nel ciclo delle mobilitazioni, essendo la prima manifestazione di massa al di fuori delle regioni emarginate. Il 14 gennaio, lo sciopero generale di Gran Tunisi si trasformò in un imponente corteo con una serie di scontri nei pressi del Ministero degli Interni. Nel pomeriggio del giorno stesso Ben Ali abbandonava il paese. Era il secondo divorzio cruento tra sindacato e stato. Il caso tunisino conferma la tesi di Rueschemeyer et al. sulla relazione causale tra potere del lavoro e democratizzazione. La Tunisia è infatti senza dubbio il paese arabo dotato del sindacato con il maggiore peso politico effettivo. Tuttavia il processo di democratizzazione era bloccato anche dall’alleanza tra il vertice del sindacato e il regime, ostacolo che ha incentivato una democratizzazione per via insurrezionale. La fase di sviluppo neoliberista nel paese aveva comportato un doppio movimento di continuazione dello sviluppo economico e di erosione del “patto sociale” originariamente alla base del regime. A queste trasformazioni non si era accompagnato un corrispondente cambiamento politico, anche per quanto riguarda le relazioni tra stato e sindacato. Esisteva però nel sindacato un’autonomia limitata ma sufficiente a permettere il radicamento delle forze democratiche all’interno delle sue strutture di base e intermedie, radicamento rivelatosi cruciale una volta scatenatasi la crisi del regime.

Labour Movements and the Arab Uprisings: Comparing Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia
Gianni Del Panta (g.delpanta@virgilio.it)
AbstractThe wave of protests that spread from Tunisia to (nearly) the whole Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in 2010-11 has brought to a profound reshape of the terrain of regional politics. After the tragic Mohammed Bouazizi’s self-immolation on December 17, 2010, Tunisia was rocked by vast and geographical diffused social protests, which eventually forced the Tunisian president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, to flee the country. Less than a month later, a similar scenario took shape in Egypt and this time was president Hosni Mubarak to be removed from office. By the end of February, virtually every country in the region had been hit by huge and militant demonstrations. As known, despite these ‘encouraging’ premises, the current political scenario in the Middle East is gloomy. Armed confrontations and civil wars have blown up in Libya, Syria, and Yemen; whereas new and often more severe authoritarian rules – with the partial and remarkable exception of Tunisia – have become a common pattern for many countries. Without neglecting the theoretical relevance of analysing these developments, this paper is not interested in understanding why the Arab Uprisings have not fulfilled the expectations of radical political and social changes that were shouted in the Arab streets. Rather, this paper aims to assess the role played by the labour movement in the long cycle of contentious politics throughout the 2000s that brought to the astonishing uprisings in 2010-11. However, the complexity of the issue and the extraordinary heterogeneity of the MENA region impose a careful case selection. In this regard, the attention of this paper is restricted to three North African countries – that is, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. There are several reasons for this. To begin with, despite being located in the richest oil and gas region of the world, these three countries are resource-poor states. In other words, rather than relying on external rents that accrue directly to state coffers, they have to extract resources from society. Secondly, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, given their huge state deficits, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt were forced to rely on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank’s (WB) ‘aids’. The signature of Structural Adjustment Programs demands neo-liberal reforms and a greater exploitation of workers, fostering therefore a favourable environment to a reaction from ‘below’. Finally, the institutional framework in which workers’ mobilizations took shape was rather different. In Egypt and Tunisia, workers were not allow to become unionized in any structures, but in the regime-back single trade union. However, whilst the UGTT in Tunisia was militant and radical in a few regional sections, as well as in many of its rank-and-file, the ETUF in Egypt was an empty shell that workers could not use for staging protests. In this regard, the latter were forced to rely on strike committees and much looser organized structures. On the contrary, there was much greater political freedom in Morocco, with the more or less tolerated presence of several trade unions. In conclusion, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia allow for a fruitful comparison among similar cases that show a few significant differences. This paper does not argue that the Tunisian and Egyptian popular uprisings were successful, whilst the Moroccan was not, given the mere collective actions of workers. On the contrary, it was the implicit formation of a cross-class and cross-ideological coalition in the former two countries and its non-establishment in the latter that explain the different political trajectories. Yet, the role played by workers in Tunisia and Egypt was crucial in several ways. To begin with, in the last decade of Ben Ali and Mubarak’s rules they were the most serious threats to their regimes, forcing the latter to deal with workers’ requests. Secondly, showing that their collective actions were successful, workers became a source of inspiration for other social classes and political forces as well in a reciprocal interplay among various socio-economic sectors. Finally, during the weeks of relentless protest, workers were an important element in the physical formation of that broad coalition that the military – both in Tunisia and Egypt – was unwilling to repress. In Morocco, on the contrary, it will be shown as many of these elements were completely or partially absent. In conclusion, it has to be stated that this paper does not present a simple narrative of the events, but points to underline some relevant theoretical elements that travel far beyond North Africa. Firstly, the long wave of mobilizations of workers – and lower classes more in general – throughout the 2000s has to be understood as a class-based response to the neoliberal savage attack on the living condition of millions. In this regard, it was part of that great, although incoherent and fragmented, movement of resistance – that through ups and downs – has constantly challenged the new diktats of the market all around the world in the last decades. Secondly, it is true that workers cannot play a decisive and proactive role in building up a new order without operating through their own organizations – that is, trade unions and labour parties. However, when the focus in turned on the process of challenging and defeating the existing authoritarian rules, workers can be instrumentally decisive, even when acting through loosely organized and scarcely centralized networks. This article was devised during a visiting period at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, when several interviews with trade union activists and political opponents were conducted.

La rappresentanza sindacale durante la transizione politica messicana: il caso del Frente Auténtico del Trabajo
Daniela Barberis (barberis.da@gmail.com)
AbstractL’intervento si propone di analizzare il comportamento sindacale in seguito all’alternanza politica in Messico, verificatasi nell’anno 2000, dopo ben 71 anni di governo del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). In America Latina si può constatare una stretta relazione tra i processi di cambiamento (economico, politico e culturale) e lo sviluppo dell’azione sindacale. Sebbene la letteratura sulle transizioni democratiche abbia dimostrato il ruolo fondamentale della mobilitazione dei lavoratori nella trasformazioni dei regimi, tuttavia spesso si è trascurata l’analisi delle strategie adottate dai sindacati. Da qui il nostro interesse ad analizzare tali processi rivolgendo particolare attenzione alle risposte degli attori sindacali a contesti politici cambianti. Data l’ampiezza e la complessità del tema, si è deciso focalizzare l’attenzione sulle strategie adottate da un attore sindacale che si colloca ai margini del sistema corporativo messicano: il Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT). Attraverso lo studio delle strategie adottate dal FAT si tenterà di fornire una lettura alternativa del ruolo del sindacalismo nella transizione politica messicana, concentrando l’attenzione sui progressi e sui ripiegamenti nel cammino verso una rappresentanza sindacale più autentica e democratica. Il caso di studio risulta essere particolarmente interessante poiché il FAT, fin dalla sua nascita nel 1960, ha cercato di rompere il vincolo corporativo, andando a modificare i propri repertori di azione e di organizzazione, per rispondere a contesti di opportunità politiche cambianti.

 

Panel 6.2 Social Movements and Practices of Resistance in Times of Crisis (I)


In the current socio-economic crisis, social movements face several types of challenge: firstly, they are confronting institutions which are less able to mediate new demands for social justice and equity from various sectors of society caused by the successful neo-liberal attack on the welfare system; secondly, given the highly individualized structure of contemporary society, they also experiencing difficulties in building strong and lasting bonds of solidarity and cooperation among people.
It is in this context, on the one side, we see the rise and consolidation of new mutualistic and cooperative experiences of resistance within which new ties for collective action are created, promoting community-led initiatives for social and economic sustainability: solidarity-based exchanges and networks, barter groups, new consumer-producer cooperatives, time banks, local savings groups, ethical banks, alternative social currency, citizens’ self-help groups, solidarity purchasing groups, fair trade, recovered factories, and others similar practices.
On the other side, beyond anti-austerity protests, urban and territorial movements are emerged, generating alternative discourses, new practices and types of relationships; claiming the “right to the city”, they oppose the continuous commodification of the urban areas, the devastation of the territories and the dismantling of the welfare state system: from the locally unwanted land use movements, to the squatting movements for housing and social centres, from the opposition to gentrification processes to the alternative use of the urban spaces, as that made by current “Nuit Debout” movement in Paris.
We are interested in contributions based on empirical research, which investigate on networks, framing, collective identities, forms of action and relations with political institutions and other movements. Comparative studies will be appreciated, but theoretical considerations and in-depth cases studies are also welcome.

Chairs: Fabio De Nardis, Gianni Piazza

Gli attivisti dei centri sociali nei movimenti territoriali: dai No Tav ai No Muos.
Gianni Piazza (giannipiazza@tiscali.it), Federica Frazzetta (federica_frazzetta@hotmail.it)
AbstractI centri sociali occupati sono anche attori urbani della protesta, ma non solo. Essi sono spazialmente localizzati nei centri storici delle città o nei quartieri periferici, ma il loro raggio d'azione va spesso oltre la dimensione locale. Infatti, i loro attivisti sono spesso impegnati in campagne di protesta e movimenti sociali più ampi. In particolare, le ricerche sui movimenti territoriali (LULU-Locally Unwanted Land Use) in Italia (come quelli contro le grandi infrastrutture) hanno evidenziato come gli attivisti dei centri sociali siano attori centrali, apportando a questi movimenti risorse generazionali, esperienze politico-organizzative e specifici repertori di azione (attività contro-culturali, azioni dirette e creative, ecc.). Nonostante siano spesso etichettati come violenti dai mass media e dalle autorità politico-istituzionali, essi si sono integrati nelle reti della protesta grazie alla loro partecipazione alle mobilitazioni e alla crescita dei legami di fiducia reciproca con gli altri attori individuali e collettivi, contribuendo a trasformare la lotta da NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) a NOPE (Not On the Planet Earth). Tuttavia, i militanti dei centri sociali hanno spesso portato anche elementi di tensioni interni al movimento nei confronti degli altri attori coinvolti, sia quelli più moderati che quelli istituzionali. In questo lavoro, basato su ricerche precedenti e ancora in corso - attraverso l'osservazione partecipante e le interviste semi-strutturate - ci siamo concentrati sul ruolo svolto dagli attivisti dei centri sociali all’interno di due movimenti LULU tra i più importanti in Italia: quello contro la costruzione della ferrovia ad alta velocità in Val di Susa (No Tav), e quello che si oppone alla realizzazione di una stazione di comunicazioni geo-satellitari della US Navy a Niscemi in Sicilia (No Muos). Saranno analizzate le interazioni dei militanti dei centri sociali con gli attivisti degli altri gruppi dei movimenti, mettendo in evidenza similitudini e differenze tra le due mobilitazioni, le tensioni interne, le relazioni conflittuali e di cooperazione, ma anche la loro capacità di attrarre la partecipazione giovanile, di favorire la diffusione trasversale delle tematiche e lo spostamento di scala cross-territoriale verso l’alto.

La questione delle abitazioni e dello spreco edilizio in Italia: diritto allo sfratto o diritto all’abitare?
Pierpaolo Mudu (pmudu@uw.edu)
AbstractOgni società stabilisce delle relazioni sociali di accesso e di organizzazione degli spazi abitativi. In questo saggio, dopo aver descritto quali sono le attuali modalità di accesso ed organizzazione della questione abitativa in Italia, si cercherà di offrire una visione dettagliata della situazione dell’azione dei movimenti di lotta per la casa. L’azione istituzionale, apparentemente illogica se considerata in rapporto al fine di dare alloggio alla popolazione, e’ apertamente dedicata a favorire la speculazione, in tutte le sue forme sia legali che criminali, e giustificare con la crisi la linea politica emergenziale. Da più di trenta anni relegata ai margini dell’agenda politica la questione abitativa riserva molte sorprese se esaminata in dettaglio. Il caso di Roma, dove vengono sfrattate circa 2800 famiglie all’anno, dove il patrimonio di edilizia sociale non e’ in grado di affrontare la domanda abitativa, dove i movimenti per la casa mobilitano da anni regolarmente migliaia di persone, è estremamente significativo. In particolare se si considera il ruolo dei movimenti. A Roma vari movimenti (i più noti sono Coordinamento Cittadino di Lotta per la Casa, Action, Blocchi Precari metropolitani, ma anche altri sono presenti) sono attivi da diversi anni in un ruolo che non può essere semplicemente considerato una attività di copertura, di sussidiarietà, dell’abbandono del welfare state ma in quello che appare a grandi linee come una costruzione dinamica di cittadinanza, di cosmopolitismo, dal basso. Questa cittadinanza non è rivendicata all’interno della negazione di diritti umani (in questo caso il diritto all’abitazione) ma è un intreccio di diritti politici e sociali che sono definiti come un nuovo diritto all’abitare. Il diritto all’abitare è l’esito delle attività di migliaia di persone nei movimenti che operano una verifica delle verità della politica ufficiale, dell’ordine sociale e delle modalità di governo. Tutti i conflitti sulla questione abitativa prefigurano condizioni possibili future. Condizioni sia di tipo classista, neoliberista con tinte post-fasciste, esaltando la segregazione, la repressione e la marginalizzazione (esempi sono le politiche di sfratto, la ghettizzazione degli insediamenti degli zingari o l’indifferenza per le baraccopoli dei migranti), sia di affermazione di giustizia sociale, in cui si accentuano le mescolanze, convivono le differenze, si pratica autogestione. I movimenti per la casa hanno nelle loro differenze e difficoltà prefigurato non una politica di case popolari, di ulteriore cementificazione del territorio e di spreco edilizio, ma una trasformazione dell’idea di abitare. Uno degli indicatori più grandi di questa trasformazione è legato alla capacità di mobilitare migranti, famiglie di sfrattati, attivisti, artisti, studenti in forme innovative di convivenza. Le condizioni per realizzare queste trasformazioni sono legate in genere ad occupazioni di edifici abbandonati. Le condizioni di possibilità delle occupazioni saranno l’oggetto particolare di analisi di questo lavoro.

Self-making the house, constructing an alternative city. Squatting in and for Rome
Carlotta Caciagli (carlotta.caciagli@sns.it)
AbstractIn cities more and more characterised by politics of austerity and privatization, urban areas are the dimensions social exclusion, as well as forms of protest, takes place in. Against the dispossession of services and opportunities due to the economic crisis, many social actors are performing answers from below to fill up the vacuum leaved by institutions and to challenge the dominant neo-liberal paradigm underlined in the capitalistic city. The housing right movements acting in many European cities in order to provide houses for weaker categories are one example. Squatting empty buildings and abandoned dwellings, these movements are, for most of people implied, the concrete and immediate solution that administrations, national and local politics are not able to offer. At the same time they represent the ‘voice’ dealing against the paradigm of ‘city for profit’ dominating the contemporaneous urban landscape. The present paper aims to inquire in the reality of housing struggle and social movements for the house in Rome in the post-crisis period. Focusing the attention on one of the long-lasting movement in the capital city, the ‘Coordinamento cittadino di lotta per la casa’, the research wants to analyse the role played by the direct social action of squatting as the core tool of the movement. Considerations stressed in the paper base on the direct participant observation in the movement, on the analysis of self-produced documents and on structured and semi-structured interviews. I will shed a light on the squat (a) as a socio-spatial alternative territory rooted in the city and (b) as a practice challenging the embedding socio-spatial environment. By this double function of the practice of squat, housing movements play both a social and political role: they represent answers for homelessness people and also the attempt to denounce and to press for a paradigmatic political change. Indeed, squats are becoming the recovered space for designing new urban processes and for overturning the precariousness in an alternative way of living and experiencing the city. The paper aims also to address some inputs for further theoretical considerations. Indeed, the performance of housing right movements pushes researchers to go beyond the categories, definitions and classifications related to urban social movements and to think about new instruments of analysis, both from an epistemological and methodological perspective.

Squatted houses and city politics: communication and contention in Firenze
Tommaso Frangioni (t.frangioni@piccolopificiosociologico.it)
AbstractThe qualitative research I am presenting is a study of the housing policy arena of Firenze. The city is known worldwide for its touristic facade of Renaissance palaces, streets and museums. In recent years, local governments have been focusing on fostering international, high-profile, tourism: Firenze can therefore be, at the same time, the “cradle of Renaissance” and a place where global brands expose their dreamscape. While Firenze, as most of Italian cities, is not yet being subjected to the totalizing experience of disneyfication and gentrification that is lamented by U.S.-based scholars - neoliberal governing strategies are much more nuanced in Italy -, reading trough the city fabric, we can recognize similarities with these patterns, from commodification to a silent expulsion of “outcasts” from the downtown. Even tough social activism has been expelled from city center, in Firenze there is still a conflictive social movement that fights for the right to housing. I have focused on the interactions between the local Social Movement Organization Movimento Lotta x la Casa (literally: Fight for the Housing Movement, henceforth the “Movement”) and local governance coalition. I am using the concept of governance because of a relatively high degree of internal cohesion in this policy arena, which, in turn, is embedded in an articulated territorial government structure. Notwithstanding, the case study may be helpful to further problematize the conception of governance, as the policy arena is centred on public actors, with a strong emphasis on government. In my research I relied upon different techniques: direct observation and participation in the life of the Movement, non-directive interviews with key actors, observation of policing in rallies and evictions, and analysis of the textual and legislative production of the main actors. Firenze is a city with high rents and a severe lack of social lodgements, coupled with the growing phenomenon of evictions for rent arrears. Pickets for blocking evictions and/or contracting residential solutions with social workers and institutions have become a major repertoire of the Movement. The picket is here framed as the embodiment of a set of material goals and symbolic messages. On the one side, the picket involves the bodies of the activists, while sending a symbolic message of strength to institutions. On the other side, it is a symbolic expression of solidarity, which in turn has the material effect of avoiding the loss of the house, or finding the tenant a new accommodation, through a bargaining strategy with public officers and social workers. The bigger frame, in which these micro-practices are inserted, is that of the claim for a greater amount of social lodgements. Another important aspect in the Movement’s repertoire is that of squats. Taking empty spaces, “opening” them, and putting them back in use (even if a provisional one) is a way of both addressing a material need and setting an ideological ground of contention with city politics. This determines a composite spatial (re-)ordering of the city in which squatted houses are both the physical place of resistance and the symbolical embodiment of a challenge against neoliberalism and capitalism. Ignoring the presence of the Movement seems to be the main strategy adopted by the majority of institutional actors, with an occasional declaration of contrariety, which addresses other actors more than the Movement itself. At the same time, this Movement follows a path of adaptive communication with institutions: this approach derives from the necessity to address the very material and urgent issue of giving a house (or avoiding its loss) to those who are excluded from the access to both market housing and social housing. As an example, the Movement dialogues with some actors which are more peripheral, thus being granted with an informal access to a part of the arena, without entering it. In a certain sense, the Movement finds solutions for those people that are less “treatable” within institutional procedures, alleviating the pressure upon the legal social housing system. At the same time, citizens’ grassroots participation, which is a key concept in contemporary governing narratives, is actively organized and produced in places such as squatted houses, thus generating a challenge that institutions are both unable and unwilling to accept fully. The adoption of the “Right to the City” (Lefebvre 1968) as analytical frame favours the emergence of the intertwined nature of material and post-material attitudes and praxis urban movements are capable to exert. These struggles are born within and for cities, touching themes as public space, housing, environment, cultural productions and circulation. The list is not (and could not) be exhaustive, as more issues could emerge and claims be made. The right to the city asserted (and exerted) by these movements posits itself as both a recuperation of working-class struggles of the ‘50s and ‘60s and as a diversion from some of the post-material issues typical of new social movements. However, the NSM approach is not to be refused completely, even in this case, as the Movement is in some way a service-provider, has a strong identity and advocates for some cultural goals, such as immigrant integration, social justice and, ultimately, the right to the city itself.

 

Panel 6.2 Social Movements and Practices of Resistance in Times of Crisis (II)


In the current socio-economic crisis, social movements face several types of challenge: firstly, they are confronting institutions which are less able to mediate new demands for social justice and equity from various sectors of society caused by the successful neo-liberal attack on the welfare system; secondly, given the highly individualized structure of contemporary society, they also experiencing difficulties in building strong and lasting bonds of solidarity and cooperation among people.
It is in this context, on the one side, we see the rise and consolidation of new mutualistic and cooperative experiences of resistance within which new ties for collective action are created, promoting community-led initiatives for social and economic sustainability: solidarity-based exchanges and networks, barter groups, new consumer-producer cooperatives, time banks, local savings groups, ethical banks, alternative social currency, citizens’ self-help groups, solidarity purchasing groups, fair trade, recovered factories, and others similar practices.
On the other side, beyond anti-austerity protests, urban and territorial movements are emerged, generating alternative discourses, new practices and types of relationships; claiming the “right to the city”, they oppose the continuous commodification of the urban areas, the devastation of the territories and the dismantling of the welfare state system: from the locally unwanted land use movements, to the squatting movements for housing and social centres, from the opposition to gentrification processes to the alternative use of the urban spaces, as that made by current “Nuit Debout” movement in Paris.
We are interested in contributions based on empirical research, which investigate on networks, framing, collective identities, forms of action and relations with political institutions and other movements. Comparative studies will be appreciated, but theoretical considerations and in-depth cases studies are also welcome.

Chairs: Fabio De Nardis, Gianni Piazza

Food Movements for a fair and sustainable agri-food system: the case study of Solidarity Purchase Groups Movement in Italy
daniela bernaschi (daniela.bernaschi@unifi.it)
Abstract“We live in a world of unprecedented opulence (..). People live much longer, on the average, than ever before (..) And yet we also live in a world with remarkable deprivation, destitution and oppression (..) Overcoming these problems is a central part of the exercise of development” (Sen, A.K., 1999, Preface). The eradication of poverty and “Zero Hunger” are the first two New Sustainable Development Objectives to be reached by 2030. As Amartya Sen's pionering studies have demostrated, hunger is related to the economic access to food, rather than to the physical availability of food in itself. Hence, nowadays food insecurity is linked to poverty and inequality, while in the future the problem might be that of scarsity(Brunori G., S. Arcuri, 2014). Agriculture could be a valid ally in the battle against poverty and food insecurity and may represent the ideal starting point to achieve a sustainable development and inclusion. It is in that regard that Food Movements come into play. This paper aims to address the potential role of food movements in leading to a deep change to the current agri-food system. With this in mind, "Radical" and "Progressive" food movements as well as "Neoliberal" and "Reformist" corporate food regime will be analyzed. Furthemore,this paper addresses a particular case study concerned with the Solidarity Purchase Groups Movement and if it can bring about substantive changes to make the food system more fair and sustanaible. The Solidarity Purchase Groups Movement is a grassroots network, where individuals purchase foodstuffs and other products directly from the producer. It combines the respect for the environment with the sympathy for producers and workers in order to achieve a more sustainable and fair food system. The Solidarity Puchase Groups Movement may play a crucial role in counterbalancing the relationship between urban and rural space namely between producers and consumers, fostering a more fair linkages. Hence, this food movement faces the Green Revolution's approach that has lead to asymmetry in power between rural and urban main actors. With this in mind, it will be assessed how consumers food choice are the key to foster the transition toward a more sustenability from environmental, economical and social point of view (Holloway et al., 2007; Fonte, 2008; Schermer et al., 2011). About consumer behavior, Seyfang (2009) defines three main approaches to consumption: utilitarian; social and psychological; and infrastuctures of provision. The utilitarian approach to consumption belongs to the traditional neo-classical economics. The neo classical approach to economics is dominated by the Homo Oeconomicus paradigm. According to this paradigm, human beings are considered as isoleted self interested individuals aiming to maximize his own self interest. The second approach to consumption is social and psychological and it takes out from social antropology (Douglas and Issherwood, 1979) and sociology thanks to Bourdieu's assessment. The last approach to consumption drawn by Seyfang (2009) is structural. According to this approach, the transition towards a more sustainable consumption needs not only a change in behavior and values but it is necessary to modify food system its organization and production. Several developed countries are experiencing remarkable growth of Social and Solidarity Economies (Ash 2009, Hart et al., 2010). The unprecedented rise of these types of Economies is linked to the economic recession and austerity political measures as specific forms of social self defense. Therefore we can notice that consumers are not isolated self interested individuals and their preferences go beyond the merely utilitarian evaluation of own interests. This paper is aiming to assess the deep nature of the Solidarity Purchase Groups Movement and how it may foster not only local development but also the economical and physical access to fresh and organic food, fighting against the so called "hidden hunger". Bibliography Ash A. (2009), The Social Economy: International Perspectives on Economic Solidarity, Zeed Books Ltd, London Barrett C. B. (2002), Food security and food assistance programs, Handbook of agricultural economics, 2: 2103-2190 Bourdieu, P. (1984), Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Massachussets; Harvard University Press Bourdieu, P. (1996), Physical Space, Social Space and Habitus, Rapport 10: 1996 Institutt for sosiologi og samfunnsgeografi Universitetet i Oslo Brundtland Report (1987), Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future, http://www.un-documents.net/our-common-future.pdf Brunori G., Rossi A. e Malandrin V., (2011) Co-producing Transition: Innovation Processes in Farms Adhering to Solidarity-based Purchase Groups (GAS) in Tuscany, Italy, International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food.18,1: 28-53. Coldiretti (2014): http://www.coldiretti.it/News/Pagine/672--%E2%80%93-12-Ottobre-2014.aspx Campiglio L., Rovati, G. (a cura) (2009), La povertà alimentare in Italia: prima indagine quantitativa e qualitativa, Milano: Guerini e associati Cohen M. J, Smale M. (a cura) (2014), Global Food-price Shocks and Poor People: Themes and Case Studies, New York and London: Routledge. Corbett J. (1988), Famine and household coping strategies,World Development, 16:1099-1112 Cordell D., Drangert J.-O., White S. (2009), The story of phosphorus: Global food security and food for thought,Global Environmental Change, 19 (2):292-305 Council of Europe (2014), Culture: heart and soul of democracy, http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/About/Culture_soul_EN.pdf Crisci G., Fonte M. (2014), L'accesso al bio nella transizione verso la sostenibilità dei sistemi agro-alimentari, Agriregionieuropa anno 10 n°37, Giu 2014 Cummins, S. (2002), “Food deserts". The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Health, Illness, Behavior and Society. Dahrendorf R., (2009), Dopo la crisi.Torniamo all'etica protestante?, Laterza Edizioni, Roma Dessein J., Soini K., Fairclough G., Horlings L., (2015) Culture in, for and as Sustainable Development , Conclusions from the cost action IS1007 Investigating cultural Sustainability, University of Jyväskylä Dickinson, R. and Carsky, M. (2005) ‘The Consumer as Economic Voter’, in R. Harrison, T. Newholm and D. Shaw (eds) The Ethical Consumer, pp. 25–36. London: Sage Ericksen P. J. (2007), Conceptualizing food systems for global environmental change research,Global Environmental Change, 18(1):234–245 Fao(1996), Rome Declaration on World Food Security, World Food Summit 1996, Rome Fao(2001), The state of food insecurity 2001. Rome:Fao Fao(2013), The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013. The multiple dimensions of food security, Rome:Fao Fonte M., (2008) Knowledge food and place: a way of producing, a way ofknowing,Sociologia Ruralis 48, 3: 200-222. Fonte M., Salvioni C. (2013), “Cittadinanza ecologica e consumo sostenibile: dal biologicoai Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale”, in Corrado A., and Sivini S., Cibo locale. Percorsi innovativi nelle pratiche di produzione e consumo alimentare, Napoli: Liguori Diara S., Fonte M., Crisci G. (2015), “Resistance through food”, Second International Conference on Agricultre in Urbanizing society, Reconnecting Agriculture ad Food Chains to Societal Needs, 14-17 September 2015, Rome Fraser E. D., Mabee W., Figge F. (2005), A framework for assessing the vulnerability of food systems to future shocks,Futures, 37(6): 465-479 Frewer L., Van Trijp H., (2006) Understanding Consumers of Food Products, 1st Edition,Woodhead Publishing Gentilini U. (2011), Banking on food: the state of food banks in high-income countries, Ids Working Paper 415 Giddens A., (1990), The Consequences of Modernity, Stanford University Press, Stanford Grasseni C., Forno F., Signori S. (2013), Beyond Alternative Food Networks An Agenda for Comparative Analysis

La contestazione a Expo2015 in ottica intersezionale: dal diritto alla città ai diritti animali.
Niccolo Bertuzzi (n.bertuzzi1@campus.unimib.it)
AbstractIntroduzione Il tema del “diritto alla città” è stato uno dei nodi centrali in molte delle principali mobilitazioni degli ultimi anni (Occupy; Primavere Arabe; 15-M; in qualche modo anche Nuit Debout, per restare nella stretta attualità). La contestazione a una determinata idea di città si è collegata con una più ampia critica all’idea di presente e futuro promosso dalle politiche neo-liberiste: uno dei motivi di successo, o quantomeno di visibilità, di tali proteste è infatti consistito nella capacità di coniugare differenti istanze dando vita ad ampie coalizioni che hanno avuto come protagonisti movimenti sociali di vario genere (LGBT, ambientalisti, antagonisti, etc) in ottica intersezionale. Anche la mobilitazione contro l’Esposizione Universale del 2015 a Milano sembra aver vissuto un simile percorso, sapendo coagulare intorno alla critica al grande evento una serie di soggetti collettivi di varia natura e provenienza. Nel nostro contributo ci concentreremo sul ruolo assunto da una specifica area, quella dell’animal advocacy, e sul modo in cui alcuni gruppi a essa afferenti si sono interfacciati con la Rete No-Expo. Il motivo di tale scelta si deve all’evidente centralità che il claim di Expo 2015 (“Nutrire il pianeta, energie per la vita”) aveva, o avrebbe dovuto avere, per i cosiddetti animalisti, data la centralità assunta dall’alimentazione carnea nelle società occidentali. L’obiettivo del contributo è quello di analizzare da una parte la rilevanza assunta dall’area animalista all’interno della Rete No-Expo, e dall’altra, al contrario, l’interesse della Rete No-Expo nei confronti delle istanze animaliste (e antispeciste in particolare). Per fare ciò ci baseremo sui dati raccolti tramite due ricerche condotte dall’autore. La prima consiste in una ricognizione della Rete No-Expo, degli attori che l’hanno composta e dei discorsi da essa proposti, concentrandoci in modo specifico su una frame analysis relativa ai principali documenti cartacei e online. La seconda consiste in un più ampio lavoro sull’animalismo italiano, nel quale si è cercato, per mezzo di un approccio quali-quantitativo, di ricostruire la dimensione politica e organizzativa di tale fenomeno, di cui troppo spesso vengono offerte immagini approssimative, anche a causa della carenza di effettive ricerche empiriche a livello nazionale: in questo caso ci concentreremo in modo specifico su alcune interviste in profondità effettuate con “membri rilevanti” afferenti a gruppi del territorio milanese. In tali interviste si è indagato, fra i diversi punti, anche il rapporto con altri movimenti sociali e con la Rete No-Expo in modo particolare. Struttura del paper La presentazione si pensa dunque suddivisa in due parti analitiche principali: dapprima si fornirà una generale presentazione della Rete No-Expo, degli attori che l’hanno composta e dei principali argomenti di critica rivolti all’Esposizione Universale, sia con specifico riferimento all’edizione 2015 (a malfunzionamenti e scandali che l’hanno caratterizzata), sia in termini assoluti nei confronti dell’idea di presente e futuro veicolata e promossa da tali grandi eventi. La multivocalità e l’intersezionalità sono state indubbiamente una caratteristica imprescindibile della Rete No-Expo, rappresentandone da una parte il valore aggiunto, dall’altra uno dei principali motivi di problematiche organizzative e comunicative, specie dopo la fondamentale giornata del Prima Maggio 2015. In chiave estremamente sintetica, le numerose critiche sono riassumibili sotto tre capitoli principali: 1) grandi eventi, potere e diritto alla città, 2) biopolitica e 3) retoriche e costruzioni di immaginari. Nella seconda parte della presentazione, dopo una breve riflessione sui perché dell’omissione del tema “cibo” (che rappresentava l’argomento centrale dell’edizione 2015) sia dall’agenda Expo sia da quella No-Expo, passeremo a occuparci degli animal advocates. L’utilizzo di tale locuzione, al posto di più comuni termini quali animalisti o antispecisti, si deve alla variegata composizione dell’area; con tale termine ci si riferisce dunque a tutto l’arco che va dalle classiche strutture di assistenza (canili, gattili, etc) fino ai gruppi grass-roots e più radicali, passando per classiche associazioni di stampo protezionista e dimensione nazionale. Ci si è interrogati dunque su quale sia stato l’approccio degli animal advocates al grande evento e quanta importanza esso abbia assunto nell’agenda di tale “movimento”. Ha esso rappresentato una issue rilevante? Se sì, l’interesse si è limitato al tema del cibo o ha saputo connettere anche altre questioni, fra cui quella del diritto alla città? Principali risultati In termini generali, l’atteggiamento della galassia animalista e antispecista nei confronti di Expo è stato tutt’altro che univoco, passando dall’opposizione conflittuale e dalla critica esplicita al mero disinteresse e alle ipotesi di “cavalcare” il tema dell’Esposizione Universale per diffondere il veganismo come “cultura”, dieta o stile di vita. Solo due manifestazioni di un certo rilievo hanno coinvolto qualche attore collettivo afferente all’animal advocacy. Da una parte, la manifestazione del Primo Maggio, la quale tuttavia vedeva coinvolta l’intera Rete No-Expo e di cui lo spezzone antispecista costituiva una piccolissima parte. Dall’altra, il corteo organizzato dall’associazione Animalisti Onlus il 23 maggio 2015, che, al contrario, ha preferito puntare esclusivamente su argomentazioni relative agli animali non-umani, senza considerare in modo approfondito le altre criticità di Expo. In termini nuovamente sintetici sembrano essere emerse tre principali posizioni dei soggetti animalisti nei confronti dell’Esposizione Universale nel suo complesso: 1) il disinteresse, 2) la critica sviluppata all’interno della Rete No-Expo e in riferimento anche ad altre istanze anticapitaliste, 3) la critica sviluppata senza un coinvolgimento nella Rete No-Expo e dunque senza una particolare attenzione per i temi non immediatamente collegabili ai non umani. Conclusioni L’animal advocacy (e in modo particolare l’area antispecista) pare aver perso un’ottima occasione per promuovere in maniera efficace le proprie istanze. La collocazione del mega evento in Italia, e a Milano in particolare, e la specifica tematica dell’edizione 2015, avrebbero potuto far sperare in una più proficua azione e in una maggior visibilità da parte di gruppi animalisti e antispecisti, anche e soprattutto nell’ottica di un collegamento fra lo sfruttamento animale e la critica al vangelo neo-liberista. Da una parte va dunque considerato il mancato interesse da parte della Rete No-Expo, che, come spesso capita presso i movimenti antagonisti, ha trattato con una certa diffidenza le istanze antispeciste, percependole come sostanzialmente a-politiche; dall’altra le colpe sono state anche degli stessi soggetti animalisti e antispecisti, che non hanno saputo sfruttare in modo efficace l’opportunità, e in molti casi non hanno saputo collegare le rivendicazioni in favore degli animali non-umani con quelle relative agli altri nodi critici di Expo.

Narratives and counter-narratives: security issues and peace movements in Italy.
Fabrizio Coticchia (fabrizio.coticchia@unige.it), Andrea Catanzaro (andrea.catanzaro@unige.it)
AbstractExisting studies on strategic narratives have persuasively illustrated the features that make a plot compelling to shape public attitudes regarding military operations. A growing body of the literature has started to pay attention to the concept of “narrative dominance”, stressing the role played by counter-narratives in hindering a wider acceptance of a specific message. However, a limited consideration has been devoted to security issues other than military missions, while the key- features and the effectiveness of counter-narratives have seldom been assessed in a systematic way, especially for non-institutional actors such as “peace movements”. The paper aims at filling this gap, focusing on Italy. How and to what extent have counter-narratives successfully contested the official strategic narratives? What ideologies underlie them? To answer these questions, the research investigates the main contents, the theoretical backgrounds and the effectiveness of counter-narratives developed by national “peace movements” to contrast the “plot” designed by Italian governments to gain the support of public opinion towards selected post-2001 security issues: defense acquisitions, political reforms and missions abroad. The manuscript, which is based on interviews, discourse and content analysis, adopts a multidisciplinary approach, combining IR, political thought, communication and social movement studies.

Giovani e partecipazione politica in Italia al tempo della crisi
Elisa Lello (elisa.lello@uniurb.it)
AbstractIl lavoro si propone di indagare le trasformazioni della partecipazione politica da parte dei giovani italiani focalizzando l’attenzione non tanto su specifiche esperienze di mobilitazione bensì sui giovani stessi, sulla loro identità e in particolare sul loro modo di relazionarsi con la sfera politica. Alla base di questo lavoro infatti vi sono alcune tesi, già sviluppate dall’autrice altrove (Lello 2015), sul fatto che sia riconoscibile una peculiare identità di questa generazione di giovani italiani: esisterebbe cioè un insieme di tratti e di sensibilità che accomunano i giovani italiani di questi anni differenziandoli al contempo dalle generazioni precedenti, anche da quella, anagraficamente vicina, dei cosiddetti “giovani adulti” che hanno da poco superato i trent’anni o si avvicinano ai quaranta. Questa identità generazionale sarebbe a sua volta riconducibile al particolare clima – culturale, sociale ed economico – in cui i giovani di oggi hanno trascorso le fasi (pre)adolescenziali e in cui stanno vivendo la propria giovinezza: un’epoca – a partire, grosso modo, dalla metà degli anni novanta - in cui le certezze si sono via via smarrite lasciando spazio all’insicurezza, intesa in tutte le sue accezioni (Bauman 2000, Beck 2000) e in cui la fiducia verso il futuro ha lasciato il posto a percezioni ben più cupe e di stampo pessimista. Forgiando risposte e reazioni all’insegna della necessità di adattarsi, facendo affidamento sulla ricerca di appigli sicuri in cui cercare rifugio, di stampo privato e micro-comunitario, materiale e tradizionale. Atteggiamenti, peraltro, rinforzati negli ultimi anni, e con particolare intensità nel nostro Paese, per effetto della lunga crisi economica e del modo in cui i suoi effetti si sono intrecciati con la situazione che i giovani vivono nel confronto con le altre generazioni, definendo uno svantaggio generazionale che in Italia assume proporzioni probabilmente più significative che in altri Paesi (cfr. Ambrosi e Rosina 2009, Boeri e Galasso 2007, Cavalli 2007, Livi Bacci e De Santis 2007, Forni 2013, Pastore 2014 e, sui Neet, Rosina (2015) e Rizza e Maestripieri (2015). Indagare sull’identità a tutto tondo di questa generazione permette di comprendere, contestualizzare, verificare i nessi tra opinioni, domande e percezioni relative alla sfera politica: consente cioè di esplorare il rapporto tra i giovani e la politica al di là della mera registrazione dei livelli di partecipazione e identificazione, cercando invece di comprendere le motivazioni per cui scelgono di attivarsi (o di tenersi a distanza), le aspettative, le critiche e le domande che i giovani muovono alla politica. La tesi, cioè, è che sia possibile individuare una sensibilità comune che caratterizza questa generazione di giovani rendendone riconoscibile un’identità propria, senza però arrivare a consolidarsi in un vero e proprio legame di generazione nel senso sociopolitico classico (cfr. Mannheim 1928 e Ortega Y Gasset 1966, si veda anche Bettin Lattes 1999), probabilmente perché tra i tratti distintivi di questa generazione ritroviamo un particolare tipo di individualismo insieme ad una bassa coesione intra-generazionale, cioè ad una difficoltà a riconoscersi nei propri coetanei: elementi, questi, che ostacolano il consolidarsi di vincoli di solidarietà e appartenenza, prerequisito della partecipazione (Pizzorno 1966, Tilly 1978) e, più nello specifico, del costituirsi di una generazione intesa come soggettività politica. I giovani appaiono maggiormente propensi di altre generazioni verso specifiche domande e aspettative nei confronti della politica: chiedono, per esempio, una semplificazione marcata del sistema politico all’insegna della governabilità e della rapidità decisionale ed esecutiva, insieme a concretezza, schierandosi a favore di un approccio rigorosamente non-ideologico dove i criteri essenziali in base a cui valutare l’offerta politica diventano la competenza tecnica e l’onestà, a scapito, probabilmente, della portata dell’azione politica e della sua capacità di produrre cambiamenti. Si tratta di orientamenti che coinvolgono, con diversa intensità, sia i giovani lontani dalla politica sia quelli che invece intraprendono percorsi partecipativi, anche se questi ultimi, nel farlo, inevitabilmente si espongono a esperienze che concorrono a modificare percezioni e narrazioni della realtà. Il lavoro che si intende proporre si pone lo scopo di proseguire, approfondendo e attualizzando l’indagine in relazione ai cambiamenti politici più recenti e significativi, l’analisi del set di domande e aspettative che caratterizza i giovani italiani nei confronti della politica, andando poi nello specifico a confrontare l’esperienza dei giovani lontani dalla politica con quella dei loro coetanei viceversa più vicini e inclini alle prassi e reti partecipative, al fine di verificare come l’esperienza partecipativa, di sua natura anche formativa, si incontri e concorra a modificare attitudini e narrazioni che tenderebbero invece verso l’individualismo e la percezione di inefficacia politica. E se, e in che misura, le esperienze partecipative inducano ad atteggiamenti più complessi e capaci di discostarsi dal sentimento antipolitico da cui trae linfa la domanda di semplificazione marcata del sistema politico che costituisce una delle cifre del loro rapporto con la politica. Questi obiettivi conoscitivi saranno indagati facendo affidamento sia su indagini di tipo quantitativo (sondaggi su campioni rappresentativi della popolazione italiana condotti nell’ambito delle attività di ricerca di LaPolis, Università di Urbino e di Demos & Pi.), sia su una serie di interviste semi-strutturate condotte nel corso degli anni su giovani italiani di diversa provenienza territoriale e sociale. Si tratta, in particolare, di 35 interviste svolte negli ultimi anni (dal 2014 al 2016) che serviranno ad ancorare la ricerca all’attualità politica e che verranno integrate e confrontate con un ulteriore set di 57 interviste – già oggetto di altre pubblicazioni scientifiche – che si riferiscono al periodo 2008-2013 e che verranno utilizzate per completezza e confronto. Riferimenti bibliografici Ambrosi E. e Rosina A. (2009) Non è un Paese per giovani, Marsilio, Roma. Bauman, Z. (2000) La solitudine del cittadino globale, Milano, Feltrinelli. Bettin Lattes, G. (1999) Sul concetto di generazione politica, su “Rivista italiana di scienza politica, n. 1, 23-54. Boeri T. e Galasso V. (2007) Contro i giovani. Come l’Italia sta tradendo le nuove generazioni, Mondadori, Milano. Beck, U. (2000) I rischi della libertà. L’individuo nell’epoca della globalizzazione, Bologna, il Mulino. Cavalli A. (2007) Giovani non protagonisti, su «il Mulino», n. 3, pp. 464-471. Forni L. (2013) Il peggioramento della condizione economica dei giovani in Italia, su «il Mulino», n. 2, pp. 237-245. Lello, E. (2015) La triste gioventù. Ritratto politico di una generazione, Rimini, Maggioli. Livi Bacci M. e De Santis G. (2007) Le prerogative perdute dei giovani, «il Mulino», n. 3, pp. 472-481. Mannheim, K. (1928) Das Problem der Generationen, Kölner Vierteljahreshefte für Soziologie, vol. 7, p. 157-185; trad. it. (1974), Il problema delle generazioni, in Id., Sociologia della conoscenza, Dedalo, Bari. Ortega Y Gasset, J. (1966), El tema de nuestro tiempo in Obras Completas, III, Revista de Occidente, Madrid; trad. it. Il tema del nostro tempo, a cura di S. Solmi, Milano, Rosa e Ballo,1947. Pastore F. (2014) I giovani e la crisi economica. Capire per ricostruire la speranza, Youcanprint. Pizzorno, A. (1966) Introduzione allo studio della partecipazione politica, in “Quaderni di sociologia”, 3-4. Rizza R. e Maestripieri L. (2015) Giovani al lavoro: i numeri della crisi, Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Milano. Rosina A. (2015) Neet. Giovani che non studiano e non lavorano, Vita e pensiero, Milano. Tilly, C. (1978) From Mobilization To Revolution, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachussets.

 

Panel 6.3 Di chi? Per chi? La ricerca come lavoro e il ruolo pubblico della ricerca


I sistemi universitari, seguendo un trend comune a livello internazionale, stanno profondamente mutando. La tradizionale concezione humboldtiana dell’università, quale luogo dell’eccellenza nella produzione e nella trasmissione di conoscenza, è sfidata da una serie di riforme finalizzate ad adeguare principi, funzioni, modalità di funzionamento, dei sistemi universitari, alle esigenze di una società complessa e di massa. L’imperativo è aprire le università alla società, spingendole ad uscire dalla torre d’avorio e da un visione della conoscenza come valore in sé. Non solo alla ricerca e all’alta formazione, le due funzioni costitutive e - nella tradizione europea - considerate inscindibili dell’Università, si affiancano altre funzioni (la “terza missione”, intesa come trasferimento tecnologico, contributo allo sviluppo territoriale, public engagement), ma si trasforma anche radicalmente il modo con cui si pensa, si organizza e si realizzano didattica e ricerca: nel primo caso, tramite un ampliamento dell’offerta formativa di tipo professionalizzante e orientata all’apprendimento permanente; nel secondo caso, spostando l’equilibrio dalla ricerca di base (finanziata pubblicamente) alla ricerca applicata, realizzata in sinergia con le imprese.
Tra gli elementi principali che definiscono il passaggio dall’università humboldtiana alla “università globale” vi sono la riforma della governance, in chiave manageriale ed aziendalistica, l’introduzione di meccanismi di mercato e delle logiche della competizione e della valutazione.
A partire dalla fine degli anni Novanta (con la Riforma “Berlinguer-Zecchino”), l’Italia ha intrapreso, con alcuni lustri di ritardo rispetto ai paesi pionieri, una serie di riforme, i cui orientamenti di fondo ricalcano quelli già adottati in altri paesi, seppur in maniera parziale, talvolta contraddittoria, e spesso in anacronistico ritardo (quando, cioè, i risultati delle prime sperimentazioni condotte, o il rapido cambiamento delle esigenze, hanno spinto a ripensare il modello applicato nei paesi apripista).
Il mutamento di paradigma introdotto incide sul mondo in cui chi lavora all’università vive ed interpreta il proprio ruolo, nelle relazioni con l’ambiente di lavoro e le comunità scientifiche, nei rapporti che si costruiscono con gli studenti, i colleghi, i referenti interni ed esterni del proprio lavoro, nei modi in cui si eroga la didattica e si produce ricerca. Il cambio di paradigma è particolarmente acuto per le nuove generazioni di ricercatrici e ricercatori, il cui ingresso nel lavoro accademico coincide con una fase di profonda trasformazione nei criteri di valutazione, e quindi nei percorsi di reclutamento e di avanzamento di carriera, trasformando profondamente il modo di fare didattica e ricerca, nonché il rapporto tra le due attività.
In Italia le riforme dell’Università - ed in particolare la più recente "Legge Gelmini" (la L. 270/2010) - hanno coinciso con la crisi economica e quindi con una volontà politica improntata al taglio delle spese. Uno degli effetti congiunti delle Riforme e della riduzione dell’investimento pubblico in università e ricerca è stata la diffusione di una radicale condizione di precarietà e di incertezza.
La sovrapposizione tra cambio di paradigma e riduzione delle risorse ha condotto l’introduzione di orientamenti e pratiche presenti in altri sistemi universitari ad effetti diversi e ne ha esacerbato la portata. In particolare, il vero e proprio tratto distintivo dell’Università italiana oggi è l’istituzionalizzazione del precariato, a seguito del blocco del turn-over, della moltiplicazione delle tipologie contrattuali pre-ruolo, dell’aumento dell’età di ingresso in ruolo. In questi anni la “professione accademica allargata”, utilizzando un’espressione di Moscati, è arrivata a più che raddoppiare il numero di personale strutturato, se si sommano tutte le fattispecie precarie.
A partire da questa premessa, la questione della ricerca come lavoro, vede convergere due ordini di problematiche. La prima, che enfatizza la dimensione del lavoro, vede un alto numero di giovani e meno giovani coinvolti in lavori precari e sottoretribuiti, con scarse prospettive di stabilizzazione all’interno del sistema universitario e poche possibilità di accesso all’impiego come ricercatore nel settore privato. Sotto questo aspetto, la questione del lavoro nell’università si inquadra quindi nel contesto più ampio del precariato, ed in particolare del cognitariato, e si articola anche nel problema della scarsità delle tutele e dei diritti. La seconda ha a che fare con la qualità della ricerca. Affidare molta parte della ricerca a personale non strutturato, privo di una prospettiva di continuità e sottoposto a forme di auto-sfruttamento, rende difficile guardare al lungo periodo quale naturale dimensione della ricerca. Sottofinanziata e affidata in larga parte a precari, la ricerca stessa diventa precaria.
In questo processo è possibile ricontare una contraddizione tra le retoriche del merito, della competizione, della valorizzazione dell’eccellenza, che attribuiscono alla ricerca una funzione cruciale di sviluppo sociale, culturale e soprattutto economico, e le spinte concrete verso la parcellizzazione e la massimizzazione di strategie di breve periodo che penalizzano l’innovazione e il rischio.
Il panel intende problematizzare, alla luce di questi nodi, la questione della ricerca come lavoro, invitando a riflettere come questa incida sulle finalità della ricerca, ovvero sul ruolo pubblico della ricerca. Ciò, a partire dal convincimento che le modalità di produzione della conoscenza non possono non retroagire sui destinatari della ricerca e sui significati e le funzioni a questa attribuiti.
Il filo conduttore che lega modalità di produzione e finalità della ricerca è la sua riduzione a merce, da prodursi con la minore spesa possibile e destinata alla massimizzazione dell’efficacia sul piano della spendibilità nel mercato? Ciò significa che la ricerca è destinata, sempre più, a essere prodotta, tramite modalità di sfruttamento del lavoro cognitario, tipiche del postfordismo, e ad essere venduta come merce, privilegiando così l’applicabilità diretta, a scapito della ricerca pura?
Negli ultimi anni il tema della ricerca come lavoro e del ruolo pubblico della ricerca è stato posto al centro di una molteplicità di mobilitazioni dal basso. Queste hanno avuto spesso come protagonisti categorie specifiche (docenti, ricercatori, ricercatori non strutturati, studenti), che hanno dato vita a forme puntuali di protesta (si pensi, di recente, al boicottaggio della VQR, allo “sciopero alla rovescia” dei ricercatori non strutturati, alla petizione “Salviamo la ricerca”). Solo in alcuni momenti le mobilitazioni hanno assunto un carattere trasversale e sono riuscite ad aggregare gli “esperti” tra loro e i cittadini con gli esperti attorno a una visione condivisa del ruolo dell’università e della ricerca.
A partire da queste premesse, sono benvenuti contributi che affronteranno, da una pluralità di punti di vista, sul piano della riflessione teorica o della ricerca empirica, con approfondimenti sul caso italiano, o con un’ottica comparata, i seguenti aspetti:
- Le direzioni di mutamento impresse dalle riforme;
- I mutamenti della ricerca nell’università;
- Il confronto tra modelli di università e di ricerca nella società della conoscenza;
- Il precariato nell’università;
- Le forme di “resilienza” e di “resistenza” praticate dagli accademici;
- I movimenti e i conflitti sulla ricerca come lavoro e sul ruolo pubblico della ricerca.

Chairs: Luca Raffini, Barbara Saracino

 

Panel 6.4 Movement Parties and Party Movements: Insights into the European Far Right


The far right – in its populist, radical, and extreme variants – is one of the most successful objects of enquiry in the social sciences (e.g. Mudde 2000, 2007). The literature on the far right now constitutes an extensive corpus addressing the history and evolution of these political actors, their ideological profiles as well as those of their voters, besides various accounts of success and failure. Especially those early contributions focusing on Western Europe have often interpreted the contemporary far right as a phenomenon emerged in reaction to the ‘silent revolution’ of environmentalist and left-libertarian organisations (Dalton 1988; Ignazi 1992) – a legacy recently taken up by ‘anti-establishment’ organisations of different breed (e.g. the 5 Star Movement in Italy, Podemos in Spain, SYRIZA in Greece).

On the one hand, the close-knit fate of these ‘party families’ has to do with the particular juncture from which they emerge. Most left-wing parties in Europe developed within the labour movement in the nineteenth century, raising claims for political and social rights and contributing to the development of welfare democracies. The contemporary far right – what von Beyme (1988) defined as the ‘third wave’ of right-wing extremism – originated from the counter-movements opposing the revolutions of ‘1968’ and the emergence of multicultural societies. On the other, far right actors across Europe share remarkably similar features in terms of their particular, hybrid organisational style. Almost without exception, these organisations have been seen to straddle the conceptual space between party and movement (Gunther and Diamond 2003), in that they contest elections in order to gain representation in office, yet seek to mobilise public support by providing particular frames to contentious issues (Minkenberg 2002). In the case of the far right, this notion has been replicated without serious academic enquiry, to the point that it has now surged to anecdotal evidence. Whilst some attempts have been made in order to bridge the party political literature and social movement studies in the analysis of ‘collective actors’ of this type (e.g. Minkenberg 2003; McAdam and Tarrow 2010), the two scholarships have only rarely crossed paths.

Whilst largely still under-specified theoretically, hybrid organisations such as ‘movement parties’ of the far right are also under-researched in their membership, internal structures, and repertoires of action (cf. Albanese et al. 2015). What are the main traits of ‘movement parties’ on the far right? What organisational and strategic features (or combination thereof) qualify these networks of organisations as ‘movement parties’ rather than ‘party movements’? What is the lifecycle of movement parties, in terms of emergence and breakthrough, structuring of movement-party relations and construction of shared collective identities?

This panel seeks to redress these inconsistencies by attracting contributions on ‘movement parties’ of the far right, bridging party-political and social movement literatures to achieve a more exhaustive understanding of this phenomenon. We will consider paper proposals from different sub-disciplines and theoretical persuasions, and will generally aim at striking a balance between case studies and comparative contributions.

Chairs: Pietro Castelli Gattinara, Andrea L. P. Pirro

Discussants: Manuela Caiani

A giant with feet of clay. A dynamic life cycle approach to the rise and fall of the Vlaams Belang.
Stijn van Kessel (s.van-kessel@lboro.ac.uk), Koen Abts (koenraad.abts@kuleuven.be), Marc Swyngedouw ()
AbstractThrough a study of the Belgian Vlaams Blok/Belang (VB) this paper develops a political sociology of the far right beyond static demand and supply explanations. Our argument is that conditions underlying the rise, success and decline of the VB are dynamic and interactive. These conditions relate to political opportunity structure, as well as the party’s mobilisation structure and (ethno-populist) framing. Furthermore, we argue that the relative importance of these individual conditions varied during the life cycle of the VB, which can be divided into phases of formation and breakthrough (1979-1991); success and consolidation (1991-2006); and decline (2006-2015). As the VB can in many ways be considered a typical populist radical right party which has gone through all phases of the life cycle, this paper has important implications for the study of comparable cases beyond Belgium.

The online networks of the French far right Preliminary evidences from a study applying integrated Social Network Analysis and Content analysis approach
Caterina Froio (caterina.froio@eui.eu)
AbstractFar right organizations use the internet as a tool to diffuse their messages. Existing scholarship mainly focus on the usage of online communication for recruitment and propaganda. Less attention has been paid to the extent to which these digital media practices can be enacted to promote communication coalitions between far right parties and other organizations. To what extent the web can facilitate the construction of alliances within the broad and highly differentiated camp of far right activism? The paper combines Social Network Analysis (SNA) with Content Analysis approach to study the existence and the characteristics of ties between 30 French far right websites. We manually classified these ties according to the issue focus of the digital text associated to the links. Finally we illustrate what are the websites that occupy a central position in the French far right network distinguishing by issue type. Combining SNA (a methodology developed by structuralist ethnology) with content analysis (a more functionalist approach) to study online communication networks offers important insights about ideological differences and affinities between far right party and non-party organizations, including violent groups. We show that on issues that are not at the core of far right ideology–such as economy and the environment- French far right networks appear to be fragmented and ‘policephalous’: they are highly diversified, and loosely coordinated. Differently, networks on classic far right concerns -migration, security, civil rights and opposition to the establishment - have a ‘star structure: they are denser and much more concentrated on few central actors. Overall, the results suggest that despite ideological differences, communication coalitions between different types of far right organizations are possible. However, ties are limited to “core” ideological topics of this political family.

Migrant-background and ethnic minority activists in the ‘republicanised’ Front National
Francesca Scrinzi (francesca.scrinzi@EUI.eu)
AbstractThe recent electoral successes of the Front National, led since 2011 by Marine Le Pen, can be considered partially as the product of its new strategy of ‘dedemonisation’ and ‘republicanisation’ (Shields 2013). The FN has appropriated a ‘republican’ repertoire which emphasizes the mainstream values of liberté, égalité and fraternité, widely considered by the French as an essential part of the national identity, which constitute a powerful resource to secure political legitimacy. The new party discourse underplays religious and ethnic differences among ‘patriots’ to identify itself as the defender of all French, irrespective of their origins. Based on life histories and observations, I examine a category of ‘paradoxical’ ‘anti-immigration’ activists: working-class racialized and migrant-background young women and men. I analyze the mechanisms through which ethnic minority individuals, as opposed to individuals of European descent, negotiate national belonging and the party’s ideological change. I show the diverse narratives and motives of ethnic minority and European-descent members: in order to identify with the activists’ group, the former mobilize ethnicity and religion while the latter mobilize class and age, thus creating a generational ‘out-group’. The attribution of racism to the party is not entirely denied but rather displaced and ascribed to older generations of activists linked to the former leadership, Catholic traditionalism and the colonial legacy. The comparison between ethnic minority and European-descent informants discloses the racist assumptions lying at the core of the ‘republican’ re-framing of the FN discourse, pointing to its continuity with the past leadership. Further, the paper shows that the two groups of activists have different motives (Klandermans 2004) for joining the party: ‘ideology’ seem to be more important for European-descent members while ‘identity’ and ‘instrumentality’ are key for ethnic minority/racialised informants.

Anti-Islamic PEGIDA beyond Germany: Explaining Differences in Mobilisation
Lars Erik Berntzen (lars.berntzen@eui.eu), Manès Weisskircher (manes.weisskircher@eui.eu)
AbstractThe rise of anti-Islamic PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes) is the latest sustained episode of radical right mobilisation in Western Europe outside the electoral arena. Combining protest event analysis with qualitative content and network analysis, we identify why PEGIDA has mustered support in some countries and failed in others. Focusing on Austria, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland this study reveals the pivotal importance of the organizational capacity of the activists themselves to explain the divergence in mobilisation. Unlike the sui generis case in Dresden, the PEGIDA label has become a rallying point appropriated by pre-established radical right activists using it for their own mobilization efforts. Further, our study demonstrates the importance of online spheres as principal channels for dissemination of PEGIDA’s worldview, as well as the interplay between online and offline mobilisation. Thereby we underscore the massive impact state interference can have on the activist scene, with bans on street activity also suppressing PEGIDA online.

 

Panel 6.5 Un movimento per trasformare la rappresentanza politica: l’impegno del Movimento 5 stelle nelle campagne elettorali e nelle istituzioni nazionali e locali.


Il panel vuole raccogliere studi che riguardano l’impegno del M5s nelle diverse campagne elettorali e l’azione dei suoi eletti all’interno delle istituzioni rappresentative, dal parlamento nazionale ai governo delle istituzioni locali. In particolare vi è un interesse per quegli studi che evidenziano se e come la riforma della politica si sia tradotta nel lavoro parlamentare e nelle amministrazioni locali in azioni e progetti. E se siano state sperimentate, a livello nazionale e nei diversi contesti territoriali, nuove forme di relazione fra i “portavoce”, gli attivisti del movimento e gli elettori che lo hanno votato.

Chairs: Roberto Biorcio, Rossana Sampugnaro

Bagheria e l’amministrazione Cinque Stelle
Marilena Macaluso (marilena.macaluso@unipa.it)
AbstractIl paper studierà il caso di Bagheria in provincia di Palermo, Comune amministrato da Patrizio Cinque sindaco del Movimento 5 Stelle da giugno 2014. A partire dall’analisi degli elementi che ne hanno contribuito a determinare il successo elettorale (connessi allo scenario e alla campagna elettorale), si prenderanno in considerazione le peculiarità dell’amministrazione locale pentastellata nei suoi primi due anni, approfondendo in particolare la relazione tra portavoce, attivisti ed elettori prima e durante il mandato, i rapporti con gli altri Meetup locali e nazionali, le strategie comunicative, i progetti, la capacità di resistenza agli scandali che hanno colpito l’assessore all’urbanistica e lo stesso sindaco. La ricerca metterà in luce l’immagine mediatica dell’amministrazione di Bagheria “5 Stelle” attraverso l’analisi della rassegna stampa e della comunicazione autoprodotta, indagherà sulle innovazioni comunicative introdotte nell’ambito del rapporto con i cittadini (ad es. introducendo nel nuovo statuto comunale il Question Time cittadino) e sul processo di istituzionalizzazione del movimento avvalendosi di interviste in profondità a testimoni privilegiati (sindaco, attivisti) e dell’etnografia della rete. Si approfondirà inoltre il contributo del sindaco alle campagne elettorali delle amministrative 2016 di altri comuni siciliani (come Alcamo).

En attendant “Rousseau”. Models of democracy and web-democracy in the Five Stars Movement
Alessandro Albertini (alessandro.albertini@sssup.it), Massimiliano Andretta (massimiliano.andretta@unipi.it)
AbstractIn the last year, the Italian Five Star Movement has improved the forms of internal direct democracy strongly wanted by its leader, the comedian Beppe Grillo. In fact, Five Stars is the only political actor in Italy that has promised a revolution in terms of political participation through the implementation of practices of online direct democracy. The paper discusses the models of democracy in ideological and practical terms, as well as the role of Internet in the constitution, the identity and the organization of the Five Star Movement. The research question deals with a better conceptualization of democratic rhetoric and praxis adopted by the Five Stars Movement; secondly, the paper tries to discern how activists perceive these two components. This means to explore to what extent Internet is considered central for the Movement collective identity and to what extent activists perceive the contradictions between the Movement rhetoric and praxis. The paper has three parts: the first one discusses -from a theoretical perspective- the current models of Democracy present in literature, by relating them with the raise of Five Stars Movement and the rhetoric of the leadership. Secondly, the paper presents a simple quantitative analysis of “Lex” -the web-portal of Five Stars dedicated to legislative discussion-, which is based on a detection conducted on February 2016. Finally the paper presents the results of an investigation of activists’ perception, based on interviews collected last year at several Meetup in Tuscany.

La tipologia di elettori 5 stelle: mutamenti e conferme 2012-2016
Paolo Natale (paolo.natale@unimi.it)
AbstractDopo il brillante risultato delle elezioni del biennio 2013-2014, ben oltre le più rosee aspettative, il cammino politico del M5s si è fatto più facile ma nel contempo anche più arduo. Più facile grazie alla forte visibilità ottenuta attraverso gli elevati consensi elettorali, che gli ha permesso di presentarsi come una reale forza politica alternativa ai vecchi partiti, con messaggi di sicura presa sui cittadini e con azioni a volte eclatanti che ne marcavano la distanza con la politica di vecchio stampo. Più arduo, perché le responsabilità che ha assunto, in parlamento e in molte amministrazioni regionali e locali, lo costringono a ripensare il suo modo di fare politica e le sue forme organizzative. Anche se resta ferma l’idea di non trasformarsi in un partito tradizionale, deve procedere sulla via di una relativa istituzionalizzazione. E trovare il modo di fare interagire positivamente le sue tre componenti: la base degli iscritti e dei militanti, gli eletti nelle istituzioni centrali e locali ed il nucleo più ristretto (oggi definito “direttorio”) che deve prendere le necessarie decisioni strategiche. Problemi politico-gestionali che la prematura morte del secondo fondatore, Gianroberto Casaleggio, ha ulteriormente accentuato, in un momento in cui ai 5 stelle si chiedono risposte urgenti, alla luce dei sondaggi più recenti, da una platea sempre più vasta ed in costante trasformazione. Il paper ha l'obiettivo di comprendere se, e in che modo, è mutato l'elettorato di riferimento dei 5 stelle, con cui gli attivisti di base, da una parte, e la "direzione" nazionale, dall'altra, devono confrontare le proprie proposte politiche. L'analisi sarà effettuata confrontando i tipi di elettori presenti agli esordi nazionali (nel 2012) con quelli attuali (2016).

A FIVE STARS’ ADMINISTRATION. The FSM and its Socio-Territorial Rooting. Some Words from the Mayors.
Dario Quattromani (dario.quattromani@uniroma3.it), Francesco Capria (capriafrancesco@virgilio.it)
AbstractIn recent years, Italian politics is facing enormous changes. After 2009 (but with important roots in the previous years), with the top-down creation of a political movement from the digital world, we entered a new political era, that is still in need of much in-depth research. Nowadays, the Five Stars Movement (FSM) has become one of the main objects of study, with particular attention paid to its uncommon structure and rules, not to mention its post-ideological position in the political spectrum. Before 2009, this political formation existed with a different composition, based on a former comedian’s blog (beppegrillo.it), and organized through the online platform meetup.com since July 2005: its initial political activity evolved with the certification of civic lists competing for local elections (“Friends of Beppe Grillo”), all of them composed by territorially active citizens. For this is not our first research on the FSM, since we already interviewed both its national representatives and its local activists in Rome and in Florence as part of a previous book, the actual interest is related to another aspect: how does the FSM govern? Since its foundation (October 4th, 2009), 18 mayors have been elected all around Italy, equally shared between northern and southern regions: some of them, due to internal rules of the FSM, have been expelled after their election, and less than 20% are women. Because of this, the main research questions this semi-structured interview-based study wants to answer are: which local government’s principles do FSM’s mayors refer to? What kind of organization, of solutions, are they experimenting in the cities they are governing? To the extent that the national level is evolving somehow, is there a city-level ruling class, too?

Il confine sottile tra le Regole e le regole. Il Movimento 5 Stelle dentro le Istituzioni.
Francesca Montemagno (francesca.montemagno@gmail.com)
AbstractL’interesse di ricerca è il processo di istituzionalizzazione che ha caratterizzato il Movimento 5 stelle dal momento che i suoi rappresentanti hanno ricoperto cariche istituzionali. Lo studio si concentra sui parlamentari Siciliani del Movimento 5 Stelle, che dopo l’inaspettato successo elettorale della competizione regionale del 2012, furono il Gruppo Parlamentare più numeroso dell’Assemblea Regionale Siciliana, il primo Consiglio Regionale ad avere una presenza consistente di eletti nelle liste del Movimento. L’indagine si sofferma sull’analisi di tutte le forme di conflittualità in cui il Gruppo Parlamentare si è imbattuto dovendo adeguare le proprie regole interne alle prassi ed ai Regolamenti Assembleari e al conseguente processo di adattamento e di istituzionalizzazione. Fenomeni come la rotazione dei capigruppo, la disposizione del “non Statuto”, le regole interne al Movimento per la selezione del personale del Gruppo Parlamentare e le forme di protesta in Aula, sono esempi di scelte che mal si conciliano con le regole scritte e non scritte dell’Assemblea Regionale Siciliana. Il parallelo studio delle prassi e del Diritto parlamentare della Regione Siciliana e dei regolamenti interni al Gruppo Parlamentare del Movimento 5 stelle, oltre che interviste in profondità ad alcuni suoi rappresentanti, costituiscono gli strumenti dell’indagine.

 

Panel 6.6 Gender and the Family as Bones of Contention in the Public Sphere


At the beginning of the 21st century, the world is witnessing an increasing number of controversies and debates involving ethics and religious values. On the one hand, faiths globalization and immigration flows have increased religious pluralism in many countries, giving rise to controversies related to dress codes, places of worship, dietary prescriptions and other issues; on the other, the secularization of society as well as technological improvements have stimulated the development of controversies related to issues such as abortion, euthanasia and other ethical issues. Many controversies, however, are related to another field, which seems to be increasingly gaining relevance, with a cluster of controversies related and different visions of family and gender roles.
Among these controversies, a major role has been played by the debates about LGBT rights, mainly because of a real revolution which in a couple of decades has swept the West, with the legalization of same-sex partnership and even, in many countries, with the utter recognition of marriage equality for heterosexual and homosexual couples. This context, and the debates connected to it, have witnessed the activity of several movements and groups active in the public sphere: on the one side, LGBT organizations and other (mainly secularly-oriented) groups favourable to marriage equality and to the recognition of LGBT rights; on the other, (mainly religiously-oriented) groups aiming at defending a ‘traditional’ idea of family based on marriage between man and woman. Moreover, the clash between these two positions has given rise to side debates which have gained relevance in the latest years, such as the controversy about the promotion of tolerance, rather than the promotion of ‘traditional values’ in public schools.
The panel welcomes both in depth single-case studies devoted to such issues, as well as broader comparative works that take into account the discursive, political, and legal opportunity structure that influence the actors’ strategies in different contexts.

Chairs: Luca Ozzano

Discussants: Luca Trappolin

I’ll Make You a Believer: The Impact of Religion and Partisanship on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in the US
Giulia Mariani (giulia.mariani@upf.edu)
AbstractDespite the flourishing literature on morality policies in the US, the conditions under which religion influences policy output, such as its linkage to partisanship of state governments, have remained largely unexplored. Using the conceptual framework of “manifest” morality policies, this study explores the adoption of legislation in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. In particular, it concentrates on abortion, same-sex marriage and sexuality education in 49 US states over the period 1980-2014. The findings obtained through discrete-time Event History Analysis suggest that the adoption of these policies is strongly informed by religion. Firstly, the most prominent religious group in each state pushes policy output towards its values and, secondly, the religious fragmentation of the state shapes the influence of partisan control of the government on the probabilities of adopting legislation.

Last but not Least: The Recent Italian Debate about the Regulation of Same-Sex Unions, and the Approval of the Cirinnà Bill
Luca Ozzano (luca.ozzano@unito.it)
AbstractIn 2016, Italy was the last EU country to approve a law regulating same-sex partnerships. This was not surprising for many, since LGBT issues, and particularly marriage equality, had been for a long time a taboo in predominantly Catholic Italy. Particularly, the opposition of the Vatican and the presence of Catholic parties and factions in centre-left coalitions, have for a long time prevented the approval not only of a law legally recognizing same-sex partnerships, but even a law punishing homophobic crimes. This did not hinder the development of a lively debate on LGBT issues before and after the 2006 and 2013 elections, which has already been described in previous works (Ozzano 2015; Ozzano and Giorgi 2016). This paper will instead specifically focus on the recent debate about the new law legalizing Civil Unions (often referred to as the Cirinnà draft bill), in a context marked by the Europeanization of the issue (with a July 2015 ECHR sentence punishing Italy for not granting enough protection to same-sex couples), as well as the development of a wide grassroots traditionalist Catholic mobilization, targeted against the so-called ‘gender ideology’. The paper will take into account this wave of debate, and compare it to the previous ones, by analyzing a database of newspaper articles through a text-driven coding scheme. The paper’s aim is to find out the frames and the argumentations proposed by the main political and social actors involved in the new phase of the debate, and their interplay; and to outline the phases of the political process leading to the approval of the law.

Foreing words doing gender identities: the case studies of
Elisa Virgili (elisavirgili1@gmail.com)
AbstractThis discussion starts with a theoretical overview of the sociolinguistic phenomenon of language contact. I will analyze in particular the lexical borrowing as a linguistic process (Malkiel; Lehmann) and I will proceed by making a distinction between necessary and luxury loans (Gusmani). In Italian today there are many words that have been loaned from other languages, predominantly from English. Sobrero defines this as 'internationalization of languages', a phenomenon derived from the increasing contact between different cultures and languages. This process appears stronger and more rooted in the fields of science and technology and, according to Sobrero's theory, the language lending the words is that of a nation considered advanced in these fields. However, these loans are not restricted solely to these areas. This paper focuses on loans of a different nature, derived from academia and / or activism (the importance of this and / or will be explored in this paper), and reproduced in our language in these specific fields as much as in more mainstream contexts. The analysis of this phenomenon will be developed through the analysis of three foreign words recently welcomed into the Italian language (albeit to varying degrees): "gender", "queer" and "slut". The choice of these terms is partly dictated by the fact that these words all derive from the same technical context. Additionally these three key words have become widely used in the everyday language. Over the last year "gender" in particular has become widespread, following the discussion on the so-called "gender ideology". The paper will discuss contextualisation of these three terms within the current panorama of Gender Studies and Queer Theory, and the exploration of the history of the movements that originated these words. This process will inform the discussion on wether these specific terms should be considered as necessary or luxury loans, and what sociolinguistic factors help determining this. The aim of the discussion is to show that in the three cases described some factors are determinants in welcoming these words (Zoller), and to show in what ways and what kind of social implications there are. At first I will focus on the word "gender", providing an analysis of the concept itself to check its translatability (or not) with the Italian use of "gender". I will then proceed with a brief history of his environment in Italian academic use and vice versa with its increasingly English use in the so-called battle against the "ideology of gender" in order to highlight the instrumental use of what here will be considered a luxury loan. I will proceed similarly with the analysis of the term "queer", offering an etymological analysis of the concept, analyzing his use in Italian academia and the reception by the LGBT and feminist movements to confirm that its difficult to translate and looking to the impact this non-translation has both in academia and in the activism. Lastly the term "slut" will be analyzed in relation to its use in the context of 'SlutWalk', following its arrival in Italy and its various translation attempts (ie: the Roman collective Cagne Sciolte). The analysis will reveal that this is in fact a luxury loan relating to the mutilation due to the prestige of one culture over another. While enjoying the prestige of another culture that this term is not widely known in our country because of a force de rupture loss (we refer clearly to the concept of Derrida) in its re-signification effects. Despite the sociolinguistics methodological approach that has been used here, the background context remains a philosophical one. This approach encourages to focus on bodies who pronounce these words and the subjects and identities that are challenged by them (Butler). The aim of this article is therefore to see how these identities are constructed through language and how a performative politics can or can not become a policy of re-signification. An analysis of the history of these words, supported by the theory of performativity of language and the possibility of re-signification of the terms from time to time will show how the choice of using the term in Italian or English, it increases or it diminishes the strength, or at least leading to a different communicative impact. Bibliography Barbagli, Marzio-Colombo, Asher, Omosessuali moderni. Gay e lesbiche in Italia, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2007. Bell, David-Binnie, John, The Sexual Citizen: Queer Politics and Beyond, Polity Press, Oxford, 2000. Butler, Judith, Exitable Speech. A Politics of the Performative, Routledge, New York-London, 1996. Cohen, Jean Louis, Strategia o identità: nuovi paradigmi teorici e movi- menti sociali contemporanei, in Jean Louis Cohen-Alberto Melucci- Claus Offe-Alessandro Pizzorno-Charles Tilly, Alain Touraine (a cura di), I nuovi movimenti sociali, Ed. Franco Angeli, Milano, 1988, pp. 28-73. Colpani, Gianmaria, Omonazionalismo nel belpaese?, in Gaia Giuliani (a cura di), Il colore della nazione, Le Monnier, Milano, 2015. D'Achille, Paolo, L'italiano contemporaneo, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2003. Derrida, Jaques, “Firma, evento, contesto” in Margini della filosofia, Einaudi, 1997, pp. 393-420. Di Cori, Paola, Asincronie del femminismo, ETS, Pisa, 2012. Evans, David, Sexual Citizenship: The Material Construction of Sexuatities, Routledge, Londra, 1993. Giusmani, Roberto, Saggi sull'interferenza linguistica, Le lettere, Firenze, 1986. Lehmann W.P., e Malkien, Directions for Historical Linguistics. A symposium, University of Texas Press, Austin and London, 1968. Prearo, Massimo, La fabbrica dell'orgoglio. Una genealogia dei movimenti LGBT, ETS, Pisa, 2015. Pustianaz, Marco, (a cura di) Queer in Italia. Differenze in movimento, ETS, Pisa, 2011. Sobrero, Alberto, Introduzione alla linguistica, Laterza, Roma, 2006. Zolli, Paolo, Le parole straniere, Zannichelli, Bologna, 1976.

 

Panel 6.7 Intersecting conservative and progressive sexual mobilizations


In the context of an extension of the democratic field to sexual issues, European social movements studies have often focused on sexual minorities movements, and particularly on the relationship between activist, political and institutional actors. In recent years, conservative movements that contest the sexual order and changes of the contemporary family configurations, not necessarily defined in terms of the so-called “natural” family, have occupied also a growing number of scholars. But rarely, researchers of conservative and progressive movements gather together in order to hold a comparative analysis of this specific form of collective action.
Considering recent debates and conflicts about the recognition of the same-sex couples and family rights, we seek to investigate, in particular:
- Mediation and negotiation processes between activist, political and institutional fields, and therefore strategies of (de)legitimation of the actors and their claims;
- Dynamics of circulation, translation, appropriation and re-signification of the collective action models between field conservative and progressive fields (movement-countermovement dynamic);
- Logics of politicization of sexuality, that is not only homosexuality but also heterosexuality that is not conceived as the universal model anymore but became, like homosexuality, a politicized identity.
Thus, the panel Intersecting conservative and progressive sexual mobilizations intends to investigate new forms of politicization of sexuality, from the point of view of political participation and social movements, opening a comparative analysis on several models of progressive and conservative mobilizations based on national, transnational and international case studies. Therefore, this panel aims at promoting a dialogue between Italians and European researchers on sexual movements, either their work on sexual minorities movements, on conservative counter and anti-movements, or both in a comparative perspective.
Discussant: Luca Ozzano

Chairs: martina avanza, Massimo Prearo

The Political Debate against LGBT Rights in Italy: Intersecting the Recognition of Lesbian and Gay Families with the Fight against Homophobic Violence
Luca Trappolin (luca.trappolin@unipd.it)
AbstractAbstract The paper analyses two different but interconnected debates related to Lesbian and Gay rights in Italy which took place in the Italian Parliament between September 2013 and July 2014. Political discussions were focused on the fight against homophobic violence. Nevertheless, a strong link was made between homophobia and the recognition of Lesbian and Gay families, especially when debating the hypothesis of prosecuting homophobic hate speech. The paper compares the content of the political discussions with the narrative on homophobic violence produced by Italian LGBT organizations (through national reports and political manifestos for Gay Pride celebrations). Results show the ways in which the protection against homophobic violence is influenced by the defense of the traditional family and the stigmatization of the so-called ideology of gender. 1. The general frame Following Nico J. Beger (2004), the development of the mainstream Lesbian and Gay mobilization in Europe can be distinguished in two phases. The first phase relates to a de-criminalization of homosexual (male) offences, age of consent, sodomy laws, and other coercive state practices. The second phase consists in a shift from ‘keeping the state off our backs’ to a right movement that demands partnership rights and positive re-enforcement in employment, as well as social and legal protection from all forms of discrimination. In the context of the second-phase mobilization, Beger argues that the request for protection against discrimination and violence have politically been more widely accepted as inalienable and universal than most positive rights have been. Italy seems to escape the two-phases picture given by Beger. From the one hand, the lack of any criminalization of homosexuality or homoerotic behaviors in the Italian penal code has lead lesbian and gay movements to focalize their attention directly on target that Beger himself would refer to the second phase. From the other hand, Italy still misses a law against homophobic violence while a law on homosexual civil partnership has been passed only very recently. In the legislations of the last 20 years, the political debate has rather contrasted such protection with strong and insurmountable arguments. In the last legislation (legislation number XVI, which ended in March 2013) the hypothesis of considering homosexual orientation or gender identity as aggravating factors in the persecution of crimes committed against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been rejected three times. Nevertheless, in the current legislature (number XVII) the insistence of lesbian, gay and transgender Italian movement in seeking integration through equality rights – especially those related to the protection from discrimination and violence – has gained unexpected results. Is Italy slowly moving away from the homophobic institutional culture that all European reports detect? Unfortunately, it seems that the “anomaly” of the Italian situation among the majority of the European countries is still there. In fact, the strong opposition by the right-wing parties achieved three important results. The first is that the National Strategy against homophobic violence developed by UNAR (Anti-Racism National Office) has been suspended. The second one is that the text of the bill against homophobic and transphobic violence was approved by the House of Deputies with some crucial exceptions to its application which were not in place when the bill started its legislative examination at the Justice Committee of the House of Deputies. The third result is that there are still differences between the rights of (heterosexual) married couples and the ones of (homosexual) civil partners – basically in the access to adoption and artificial insemination – in spite of the approval of the new family law in May 2016. 2. Analyzing what happened What we are mostly interested in is not the results of the mobilization in terms of juridical changes, but the way results have been achieved in the political debate within the Parliament. More precisely, the paper will analyze what arguments have been adopted in order to support and contrast Lesbian, Gay and Transgender rights, and the ways in which homophobia has been lined to family rights. For this purpose, the paper develops a content analysis of the transcriptions of the following Parliamentary discussion: a) 9 sessions of the Justice Committee of the House of Deputies (from June 6th to August 2nd 2013). In this sessions, the Committee has examined 3 bills aimed at protecting lesbian, gay and transgender people; b) 3 sessions of the Assembly of the House of Deputies (17-19 September 2013) where the unified text of the anti-homophobic and transphobic bill has been discussed and voted; c) 1 session of the Commission for the Constitutional Affairs of the Senate where the Minister for Equal Opportunities illustrated the “National strategy for the prevention and the contrast of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity” developd by UNAR; d) 17 sessions of the Assembly of the Senate (from July 6th to July 23rd 2014) where the Strategy has been questioned. In order to point out the proximity between the political debate and the mobilization of mainstream LGBT organizations, the paper also analyses the content of the political manifestos of the national Gay Pride events from 2006 to 2015 together with 5 national reports on homophobia in Italy launched from 2007 to 2011 by Arcigay (the most important Italian Gay organization). These reports are based on a selection of newspaper articles about discrimination and violence suffered by lesbian, gay and transgender people in Italy. On the whole, the 5 reports written by Arcigay have selected 361 articles. 3. Conclusions Queer theorists have strongly questioned the mainstreaming of LGBT organizations. Generally speaking, their critics point out that: a) the price to pay for the social inclusion through equality rights is the marginalization of non-homonormative sexualities; b) it is not possible to achieve structural transformation in the cultural system and in social dynamics because of the heteronormative features of the society in which LGBT people want to be integrated. The political debate developed in Italy in 2013 and 2014 confirm these critics. The analysis shed light on the arguments which has been successfully promoted – by representatives of right-wing parties at different stages of the debate – in order to contrast the recognition of rights. More specifically, the analysis will be focused on the narratives which link the fight against homophobia, the defense of the “traditional family” and the stigmatization of the “ideology of gender”. Furthermore, the Italian case-study shows other critics to the mainstream strategy of LGBT organizations which are less discussed in literature. The most relevant critic is that the social inclusion of lesbian, gay and transgender people – regardless of its effectiveness – implies a reduction of the protection for other cultural differences, whose recognition was not problematic. In other words, the Italian case study shows that the limitations imposed to the protection of LGBT subjects have been extended also to other vulnerable minorities. Two examples can be made. The first one is that exceptions to the applicability of the law aimed at protecting victims from homophobia and transphobia have been extended to victims of discrimination and violence on the grounds of race and ethnicity who were already protected by the law which would be amended. The second example is that after the critics to its action, UNAR has been at length suspended also for what it concerns the fight against racism.

Performing the “Natural Family” in the Italian Public Space. A Compared Analysis of Three “Family Days” (2007-2016)
Sara Garbagnoli (sara.garbagnoli@gmail.com)
AbstractIn June 2015 and in January 2016 Rome hosted two “Family Days” gathering thousands of families. The demonstrators explicitly targeted what the Vatican called “gender ideology” and, more specifically, the adoption of a bill recognizing civil unions for same-sex people. These mobilizations were organized by Catholic associations and movements and got a strong support from a large part of the Italian Episcopacy. “Family Days” were presented by their organizers as non-political and non-denominational events. They would have been organized in reaction to a presumed “anthropological urgency” threatening the grounds of what these protesters apprehend as the ground of the “Human nature”: the complementarity between the sexes. If these “Family Days” rely on the experience of a previous “Family Day” organized in 2007 (which forced Romano Prodi’s government to abandon a much less ambitious civil union proposal), they take part of a new and broad transnational protest movement opposing the denaturalization of the sexual order which has been emerging in different national contexts since the beginning of 2010’s. Since Fall 2013 “anti-gender” protests have been exploding in the Italian public space and quickly succeeded in shaping the public debate on sexual issues and in blocking or weakening legal and educational reforms concerning sexual minorities. What is a “Family Day”? How such a political event has been conceived and organized as a "non-political" one? How this form of protest succeeded in fitting a national context in which the sacralisation of the heterosexual conjugal family combines with very weak family policies? How the “anti-gender” rhetoric has shaped the two “Family Days” organized in 2015 and in 2016? Which are the main differences distinguishing the “Family Day” organized in 2007 with the ones summoned in 2015 and 2016? Which kind of new opportunities did “Family Days” open up for those Catholic groups that have already been active in Italy in opposing the denaturalisation of sexual order far before the burst of the “anti-gender” crusade? Which new forms of coalitions, alliances or connections have these events made possible? This paper will produce a compared analysis of the three “Family Days” organized in Italy since 2007 and it will question the continuities and the discontinuities characterizing these new forms of demonstrations which have deployed a formal restyling and a seizure of the “adversary language” (colors, music, graphics, design, gestures, references). It will first draw a cartography of the main Catholic associations and actors involved in 2007, 2015 and 2016. It will then scrutinize the main rhetorical tropes used and analyze how the notion of “natural family” is understood and performed by the demonstrators themselves. And it will finally assess their political effects. References Agrikoliansky, Eric, 2010. Penser les mouvements sociaux. Conflits sociaux et contestations dans les sociétés contemporaines. Paris: La Decouverte, 2010. Avanza, Martina. 2016. “Alerte au gender! Mobilisations anti“idéologie du gender” et milieux catholiques pro-life en Italie” in David Paternotte, Sophie van der Dussen, Valérie Piette (edited by), Habemus Gender! Deconstruction d’une riposte religieuse. Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles. Béraud Céline and Portier, 2015. Métamorphoses catholiques.Acteurs, enjeux et mobilisations depuis le mariage pour tous, Paris: Editions Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. Bourdieu, Pierre, 1984. “La delegation et le fétichisme politique”, ARSS, 1984, pp.49-55. Champagne, Patrick, Faire l'opinion. Le nouveau jeu politique, Paris: Minuit, 1990. De Guerre, Yàddad. Playing the gender card, https://playingthegendercard.wordpress.com. Della Sudda, Magali. 2015. “La contro-mobilitazione cattolica intorno al ‘gender’: le Sentinelle francesi” in Massimo Prearo (ed.), Politiche dell’orgoglio. Sessualità, soggettività e movimenti sociali, Roma: ETS, 161-181. De Guerre Yàdad and Prearo Massimo. 2016. I movimenti no-gender spiegati bene, www.ilpost.it, 22/02/2016. Fillieule Olivier and Danielle Tartakowsky. 2013. La manifestation. Paris: SciencesPo Les Presses. Kovats Eszter and Poim Maari, 2015. Gender as Symbolic Glue. The Position and the Role of Conservative and Far-Right Parties in the Anti-Gender Mobilisation in Europe, Budapest: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung - FEPS. Paternotte David, van der Dussen Sophie, Piette Valérie (edited by), Habemus Gender! Deconstruction d’une riposte religieuse. Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles. Paternotte, David. 2015. “Blessing the Crowds. Catholic Mobilisations against Gender in Europe” in Sabine Hark and Paula-Irene Villa (eds.), Anti-Genderismus. Sexualität und Geschlecht als Schauplätze aktueller politischer Auseinandersetzungen, Bielefeld: Trascript, 129-147.

Danger, natural order and moral panic: The Italian ‘anti-gender’ mobilization as populist rethoric.
Elisa Bellè (elisa.belle@unitn.it), Barbara Poggio (barbara.poggio@unitn.it)
AbstractOver the past year, in the Italian public discourse has been increasingly acrimonious polemic against a theoretical construct – gender – hitherto largely confined to the academic debate, whether specialized or feminist. The sudden notoriety of this concept, also in the media, has been due to a mobilization campaign carried forward by Catholic and conservative associations and movements against the so-called ‘gender ideology’ or ‘gender theory’. This campaign originally arose in the 1990s amid attempts by the Vatican to criticise and delegitimize theoretical approaches perceived as threatening the naturalness of the sexual order and the traditional family. But in recent years it has been taken up and virally amplified by various fundamentalist Catholic associations and neo-conservative political groupings, assuming the features of an outright moral crusade. One of the reasons for the extension and exacerbation of the discussion is certainly the tabling in Italian parliament of bills to sanction forms of verbal and physical violence based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity; to promote initiatives in schools to tackle gender stereotypes and the various forms of bullying associated with them; and, more recently, to legalize civil unions, including same-sex ones. From 2009 onwards, various associations, largely supported by the Italian Catholic and conservative press, organized public events and began circulating information materials with alarmist content and censure of the courses on gender differences then spreading in public schools. The following years saw numerous public events, national and local, taking the form of rallies, ‘vigils’, conferences and seminars organized on an ‘anti-gender’ platform and in defense of the ‘natural family’. These campaigns were joined not only by individuals but in many cases by public bodies as well: for instance, certain municipalities which passed resolutions to remove from libraries and nursery schools publications for children which proposed non-traditional family models, or to prohibit initiatives in schools concerned with gender differences. In our contribution we analyse the rhetoric and discursive strategies of two of the main groups engaged in this campaign, both of them recently established: Pro Vita and Manif pour Tous - Italy. The ProVita (pro-life) association was created in Italy in 2012 following the first “National March for Life”, an anti-abortion event which emulated the “March for Life” first organized in the USA during the 1970s. It carries out its action through a web portal organizing public events, petitions, and awareness campaigns. The Manif pour tous association was founded in France in 2012 with the purpose of opposing the institution of marriage for same-sex couples and the introduction of gender education courses in schools. The organization soon established itself in Italy as well, with similar purposes (although in relation to a different political debate). It has several branches (74) throughout the country and operates through a website and various social networks. Our analysis first concentrated on the main content and the general structure of the official websites of the two organizations. We then selected for each group the main political documents specifically related to anti-gender mobilization. Our main interest was to reconstruct the topics and political frames of this new conservative wave, and we decided to base our work on the Critical Discourse Analysis methodology (Wodak and Meyer, 2001; van Dijk, 2001). Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) studies the use of language and how its employment, at social and political level, reproduces and reflects power dynamics, ideologies, and inequalities (van Dijk, 2001). One of the main assumptions of CDA is that language is a social practice that is strongly connected to the context in which it is used, and which is in turn constitutive of situations, knowledge, and social identity. Specific attention is paid to the capacity of texts to inculcate, support, or even change ideologies (Wodak and Meyer, 2009), where ideologies are understood as means to establish and maintain asymmetrical power relations (Thompson, 1990). Our analysis, based on the Critical Discourse Analysis methodology, is focused in particular on the main content and the general structure of the official websites of the two organizations, and on the main political documents specifically related to the anti-gender mobilization. The anti-gender discourse (and mobilization) can be interpreted as a response, a counter-attack against the above mentioned law proposals and, more in general, against the socio-cultural change of the Italian society. A change that involves several, interrelated spheres: the sphere of the citizenship’s rights (what types of relationships can be defined as family and/or a union and consequently can have access to social and civil rights); the sphere of secularization; the sphere of gender culture and its change toward a more fluid and equal gender order; the sphere of education in public school. The two selected anti-gender groups are fully engaged in this counter-attack, with two main purposes: on the one hand, to block the change, both on the institutional and socio-cultural levels; on the other hand, their mobilization is aimed at the re-consolidation of a conservative cultural hegemony. In our contribution, we shall argue that the two groups are constructing a public discourse that is characterized by several elements typical of populist phenomena. In particular, the opposition between ‘them and us’ (Mény and Surel, 2002), an insistence on a natural order (Rydgren, 2003), and the production of moral panic (Herdt, 2009). First, a classically populist feature of the analysed phenomenon concerns the construction of the threat of impending danger: that is gender, a dangerous ideology intent on abolishing every sexual order, mainly through the indoctrination of young people. Predictably, the threat is associated with the identification of a number of enemy othernesses, another key feature of populist discourses: the homosexualist lobbies, together with the gender ideologies identified especially with the academic community that gravitates around gender studies. With the threat and the enemy identified, also the collective identity of the movement emerges: the threatened ‘us’, the victim of attempted moral corruption and totalitarian tendencies, is the so called traditional family (heterosexual, founded on the catholic marriage and devoted to reproduction) which embodies the silent majority that lives according to the laws of nature and common sense. Nature is the core of this discursive architecture: nature and its laws constitute the anti-modern seduction tied to the sacredness of a traditional dichotomous order, which can be substantially identified in the hetero-patriarchal ideology. References Herdt, Gilbert, ed. Moral Panics, Sexual Panics: fear and the fight over sexual Rights, New York: University Press, 2009. Mény, Yves and Surel, Yves, eds. Democracies and the Populist Challenge. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. Rydgren, Jens. The Populist Challenge: Political Protest and Ethnonationalist Mobilization in France. New York: Berghahn Books, 2003. Thompson, Neil. Communication and Language. New York: Macmillan, 1990. Van Dijk, Teun A. “Critical Discourse Analysis.” The Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Eds. D. Schiffrin, D. Tannen and H. E. Hamilton. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2001. 352-371. Wodak, Ruth and Meyer, Michael, eds. Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage, 2001. Wodak, Ruth and Meyer, Michael, eds., Methods for Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage, 2009.  

Identity (re)construction processes within the LGBT and the no-gender movements: a comparative perspective
Anna Lavizzari (al392@kent.ac.uk)
AbstractThe anti-gender campaign from which the mobilization has sprung gradually led to a strong structuring of a conservative Catholic countermovement in the Italian sociopolitical context. Recent developments in the mobilization and strategic trajectory of the countermovement have traced the boundaries of a fundamentalist anti-gender and pro-family Catholic collective identity, formally organized and structured within a movement constantly changing but relatively stabilized. The no-gender movement, over three years, emerged as one of the main actors of Catholic conservatism referred to by most radical groups and movements of the Catholic Church - Neocatechumenal Way, Focolari, Rinnovamento nello Spirito - groups and political parties of the populist right and extreme right - Lega Nord, Forza Nuova, Casa Pound - but also, while at times not manifesting explicit and clear adhesion, the Vatican institutions (the Pontiff, the Italian Episcopal Conference) and, more generally, the Catholic citizenship in search of a political identity which will be able to express and defend their values in the absence of a potentially major political force of Catholic affirmation. Ultimately, the countermovement for the natural family appears now as a collective player who, despite internal divisions and a quite varied and not always convergent spectrum of militant identities, has occupied the political arena by leveraging structural resistance and acquiring a dominant position in the debates around the politics of gender and sexuality. After three years of mobilization (spring 2013-spring 2016), the players identified in the no-gender movement followed a process of identity reconstruction. We observe a shift in the countermovement discourses, from a strong anti-gender or no-gender opposition, to a radical defence of the traditional family in line with pro-family values. The establishment of the no-gender movement defines a strategy that, while maintaining the radical opposition to the egalitarian policies in the field of civil rights, is more centred on the defence of the natural family, an institution seen as the abiding anthropological premise of society. Unanswered questions to be addressed include the actors, the arenas, and the means through which the ‘conversion’ is put in place. Who is mobilized and why? Who makes it operational? How it is experienced and perceived? What kind of narratives are proposed by the actors of the no-gender cause? Data have been gathered from media sources, activists’ produced materials and in-depth interviews. This paper aims to shed light on the complex processes of identity reconstruction underlying the trajectory from pro-life to anti-gender militant identities.

 

Panel 6.8 Over the border. Social movements and refugees


Since 2015, a rising number of refugees made the journey to the European Union to seek asylum, traveling across the Mediterranean Sea or through Southeast Europe. According to Eurostat, EU member states received over 1.2 million first time asylum applications in 2015, a number more than double that of the previous year. This unprecedented phenomenon triggered a series of events and processes in different domains: at the EU level, policies went from attempts to address the humanitarian crisis and the dramatic number of deaths at sea to measures aiming to fight human smuggling and to negotiate with Turkey to reduce the inflow; some countries proposed to suspend the Schengen Treaty and re-establish internal border controls; radical right forces proposed emergency measures to “defend the borders” throughout the continent, sometimes gaining hegemony on the whole political field and dramatically influencing the policies of mainstream parties. At the grassroots level, a wide set of actions and initiatives were proposed in solidarity with refugees in many countries and at the transnational level.
This panel aims to focus on these cases from the point of view of social movement studies and of the sociology of migration. We invite papers focusing their analysis on the development of counter-hegemonic frames and social coalitions during critical junctures, on mobilizations in support of refugees, on those by refugees themselves, on the protests developing in the various territories involved in the migration flows from the South to the North of Europe that cut across the Balkans and Eastern European Countries up to Northern Europe with particular attention to the period 2013-2017, on the interaction of these events with the economic crisis, on their representation in the public discourse, on their impact on party politics.
We invite papers aiming at addressing, both from theoretical and empirical perspectives, these issues and others regarding the refugee crisis and its relationship with collective action.

Chairs: Donatella Della Porta, Lorenzo Zamponi

Collective action on refugees in Barcelona
Javier Alcalde (javier.alcalde@sns.it)
AbstractBarcelona has a long history of dealing with immigrant waves. However, since 2015 the so-called 'refugee crisis' has added a new dimension to the immigrant vs refugee debate, by increasing exponentially the level of citizen awareness and activism. In Spring 2016 a number of protest events on refugees were taking place on a daily basis, promoted by a broad range of groups, associations and networks, who as a whole conform an emerging social movement. In the meantime, a change of government had brought a social activist as the new mayor of the city, with the refugees' issue as one of her political priorities. Based on a series of in-depth interviews with key activists, this paper will present the configuration of this social movement. Among the SMOs, particular attention will be devoted to Stop Mare Mortum, which was built from collaborative networks and personal relationships to gradually become an umbrella platform aiming to coordinate most of the different initiatives by civil society. Moreover, the text will analyze other related issues, such as the relationship between activists' actions and their own emotions, or the dominant frames in the public discourse. Finally, by taking into account the influence of past experiences, such as the the Indignados movement (2011) and the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the paper will also explore the reasons behind such a high level of citizen awareness, expressed by the astonishing 97% of Spanish people who would personally accept people fleeing war or persecution into their country - the highest percentage in the world, according to Amnesty – or by the fact that different from many other European cities, there have not been significant anti-refugee events in Barcelona.

Transformations in Activism? Campaigning for Refugees and Migrants in the Digital Era
Nina Hall (hall@hertie-school.org)
AbstractA new form of digitally-based activist organization has emerged across Europe, campaigning on migrants’ and refugees’ rights. In September 2015 when images of the dead Aylan Kurdi made front-page news, these organizations reacted at fast pace mobilizing their members through email, facebook and twitter. In the UK, 38 degrees set-up an on-line campaign lobbying local councils to house refugees. In Ireland, Uplift encouraged people to ‘pledge a bed’ and mobilized 1,000 people to a vigil in Dublin. Meanwhile, in Austria #aufstehen campaigned against the government’s state of emergency legislation. Although these advocacy groups emerged in vastly different countries, they are remarkably similar in form. In fact, these groups constitute a new manifestation of civil society organization. They champion fast, digitally facilitated reactive campaigning and are distinct from traditional single-issue advocacy organizations such as Save the Children (children) or Greenpeace (the environment). They are nimble, multi-issue, membership driven and use digital technology to mobilize thousands at key tipping point moments, yet few scholars realize they comprise a distinct mode of activism. Critics have argued that digital activism is ‘slacktivism’ as people are distracted from transformative social change by signing petitions, facebook likes and tweets. This is partly because these groups are often conflated with digitally empowered social movements and their hash-tags, such as #BlackLivesMatter and Occupy. Yet these digitally-based advocacy organizations represent a step change in how civil society organizes, which the scholarship has largely overlooked. This paper asks: what impact did digitally-based activist organizations have on migrant and refugee rights? It conducts a case study analysis, drawing on interviews, participant observation, and data analysis of these groups’ outputs. It suggests that the digital era has heralded new, permanent and networked structures of organizing.

Attivismo politico e mobilitazione di migranti e rifugiati illegalizzati in Europa: il caso delle lotte più radicali
Pierpaolo Mudu (pmudu@uw.edu)
AbstractL’attivismo dei migranti in Europa è un fattore di novità rispetto alla situazione del dopoguerra quando cittadini dal sud dell’Europa (italiani, turchi e portoghesi) in modo diverso si insediavano nei paesi dell’Europa centrale. La rete dei partiti e dei sindacati comunisti, socialisti e socialdemocratici e successivamente dei movimenti cosiddetti extra-parlamentari garantiva un’articolazione delle rivendicazioni dei migranti all’interno di lotte sociali più ampie. L’ampliamento e consolidamento dell’Unione Europea, la trasformazione dei flussi migratori e le grandi trasformazioni politiche avvenute alla fine del secolo scorso hanno reso la partecipazione politica dei soggetti migranti qualcosa di completamente nuovo. Il processo di illegalizzazione dei rifugiati e dei migranti e la loro rappresentazione, per quanto egemone, come invasori, vittime da assistere, e soggetti da integrare non corrisponde alla realtà di lotte cui i migranti/rifugiati sono coinvolti. La moltiplicazione delle frontiere si associa alla moltiplicazione degli spazi di contestazione delle politiche di confinamento dei migranti. La parte di lotte forse più innovativa e’ quella portata avanti dai movimenti della sinistra radicale insieme ai nuovi soggetti stranieri illegalizzati. Negli ultimi anni i rifugiati e migranti hanno costituito un movimento sociale che reclama autonomia e supera ogni discorso assistenzialista. Molte domande meritano un’analisi approfondita. Per esempio, in che modo sono legati il movimento no border, i centri sociali, i collettivi della sinistra autonoma europea con il crescente arrivo di rifugiati? Di quale repertorio conflittuale questo movimento si è dotato? Quali esempi si possono citare come emblematici per valutare l’efficacia di questi movimenti e il loro impatto su partiti e politiche? Quali critiche e possibilità analitiche sono emerse verso gli studi su migrazioni e cittadinanza in base alle mobilitazioni più radicali contro centri di detenzione, segregazione e criminalizzazione di chi non ha libertà di movimento? Rispondere a queste domande è solo un primo passo per assemblare le conoscenze emerse dalle realtà di conflitto degli ultimi anni. Molte domande non hanno ancora risposte analitiche solide e rappresentano probabilmente solo percorsi di ricerca , altre domande generano forse ulteriori domande ancor più complesse. In questo saggio, per contribuire a porre interrogativi diversi rispetto a quelle dominanti, saranno discusse le geografie delle azioni collettive esplicite contro le politiche populiste, xenofobe e razziste, le modalità di sfida alla costruzione dei confini e dei limiti europei, sviluppate dall’intersezione tra migranti illegalizzati e la sinistra radicale europea.

 

Panel 6.9 Political Economy and Social Movement Studies: Bringing Marxism back in? (I)


With the ultimate disappearance of Marxist theories in social sciences, political economy and sociology of social movements have definitely given up to speak to each other. Both disciplines seemed to have successfully built their own distinct theories, conceptual and analytical framework to study distinct aspects of social reality. On the one hand, political economy has centered its analysis mainly on who gets what and how, and thus focusing on excessively on the state arena and historical evolution of institutions and coalitions of actors behind them. On the other hand, social movement studies have focused their attention on the processes of identity formation and collective mobilization in the broader social arena, overlooking the investigation of all those movement dynamics emerging and affecting the more institutional arenas of society, especially those concerning the economic structures. However, we think that the recent economic crisis has put into question not only the main theories of both fields (Variety of Capitalism, political opportunities or resource mobilization theories) but also the sharp disciplinary separation between sociology of social movements and political economy.
On the one hand, political economy puzzles with why the organized labor is making so little difference and why politics and business are almost fusing together that other things, but, financial capital, seems to matter to the type of policies are taking place. Wherever you look, the labor is losing its battle against potent coalition between capital and political power. At the same time, the basic institutions of democracy (governments, parties, electoral systems) are deeply delegitimized and boycotted by the citizens. In other words, producing a large body of research on effects of how interests, institutions and ideas influence the government and welfare state, the political economy has limited its attention only to state, business and organized labor, excluding any other actor from being able to challenge the economic and political power. However, the streets show a very different version of the story. While unions and parties struggle with decreasing legitimacy and membership, movements are gaining strength mobilizing multitudes of people around the world and changing radically the electoral arenas. New political actors, tactics and power emerge and claim their relevance in the heart of political economy and power distribution. The question which would be interesting to answer is whether social movements, with their claims for a real political revitalization and new ways of redistribution of wealth, are the real challengers of political regimes and economic elites.
On the other hand, there is a widespread agreement among several scholars on the fact that the recent wave of protests has put into crisis the dominant theories of social movements. These theories seem to no longer be effective in explaining the factors triggering and sustaining mobilization. This view is also shared by some of the most recent strands of social movement research, aiming at (re)taking seriously capitalist transformations in the study of contemporary mobilizations. By calling for a (re)turn to political economist perspectives in social movement research we would like to underline the importance of bringing “capitalism” back in—as Hetland and Goodwin (2013) have stressed in a recently published article—even in the analyses of the “new” and “apparently” post-materialist movements of the last three decades.
All these silences refer to the loss of analytical (and political) relevance of the concept of capitalism as key factor or framework able to explain the current societal transformations (Streeck 2012, Hetland and Goodwin 2013, della Porta 2015, Kalb 2015). In light of this, we think that the time is ripe to bring (the study of) capitalism back in. Characterized by a holistic epistemological orientation, contemporary Marxist theory (Barker et al. 2013) appears, in our view, a potential unifying framework able to understand and explain the current dynamics of capitalism both in its social and economic aspects. More especially, we hypothesize that such a theory could function as a theoretical framework bridging and linking up political economy and social movement studies, by giving an answer to their respective silences.
This panel aims to be one of the first attempts to bring together scholars coming from social movement studies and political economy who in their papers shed light and discuss some theoretical and empirical silences of both fields. We do think that in order to better address and investigate these silences the construction of a shared analytical framework and the setting of a common research agenda are needed.
We call for papers focused on the topics with both empirical and theoretical relevance for our argument that are listed below:
- Financial capitalism and its resistances
- Urban conflicts and movements for the commons
- Student protests against neoliberal higher education
- Labor and union struggles
- Banks and anti-debtor movements
- Marxist theory

Discussant: Lorenzo Zamponi (Scuola Normale Superiore)

Chairs: Lorenzo Cini, Eliska Drapalova

Discussants: Lorenzo Zamponi

Politiche del conflitto e spazi pubblici di opposizione
Paola Sedda (sedda.paola@gmail.com)
Abstract«Rivoluzione silenziosa» (Inglehart, 1977), «diserzione attiva», (Hardt e Negri, 2012), «lotta per il riconoscimento» (Honneth, 2000): sono solo alcune delle nume-rose definizioni con cui gli intellettuali tentano di descrivere le nuove forme di im-pegno politico e di resistenza popolare. Alcuni specialisti hanno individuato un passaggio da una forma di militanza fondata sull’adesione ideologica ad una nuova forma orientata verso la realizzazione di progetti specifici (Ion, 1997). A partire dalla fine degli anni ’60 si assiste, infatti, ad una moltiplicazione dei fronti della lotta ed alla nascita dei cosiddetti «nuovi movimenti sociali» (Melucci, 1980). Durante gli anni ’90, i disastri causati dalla glo-balizzazione economica e finanziaria accendono una nuova ondata di contestazione. Dal movimento zapatista a quello dei no global, le organizzazioni che si sono suc-cedute negli ultimi decenni sembrano proporre delle forme originali di «autode-terminazione», spesso vissute al di fuori dalle dinamiche del potere politico (Hol-loway, 2007). 
L’emergenza di questa nuova postura deve essere interpretata alla luce del vasto fenomeno di scollamento tra cittadini e istituzioni che attraversa le democrazie contemporanee. La società civile, che assume sempre più i tratti di una «contro-democrazia» (Rosanvallon, 2006), tenta allora di politicizzare spazi e temati-che (identitarie, culturali o societali) che fino ad allora erano stati considerati estra-nei alla politica, più focalizzata sulle questioni legate alla ridistribuzione economica ed ai diritti del lavoro. Questa rottura viene rivendicata, tra l’altro, anche dal campo militante in cui le mobilitazioni assumono sempre più un carattere «popolare», «cittadino», «anti-politico» o perfino «anti-sistema». Queste nuove istanze democratiche radicali (che oggi trovano una rappresentanza nei movimenti quali Occupy Wall Street negli Stati Uniti o Nuit debout in Francia) rifiutano la partecipazione diretta al conflitto elettorale e si concentrano sull’elaborazione di nuove forme di democrazia dal bas-so. Ad un primo approccio, sembrerebbe certamente difficile criticare queste posi-zioni, tanto la disaffezione dalla politica tradizionale si è radicata nelle nostre socie-tà. Tuttavia, riteniamo opportuno riflettere su questi cambiamenti evitando di fon-dare la nostra argomentazione su una semplice dicotomia vecchio-nuovo, propria di una società che si trastulla con il mito del progresso (Mosco, 2004). 
La nostra riflessione teorica si fonda quindi sullo sviluppo di un approccio interdisciplinare agli studi dei movimenti sociali, capace di farli dialogare, da un lato, con le teorie critiche (la letteratura post-marxista e la sociologia critica) e, dall’altro, con le Scien-ze della comunicazione. In primo luogo, proporremo una rassegna sulla letteratura anglosassone dedi-cata ai movimenti sociali dalla quale emergono tre paradigmi principali: gli studi sul comportamento collettivo (Blumer, 1951; Turner e Killian, 1993); il paradigma della mobilitazione delle risorse (Oberschall; 1973, Gamson, 1975; Tilly, 1976 …) e quello cognitivista (Snow e Benford, 1992). Il paradigma della mobilitazione delle risorse, divenuto l’approccio dominante, ha privilegiato una prospettiva strutturale e centrata sull’organizzazione interna ai movimenti sociali. Per questo motivo, esso ha per lungo tempo messo da parte l’impatto del contesto politico ed economico, così come quello della dimensione espressiva, sui fenomeni della mobilitazione. A partire dagli anni ’80, numerose critiche e aggiustamenti hanno contribuito a ren-dere più complessa l’analisi dei fenomeni contestatari (McAdam, Tarrow et Tilly, 1998). Negli anni ’90 si assiste, invece, ad una terza fase di rinnovamento del para-digma dominante con l’affermazione di un approccio globalizzante che integra i processi cognitivi e la dimensione culturale nello studio dell’azione collettiva. Quest’ultima fase ha segnato profondamente la letteratura dei nuovi movimenti sociali, secondo la quale le lotte contemporanee non si focalizzerebbero più sulle questioni materiali ma, piuttosto, sulle tematiche culturali o su quelle legate agli stili di vita. Il nostro contributo mira ad evidenziare la fragilità di questa tesi attraverso lo sviluppo di tre argomentazioni principali: l’impossibilità di distinguere e opporre le lotte per il riconoscimento (razziali, culturali o di genere) alle lotte per la ridistribu-zione economica e per l’uguaglianza dei diritti (Fraser, 2011); l’importanza delle trasformazioni del capitalismo e delle sfere della comunicazione nel processo di formazione degli spazi pubblici di opposizione (Negt, 2007; Sedda, 2015) e, infi-ne, la persistenza dell’ideale del comunismo nelle lotte contemporanee contro l’appropriazione capitalista del bene comune (Dardot, Laval, 2014; Nicolas-Le Strat, 2016). Ne «Il nuovo spirito del capitalismo», Boltanski e Chiapello si interessano alle strategie discorsive con le quali il capitalismo ha assorbito la critica che gli era stata rivolta nel corso degli anni ’60 e ’70, elaborando un nuovo discorso manageriale centrato sui concetti di rete e di coordinazione orizzontale (Boltanski e Chiapello, 1999). Il capitalismo riassume qui una dimensione totalizzante proprio perché im-plica la costruzione dell’ossatura ideologica della società. La sua forza è identificata nella sua capacità di rigenerarsi e di nutrirsi della critica militante. In questo senso, l’attivazione di pratiche comunicative resistenti (Sedda, 2015) corrisponde ad una volontà dei gruppi contestatari di ripensare l’universo della critica sociale attraverso la creazione di spazi mediatici di opposizione. Questi spazi sono «proletari» proprio perché permettono di sedimentare le esperienze di opposizione (nate all’interno di una diversità di sfere sociali) e di dare luogo a nuove forme di espressione, al di fuori dello spazio pubblico borghese (Negt, 2007). Quest’ultimo rischia, infatti, di riprodurre il linguaggio e il discorso delle classi dominanti (Neuman, 2016). La so-ciologia dei movimenti sociali non sembra aver colto totalmente l’importanza della sfera della comunicazione come luogo dedicato alla socializzazione ed alla dialetti-ca. Essa sembra, inoltre, indifferente alle tracce del passato che sono ancora visibili e che ci permettono di identificare una tensione tra due logiche che non si oppon-gono sistematicamente ma che coesistono e, talvolta, si succedono l’un l’altra: una logica strategica fondata sulla presa del potere (quella di Podemos, dei 5 stelle o dei partiti pirati) ed una logica più prettamente culturale ed anti-egemonica. Le teorie dominanti sulla mobilitazione delle risorse dovrebbero essere messe in tensione con l’analisi storica del substrato ideologico dei movimenti sociali, oltre che con le realtà dei conflitti originati dalla sfera economica quali le lotte interna-zionali contro il precariato, la proprietà intellettuale, la privatizzazione dell’educazione, dell’acqua, dei patrimoni ambientali e culturali. La struttura economica neoliberale e l’erosione progressiva del modello dello Stato sociale producono sofferenza e disuguaglianza e costituiscono ancora le prin-cipali cause dei sollevamenti popolari su scala internazionale. Bibliografia non esaustiva • Dardot P. et Laval C. (2014), Commun, Essai sur la révolution au XX siècle, La Découverte. • Boltanski L. et Chiapello E., (1999), Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme, Paris, Gallimard. • Fraser N. (2011), Qu'est-ce que la justice sociale ?, La Découverte. • Mosco V., (2004) The Digital Sublime, MA : MIT Press. • Negt O., (2007), L'espace public oppositionnel, L'expérience plébéienne, une histoire discontinue de la liberté politique, Paris, Payot. • Sedda P. (2015), « L’Internet contestataire comme pratique d’émancipation des médias alternatifs à la mobilisation numérique », Les Cahiers du numé-rique 4/2015 vol. 11, p. 25-52. • Tilly C. et Tarrow S., (2008), Politique(s) du conflit, De la grève

Sects and the subalterns: understanding violence in the Syrian war
Marina Calculli (marcal84@email.gwu.edu)
AbstractThis paper investigates the modes and techniques of sectarian violent mobilization in the Syrian conflict. In particular, it explores how contesting hegemonic narratives, underpinning different geopolitical and ideological views of the Shām (“Levant”), have redrawn socio-political boundaries after 2011, whilst largely neutralizing claims for “dignity” and “justice”, emerged in the initial six months of the uprising. This paper builds on both Gramsci’s concept of the ‘subaltern’ and the critique of “sectarianism”, as put forward by the Lebanese Marxist theorist Mahdi ‘Amel, and relies on semi-structured interviews with Syrian refugees collected in Lebanon and Jordan between 2014 and 2016. The paper aims to show how religious sects have been (re)incorporated into a newly-emerged cultural hegemonic discourse after 2011 – either based on Islam or on secularist references – by both rhetorical means and material incentives. By challenging mainstream interpretations of sectarianism and sectarian violence, this paper aims to show how the revival of sects in Syria has been mainly functional to shape informal institutions of war economy that have eventually strengthened, instead of jeopardizing, previously existing socio-economic hierarchies and transnational business networks.

The «populist cleavage» and the connections between social change, economy and politics
Loris Caruso (loris.caruso@sns.it)
AbstractThe current political, economic, social and cultural changes are centred on the ambivalence between two poles: a regressive-oligarchic and a participative-mobilizing one. Between these two poles there are both complementarity and tensions. They are at the same time strictly connected, necessary to each another, and opposed. These two directions of social change and the relationships between them constitute a structure - intended as a social totality involving all social subsystems – that re-shapes the forms of collective actions, the discourses and organizational practises of social movements, the relationship between movements, electoral competition and parties, and the political field itself. This structure constitutes an opportunity structure for social movements and for the emergence of the party-movement as the form in which left-wing parties are re-defining themselves. Moreover, it consists of a series of social processes that have rendered scarcely effective theoretical paradigms such as the Political Opportunity Structure, the Resource Mobilization Theory, and the whole structural mobilization factors paradigm, as it modifies and re-shapes all the constitutive elements of this paradigms, as well as the relationship between these elements.

 

Panel 6.9 Political Economy and Social Movement Studies: Bringing Marxism back in? (II)


With the ultimate disappearance of Marxist theories in social sciences, political economy and sociology of social movements have definitely given up to speak to each other. Both disciplines seemed to have successfully built their own distinct theories, conceptual and analytical framework to study distinct aspects of social reality. On the one hand, political economy has centered its analysis mainly on who gets what and how, and thus focusing on excessively on the state arena and historical evolution of institutions and coalitions of actors behind them. On the other hand, social movement studies have focused their attention on the processes of identity formation and collective mobilization in the broader social arena, overlooking the investigation of all those movement dynamics emerging and affecting the more institutional arenas of society, especially those concerning the economic structures. However, we think that the recent economic crisis has put into question not only the main theories of both fields (Variety of Capitalism, political opportunities or resource mobilization theories) but also the sharp disciplinary separation between sociology of social movements and political economy.
On the one hand, political economy puzzles with why the organized labor is making so little difference and why politics and business are almost fusing together that other things, but, financial capital, seems to matter to the type of policies are taking place. Wherever you look, the labor is losing its battle against potent coalition between capital and political power. At the same time, the basic institutions of democracy (governments, parties, electoral systems) are deeply delegitimized and boycotted by the citizens. In other words, producing a large body of research on effects of how interests, institutions and ideas influence the government and welfare state, the political economy has limited its attention only to state, business and organized labor, excluding any other actor from being able to challenge the economic and political power. However, the streets show a very different version of the story. While unions and parties struggle with decreasing legitimacy and membership, movements are gaining strength mobilizing multitudes of people around the world and changing radically the electoral arenas. New political actors, tactics and power emerge and claim their relevance in the heart of political economy and power distribution. The question which would be interesting to answer is whether social movements, with their claims for a real political revitalization and new ways of redistribution of wealth, are the real challengers of political regimes and economic elites.
On the other hand, there is a widespread agreement among several scholars on the fact that the recent wave of protests has put into crisis the dominant theories of social movements. These theories seem to no longer be effective in explaining the factors triggering and sustaining mobilization. This view is also shared by some of the most recent strands of social movement research, aiming at (re)taking seriously capitalist transformations in the study of contemporary mobilizations. By calling for a (re)turn to political economist perspectives in social movement research we would like to underline the importance of bringing “capitalism” back in—as Hetland and Goodwin (2013) have stressed in a recently published article—even in the analyses of the “new” and “apparently” post-materialist movements of the last three decades.
All these silences refer to the loss of analytical (and political) relevance of the concept of capitalism as key factor or framework able to explain the current societal transformations (Streeck 2012, Hetland and Goodwin 2013, della Porta 2015, Kalb 2015). In light of this, we think that the time is ripe to bring (the study of) capitalism back in. Characterized by a holistic epistemological orientation, contemporary Marxist theory (Barker et al. 2013) appears, in our view, a potential unifying framework able to understand and explain the current dynamics of capitalism both in its social and economic aspects. More especially, we hypothesize that such a theory could function as a theoretical framework bridging and linking up political economy and social movement studies, by giving an answer to their respective silences.
This panel aims to be one of the first attempts to bring together scholars coming from social movement studies and political economy who in their papers shed light and discuss some theoretical and empirical silences of both fields. We do think that in order to better address and investigate these silences the construction of a shared analytical framework and the setting of a common research agenda are needed.
We call for papers focused on the topics with both empirical and theoretical relevance for our argument that are listed below:
- Financial capitalism and its resistances
- Urban conflicts and movements for the commons
- Student protests against neoliberal higher education
- Labor and union struggles
- Banks and anti-debtor movements
- Marxist theory

Discussant: Lorenzo Zamponi (Scuola Normale Superiore)

Chairs: Lorenzo Cini, Eliska Drapalova

Discussants: Lorenzo Zamponi

Inspecting the ‘Transmission Belt’. Trade Unions and Parties in Italy (1946-2014)
Fedra Negri (fedra.negri@unimi.it), Andrea Ceron (andrea.ceron@unimi.it)
AbstractThis paper bridges the gap between social movement studies and political economy by investigating the Leninist concept of ‘transmission belt’, which links political parties with the working class. In detail, the paper describes the evolution of the interaction between trade unions and political parties in Italy over the last 70 years by taking advantage of three original datasets that allow us to assess whether the preferences of trade unions are consistent with their respective reference party, thus providing an empirical confirmation of the concept of ‘transmission belt’. In particular, the first dataset provides information on the policy preferences of the two most important Italian trade unions, the left-wing CGIL and the Catholic-inspired CISL, and it is based on the quantitative content analysis of the debates held during their congresses from 1947 to 2014. The second dataset supplies data on the policy positions of Italian political parties from 1946 to 2014 by coding parliamentary speeches. The third dataset performs the same quantitative content analysis on the motions presented by internal factions at party congresses, with a peculiar focus on those factions that were deeply linked with trade unions. Our results highlight a perfect ideological congruence between the CGIL and the PCI-PDS, showing that they moved together until 1997, when the CGIL did not chase the centrist drift made by the heirs of the PCI-PDS (i.e., DS and PD). Moreover, results illustrate a link between the CISL and the DC (particularly its left-wing factions). This ideological proximity, however, ends in 1992, when the CISL and the heirs of the DC started to diverge. Finally, the paper discusses the implications of preserving or breaking the ‘transmission belt’ between parties and trade unions on public spending and welfare state retrenchment.

Social Worker Unionism: Obstacles and Opportunities in the Interaction between Trade Unions and Self-Organised Networks of Educational Experts in Italy
Giulia Borraccino (giulia.borraccino@unimi.it)
AbstractIn recent times, several self-organised networks of workers have arisen in the Italian labour movement (Murgia and Selmi, 2011; Colleoni, Marino and Galletto 2014). These groups share some characteristics with new social movements, but they are anchored in labour-related issues and often compete with trade unions for the representation of a particular group of workers. The relationship between self-organised groups and trade unions largely depends on the identity of the latter, embedded in its history and influencing its strategy (Frege and Kelly, 2003). Scholars from Social Movements and Industrial Relations studies produced interesting analysis on the interaction between the respective subject of interest -social movements and trade unions-. In particular, the study of the Italian cycle of contention of the 70s has contributed to important theoretical developments in both disciplines (Pizzorno 1977, 1978; Tarrow 1990). With the advent of the post-industrial era, the two subjects interact in a more controversial way. Looking at the strategies for social change, the most popular attempt to draw on both disciplines is represented by the social movement unionism: a concept now of various interpretations. Even if the social movement component of trade unionism is a longstanding concept (Crozier, 1963), social movement unionism was first theorised through the studies of the alliance between trade unions and social movements in the process of democratization in South Africa (Webster, 1988; Lambert, 1998). This concept has been lately extended to Western democracies and associated in particular with the organizing strategies spreading at the end of the 80s in the US, consisting of strong campaigns of unionisation with the involvement of the community. Some authors suggest that the switch of this concept from the South to the North made it vague (Robinson, 2000), resulting in strategies mainly oriented towards the membership increase (Sullivan, 2010) in which social movements have a purely instrumental role in fulfilling trade union goals. An alternative vision conceives trade unionism as a particular social movement (Fairbrother, 2008). This perspective can facilitate building a stronger bridge between social movement and industrial relations theory by considering the labour movement as an entity composed by subjects -as trade unions, social movements and other different actors- with a different logic of action and repertoire of contention. The dynamics related to the self-organised groups of workers can represent an effective empirical field for an in-depth study of the interaction among these different subjects, the obstacles and the potential for their alliance. Frege and Kelly (2004), argue that Italian trade unions don’t resort to coalition-building strategies with other subjects because they traditionally rely on an institutional power. According to Culpepper and Reagan (2014) trade unions resorting to political exchange strategies no longer have the power given by the “stick” of the strike threat, which has become less and less effective, nor the “carrot” of the concertation of economic reforms, because the traditional trade unions are less representative of the categories affected by such reforms. Having a logic of action and a network of alliance more close to the social movements, self-organised groups of workers might more easily switch a particular contention from a labour to a social and political issues. This can endow workers with new resources of power, enabling the exchange between social consent and working conditions improvement. The political exchange in fact has been considered mainly in the tripartite agreement at institutional level, but it is possible to resort to it in specific labour struggles in the private sector as well, under certain conditions. In particular, it is possible whenever economic pressure and strike threats are not effective and the scope of the conflict is large enough to create a case of public impact (Perez, 2012). Starting from this theoretical framework, this paper wants to contribute to the study of the interaction between the different subjects of the enlarged labour movement, in the context of institutional path dependence where the relations between traditional unions and social movements can be particularly difficult, as in the Italian case (della Porta, 2006). The main research question is whether there is more room for a joint action between self-organised groups and radical unions. This paper is based on a case study on the mobilisations in the so-called “private social sector” in Bologna between 2011 and 2016 and in particular on the events tied to the professional figure of the educational expert (educatore). This sector presents several peculiar aspects. The privatization of social services in Italy is a topic comprising of effectively social claims, the increasing importance of the cooperative associations in the processes of outsourcing and its impact on the labour standards. The budget limitations imposed by the austerity policies led the local authorities to outsource the management of welfare services to social cooperatives, which compete in the public calls on the base of a balance between quality and cost of the services provided. The educational experts works in the field of disability and social marginalisation. In Italy, this figure is often difficult to define and frame from a legal standpoint. The outsourcing of the public socio-sanitary and educational services dramatically affected the working conditions of educational experts. They are highly precarious even if employed in an open-ended contract because their jobs depend on the award of a public call for tender. Moreover, being often hourly-paid workers, the income continuity is not always guaranteed. The educational experts are difficult to mobilize; they identify themselves with the people they work with, so they are particularly inclined to have a servile disposition. The spatial fragmentation of the workers of the same cooperative, which are displaced in different services and structures, makes it more difficult to organise them. The social cooperation is a relevant sector in the region Emilia Romagna and in the province of Bologna in particular, where the private social sector employ 8000 people working in socio-sanitary and educational services. Of these, 1800 are estimated to be educational experts. In the province of Bologna, two episodes of budget cutting resulted in the emergence of different movements of self-organized groups of educational experts: Educatori uniti contro i tagli (Educational experts united against the cut), born in 2011 protesting against a budget cut in the district of Casalecchio del Reno, province of Bologna; and Rete degli educatori e delle educatrici di Bologna (Network of educational experts of Bologna), born in 2014 after a cooperative awarded the management of a socio-educational service in Bologna with a cost decrease of 11% below the base bid. These local networks lately expanded to a national level with the creation of a new network composed by self-organized groups of educational experts spread around the country. The research has been conducted through the participant observation of meetings and mobilisations organised by trade unions and self-organised workers from November 2015 to May 2016, 15 in-depth semi-structured interviews to the activists of self-organised groups and trade unionists and the analysis of their documents. The paper will further concentrate in particular on the opportunities and the limits of the action of self-organised groups, the relationship between them and trade unions and the respective perception of each other. The aim is contributing to the debate on the crisis of representation, trying to integrate Industrial Relations and Social Movements discipline in order to open new horizons for labour movement revitalisation and social change.

Practices against financial hegemony in the solidarity economy world: Iris Co-operative’s “mutualistic” shares (Italy).
Monia Andreani (monia.andreani@uniurb.it)
AbstractThe Calvatone based Iris cooperative (near Cremona, Lombardia, Italy) has, since 1978, been a self-managed common ownership as well as a work producing cooperative dedicated to organic farming, managing a chain of more than 300 organic farms throughout Italy, producing organic pasta and other processed foods. Its policy is to direct sales to the end consumers, in particular to Gruppi di Acquisto Solidali (Ethical Purchasing Groups). Its aim is to work according to principles of mutual solidarity with its economic partners and suppliers, striving towards not incorporating companies or exploiting its hegemonic corporate power within the Italian solidarity economy framework, made of little economic realities. Mutualism is the driving principle behind Iris which can be interpreted, in chronological terms, as the natural continuation of the typical cooperative actions behind the socialist and anarchist labor movements in the late 800s and early 900s. A moment in history which featured aggressive capitalist policies and a non-existent welfare state. Cooperatives became a tool for economic reorganization and workers emancipation which promoted, among other things, the improvement of living conditions, lower prices, access to goods and services, otherwise not available, and an increase in wages and mutual credit practices. Furthermore, through the organization of social life, cooperatives promoted an increasing awareness in workers about their duties and basic rights. Today, neo-liberal policies are reducing public welfare to a minimum beside heavily affecting the economic, political and social life in most communities; even the word “cooperation” is often abused and therefore distorted in terms of its solidarity value. That is why, the example of Iris, which incorporates the history of cooperation and mutualism in its fullest sense, revitalizing all its aspects and putting the land, organic farming and environmental awareness in the centre of the picture through self-management, can be especially beneficial. In 1998 Iris recovered a bankrupt pasta factory, guaranteeing employment for all its workers, and now, in order to build a new “green” factory using natural materials and powered by renewable energy sources, which will be one of Europe's largest organic pasta factories, developing innovations and know-how at both organizational and technological level, respecting the environment and value of human labor, the co-op found a very original way to finance its project. The idea was not to fall in the hands of external creditors, but rather, through the use of internal capital made a creative use of the concept of mutualism. The cooperative has used the recent Government cooperative reforms in counter-hegemonic terms, turning into joint stock company, legally issuing shares called "mutuals" for an amount of 5 million Euro to cover part of the total expense of about 20 million to build the new pasta factory. These shares, issued in 2013, have been almost completely purchased within 3 years and the new pasta factory will be inaugurated in June 2016. A shareholder who invests in Iris’ “mutual” shares is someone who shares the cooperative’s projects and social goals, and is thus able to customize his investments, abandoning the logic of impersonal finance banking supporting at the same time a series of activities aimed at creating development and wealth. A partner’s savings are used to finance a solid economic reality which promotes principles he strongly believes in, as well as spreading organic farming and quality of work, self-management, mutual and social policies. The Iris project focuses on social issues as well, with many strategies already in place in the Oglio Po region and through a bio-community building scheme made up of services for the municipality of Casteldidone and surrounding municipalities, much like the Olivetti plan of old. Through its “mutual” shares, Iris offered members the opportunity to invest their savings with a fixed annuity in cash and product, responding, with its original proposal, to the needs of the economy to build several finance management schemes that are totally alternative to the traditional financial system made of banks and investment companies. Iris shares belong to co-op members and do not rely on any bank. The paper will explain the legal, economic, ethical and political steps of this counter-hegemonic operation that stems from the use of private property laws as a power device to be used against the traditional financial system, taking the concept of mutualism - as proposed by Iris – to new heights in the Italian framework of solidarity economy and all its current developments.

 
 
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