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Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Herman Lelieveldt – “Chaperoning private politics: how states affect NGO-corporate interactions”

On November 30th 2016, Herman Lelieveldt (University College Roosevelt) will present a paper entitled “Chaperoning private politics: how states affect NGO-corporate interactions”

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Studies that seek to explain how NGOs and corporations interact in processes leading to private certification, tend to assume that the arena of private politics is devoid of state intervention. I argue that these analyses overlook the crucial and often contradictory role states play in these processes.

These roles – which I characterize as chaperoning – are a direct result of the repositioning of state responsibilities in neo-liberal food regimes. Democratically elected governments now fiercely advocate collaboration between corporations as a way to make the food system more sustainable because free trade rules have reduced their capacity to adopt formal legislation. At the same time however state competition agencies will easily disqualify these as instances of cartel formation if such collaboration leads companies to make agreements to limit market offerings.

I illustrate these phenomena through a case study of attempts to raise animal welfare standards of poultry sold in Dutch supermarkets. When supermarkets eventually responded to NGO pressure by jointly agreeing on a common standard, the Dutch competition agency dismissed this as a case of cartel formation. This forced retailers to each individually decide on higher animal welfare standard and resulted in a highly scattered market offering with only limited welfare improvements.

Hence the analysis shows how neo-liberal predicaments of ensuring free competition poses inherent limits to the emergence of a new corporate-environmental food regime.

News

18/05/2018

Donatella della Porta at the Belleuve Forum in Berlin - May 23, 2018

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On May 23rd, 2018, the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier talks with Donatella della Porta, Christoph Möllers and David Van Reybrouck about anti-politics, anti-establishment and the dangers of indifference to the political to address the 2018 topic of the Forum "Society without Politics - Testing Liberal Democracies".

08/04/2018

Austeridad, capitalismo y conflicto social. Nuevas tendencias en el estudio de los movimientos sociales - An interview with Donatella della Porta

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An interview with Donatella della Porta realized by COES - Centro de Estudios de Conflicto y Cohesión Social

12/03/2018

"Standing up for Science" - a documentary by Dieter Rucht

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A documentary by Dieter Rucht on the 2017 March for Science in Washington, D.C. - now available on YouTube.

Publications

Edited Volume - 2018

Solidarity Mobilizations in the ‘Refugee Crisis’. Contentious Moves

Donatella della Porta (ed.)
This edited volume ddresses a gap in research on social movements that has disregarded the origins of discontent and overlooks protest as a resource of the powerless; it offers insight into how the movement of refugees across the European Union and elsewhere activates political opportunities; it explores claims to citizenship made by refugees within processes of knowledge production and the mobilization of emotions

Monograph - 2018

I movimenti animalisti in Italia. Strategie, politiche e pratiche di attivismo.

Niccolò Bertuzzi
Il volume si focalizza su coloro che in Italia si occupano di benessere, cura, diritti e liberazione animale all'interno di contesti organizzativi. Grazie alla somministrazione di una survey, interviste agli attivisti e analisi dei frame, emergono una notevole varietà di strategie, pratiche e riferimenti valoriali, la contemporanea presenza di lobby e conflitto, e la natura complessa di un fenomeno al centro dell’attenzione mediatica ma ancora poco studiato in termini sociologici.