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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

09/11/2018

Donatella della Porta on the Growing Criminalization of Protest

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The criminalization of protest is growing: there are many signals of this both in ‘hybrid’ regimes and in democratic countries. In this interview, Donatella della Porta discusses the dynamics and consequences of such trend.

14/09/2018

Andrea Pirro appointed as new editor of East European Politics

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Andrea Pirro has been recently appointed as new editor of the journal East European Politics published by Taylor and Francis.

31/08/2018

Volkswagen foundation Grant 2018 for Manuela Caiani

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Manuela Caiani has been awarded the Volkswagen Grant 2018 for the research project Popular Music as a Medium for the Mainstreaming of Populist Ideologies in Europe, that will be directed by Mario Dunkel (University Carl von Ossietzky of Oldenburg, Germany).

Publications

Journal Article - 2018

Movement parties of the far right: The organization and strategies of nativist collective actors

Andrea Pirro, Pietro Castelli Gattinara
Despite theoretical commonalities, very little empirical research has focused on far-right “movement parties” as collective actors operating both in the protest and the electoral arenas. The article redresses this inconsistency by exploring the organizational and strategic configuration of two far-right collective actors—the Hungarian Jobbik and the Italian CasaPound.

Monograph - 2018

Political Strategies and Social Movements in Latin America. The Zapatistas and Bolivian Cocaleros

Leonidas Oikonomakis
This book investigates how social movements form their political strategies in their quest for social change and -when they shift from one strategy to another- why and how that happens.