Social movements and corporations in the global South

Panel at the European Sociological Association Conference, Prague, 25-28 August 2015

The panel is part of the Social movement research network session, with many other movement related panels. More information on all the panels and on how to submit a paper here

Social movements and corporations in the global South


Philip Balsiger, Graduate Center, City University New York,

Maria-Therese Gustaffson, Stockholm University,

Corporations are powerful players in a world of deregulation and economic globalization. In recent years, there has been a growing scholarly interest in studying interactions between social movements and corporations. So far, this literature has overwhelmingly focused on activists opposing corporations in Western countries. Yet many conflicts between corporations and social movement organizations or civil society groups take place in the ‘global South’. While scholars from a variety of disciplines do study such conflicts, they are rarely linked to the debates raised within the Western-centric study of movement-corporate interactions. In producing countries conditions differ in important ways: conflicts take place further down in the supply chains, the inequality of resources between activist challengers and companies is likely to be higher, political-institutional contexts vary greatly. For this panel we welcome empirical studies that address the following questions: How does corporations’ involvement in social service provision and/or the relationship between the state and corporations affect the relationship between corporations and movements? How are movement-corporate interactions related to the global inequalities of capitalism and reflected in in framing processes? How do the complex relationships between transnational advocacy groups and national/local organizations shape movement-corporate interactions? And how, on the opposite side, does the integration of firms in global supply chains constrain corporate responses? By addressing these issues the panel seeks to cross-fertilize studies on Western and non-Western contexts and contribute to develop the theoretical frameworks used to analyze interactions between movements and corporations.

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The International Post-Doc Initiative for female researchers, Technische Universität Berlin

Between 2013 and 2018 the International Post-Doc Initiative (IPODI) of the Technische Universität Berlin awards 21+2 two-year fellowships to international female researchers in three internationally open calls. IPODI is part of an initiative (Wissenschaftlerinnen an die Spitze) that aims at increasing the number of women in leadership positions. IPODI addresses outstanding female researchers regardless of their nationality or age and is open to applications from all fields of research represented at the TU Berlin.

The second call for applications is open until 15 December 2014. A further call for applications will follow in 2015.

IPODI has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 600209 (Marie Curie Co-funding of Regional, National, and International Programmes).

The call is open between 15 September and 15 December.

– Applicants must have at least two and not more than ten years of research experience after obtaining their doctoral degree.
– Applicants must not have resided in Germany for more than 12 months in the three years prior to the application deadline.
– The research proposal has to fit into one of the fields of research represented in the seven faculties of the TU Berlin.
– The research proposal has to be supported by a cooperating Professor at the TU Berlin.

The call can be found here:

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meeting of the standing group ECPR General Conference Glasgow

The political sociology standing group meeting at the Glasgow General Conference will take place on Thursday, 17h-18h, in Maths 326

Hope to see many of you there!
SG convenors
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ASA Award for David Swartz’s ‘Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu’

Professor David Swartz’s Symbolic Power, Politics, and Intellectuals: The Political Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu is the co-winner of the American Sociological Association’s 2014 History of Sociology Section Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award. This award “honors sociologists who have made significant contributions to the history of sociology by writing books or articles on the ‘cutting edge’ of sociological inquiry.” In his notice of the award, Chair Elect of the History of Sociology Section Neil Gross quoted the award committee in describing Symbolic Power as showing ”clearly how much Bourdieu has ‘to give to a sociology of politics and a political sociology’–and how central politics was in Bourdieu’s intellectual biography.”

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Standing group meetings at the ECPR Conference in Glasgow

As you are preparing your schedules for the upcoming general conference in Glasgow, please note the following two events for the Political Sociology Standing Group.  First, we have scheduled a Standing Group business meeting for Thursday September 4 17-18h at a location to be determined.  It has been very difficult to find a time that would not conflict with our panels and Thursday 17-18h seems to be the least intrusive.  The business meeting will review a number of concerns to all ECPR standing groups and brainstorm for a theme, panel topics and leaders for the next general conference.  So please join us if you can.
Second,  Nillo Kauppi and I are planning an informal gathering for dinner at some local restaurent for Saturday evening.  Time and location will be announced in Glasgow.  All are welcome.
David L. Swartz
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Cfp “Enjeux théoriques et méthodologiques d’une cartographie dynamique des espaces militants”

Appel à communications de la section thématique n°11 du prochain congrès de l’AFSP ayant pour thème “Enjeux théoriques et méthodologiques d’une cartographie dynamique des espaces militants
Les propositions de communication sont à envoyer avant le 15 octobre 2014 aux deux adresses suivantes:


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Program of the ESA midterm conference

Europe’s Global Challenges: Politics, Markets and Society

The 3rd Midterm Conference of the European Political Sociology Research Network of ESA (European Sociological Association) hosted by EuroChallenge, University of Copenhagen
28-29 November 2014

Programme ESA midtermconference Nov 2014

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Cfp: Narrating European Integration: Actors and Stories in Politics, Academia and Cultural Institutions

Call for Papers  University of Portsmouth April 16-18, 2015  Narrating European Integration: Actors and Stories in Politics, Academia and Cultural Institutions  Deadline: June 15, 2014 Contact: Professor Wolfram Kaiser, University of Portsmouth,


Academics, politicians and cultural institutions develop and tell ‘stories’ about European integration. They can present European integration as a peace project or as the creation of a group of ‘founding fathers’; or, in various counter-narratives, as a bureaucratic monster that serves capitalist interests or seeks to destroy proud consolidated nation-states. Such stories seek to explain integration as a ‘process’, to legitimize (or call into question) the European Union, its institutions and policies or to describe, critically evaluate and contextualize the present-day EU for citizens who visit museums or watch films, for example. The resulting narratives of European integration can be explicit or implicit. They can have a strong teleological, or even theological, thrust, including narratives opposing European integration, membership or further integration, or they can be more open to pluralist interpretations of post-war European history and contemporary EU politics. They constitute, in any case, a formidable weapon in controversies over European integration, its spatial scope, political finality and policy objectives. Equivalent narratives have, in the past, played a crucial role in imagining nations and their histories, and in forming and legitimizing new states in Europe. They also rely heavily on broader categories such as Christianity, modernity, civilization or the West – possible parallels with the present-day EU which help explain the emphasis on, and increasingly fierce opposition to, narratives of European integration with strongly positive normative connotations. This trans-disciplinary conference seeks to explore actors in three key fields, politics, academia, and culture, and their narratives of European integration. Participants can discuss different political actors such as EU institutions, political parties or social movements; academic disciplines; or cultural institutions such as museums or film festivals. They can also cover different time-periods during the twentieth century up to the present-day. They may employ a variety of methods used in the humanities and/or social sciences. However all papers, whether they examine particular regions or Europe as a whole, should have a transnational scope in analyzing actors and narratives. We are not interested in papers on e.g. ‘Swiss narratives’ of European integration. Moreover, all papers should adopt a dual focus with a view to a possible collective publication: they need to address, in a first section, the actors who produce, disseminate and propagate narratives of European integration including e.g. institutions, individual entrepreneurs or networks; and, in a second section, the narrative(s) that these actors develop and propagate. The conference is organized jointly by Wolfram Kaiser, Professor of European Studies, and Marie Curie Fellow Richard McMahon. Prof. Kaiser works on networks and narratives of European integration promoted by EU institutions and in history museums and exhibitions (see e.g., with S. Krankenhagen and K. Poehls, Exhibiting Europe in Museums. Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives and Representations, Berghahn 2014). Dr. McMahon conducts research into evolving narratives in the academic field of European Studies . The conference forms part of the activities of the ‘Transnational Europe’ research cluster co-led by Wolfram Kaiser, within the Centre of European and International Studies Research (CEISR) at the University of Portsmouth, UK. The conference is funded by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for the Study of Transnational Europe, which is linked to CEISR and will cover accommodation for two nights and reasonable travel costs. The deadline for paper proposals is 15 June 2014. Please send your proposal (short CV and an abstract in English of no more than 300 words) to both Wolfram Kaiser at Richard McMahon at

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Conference ‘Sexual Causes. Sexuality and Collective Mobilization’, University of Lausanne, June 5-7 2014

From contraception to “gay marriage,” from abortion to prostitution or rape, there are many sexual issues which have mobilized people in recent decades. Indeed, since the “sexual liberation” phenomenon observed principally in the west in the 1970s, “sexual causes” have multiplied throughout the world, without, however, always attracting the scholarly attention they deserve. This symposium is thus devoted to mobilization related to sexuality, without any historical or geographical limitations.

Conference organized by the Centre de recherche sur l’action politique (CRAPUL)

Information on the conference program here 

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2 research positions, University of Potsdam (Germany), sub-project of research group on international public administration

The University of Potsdam (Germany), Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, invites applications for two positions:

Academic Staff Members (Reference number: 113/2014)

Successful candidates will work for 26 hours per week and should be able to begin work on 1 June 2014. Both positions end on 31 May 2017. Remuneration is based on German pay grade 13 “TV-Länder”.

The positions are associated with the larger Research Group “International Public Administrations. The Emergence and Development of Administrative Patterns and their Effects on International Policy-Making”, which is funded by the DFG and coordinated by Professor Christoph Knill (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich). Successful candidates will contribute to the project “Who has a say? Extent, Variation and Determinants of Expert Authority of International Public Administrations”. The project analyzes to what extent and under what conditions international public administrations (secretariats of intergovernmental organizations) enjoy expert authority and how their expert authority varies and why. It focuses on the secretariats of the World Bank, FAO, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, OECD, OCHA, OHCHR and EU-ECHO and the issue area „Human Security“. Specific tasks include

Contributing to conceiving, preparing and implementing a survey among government officials in a stratified sample of 80 countries by means of computer-assisted telephone interviewing
Processing, cleaning and analyzing survey data by means of appropriate statistical procedures
Collecting data by means of a) literature and document analysis and b) semi-standardized interviews with staff in international public administrations and experts
Processing and coding of collected data
Contributing to analysis of research results and publications
Applications should either be emailed to Marion Dräger ( or by sent by post to Professor Andrea Liese, Chair of International Organizations and Public Policy, August-Bebel-Straße 89, 14482 Potsdam. Deadline: 07.04.2014.

More information

Complete Job Advertisement (includes detailed information on essential and desirable qualifications as well as on required application documents)
Summary of Research Project

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