International social movements
Source: P. Waterman

The role of research, documentation, communication

Peter Waterman

September 2005

Do international labour studies conferences constitute privileged places for moving forward the dialogue between the ‘old’ labour and union institutions, on the one hand, and the ‘new’ global justice movement, on the other? Drawing from earlier experience, this paper begins with the assumption that this is the case. Part 1 was written as an exercise of preparation for the International Colloquium on Anti-Globalism, Amsab/Institute of Social History, Ghent, Belgium, September 9, 2005. It has been only marginally edited. Part 2 was written after the event and suggests that more than such places are necessary. The old, established and traditional social movement (developed under a national industrial capitalism, institutionalised, Westocentric, incorporated into old understandings about and with capital, state and ‘development’) needs to take congnisance of its relative power and privilege. And it then needs to make space for something that might be relatively marginal and weak but that nonetheless comes out of a globalised and networked capitalism. The ‘movement of movements’ proposes new understandings of the world; it identifies new arenas of dispute with the hegemonic forces; and it suggests new forms of dialogue between social movements. (see original text, pdf)

Part 1: A Privileged Place?

  • Introduction: a crucial triangle

  • Documenting and researching

  • Social movements and global ‘governance’

Part 2: Appropriate Spaces Need to be Created
  • First the bad news

  • So what could the good news possibly be?

Extended Bibliography - Websites and lists
Appendix 1 / Appendix 2/ Collection and Protection of Electronic Archives

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