To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Chapter 3 focuses on the challenges and opportunities of transnational worker representation and their consequences for the development of more democratic governance institutions. We examine these from two key theoretical perspectives. Starting from the notion of associational democracy, we differentiate between two logics of democratic representation: representation as claim versus representation as structure. The first approach is associated with a discursive or communicative model of transnational democracy as put forward by political theorists. Rather than thinking of representation in terms of representative structures, representation becomes the dynamic and ongoing process of making “representative claims” that reflect certain discourses, categories, concepts, judgments, dispositions, and capabilities. In contrast, structural ideas of representation are grounded in industrial democracy. Here, constituents of an organic political unit defined by voluntary membership, such as a trade union, authorise their representatives to deliberate, negotiate or bargain on behalf of members. We develop their theoretical grounding in structuralist and post-structuralist thinking, and question to what extend these approaches may be reconciled with each other to advance prospects for transnational worker representation.
Legal mobilization refers to the use of law to express claims and desires in order to achieve change or protect interests. It can be carried out by individuals or by a collective of people. Importantly, legal mobilization encompasses more than going to court to litigate disputes, an action that may prove ineffective or even irrelevant in some Asian contexts. In addition to litigation, legal mobilization occurs in other ways, even when an individual or group merely articulates a problem to a confidante in terms of rights or other legal concepts. In Asia, this broader concept of legal mobilization is especially apropos, since so much “legal” activity—broadly construed—takes place far from the justice institutions the state has established. In this chapter, the readings illustrate the range of tactics used by those who mobilize the law to achieve their goals. They also illustrate both the risks and rewards associated with the invocation of legal rights in Asian societies. As the authors make clear, rights can have paradoxical effects, and can simultaneously empower and disempower or stigmatize those who use them. In some instances, however, the results are hugely beneficial to those who felt hopeless in the absence of legal protection.
In the early 1960s, Vietnamese resistance to US aggression galvanized a generation of activists, prompting the French in particular to forge an international antiwar alliance with their peers across Western Europe and North America, especially the United States. Together, they came to believe that the Vietnam War was caused by a broader “system” that made such wars possible in the first place. Searching for a way to not only explain this system, but overthrow it, they increasingly turned to Leninism. Radicals in the North Atlantic named the system imperialism, defined their internationalism as anti-imperialism, and called for a coordinated worldwide revolution based in the principle of the right of nations to self-determination. Following the lead of African American, Latin American, and Vietnamese revolutionaries, they argued that the best way to combat this imperialist system was to open new fronts inside the imperialist centers, triggering a wave of domestic upheaval that reached new heights in May 1968. But when this anti-imperialist front faced state repression and imprisonment in France, the United States, and South Vietnam, these same radicals began to advocate individual rights alongside anti-imperialist revolution in the early 1970s. In so doing, they lent legitimacy to a competing form of internationalism that shared the progressive aspirations of Leninist anti-imperialism but rejected nationalism in favor of human rights. When genocide, internecine war, and refugee crises in Southeast Asia eroded faith in national self-determination in the late 1970s, former French radicals sided with the US government in a global movement championing human rights against the sovereignty of states like Vietnam.
Three decades after 1989, historical materials are now available for understanding the Tiananmen protests in a new light. In a play-by-play account of the elite politics that led to the military crackdown, Yang Su addresses the repression of the protest in the context of political leadership succession. He challenges conventional views that see the military intervention as a necessary measure against a revolutionary mobilization. Beneath the political drama, Deadly Decision in Beijing explores the authoritarian regime's perpetual crisis of leadership transition and its impact on popular movements.
The sweeping changes of the early 1960s gave rise to a new cycle of struggle across the North Atlantic. It was in this context that the United States escalated its involvement in Vietnam. At the forefront of the antiwar struggle were radicals who advanced a systemic critique, arguing that ending the war meant transforming the system that had created it in the first place. Believing that the system exceeded the borders of the United States, these American radicals internationalized the struggle by reaching out to antiwar activists across the globe. Radicals in Western Europe proved especially responsive to the call, with the French in particular insisting on the strategic value of internationalist coordination in the North Atlantic. French activists took a lead in not only uniting activists across borders but creating a new sense of radical internationalism centered around Vietnam. For their part, Vietnamese revolutionaries played a central role in facilitating this new internationalism. By 1967, tens of thousands of activists across North America and Western Europe had come together in a new radical international.
Why did people petition and why did they continue to do so when petitions were rarely successful in securing immediate change? The point of petitioning was extensively discussed within nineteenth-century political and social movements. Critics questioned the wisdom of petitioning and argued in favour of electioneering or more direct forms of protest. Tellingly, however, many of these alternatives were either petitions by another name or were facilitated by subscriptional activity. Even if they were ignored or rejected by authorities, petitions were indispensable to political campaigns and social movements, including Chartism, anti-slavery, women’s suffrage, anti-Catholics, and the Anti-Corn Law League, for a variety of reasons. This explains why so many Victorian activists were indefatigable petitioners. Petitioning was the key method for mobilising popular support and pressuring Parliament; an important way of recruiting activists and developing formal political organisation, at both national and local level; raising public awareness and political consciousness; and finally, for forging valuable networks with elite politicians. Petitioning thus underpinned and made possible a broader repertoire of modern campaigning.
In Red Internationalism, Salar Mohandesi returns to the Vietnam War to offer a new interpretation of the transnational left's most transformative years. In the 1960s, radicals mobilized ideas from the early twentieth century to reinvent a critique of imperialism that promised not only to end the war but also to overthrow the global system that made such wars possible. Focusing on encounters between French, American, and Vietnamese radicals, Mohandesi explores how their struggles did change the world, but in unexpected ways that allowed human rights to increasingly displace anti-imperialism as the dominant idiom of internationalism. When anti-imperialism collapsed in the 1970s, human rights emerged as a hegemonic alternative channeling anti-imperialism's aspirations while rejecting systemic change. Approaching human rights as neither transhistorical truth nor cynical imperialist ruse but instead as a symptom of anti-imperialism's epochal crisis, Red Internationalism dramatizes a shift that continues to affect prospects for emancipatory political change in the future.
This Element analyzes the economic and political forces behind the political marginalization of working-class organizations in the region. It traces the roots of labor exclusion to the geopolitics of the early postwar period when many governments rolled back the left and established labor control regimes that prevented the reemergence of working-class movements. This Element also examines the economic and political dynamics that perpetuated labor's containment in some countries and that produced a resurgence of labor mobilization in others in the 21st century. It also explains why democratization has had mixed effects on organized labor in the region and analyzes three distinctive “anatomies of contention” of Southeast Asia's feistiest labor movements in Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
The imagination depends not on pictures but on experiences. When we imagine something we conjure up past experiences. This explains the vividness of the imagination, and how it can serve as a creative force. Collective imagination relies on movements and on shared props. Historical examples include German nationalism, social movements, the suffragette movement, movements for decolonization. Today we experience many movements only vicariously, for example, as we watch sports.
Increasingly we have come to live in our heads, leaving our bodies behind. The consequences have been far-reaching, of which cognitive theory has warned us, advocating a 'return to the body.' This book employs several case studies-kings performing in ballets, sea captains dancing with natives, nationalists engaged in gymnastics exercises-to demonstrate what has been lost and what could be gained by a more embodied approach to living, to history. These curious movements were ways to be, to think, to know, to imagine, and to will. They highlight the limits of historical explanations focusing on cultural factors and question currently fashionable 'cultural' and 'post-modern' perspectives. Bodies, cognitive theory tells us, are the same regardless of historical context, and they engage in the same intentional activities. Returning to our bodies and their movements enables us not only to explain historical actions anew, but also to understand ourselves better.
Regarding this Lefebvrian framework, the political struggles of the 1940s and the early 1950s in Tehran pose significant questions that this chapter seeks to examine. After decades of spatial abstraction and the (re)production and development of the city through abstract spaces, how did the people of Tehran transform state spaces into a political arena to contest the hegemony of the state? What was the relationship between spaces of daily life produced in the Reza Shah era and the new spaces of protest in Tehran? Why did people choose the new streets and squares of the city for protesting against the monarchy? Why did they not take bast in the mosques of the old city as they did in the constitutional era? To analyze this spatial shift, this chapter scrutinizes political groups and forces of this era and their political gatherings, protests, demonstrations, and parades in public spaces of Tehran. This examination suggests a dynamic political scene that cannot be dichotomized into the conventional binary opposition of people against the state, as was examined during the constitutional era.
This article introduces a Special Collection of four articles that highlight responses by working women collectively and individually to forces accelerated by the recent global crises. It draws out common themes from accounts of African women’s responses to harassment at work, of the links between union representation and pay equity in Brazil and South Africa and of Australian women’s quest for flexible and fair work/family arrangements. From these perspectives, the article sets out a five-point research agenda to help empower women’s collective and individual agency in response to working conditions shaped by global economic and social forces.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the Australian union movement’s Organising Works programme, this article introduces a symposium discussing potential ways forward for unions. It overviews research regarding the challenges of union organising and renewal, both in Australia and internationally. It provides a broad historical perspective on the origins and progress of the grassroots Organising Works agenda initiated by the peak union bodies, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and Unions NSW. It explores how trade unions can best generate and sustain their spirit of mobilising and organising, while also ensuring the institutional legitimacy they require to effectively represent workers. Unions have had to manage the tension between two dynamics of trade union growth – the sense of movement involved in mobilising workers, and the institutional stability and legitimacy needed to represent workers. Unions have faced both the need to confront global capital restructuring through their own restructuring, and the need to renew and maintain a strong and democratic community base. To do so, they have built new networks and campaigning approaches, in order to organise an increasingly diverse and insecure workforce and build strong community links.
Forstenzer gives an account of Cornel West’s prophetic understanding of gratitude, itself a distillation of West’s existentialist world-view. As Forstenzer shows, gratitude is the foundation upon which West builds the conditions for overcoming the injustices of racism and inequality which are achieved through the mobilization of social movements. Westian gratitude is, above all, a recognition of those who came before, as well as a hope that sustains the long road to justice.
Tehran, the capital of Iran since the late eighteenth century, is now one of the largest cities in the Middle East. Exploring Tehran's development from the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, Ashkan Rezvani Naraghi paints a vibrant picture of a city undergoing rapid and dynamic social transformation. Rezvani Naraghi demonstrates that this shift was the product of a developing discourse around spatial knowledge, in which the West became the model for the social practices of the state and sections of Iranian society. As traditional social spaces, such as coffee houses, bathhouses, and mosques, were replaced by European-style cafes, theatres, and sports clubs, Tehran and its people were irreversibly altered. Using an array of archival sources, Rezvani Naraghi stresses the agency of everyday inhabitants in shaping urban change. This enlightening history not only allows us to better understand the contours of contemporary Tehran, but to develop a new way of imagining, talking about, and building 'the city'.
Chapter 10 turns to the sociology of social movements, the psychology of collective action, and the histories and tactics of prominent grassroots group to examine how to grow and empower a movement and increase broader advocacy.
This chapter focuses on struggles to dwell in the city that characterised a strand of both racist practice and responses to it. From attempts to purchase collectively housing to the rarely told stories of organised squatting and the emergence of the black housing movement, the forces of racist exclusion produced a Newtonian response; collective endeavours to claim the right to find somewhere to live in the cities of post-war Britain. These social movements racialised both the claim to dwell in the city and the challenges to patterns of discrimination. But the struggles which emerged from the grassroots and grew over the 1970s and 1980s also in some ways ran their course over time for reasons that are also considered in this chapter.
Our scholarly understanding of “representative democracy” is often defined by two major actors: voters and the representatives they elect. This two-way interaction of democratic governance has its perils. And the critiques of this type of governance have been multifaceted. Just to name a few, not all members of the public have an opportunity to engage in the electoral process to elect representatives. In addition, elected officials of representative democracies often ignore minority concerns in the hope to capture majoritarian preferences voiced by voters. Robert Dahl (1989) astutely points out that there is actually no nation that meets all the requirements of a true democracy, which should consist of inclusiveness, enlightened understanding, equal participation, equal say, and citizens’ control of the agenda. What many nations have managed to achieve is representative democracy – an inferior second choice. Others have encouraged an expansion of our understanding of representation. Saward (2006), for example, argues that the acceptance or rejection of representative claims provides another way for scholars to understand representation that moves beyond elections and political parties.
This roundtable takes up old themes and new perspectives in the field of political history. Scholars engage with six questions across three main categories: the scope of the field, current debates, and teaching. The first two questions ask how we should think about political power and the boundaries of what constitute political history. The section on current debates interrogates the relationship between governing and social movements during the GAPE, and how to situate the political violence of the January 6, 2021, Capitol Hill riot in historical perspective. The final section on teaching takes up two very different challenges. One question is a perennial concern about connecting with students in the classroom about political history. The other dilemma is how to respond to the growing cascade of censorship laws passed by state legislatures that prohibit the teaching of so-called “divisive concepts.”
Recent transitional justice scholarship has explored the role of emotions during periods of political transition. Scholars have taken negative emotions as both legitimate responses to past crimes and as supports to the pursuit of justice in the present. This paper argues that feelings circulate across a wide array of individuals, things, and processes that often sit apart from the formal, judicial spaces of transitional justice. To make this argument, I consider the Tunisian campaign Manich Msamah (I Do Not Forgive) and its articulation of an affect of unforgiveness in resistance to the proposed Economic and Financial Reconciliation Law. Formed in 2015, the campaign came about in response to the law and efforts, under the pretext of “reconciliation,” to return to public life figures from the repressive regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. Drawing on affect theory, I argue that unforgiveness was stuck to particular individuals (figures from the old regime and circulated between a community of unforgiving activists), things (public spaces, posters, T-shirts and the ephemera of protest) and processes (accountability and substantive forms of justice). I argue that an affect of unforgiveness thus aided activists not only in their resistance to state-led reconciliation but also helped imagine alternative paths to justice in Tunisia.