Three-D Issue 24: Shared Solidarities: the interaction of parties, unions and social movements

Rinella Cere_optRinella Cere
Sheffield Hallam University

MeCCSA Social Movements Network, now in its second year is hosting a one day workshop on 10 September 2015 at Sheffield Hallam University. Further details will be posted on the MECCSA list in April. Contact:

The aims of the workshop is to reconsider some of the traditional organisations like trade unions and political parties of the left in the light of new social movements; how these might work together in the future and what they have in common. In the latter part of C20 and at the beginning of the C21, social movements and single issue politics are said to have replaced traditional style political parties of the left, trade union affiliation and collective action. This transition has been described as moving away from political organizations based on hierarchical structures towards ‘dense’ networks organized horizontally and increasingly globally. Theories of social movements have defined them in terms of cycles of protest/contention, collective action and identity, informal networks and density.

Where does this situation leave progressive parties and trade unions? Can they, or should they, adapt to meet the challenge of the new politics? And what might social movements and single issue networks learn from the older organisations of socialism and social democracy? How do social and traditional media portray these social and political formations? Do they offer a representation of shared solidarities or are they pitted against one another? The ‘Shared Solidarities’ day workshop will examine all these questions with invited speakers and representatives of political parties, trade union organisations organizations and social movements: from examples of campaigns against austerity, the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, Trade Council, Unite the Community and the Climate Alliance.

Solidarity is key to this process, as Rodotà (2014) has argued recently in his book, ‘solidarity is a necessary utopia…an egalitarian and inclusive concept which can’t be reduced to a mere logic of profit’. Solidarity has been banished by individualism and neoliberal ideology and all the more reason that this should be newly at the centre of the drive to action. ‘Shared Solidarities’ will put solidarity back on theagenda in its interrogation of the relationship between social movements, trade unions and progressive political parties. This discussion will feel particularly appropriate given the likely realignment of political formations following the results of the British election; although it is as yet not know if it the realignement will bolster the ‘austerity’ ideology or reintroduce solidarity at the heart of society.


Politics, Emotion and Protest

Bournemouth University
9-10th July 2015

A MeCCSA Social Movement Network event, co-hosted by Bournemouth University’s Media & Politics Research Group and the Civic Media Hub, the Department of Media & Communication at University of Leicester, the Politics and Media Group of the Political Studies Association, and the Protest Camps Research Network

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Barry Richards, Bournemouth University
Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Cardiff University

From Hong Kong to Kiev, from Missouri to Madrid, we are living in a time of global protests. Images of smoke filled streets and cities up in flames dart around the world, populating news reports and twitter feeds. Fear, hope, camaraderie, terror, relief, trauma. These protest movements teem with emotion. Their effects are contagious, their indignation infectious. They bring with them new cooperative political formations, as well as new manifestations of fascism and repression. As researchers wanting to contextually understand these events, many of us find ourselves inflamed and overwhelmed by proliferating political commentary, trying to sort through the sensory overload.

What tools, approaches and methods do we need to understand these protest movements? How can we make sense of them in relation to broader struggles for social change? Can we engage in research on uprisings and protests without falling into blind celebration or armchair critique? What lies between the big data predictions of future protest events and the past histories of unrest that remain unwritten or misunderstood?

Critical interventions in Social Movement Studies around emotion (Jaspers 1998, Flam and King 2005), along with the ‘affective turn’ of the early 2000s (Breenan 2004, Ahmed 2004) have offered a rich conceptual vocabulary for thinking and talking about the intersections of politics and emotion.
Building on these fields of inquiry, this workshop brings researchers together to address the challenges and possibilities facing academic engagement with the politics and emotions of protest movements.

We seek participants working through these challenges who are interested in engaging in collaborative, interdisciplinary dialogues.
This workshop will include insights from keynote speakers and case study presentations, with dedicated time for collaboration building, a PSA mini-beer festival, and a MeCCSA Social Movement Network Seaside Social to end off the event.


Register here:

Registration fees: £25 PG/under-waged; £45 standard (fee includes 2x lunch, 1x dinner)

Contact: and

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