Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
RN32_02a_H: Social Resilience and/or Resistance in the Unmaking of Europe
Time:
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Fabio de Nardis, CSPS - University of Salento
Location: HB.2.16
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: B, Level: 2.

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Presentations

Refugees welcome!? Proponents and opponents of solidarity with refugees/migrants in Germany

Johannes M. Kiess, Ulrike Zschache, Christian Lahusen

University of Siegen, Germany

This paper aims at identifying the sociological profile of the German population with highest and lowest levels of solidarity dispositions and reported activities, with a particular focus on refugees/migrants. The focus on this group is justified because it has been the most visible target of solidarity in German society in recent times, and has considerably polarized public debates. We assume that this helps identifying most clearly those population groups within German society that are more unconditionally committed to demonstrate solidarity, even under adversial circumstances. Beyond that, we argue that social resilience and solidarities proven in this respect gives valuable insights for the general debate on transnational solidarity. Building on a unique survey comprised in the EU-funded project TransSOL, we propose a solidarity index incorporating items measuring 'social solidarity' with respect to refugees/migrants as well as items measuring the support of (national or EU-specific) 'public policies' in support of refugees/migrants. These analyses disclose how both types of solidarity dispositions (social solidarity and solidarity policies) interrelate or dissociate. Moreover, the German population is subdivided into three groups (high solidarity, intermediate group, anti-solidarity). Multinominal regression analysis unveils social factors that help distinguish these three groups. The model is built on existing research assumptions that relate variance in levels of solidarity to empathy or misogyny, collective identities, vulnerability and social class, social capital in its various dimensions, and controls for the effect of socio-demographic variables.


Building Alliances - Solidarities and the Refugee Crisis

Martin Bak Jørgensen, Óscar García Agustín

Aalborg University, Denmark

Although the so-called refugee crisis is gaining a lot of attention in the global media and among politicians there are very few attempts yet to present a comprehensive analytical model to understand the role of civil society in engaging with the challenges of the crisis.

The solidarity movement, such as the welcome refugee movement has been very visible in especially European countries but we still lack an understanding of the overall role of this type of activism and of the potential such engagement may hold for alternative ways of managing the refugee crisis.

In this paper we offer a conceptual framework based on Gramscian approaches to solidarity and alliances (Featherstone, 2012; Agustín & Jørgensen, 2016) which we apply to a single case study, Venligboerne (literally ‘friendly inhabitants’), to exemplify how these forms of solidarity are being shaped as a response to the refugee crisis and governments have tried to manage this crisis. Venligboerne in Denmark now numbers thousands of people across the country. The movement articulates the commonalities between people, refugees and Danes alike. The engagement of the movement is not transformative of the state’s legal framework but can rather be seen as a necessary supplement based on collaboration with the authorities, e.g. reception- and asylum centers, municipalities, day centers and schools as well as a diverse range of voluntary activities. Venligboerne in this regards is an example of a solidarity network we also can recognize in other countries.


Citizen Warriors in a Post-Security State. Grassroots Militarization and the Crisis of Neoliberal Democracy in Poland

Weronika Zuzanna Grzebalska

Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

In recent years, the number and visibility of paramilitary activities has risen in Central Eastern Europe. While paramilitary organizations in Poland have existed since the beginning of the 1989 transformation, they have long functioned as a rather insignificant if not obscure sector of the civil society. Recently, however, four global crises – the Financial Crisis, the Terrorist Crisis, the Ukraine Crisis and the Refugee Crisis - have accelerated their growth and contributed to their normalization in the public sphere as a key tenet of national security as well as part and parcel of Polish nationhood.

Based on interviews with paramilitary actors and a study of the militarization of citizenship by right wing political forces, the paper will trace the sociopolitical processes which enabled the growth of the paramilitary sector and have culminated in the government’s flagship project of building Territorial Defense Forces offering a monthly allowance to each citizen who enrolls.

Going beyond mainstream political analyses which derive the rise of the paramilitary sector solely from Realpolitik threats such as the Russian aggression in Crimea, the paper will reflect on the ways militarization in Poland can be understood as a resistance against the failures of Europeanized neoliberal democracy. As I will argue, by weakening the safety nets embedding people in the national polity, the latter has created a culture of insecurity in which securitizing practices could thrive. The paper will situate paramilitarism against the background of a broader right-wing counter-proposal to Europeanization and the liberal and demilitarized peace order that emerged at the alleged end-of-history. As it will argue, the gradual un-making of social Europe has eventually enabled the un-making of Europe as a polity.


Italian Recovered Factories between workplace democracy, resilience and resistance

Luca Antonazzo, Fabio de Nardis

University of Salento, Italy

Recovered factories are a social and economic process that presupposes the existence of a prior enterprise that worked under the traditional model of a private capitalist enterprise whose bankruptcy, emptying or unavailability prompted the workers to fight for a change and for self-management. The recent emergence of such experiences in Italy is to be considered one of the direct social outcomes of a double contingency. On the one hand, a severe global economic crisis, on the other, a progressive de-politicization of the national-States.

Recovered factories may be considered as socio-economic resilience practices and, at the same time, experiences of active resistance, aimed at re-thinking property, power relations and the growth paradigm that guides conventional capitalist economic policies.

What recovered factories propose is a model of democratization of the economy centred on the production of jobs aimed at the re-production of lives, through collective and horizontal participation. They represent an attempt to put in motion a change of the economic paradigm, focused on democratic values and on a direct relationship between work and welfare. In this contribution we work towards a theoretical analysis of the broad phenomenon of recovered factories in Italy, drawing on Fligstein and McAdams’ theory of Strategic Action fields (SAF), moving from a quantitative analysis of the macro-picture to a qualitative analysis of an illustrative case study located in southern Italy. Through this case study we intend to highlight conditions, processes and mechanisms that allow the workers to assume the control of their company.



 
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