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Title: The world turned upside down? : a critical enquiry into the counter-hegemonic potential of socioeconomic praxis in global civil society
Author: Wills, Joe Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 4603
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis analyses the counter-hegemonic potential of socioeconomic rights discourse for contesting neo-liberal globalisation at the level of ‘global civil society’. In particular, it explores the ways in which specific socioeconomic rights have been deployed in the context of three different global justice campaigns aimed at challenging various political-institutional regimes of neo-liberal global governance. This exploration has at its centre three case study chapters which in turn examine: (1) the role of the ‘right to food’ in the global campaign for food sovereignty; (2) the role of the ‘right to health’ in the global campaign for access to affordable medicines; and (3) the role of the ‘right to water’ in the global campaign for the protection of public water services. This thesis is informed by a neo-Gramscian analytic framework that views ‘global civil society’ as a sphere where the hegemony of neo-liberal globalisation is not only constructed and reproduced, but also potentially contested by marginalised and excluded (‘subaltern’) social forces. Through analysis of the role performed by socioeconomic rights in these three case studies, it is argued that socioeconomic rights can potentially serve counter-hegemonic movements, but there are also dangers, due to the configuration of power within the domain of global civil society, that socioeconomic rights discourses are co-opted, marginalised or watered down in ways that suppress their counter-hegemonic potential. Drawing upon the praxis of the global justice movements discussed in the case studies, this thesis argues that these dangers can be minimised, or at any rate mitigated, through what will be termed a ‘tripartite model of counter-hegemonic rights praxis’. This entails counter-hegemonic movements tactically participating in inter-governmental settings; invoking the jurisprudence of international human rights bodies and; connecting socioeconomic rights standards to counter-hegemonic models of governance within ‘subaltern counter-publics’.
Supervisor: Hodson-Little, Loveday; O'Connell, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available