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Title: The European Marches Network against Unemployment, Job Insecurity and Social Exclusion : collective action beyond class?
Author: Mathers, Andrew.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2419 6835
Awarding Body: University of the West of England at Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis is a study of the development of the European Marches Network against Unemployment, Job Insecurity and Social Exclusion. It is considered as a component of an emerging international social movement that has contested the consequences of neoliberal European integration to develop the goal of a social and democratic Europe as part of a different world order. This study engages critically with the dominant sociological paradigm of social movements that renders the class politics associated with the labour movement as anachronistic. This paradigm asserts that fundamental socio-structural changes dictate that to be progressive, contemporary new social movements (NSMs) have to operate according to a new logic of collective action that is beyond class. The Network is investigated through the application of ethnographic methods that are integrated into a dialectical analysis. This methodological approach involved the author taking the role of `activist-researcher' that was consistent with his commitment to producing knowledge that was not only about progressive social change but also useful to the collective struggle to achieve it. The findings of the empirical investigation are presented under the headings of 'mobilisation', 'agenda formation' and 'organisation'. These headings represent three interconnected elements of collective action that form the totality of the Network. The Network is related to the locally and nationally based economic and social struggles through which it developed and is also located within a broader international social movement of which it was a product and producer. Various elements of the Network arising from the investigation are discussed in relation to the work of writers from the dominant paradigm. It is argued that the Network is not comprehensible as a manifestation of a postmaterial politics that is beyond class, but rather as a form of class politics in the present conjuncture of neoliberal restructuring. Therefore, it is concluded that far from indicating the terminal decline of labour as a progressive social actor, the Network suggests its renewal as a social movement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Labour movement