Democracy in Social Movements by Donatella della Porta (eds.)

Political Freedom

By Donatella della Porta (eds.)

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A fourth common element is the reference, explicit or implicit, to a global dimension, as expressed in the frequent use of words like global (77 mentions in the string variable database), international (40 mentions), or – simply – world (33 mentions, often as ‘another world is possible’). In the words of an interviewee, the GJM ‘pursues a change in the existing global structures that are based upon a neoliberal economic model that privileges that maximization of profits over distribution, equality, justice of human rights’ (Organización de Cooperación y Solidaridad Internacional).

As mentioned, our groups express high levels of participation in campaigns, forums, and global days of action, as well as in transnational umbrella organizations. 2%); this is all the more relevant for a sample that by definition (see above) undercovers local groups. 6 per cent) is also very important, as is the international level: about one-third of our groups declare that they are organized at that level. 2%). Especially significant for the GJM is the high presence of network organizations: in our sample, this is reflected in the fact that about half of our cases represent networks/federations or ad hoc umbrella organizations.

In general, social movements cannot be characterized as unified actors: by their very nature, they are made up of loose networks, their repertoire of action is varied, and their collective identity is not structured within specific organizational boundaries (della Porta and Diani 2006, chap. 1). This is all the more true for the actor we investigate, which has been described as organizationally fluid, strategically broad, and tolerant of diversity (della Porta 2007c). As a result, the very presence of a global justice movement has been subject to debate.

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