Call for Papers: Where have all the classes gone? Collective action and social struggles in a global context, ICDD Workshop at the University of Kassel (Germany), 3-4 December 2015

The so-called new social movements (NSM) have emerged in Western countries from the 1960s and 1970s. The apparent novelty of their struggles was the rupture with class politics and labor movement struggles. Since then, a vast majority of analyses and theoretical contributions have moved away from class struggle analysis and labor-capital antagonisms. In order to make sense of diverse and novel forms of resistance, social movements theories focused on particular aspects such as the institutionalization of political opportunities, the formation of identities or the ways of bringing the protests into public debate. Despite the strength of these approaches in understanding different elements of collective action, the question concerning the role of class politics and the political economy in collective action still remains. Collective forms of resistance continue to be diverse and stem from different contexts. Their demands range from the right to housing to calls against modern violence and slavery, gender equality or access to land and environmental protection. In an increasingly globalizing world, social movements and resistance are formed even in virtual campaigns against global trade agreements that benefit corporations, urban-rural movements against rising poverty, and localized political movements challenging neoliberal policies in their countries. What do all these struggles have in common? How does the global political economy affect them, even those which are apparently not connected to economic issues? Is class still a valid category for understanding resistance? These are some of the questions that the workshop intends to address. The space for exchanging insights is offered to academic contributions from different disciplines and activists. Hence, we especially encourage junior scientists and activists as well to submit their abstracts in this context.

Topics of interest can include, albeit by no means limited to, studies that focus on:

  1. Actors: Studies focusing on protests and social movements emerging and revolving around class and non-class identities such as migrants, peasants, women, LGBTIH, and youth.
  2. Context or process-tracing: Research tracing processes or focusing on historical conjunctures from which collective action and struggles surface, i.e., neoliberal expansion in the Global South.
  3. Aims and issue-based demands: Studies that examine political, economic or social issues and problems highlighting the demands from which the protests and discontent arises such as right to city spaces, housing, water struggles, free education, and health and rural movements arising against land-grabbing.
  4. Types of conflict: Studies could also explore the features and characters of conflicts whether long term, emerging or recent popular uprisings varying from Brazil, Hong Kong, China, Turkey or Ukraine.

Applications are to be sent to 2015workshop(at) with an abstract of not more than 300 words by August 30, 2015 at the latest. The successful participants will be notified by September 30, 2015. The submission of full papers is requested by November 15, 2015.

The workshop, organized by the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD), will take place at the University of Kassel, Germany.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Cenk Saracoglu (University of Ankara), Emma Dowling (Middlesex University)

Contact: 2015workshop(at)

Organizing Committee: Jorge Forero, Aishah Namukasa, Halyna Semenyshyn

Program Committee: Joaquin Bernaldez, Oksana Balashova,  Alexander Gallas, Ismail Doga Karatepe, Verna Dinah Viajar