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  • 1.
    Erman, Eva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    The Democratization of Global Governance through Civil Society Actors and the Challenge from Political Equality2019In: Critical Sociology, ISSN 0896-9205, E-ISSN 1569-1632, Vol. 45, no 6, p. 815-828Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the theoretical literature on global democracy, the influential transmission belt model depicts transnational civil society as a transmission belt between the public space and the empowered space (decision-making loci), assuming that civil society actors contribute to the democratization of global governance by transmitting peoples’ preferences from the public space to the empowered space through involvement in the political decision-making. In this article, two claims are made. First, I argue that the transmission belt model fails because insofar as civil society has formalized influence in the decision-making, it is illegitimate, and insofar as it has informal influence, it is legitimate, but civil society’s special status as transmitter is dissolved. Second, I argue that civil society is better understood as a transmission belt, not between the public space and the empowered space, but between the private space (lifeworld) and the public space. It is here that civil society is essential for democracy, with its unique capacity to stay attuned to concerns in the lifeworld and to communicate those in a publically accessible form.

  • 2.
    Garsten, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Jacobsson, Kerstin
    Post-political regulation: Soft Power and Post-Political Visions in Global Governance2013In: Critical Sociology, ISSN 0896-9205, E-ISSN 1569-1632, Vol. 39, no 3, p. 421-437Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The debate on global governance points to shifts in the type and nature of regulation as well as in the set of actors involved. The article introduces a novel way of conceptualizing the changes, namely a move towards post-political forms of regulation (see also Garsten and Jacobsson, 2007). Drawing on Chantal Mouffe’s notion of ‘the post-political vision’, the article argues that many contemporary forms of regulation are premised on consensual relationships as the basis for regulatory activity. These regulatory practices tend to narrow down the conflictual space, thereby exerting a form of soft power. Moreover, in the post-political forms of regulation, unequal power relations tend to be rendered invisible. The empirical cases discussed are voluntary regulatory arrangements, more specifically the Open Method of Coordination of the EU (OMC) and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives.

  • 3.
    Hobson, Barbara
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Gendered Dimensions and Capabilities: Opportunities, Dilemmas and Challenges2018In: Critical Sociology, ISSN 0896-9205, E-ISSN 1569-1632, Vol. 44, no 6, p. 883-898Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Looking through the lens of gender, this article engages with the opportunities, dilemmas and challenges posed by Sen's framework to sociological research. Sen's capability approach offers sociological research a dynamic framework through its concept of agency and its multidimensional approach. It also poses dilemmas, revealed in the tensions within agency and choice and the challenges in operationalizing Sen's framework: adapting it to sociological models and applying it to empirically grounded research. Through conversion factors and processes, a central component in the capabilities approach, I reveal the potential of Sen's approach for developing more dynamic frameworks in sociological research, with respect to (1) changes in gendered norms (how new norms are seeded); (2) how entitlements are converted into a sense of entitlement to make claims; and (3) how the capabilities approach can lead toward a more dynamic institutional analysis of welfare states. My contribution to Sen's framework involves elaborating two mechanisms in the conversion of capabilities to agency freedoms and achievements: the sense of entitlement to make claims and the perceived scope of alternatives in exercising rights.

  • 4.
    Lalander, Rickard
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    The Ecuadorian Resource Dilemma: Sumak Kawsay or Development?2016In: Critical Sociology, ISSN 0896-9205, E-ISSN 1569-1632, Vol. 42, no 4-5, p. 623-642Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines the tensions between constitutional rights, welfare politics and extractivism in Ecuador. In practice, the rights of nature risk being subordinated to other human values amidst strategic State interests in economic development and social programs, due to the government’s pragmatic approach toward environmental rights. The Ecuadorian Constitution of 2008 has been celebrated for being the most radical in the world regarding the specific rights of nature and the indigenous peoples. The central framing of the Constitution is the indigenous concept of Sumak Kawsay regarding humans being in harmony with nature. The Rafael Correa government launched a groundbreaking initiative to protect biodiversity and indigenous peoples in the oil rich national park of Yasuní, adding to the image of Ecuador as an ecological alternative to follow and a challenge to global capitalism. Far-reaching welfare programs have been implemented during the Correa administration, but resource extraction has increased. In light of the Ecuadoran experience, substantial questions remain as to whether Sumak Kawsay can be a path for socialist transformation and ecologically solvent development.

  • 5.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Wennerhag, Magnus
    Individualization, Life Politics, and the Reformulation of Social Critique: An Analysis of the Global Justice Movement2013In: Critical Sociology, ISSN 0896-9205, E-ISSN 1569-1632, Vol. 39, no 3, p. 453-478Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Taking the contemporary political activism of ‘the Global Justice Movement’ as an illustrative case, this article scrutinizes some influential theoretical ideas about the consequences of ‘individualization’ for collective political action. Quite often, this process is seen as implying a new politics of individual life style – ‘life politics’ – which is associated with new social movements and claimed to have gained importance since the 1960s, on the expense of the collective ‘emancipatory politics’ being associated with ‘old social movements’ such as the Labor Movement. In the light of the article’s empirical findings, this alleged division between life politics and emancipatory politics is questioned, and it is argued that these two kinds of politics should be understood as intertwined practices. The article’s theoretically grounded analysis is based on quantitative data from a survey of participants at the fifth European Social Forum. These data are interpreted and further explored using qualitative interviews with activists.

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