At a particularly urgent world-historical moment, this volume brings together some of the leading researchers of social movements and global social change and other emerging scholars and practitioners to advance new thinking about social movements and global transformation. Social movements around the world today are responding to crisis by defying both political and epistemological borders, offering alternatives to the global capitalist order that are imperceptible through the modernist lens. Informed by a world-historical perspective, contributors explain today’s struggles as building upon the experiences of the past while also coming together globally in ways that are inspiring innovation and consolidating new thinking about what a fundamentally different, more equitable, just, and sustainable world order might look like.
This collection offers new insights into contemporary movements for global justice, challenging readers to appreciate how modernist thinking both colors our own observations and complicates the work of activists seeking to resolve inequities and contradictions that are deeply embedded in Western cultural traditions and institutions. Contributors consider today’s movements in the longue durée—that is, they ask how Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and other contemporary struggles for liberation reflect, build upon, or diverge from anti-colonial and other emancipatory struggles of the past. Critical to this volume is its exploration of how divisions over gender equity and diversity of national cultures and class have impacted what are increasingly intersectional global movements. The contributions of feminist and indigenous movements come to the fore in this collective exploration of what the movements of yesterday and today can contribute to our ongoing effort to understand the dynamics of global transformation in order to help advance a more equitable, just, and ecologically sustainable world.