Addressing Intersectionality: Social Movements and the Politics of Inclusivity
University of Nicosia
Nicosia, 10-14 April 2018
Université de Lausanne
The London School of Economics & Political Science
Social movements play a critical role in local, national and international politics, mobilising a range of diverse groups and interests. Exploring who is included and who is excluded within these movements is a critical project. It is a task that requires an intersectional lens to examine how multiple and overlapping points of oppression shape power dynamics within social movements. Such an approach, enables scholars to identify the challenges that a lack of heterogeneity poses to the legitimacy, accountability and representational functions of social movement politics.
With historical and theoretical roots in Black feminism and women of color activism, intersectionality is a concept forged to address concerns relating to inclusivity and representation in social movement (Davis 1981, hooks 1981, Moraga and Anzaldúa 1981, Lorde 1984, Crenshaw 1989). More than four decades later, acknowledging diversity, inequalities invisibilities, as well as desires to “organize on one’s own” (Roth 2004) amongst political activists has become increasingly important to gender and politics, LGBTQI+ politics, and race and politics scholars; many of whom argue that identifying and analyzing power dynamics between and amongst different identity groups is critical to exploring issues of access and inclusion within civil society movements (e.g. Crenshaw 1991, Strolovitch 2008, Springer 2005).
However, this call for an intersectional perspective on social movement’s discourses, practices and politics of alliances and conflicts is far from being systematically adopted by social movements scholars. Whilst intersectionality has constituted a paradigm shift in gender studies (Hancock, 2007), and has become increasingly important for scholars of race and ethnicity as well as LGBTQI politics (Kearl, 2015), it is not clear whether those active within other types of social movement, or those studying them, also take account of difference and the interactive effects of identity markers and structural inequalities. While research exploring intersectionality and social movements will necessarily appeal to scholars of women’s, civil rights, labor unions, migrant rights and LGBTQI+ movements; issues of inclusion, accessibility and accountability are critical for all of those working on social movement studies.
The purpose of this workshop is to develop a new research network that is dedicated to exploring the conceptual, empirical and methodological challenges and opportunities that applying an intersectional framework offers to scholars of social movement studies who are looking to apply it to new areas. Hence, this research network will bring together those working on empirical and theoretical studies that examine a range of different social movements, in order to develop new ways of thinking about, and applying, intersectionality.
We invite papers that explore the current ‘state’ of intersectionality politics and the politics of intersectionality as they apply to social movements in Europe and around the world. In particular, we welcome papers that address inter-related and politically relevant questions concerning the ways in which we apply and theorize intersectionality in our studies of social movements:
• How does the politics of exclusion or inclusion play out within social movements?
• How does race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability, and class structure activism in various contexts and at different levels (national/transnational)?
• Which kinds of social movements take account of intersectionality and how?
• How are movements and organizations trying to put in practice(s) intersectionality?
• How is intersectionality shaping alliances or conflicts between movements and organizations?
• What are the strategies, tactical repertoires, boundary making and identity-building practices forged by movements representing multiply-marginalized groups in different contexts? How do they negotiate the tension between self-organization and alliance with/inclusion in other movements?
• Do social movements that are not based upon traditional categories of identity politics, such as animal rights or labor movements, reflect upon issues of differences/inclusion?
• What can an intersectional lens bring to studies of identity and affect within movements?
• How can intersectionality help us address the success or failure of specific tactical repertoires?
• How does the language and discourse of intersectionality – or other concepts that might be used to designate similar issues – affect debates concerning inclusion in different countries and in different movements?
• What are the methodological tools that must be developed to foster an intersectional perspective in social movements studies?
This timely workshop will provide a critical reflection on both the historic and conceptual development of the intersectional framework, as well as facilitating empirical and theoretical analyses of future directions for the role of intersectionality in social movement research.
How to propose a Paper
Who can propose a Paper?
Anyone who is conducting research in the field covered by the Workshop for which they are proposing a Paper. However, only 10% of the total number of participants in a Workshop can be from a non-ECPR member institution and this will be taken into consideration by the Workshop Directors in their selection of Papers. Those proposing Papers must have a MyECPR account. Should you not have a MyECPR account then please go to the following page, complete the form and submit. Once your MyECPR account is set up you will then be able to submit a Paper proposal.
If you submit a Paper for the Joint Sessions, it is of crucial importance that you can be present during the full duration of the Workshop, ie. from April 11 till April 14 2017. Unlike conferences where Papers are presented in Panels, the Workshops are a four-day long dicussion involving all Paper-givers.
How do I submit a Paper proposal?
You will be able to submit your Paper proposal (Paper abstract) via MyECPR between 1 August and 6 December 2017. Please ensure that your personal and institutional details are correct in your MyECPR account. Should you have any queries please contact the Events Team at ECPR Central Services for assistance.
When is the deadline for Paper proposals?
Paper proposals should be submitted by midnight UK time on Wednesday 6 December 2017 via MyECPR. Workshop Directors will be able to access all submitted proposals and you will be notified of their decision by mid-January. Papers sent directly to the Workshop Directors will not be considered.