New social movements: do they defend poor people’s interests?

The political relevancy of ‘new’ social movements, particularly at a time the world is witnessing huge unequal power relations among society, is increasingly becoming vital. New social movements are perceived as a formidable challenge to authority,  dominance and political system in society. Their primary aims are to fix the gaps within the society regarding economic, social and political inequalities. The citizen-driven approach to recreate the roles of society and State, particularly in the modern democracies, is what’s labelled as ‘new social movement’ of which the essay particularly sheds light on. The point of the essay is to examine how the ‘new’ social movements defend poor people’s interests citing examples of new global incidents in Latin America (particularly Mexico) and the Arab world. Furthermore, the essay draws a line between ‘new’ and ‘old’ social movement at the beginning while also explaining their distinctive features in terms of goals, development and tactics. In the end, the essay’s argument is based on the notion that new social movements (NSMs) defend poor people’s interests even though there is conflictual orientation among members of new social movements.  Continue reading “New social movements: do they defend poor people’s interests?”

Can a decision to secede be made democratically?

Secession is a landmark moment that defines not only the destiny of the seceding state but also for the parent state that is torn apart. With its focus on the era when secessionist struggles are getting more momentum across the world since the end of the Cold War, this paper will argue that secession cannot be made democratically despite the democratic nature of the process. In the beginning, the paper looks at the three theories of the morality of secession, namely, national self-determination theories, choices theories, and ‘just-cause’ theories to build a conceptual framework with which to highlight if secession decision is democratic or not. Each theory is further illustrated by a contemporary case of secession such as Somaliland and Kosovo while examining the ‘marriage’ of the two political themes, secession and democracy. Furthermore, the paper examines the arguments for and against separation being democratic though the conclusion is based on the conception that the secession decision cannot democratically be made because it is logistically challenging, legally controversial and democratically uncertain. Continue reading “Can a decision to secede be made democratically?”