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. 

Keywords: Social Movement, New Social Movement, Poverty

Full text: New social movements: do they defend poor people’s interests?[PDF]

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Author: Abdikadir Askar(AA)

Abdikadir Askar is an author of a Somali novel Kas & Karaan and a Chevening scholar who is now serving as the Chair of University of York’s Graduate Students’ Association where he is pursuing an MA in Conflict, Development and Governance.

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