Special Issue on
“Social Movements, Civil Societies and Corporations”
Frank de Bakker, VU University Amsterdam
Frank den Hond, VU University Amsterdam
Brayden King, Northwestern University
Klaus Weber, Northwestern University
Deadline: 30 November 2010
Corporations and other private sector organizations are embedded in wider societal and political arrangements and participate in local, national, and transnational polities. They are subjects and objects of civil society, and venues in which conflicts over domination are played out and settled. Researchers have recently shown particular interest in the intersection of social movements and organizations (e.g., Davis et al., 2005). The study of movements promises to address the dynamic political aspects of corporations in society, including questions of social and cultural change through the mobilization of informal and non-elite actors and the use of extra-institutional tactics and strategies in the process (McAdam, Tarrow & Tilly, 2001). Corporate practices are frequent targets of contemporary movements, including movements against globalization or genetically modified foods and those that promote human rights or international labor standards (e.g., della Porta, Kriesi & Rucht, 1999). Movements are also a critical fulcrum that links the informal realm of civil society with formal organizations in the private sector, both in Western and in developing polities.
While an impressive literature examines the relationship of movements and the state, movement activities targeted at private enterprises have been examined less thoroughly. Even less attention has been given to the reverse dynamic: of private sector organizations seeking to influence movements and other civic groups. We believe that much theoretical and empirical work lies ahead to put this budding area of research on solid ground. This involves situating the interplay of movements and corporations in larger historical and societal structures, careful theorization of how movement and civic activity impinges on central organizational processes, and a spatial and temporal expansion of empirical focus beyond nation-centric studies in contemporary Western societies. The goals of this Special Issue are to (a) stimulate innovative studies of movement dynamics in a variety of corporate, geographic and economic settings, (b) develop conceptual foundations, frameworks and methods for analyzing the intersection between movements, corporations and societies, and (c) to advance our understanding of mobilization and civil society processes in the political economy of corporations and markets.
We invite theoretical and empirical papers and are agnostic about epistemological and ontological perspectives. We especially welcome papers that are situated in diverse geographies and disciplinary traditions. We conceive of social movements as loosely organized coalitions that contest social, economic and cultural practices and structures through sustained mobilization. We treat the category of the corporation to include private sector organizations of all types, and the concept of civil society as subsuming diverse forms of voluntary non-commercial engagement.
The following is a list of indicative, but not exhaustive, topic areas:
- Stakeholders and governance: Movements in mobilizing stakeholders and the social control of corporations; mechanisms of mobilized stakeholder influence.
- Civic engagement: Collective mobilization around notions of citizenship, rights and duties in corporations; activism inside organizations.
- Identities, networks and audiences: Interplay of movements with organizational identities, images, and reputations; how movement work with each other and their relationships with other organizational audiences, including customers, shareholders, and the media.
- Participation, resistance, subversion and cooptation: Corporations as participants, targets and opponents in movements, practices of corporate engagement and conflict with movements.
- Regime change: Origins of critique and transformation of industry and economic regimes; movement processes in the creation of institutional alternatives and organizational heterogeneity.
- Technology and entrepreneurship: Movements in the construction and regulation of economic and technological development; the legitimation of new organizational forms and construction of entrepreneurial identities.
- The local and the global: Local, national and transnational mobilization in the face of local, national and transnational organizations; postcolonial, development and indigenous perspectives; the politics of economic globalization.
- History, society and institutions: Movements and changes in the relationship between civil society and corporations.
Please submit papers as email attachments (Microsoft Word files only) to the Organization Studies Editorial Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating in the e-mail the title of the Special Issue. Please prepare manuscripts according to the guidelines shown at www.egosnet.org/os/. All papers will be reviewed following the journal’s normal review process and criteria. Any papers which may be accepted but will not be included in the Special Issue will be published in an ordinary issue at a later point in time. For further information please contact any of the Guest Editors for this Special Issue:
Frank de Bakker: email@example.com
Frank den Hond: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brayden King: email@example.com
Klaus Weber: firstname.lastname@example.org