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Within borders, beyond borders: the Bergama movement at the junction of local, national and transnational practices 14 janvier 2012

Posted by Acturca in Academic / Académique, Turkey / Turquie.
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PhD thesis (LSE) January 2012
Department Sociology of the London School of Economics

Baran Alp Uncu

This thesis sets out to examine how local environmental movements mobilize to engage a new intertwined national and global context in which capitalist globalization has intensified major problems, in particular social and economic inequalities and ecological degradation. In their struggles, local movements mobilize beyond their local and/or national borders, inserting themselves into transnational networks. A representative of such struggles, as I argue in the thesis, is the Bergama movement. The Bergama Movement, a local environmental movement struggling against a transnational gold-mining company in Western Turkey, is analyzed based on an extensive field research reflecting the geographical scope of and the diversity of actors involved in the movement. The research aims to understand the interrelated dimensions of a social movement such as initial mobilization, mobilizing structures, framing, identity construction, and political opportunities; embedding it in a new political and social context in which structures and practices at varying levels of politics become enmeshed. Thus, the thesis shows that making clear-cut distinctions between the local, the national and the global, is inadequate in understanding local movements which challenge actors of capitalist globalization. The contribution of this thesis lies in using the case of the Bergama movement to unpack the interrelated dynamics involved in enmeshed scales of doing politics. In that regard, I show that national and transnational actors align themselves, as in the case of the state in Turkey and transnational mining corporations, in a pro-mine network, while the Bergama activists have formed an extensive movement network by forging links with global civil society actors, external political parties, supranational and international organizations and the media who challenge capitalist globalization. Witnessing that their national political context is being restructured under capitalist globalization, they extensively utilize transnational political opportunities and define themselves as part of a general anti-capitalist globalization struggle.

Uncu, Baran Alp (2012) Within borders, beyond borders: the Bergama movement at the junction of local, national and transnational practices. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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