‘Bridges or divides? Conflicts and synergies of coalition building across countries and sectors in the Global Justice Movement’. Article published by Social Movement Studies. 

Authors: Priska Daphi, Felix Anderl and Nicole Deitelhoff.

Interest in social movement coalitions has been increasing significantly in recent years. While this growing body of research has paid much attention to conditions and processes of coalition building, the consequences of coalitions remain understudied. This article aims to contribute to a better understanding of coalitions’ internal impact by exploring how different types of coalitions affect each other. In particular, we analyse how coalitions across countries influence coalitions across movement sectors. The article explores the diverse coalitions in the Global Justice Movement (GJM) in Europe and Southeast Asia, a movement characterized by its strong transnational as well as cross-sectoral ties. Our analysis includes four case studies from different transnational coalitions within the GJM: the peasant network La Vía Campesina, the debt-relief campaign Jubilee 2000, the network of women’s movements World March of Women, and the grassroots network Peoples’ Global Action. The case studies in Indonesia, the Philippines, the UK and Italy show how coalition building across countries can both enhance as well as hinder coalitions across sectors. We demonstrate how transnational coalitions in some cases deepen divides between local movement sectors and hamper domestic coalition building, while they help bridging divisions within local movement coalitions in others. Our findings point to the relevance of conflicts, power inequalities and trade-offs in coalition building as well as to the importance of negative effects of coalitions.


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