Protests at summit meetings have inspired intense debate over the nature and significance of the 'anti-globalization' or 'anti-capitalist’ movement. However, the European dimension of this movement is still largely unknown. In this insightful book Andy Mathers addresses this deficit by focusing on events that have marked the birth of a European social movement. He relates the development of the movement to key matters such as economic, employment and welfare state restructuring along neoliberal lines. He also challenges ideas about the nature of contemporary collective action and the character of present day social movements. Mathers discusses the significance of the movement and its future development through a critical engagement with the work of major writers in European sociology and of academics influential in the wider global movement such as Pierre Bourdieu. A postscript brings readers fully up-to-date with developments in the type of 'social Europe' propagated by the institutions of the EU as well as in the maturation of a social movement to oppose it.
Andy Mathers is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sociology, University of the West of England, UK.
'Andy Mathers has written a timely book. His subject is transnational mobilizing, a topic whose importance has only increased in the period since his original investigation. Anyone interested in contemporary popular protest should read and learn. The book’s argument for a class analysis of social movements needs to be heard widely amongst activists and academics alike.' Colin Barker, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK 'Based on a detailed study of the European Marches movement as a "researcher-activist", Andy Mathers provides a powerful class analysis of contemporary social movements. He puts labour right at the heart of resistance to neo-liberal globalisation, exactly where it should be. A must-read for all critical academics, progressive trade unionists and social movement activists alike.' Andreas Bieler, University of Nottingham, UK '...a theoretically informed, empirically detailed and systematically analyzed account, written by a self-reflective academic involved in the movement he is studying. It is also a well-written story which, whilst optimistic, is snesitive to contradictions both around and within his movement.' Journal of Contemporary European Studies