T03P12 - Policy Processes through the Prism of Mobilizations

Topic : Policy and Politics sponsored by Policy & Politics Journal

Panel Chair : Dounia Khallouki - dounia.khallouki@entpe.fr

Panel Second Chair : Jean-Gabriel Contamin - jean-gabriel.contamin@univ-lille2.fr

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Call for papers

Session 1


HALPERN Charlotte - charlotte.halpern@sciencespo.fr - Sciences Po, Centre d'Etudes Européennes - France

The Role of Social Movements in the Policy Process: the case of the STOP-TTIP Campaign

Paolo Roberto Graziano - paolo.graziano@unibocconi.it - Bocconi University - Italy

Manuela Caiani - manuela.caiani@sns.it - Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa - Italy

Over the past years, the economic crisis has significantly challenged the traditional decision-making in the EU. One of the most important external EU policies has regarded the TTIP – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. In this paper we unveil the multilevel policy making with a particular actor-centred approach, i.e. we focus on the specific added value and influence that has been exercised by the Stop-TTIP movement. Our main hypothesis is that the Stop-TTIP movement has been particularly influential in the decision-making process thanks to a multilevel repertoire of action which has first weakened the EU proponents (mainly the European Commission on behalf of the Council of Ministers) and then conquered strategic domestic governments’ support. Additionally the movement was influencial via the use of cognitive resources and the building of a policy community, with two different roles of SMOs in that: brokers vs. disrupters (i.e. Corporate European Observatory or Greenpeace). The case analysed is a crucial case of multilevel governance and the claim that the findings of our research may be particularly relevant in generating broader hypotheses on the role of transnational and supranational social movements in multilevel decision-making – even far beyond the EU case.  The paper is based on a survey to the 550 organizations belonging to the STOP TTIP coalition in Europe, a process tracing based on documents and 9 semi-structured interviews in Brussels with key representatives of the movement and policy makers.

A Tale of Two Movements :Policy Outcomes of Student Protest in Taiwan and Hong Kong

joyce gelb - jgelb@gc.cuny.edu - CUNY NY - United States

This paper addresses the Yellow Umbrella   and Occupy  Hong Kong with Peace and Love) movements in Hong Kong and the Sunflower movement in Taiwan. The two movements occurred almost simultaneously , albeit one operated within a democratic and the other within  a more authoritarian context. The movement were in contact with each other regarding strategies.The Hong Kong movements sought a greater say over the selection of the Chief Executive and ultimately universal suffrage. ; the Taiwan movement greater transparency with regard to  cross straits policy with China (the PRC). The paper will assess the nature of protest groups; their ability to present a unified agenda versus fragmentation , support from larger publics. what relationship did each movement have with political parties and interest groups, as well as other movements and allies , including the New Power Party which has elected members to the legislative yuan  ?  What was the role both of social media and print media domestically and internationally in gaining support for each movement? Who opposed the goals and strategies of each moment? To what extent did internal movement conflicts e.g between radicals and moderates,  affect the outcomes ? 

In each case, the response of the state is crucial and will be examined. This case study provides an insight into comparative protest and impact on policy outcomes in two Asian settings.To what extent has each movement come to encompass other issue concerns eg labor, air pollution  and the like?  The methodology includes reports by participant -observers, journalistic accounts, scholarly analyses interviews. The framework employed will address aspects of  policy analysis, l including examination of the punctuated equilibrium theory, theories of coalition buiilding and advocacy  coalitions , the concept of policy windows and streams  and agenda setting   all of  which permit change to occur . Additionally the paper will  assess the role of grass roots and or community organization theory.  The impact of mobilization on  decision makers ,  including adoption of new policy and approaches ,  implementation ,  as well as feedback and evaluation, will conclude the paper's analysis. 

Plotting his/her own way: Online and offline mobilization around the Brussels-Capitole air routes. The weight of the social

Jean-Gabriel Contamin - jean-gabriel.contamin@univ-lille2.fr - France

Thomas Leonard - tl.leonard@laposte.net - University of Lille - CERAPS - France

martine legris - mart.revel@gmail.com - Lille 2 university - France

Thomas Soubiran - thomas.soubiran@univ-lille2.fr - CNRS-CERAPS - France

In February 2014, a collective was created under the name "Pas Question" in order to challenge the "Wathelet plan" which modifies certain air routes around Brussels-National airport. This group immediately mobilizes a diverse set of citizens around various modes of action (signing online petitions, filing complaints, sending letters to the authorities ...). A few months later, twelve defense associations for the victims of noise pollution linked to air traffic at the National airport created a common platform of four demands addressed to political decision-makers. This mobilization is not without success since in July 2014 a court orders the cessation of certain air roads provided for in the plan and that in April 2015 the Michel government opts for the return to the old procedures. However, going back to old air roads also means moving nuisances to other populations. The challenge of this communication would be to question the success of this mobilization which combines online actions and offline action in return for the failure of potential counter-movements. It will be based on a study initiated by a Franco-Belgian team (co-directed by Jean-Gabriel Contamin, Jean-Marc Leblanc, Olivier Paye and Jean-Benoit Pilet) (ANR APPEL) devoted to e-petitioning, combining, on the one hand, an analysis of the data offered by the access to the petitions initiated on this question on the site lapetition.be (more than 20000 signatures on the main petition mostly accompanied by comments) and, on the other hand, an analysis of the other forms of mobilization initiated on this theme and the answers given by the public authorities. In particular, it will show the weight of social variables and areas of mobilization in the relative success of mobilizations against this infrastructure project.

Civil society development in Vietnam: Conducive for democratisation or supporting authoritarianism?

Hai NGUYEN - haihong.nguyen@qut.edu.au - Australia

Theoretical and empirical studies have shown that civil society activism is conducive for democratic development.[1] Recent citizen movements and an active associational life demonstrate a sign of growing pluralism[2] in society since Vietnam embarked on the Đổi Mới program three decades ago. Against this background, there are different views on the impact of civil society development in the one-party state. Typically, one study questioned the challenge posed by civil society to political power and legitimacy of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV),[3] leading to state repression and harassments on activists. Whereas another study suggested that associations support the country’s authoritarian rule.[4] This paper attempts to address the question: Is Vietnamese civil society development conducive for democratisation or supporting the authoritarian rule? It argues that Vietnamese civil society development is more complicated and plays a dual role. It is supporting the rule of the CPV, but on the other hand is a driving force for democratisation. This argument is consistent with an analysis elsewhere that Vietnam is democratising.[5] However, unlike the emergence of democracy in many countries in the Third Way of Democratisation and more recently during the Arab Spring, this paper forsees that civil society will drive the democratic transformation of the regime in a peaceful, rather than a violent way. The paper is structured in three main parts: (i) theoretical framework; (ii) development in fear; (iii) opening activism. This paper does not only fits in Panel 5 ‘Will Vietnam democratise’ under Democracy, Political Regime and Policy Process (T15), but also is cross-cutting and well related to other themes of the Conference like Policy and Politics (T03), Governance, Policy Networks and Multi-level Governance (T09), Policy, Business and Interest Groups (T12).

[1] Diamond, Larry. 2001. "What Civil Society Can Do to Reform, Deepen, and Improve Democracy." Paper presented at the Conference on Civil Society, Social Capital, and Civic Engagement in Japan and the United States, 12-13 June 2001, Tokyo; Scholte, Jan Aart. 2002. "Civil Society and Democracy in Global Governance."  Global Governance 8:281-304; Uhlin, Anders. 2002. "Globalization, democratization and civil society in Southeast Asia - Obervations from Malaysia and Thailand." In Globalization and Democratization in Asia - the Construction of Identity, edited by Catarina Kinnvall and Kristina Jonsson, 149-166. London: Routledge.
[2] London, Jonathan. 2013. Vietnam's people are finding their political voice. South China Morning Post. Accessed 16 May 2013; Hải, Nguyễn Hồng. 2013e. Civil Society and Democratisation in Vietnam. East Asia Forum; Hải, Nguyễn Hồng. 2014c. "Political Party, Civil Society and Citizen Movements in Vietnam." In Political Parties and Citizen Movements in Asia and Europe, edited by Raul Cordenillo and Sam Van Der Staak. Stockholm, Sweden: The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
[3] Thayer, Carlyle A. 2008. "One Party rule and the Challenge of Civil Society in Vietnam." Paper presented at the Conference: "Remaking the Vietnamese State: Implications for Vietnam and the Region", Hongkong, 21-22 August 2008.
[4] Wischermann, Jorg, Bettina Bunk, Patrick Kollner, and Jasmin Lorch. 2016. Do Associations Support Authoritarian Rule? Tentative Answers from Algeria, Mozambique, and Vietnam. German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA).
[5] Hải, Nguyễn Hồng, and Phạm Quang Minh. 2016. "Democratization in Vietnam’s post-Đổi Mới one-party rule: Change from within, change from the bottom to the top, and possibilities." In Globalization and democracy in Southeast Asia: Challenges, Responses and Alternative Futures, edited by Chantana Banpasirichote and Boike Rehbien. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

The Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) in the age of Social Entrepreneurship

Didier Chabanet - didierchabanet@hotmail.com - France

The mobilizations around the French law of July 2014 on the SSE



For the first time, France adopted a framework law in July 2014 on the “Social and Solidarity Economy" (SSE). It is a dense and important document with a total of 98 articles. Discussions and controversies are concentrated on the question of the perimeter of the SSE, which the law modifies.

Cooperatives, mutuals, foundations and associations with paid employees are automatically part of the SSE. Whether or not an organization belongs to the SSE is thus determined by its status, which depends on three main criteria: having a social purpose beyond the distribution of profits; having a limited profit distribution; and having a democratic and participatory mode of management. But the law introduces a major change by enabling business organizations to be included into the SSE, provided they pursue ‘socially useful’ goals and adopt a participatory form of governance. The field of the SSE is now thrown wide open to social entrepreneurs, who had lobbied for such a change.

It is impossible to really understand the evolutions of the SSE in France by only taking national factors into account. The rise of social entrepreneurship, for instance, can also be explained in part by the various initiatives launched by the EU on this topic. In particular, the European Commission created its Social Business Initiative (SBI), which began in 2011 and was intended to encourage the growth of social enterprises. The work carried out by the Commission, and in particular the influence exerted by a very small number of French representatives of the SSE, was decisive in the drafting of the French law of 2014.

In this paper, we will try to understand how and why some economic and political actors mobilized at the national and European level, for or against the recognition of social entrepreneurship. We will also analyze the effects of these mobilizations on the decision-making processes regarding two crucial issues. On the one hand, the question of Social impact measurement of SSE organizations. The latter are now more than ever asked by public authorities to prove their ‘social utility’. On the other hand, the financing of the SSE, either by public authorities or by private investors. On both issues, important provisions have been made by the French legislature and by the European Commission in recent years.

Our analysis is part of the EFESEIIS (Enabling the Flourishing and Evolution of Social Entrepreneurship for Innovative and Inclusive Societies) European program, which allowed us to carry about 20 interviews with Social entrepreneurs and policy-makers mobilized both at the national and European level in the field of SSE.


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