Chapter 1 Activism and social movements
Open access

The entry explains the interface between SSE, social movements and activism. It presents two perspectives. The first sees social movements as catalysts of SSE initiatives. SSE entities and ecosystems are often the results of various forms of social movements’ activism in different parts of the world. The second sees SSE as an emerging global movement within the broader alter-globalization movement. Significant parts of the overall SSE constellation can be described as a “converging” social movement (or “movement of movements”) with a plurality of views, that are in articulation with other social movements, not only to resist the harmful socio-environmental effects of the current economic model, but also demonstrate concrete alternatives through practice. Given the right political conditions and motivation of the actors concerned, these local-level experiments can be scaled up, or “mainstreamed” through enabling public policy changes. Advocacy, contestation, policy influence and the co-construction of policy via SSE intermediary organizations and their allies play an important role in this process. The entry introduces diverse examples of the relationship between SSE and activism and social movements at national and international levels.

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