Publication: “The Future We the People Need: Voices from New Social Movements in North Africa, Middle East, Europe & North America”

Werner Puschra and Sara Burke (EDS.)
FES International Policy Analysis February 2013

Many new social movements have sprung up since the financial crisis in 2008. In North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America they emerged out of social protests against economic austerity, inequality and political exclusion. This publication features 20 contributions, from activists and analysts in Egypt, Tunisia, Israel, Greece, Ireland, Spain, the US, Canada and Mexico, who were invited, not to look back at the protests to analyze their causes, but to critically and constructively examine the creative proposals and campaigns that have emerged from them. The motifs that come through— frustration with government for failing to address political and social exclusion, lack of faith in official political processes and actors, the belief that new social movements are sowing seeds of a more direct democracy—are common in each country and all regions. However, the theme that is emerging most strongly is that of a deep crisis in political representation. As the UN system engages in discussions to construct a future for sustainable development, what the Rio+20 outcome calls, “The Future We Want,” this publication aims to help articulate why “we the people’s” needs can and must inform the next generation of development goals.

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