Skip to content

So…Is There A Global Occusphere?

March 12, 2018

OCCUSPHEREThe Occusphere.

That’s the term given by Tod Moore of the University of Newcastle in Australia to the “totality of Occupy-inspired events” in his article “The transformation of the Occusphere” in Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture(23:6)

Moore dates his account of the Occusphere from the  Occupy Wall Street protest encampment in New York during September and November 2011. But that Occupy movement had predecessors, notably the occupation of Tahrir Square in January and February 2011.

So is the Occusphere limited to the American Occupy movement? Or is it reasonable to speak of a global Occusphere that would encompass Tahrir Square among others?

Or is this Occusphere just a smaller assemblage within a larger sphere of activity we might call, according to Ramon Feenstra of Jaume I University in Spain, “global civil society”?

Feenstra is the author of an essay in the Journal of Civil Society in which he bemoans the fact that many contemporary authors do not want to recognize the existence of an emergent global Civil Society, nor of the legitimacy of the concept.

And yet, he writes,

The Pots and Pans Revolution (Iceland), Arab Spring, 15M and the Occupy movement, Yo Soy132, and the Gezi Park, Hong Kong, and Nuit Debout protests are all movements which, despite their differences, share a number of dynamics, links, frames, and repertoires.

Above all, do any of these terms, and the reconceptualizations they are meant to inspire, move us forward in our understanding of events like the Occupy movement, the Tahrir Square occupation, and the many other similar, related, and inspired movements around the world?

Moore abstract:

Between September and November 2011, the Occupy Wall Street protest encampment in New York captured the public imagination worldwide and generated similar events in hundreds of urban spaces. Even after riot police evicted the occupations, the Occupy social movement continued to confront political authority over questions of inequality, and it remains active both online and at diverse protest events. However, beyond the social movement there has been a growth of related anti-capitalist politics. The Occusphere is constituted by the totality of Occupy-inspired activity on the internet and in social networks, and in the larger area of political ideas. This study explores the Occusphere as an expanding zone of densely interlinked anti-capitalist politics with three modes of existence – urban spaces, virtual electronic spaces, and intellectual spaces.

Feenstra abstract:

Pro-democracy movements have recently emerged in various places worldwide. The Pots and Pans Revolution (Iceland), Arab Spring, 15M and the Occupy movement, Yo Soy132, and the Gezi Park, Hong Kong, and Nuit Debout protests are all movements which, despite their differences, share a number of dynamics, links, frames, and repertoires. Paradoxically, in the academic field, we have witnessed a strong critical positioning against the concept ‘global civil society’. The objective of this article is to reflect on the utility of this concept once again in light of recent developments and to respond to some sceptical positions. To meet this objective, a dialogue is established between civil society theories and progress made in the study of social movements. The public sphere notion (particularly its transnational dimension) becomes especially relevant for our discussion.

References:

Feenstra, Ramon A. 2017. Rethinking Global Civil Society and the Public Sphere in the Age of Pro-democracy Movements. Journal of Civil Society 13(3): 337-348 .
Moore, Tod. 2017. “The transformation of the Occusphere.” Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture 23(6):  674-687.
Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: