Conflicts about intellectual property claims : the role and function of collective action networks
2010, Haunss, Sebastian, Kohlmorgen, Lars
Decision-making processes in Europe involve complex networks of actors who are trying to influence them at the various levels of the European multi-level governance system. Interest group research often assumes that the ability of an actor to exert influence depends mainly on its financial and personal resourcefulness, on its ability to provide expert knowledge and on its economic and/or political power. Recent conflicts in which ‘weak’ actors were able to persist have challenged this assumption. We claim that a careful analysis of the actor networks is able to complement the traditional actor-resource-centred perspective, and that paying attention to the structure of collective action networks is necessary to fully grasp the dynamics of decision-making processes in Europe in which the power of networks sometimes outweighs the power of resources.
Scenes and Social Movements
2009, Leach, Darcy K., Haunss, Sebastian
Social movements operate in a realm between the public and private spheres. Researchers have long been aware of these intermediate spheres and have emphasized them as places where oppositional frames and collective identities are constructed. But even as the importance of free-space concepts has not been overlooked, we still know surprisingly little about their inner dynamics, the circumstances under which they arise, or their effect on social movement development.
In our contribution we propose to identify this intermediate sphere as scene that is simultaneously a network of people who share a common identity and a common set of subcultural or countercultural beliefs, values, norms, and convictions as well as a network of physical spaces where members of that group are known to congregate.
Drawing on data from two movement scenes in Germany we offer 10 propositions about movement-scene linkages that help to understand the roles scenes can play in movement processes related to mobilization, the construction and maintenance of collective identities, practices and organizational forms, and movement longevity.
Political discourse networks and the conflict over software patents in Europe
2012, Leifeld, Philip, Haunss, Sebastian
In 2005, the European Parliament rejected the directive ‘on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions’, which had been drafted and supported by the European Commission, the Council and well-organised industrial interests, with an overwhelming majority. In this unusual case, a coalition of opponents of software patents prevailed over a strong industry-led coalition. In this article, an explanation is developed based on political discourse showing that two stable and distinct discourse coalitions can be identified and measured over time. The apparently weak coalition of software patent opponents shows typical properties of a hegemonic discourse coalition. It presents itself as being more coherent, employs a better-integrated set of frames and dominates key economic arguments, while the proponents of software patents are not as well-organised. This configuration of the discourse gave leeway for an alternative course of political action by the European Parliament. The notion of discourse coalitions and related structural features of the discourse are operationalised by drawing on social network analysis. More specifically, discourse network analysis is introduced as a new methodology for the study of policy debates. The approach is capable of measuring empirical discourses both statically and in a longitudinal way, and is compatible with the policy network approach.
Kollektive Identität, soziale Bewegungen und Szenen
2011, Haunss, Sebastian
Prozesse kollektiver Identität strukturieren nicht nur die Collective Action-Frames der AktivistInnen, sondern auch deren Alltagspraxen. Zumindest in präfigurativen Bewegungen sind beide eng verwoben und eine dauerhafte Diskrepanz zwischen ihnen verhindert die Möglichkeit eine konsistente kollektive Identität zu generieren und vermindert so die Mobilisierungsfähigkeit einer Bewegung. In dem Artikel argumentiert Sebastian Haunss, dass Szenen eine zentrale Rolle dabei spielen Frames und Alltagspraxen zu verbinden. Auf der Grundlage einer Frameanalyse von Bewegungsdiskursen der zweiten deutschen Schwulenbewegung und der Autonomen zeigt er, dass im ersten Fall die Schwulenbewegung vor dem Hintergrund der AIDS-Epidemie immer weniger in der Lage war, die sich ändernden Alltagspraxen schwuler Aktivisten mit der etablierten kollektiven Identität der Bewegung in Einklang zu bringen. Im zweiten Fall gelang es dagegen den Autonomen, ihre Bewegungsidentität den sich ändernden Alltagspraxen anzupassen. Die (Un-)Fähigkeit beide Spären zu integrieren ist – unter anderen – ein Faktor, der das Scheitern bzw. den Erfolg der beiden Bewegungen, einen hohen Mobilisierungsgrad aufrechtzuerhalten, erklären kann.
A Comparison between Political Claims Analysis and Discourse Network Analysis : The Case of Software Patents in the European Union
2010, Leifeld, Philip, Haunss, Sebastian
The study of policy discourse comprises actor-centered and content-oriented approaches. We attempt to close the gap between the two kinds of approaches by introducing a new methodology for the analysis of political discourse called Discourse Network Analysis. It is based on social network analysis and qualitative content analysis and takes an entirely relational perspective. Political discourse can be analyzed in a dynamic way, and the approach makes previously unobservable cleavage lines and alignments measurable at the actor level, at the level of the contents of a discourse, and a combined layer. We compare discourse network analysis with political claims analysis, a competing method, and apply both methods to the European-level discourse on software patents. Our results demonstrate how an anti-software-patent coalition was mobilized and how it gained control over important frames, while the well-organized pro-software-patent discourse coalition was not able to gain sovereignty over the discourse.
The Politicisation of Intellectual Property : IP Conflicts and Social Change
2011, Haunss, Sebastian
In the last 15 years a remarkable string of contentious mobilizations has emerged, challenging the normative and institutional frameworks that regulate how knowledge is produced, appropriated, and used. In this article I argue that these conflicts are more than contingent phenomena of fluctuating protest patterns. They are rooted in the growing global economic and political importance of immaterial goods, and – on a more fundamental level – they address a set of new cleavages which originate in the social transformations of the knowledge society.
"Wichtig ist der Widerstand" : Rituals of Taming and Tolerance in Movement Responses to the Violence Question
2010, Leach, Darcy K., Haunss, Sebastian
In comparison to the amount of attention it gets in the mainstream media and in activist discussions, the question of how movements resolve "the violence question" has been virtually ignored by movement scholars. Within social movements, whenever protesters participate in "violent" actions, public and private recriminations fly about who "started it", whether or not it was justified, and whether and how disapproving parties should present their views in the press. Before, during, and after the action, moderate and nonviolent civil disobedience groups engage in a variety of "taming" rituals designed to discourage, de-escalate, and/or punish the use of violence as they define it. Some movements, however, have begun resolving this internal dilemma in a new way: rather than the one side trying to "tame" the other, rituals and frames of tolerance and solidarity have been constructed that allow them to work together more effectively, despite their differences. By examining interactions between the German Autonomen and the German nonviolence movement we asks in this paper: Under what conditions are militant and nonviolent factions able to construct common frames and rituals about violence that encourage tolerance and even celebrate different tactical approaches, and when do they interact with mutual animosity, noncooperation, and obstructionism? To address this question, we examine two instances of interaction between the Autonomen and the nonviolence movement in Germany - one in which they constructed rituals and frames of tolerance and worked together fairly successfully (in the actions against a nuclear waste transport in the "Free Republic of Wendland" in March of 2001) and one where they were unable to resolve their differences and engaged in taming rituals, including fierce public denunciations and in-fighting (in the riots on June 2, 2008 during the anti-G8 protests in Rostock). Drawing on field notes from participant observation and extensive media discourse analysis we identify several factors that influence the activists' choice between taming and tolerance. We can show that face-to-face interaction of different movement factions in the run-up of protests only leads to tolerance under specific conditions, of which the experience of previous and the expectation of further collaboration are most important, whereas the range of actors and their breadth of the represented political spectrum only play a secondary role.