Societal Transformation and Political Steering in Latin America and Europe

Time: 17/18 June 2011
Venue: RLF Brussels, Ave. Michel-Ange 11, Brussels
Languages: English and Spanish
Organisation: RLF Brussels, in cooperation with Ulrich Brand, Vienna University
Contact: Marlis Gensler, Tel. +32 (0) 2738 7663

On the one hand, the multiple crisis of neoliberalism or capitalism – and especially its socio-ecological dynamics – underline the evidence for a necessary and profound transformation process. On the other hand, recent experiences in some Latin America countries show that questions of real societal transformation processes can indeed put on the world historical agenda. But we can see here, too, the problems of such transformation, e.g. that progressive distributional politics still depends on an extractivist economy. History is full of such experiments and it is crucial to understand its advances and problems.

However, the question is how to foster such transformations and how to give them durability. This question is linked – decisively, albeit not exclusively – to the question of political steering or transition, i.e. the intentional dimensions of the mentioned transformation processes.

Session 1: Approaches to transformation

Ulrich Brand, University of Vienna:

Transition and Transformation

Lutz Brangsch, Institute for Social Analysis, RLF Berlin:

Alternative Transformation – An attempt to systematize the debates on alternative transformation

Alex Demirovic, Technical Unversity Berlin:

Reform, Revolution, Transformation

Session 2: Approaches to political steering

Bob Jessop, Lancaster University:

Can societal transformation be steered politically? Governance failure and political irony

Oscar Vega, Grupo Comuna, Bolivia:

Reorientations of state condition. The constitutional process in Bolivia

Session 3: Experiences of transformation in Latin America

Maristella Svampa, Conicet, Argentine:

Neo-developmentalist extractivism and social movements: An eco-territorial turn to new alternatives?

Edgardo Lander, National University Caracas:

The state in the current processes of change in Latin America: processes of change in heterogeneous societies

Dario Azzellini, Linz University:


Session 4: Experiences of transformation in Europe

Hans-Jürgen Bieling, Bremen University: The European Union: Transformation processes and options for political formation, or: Saving the Euro is a project of integration policy

Session 5: Socio-ecological dimensions of transition / transformation

Raúl Prada, Grupo Comuna, Bolivia:

Plural horizons of decolonization

Christoph Görg, Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig:

Crisis of institutions and environmental governance

Session 6: Transnational organising (1):

Political steering of financial markets and the transformation of the economic model (and the world market)

Pedro Páez, Technical Commission Banco del Sur, Ecuador:

Processes of Social Participation associated with the New International Financial Architecture and the Transformation of the International Financial Regime

Peter Wahl, WEED, Berlin:

Ways to overcome the financial market capitalism. Requirements of an emancipatory strategy for another financial system

Session 7: Transnational organising (2):

Actual conflicts and progressive actors

Alexandra Strickner, Attac Austria / Initiatives against austerity politics in Europe and free trade:

Cross-over alliances: Experiences and challenges for movements and social actors working towards social transformation

Irmi Salzer, Via Campesina Austria:

Food Sovereignty. Joining forces to work for another agricultural and food system in Europe and worldwide

Session 8: Final discussion

Maristella Svampa, Conicet, Argentina

Raúl Prada, Grupo Comuna, Bolivia

Birgit Daiber, RLF Brussels


>> Socioecological Transformations, JEP 2012 (28/3)
>> Follow-up seminar in Vienna, 2012
>> Photos of seminar

Background papers:

Pedro Páez: Processes of Social Participation associated with the New International Financial Architecture and the Transformation of the International Financial Regime

>> Download PDF-English

Raúl Prada Alcoreza: Horizontes de la descolonización y del Estado plurinacional - Ensayo (300 páginas)

>> Download PDF-Spanish

Oscar Vega: Estamos a penas en el umbral del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia (entrevista)

>> Download PDF-Spanish