European Sociological Association    RN27 – Regional Network on Southern European SocietiesCivil Society Organizations in ...
European Sociological Association RN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies               Under the Bridge of...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies                      Under the Bri...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies                     ...we did a re...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies           1. Civil Society & Socia...
European Sociological Association RN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies              Social Movements: be...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies             Social Movements: betw...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies             Social Movements: betw...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies                2. Civil Society & ...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies                       About the Br...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies                 Interests Involved...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies           The Response of The Civi...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies     Production of Conflict and New...
European Sociological Association RN27 – Regional Network on Southern European SocietiesTwo Different (and Incompatible?) ...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies                       Mobilized Re...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies             A Double Channel of Ex...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies                   ...and the Publi...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies                 3. A Very Short Co...
European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies           What Does Our Research S...
European Sociological Association RN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies                               Tha...
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Under the Bridge of Messina. Civil Society: Conflicts, Governance, and Participation.

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A presentation of study for European Sociological Association (ESA) in Sassari, 1-2 September 2012, about the grassroots social movement against the Messina bridge between the Calabria region and Sicily.

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Under the Bridge of Messina. Civil Society: Conflicts, Governance, and Participation.

  1. 1. European Sociological Association RN27 – Regional Network on Southern European SocietiesCivil Society Organizations in the Mediterranean Area: Societal Role, Challenges, Dinamics SASSARI (Italy), 1-2 October 2012
  2. 2. European Sociological Association RN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies Under the Bridge of Messina. Civil Society: Conflicts, Governance, and Participation.Enrico SACCO (PhD)University of Naples Federico II - Faculty of Sociologye-mail:enrico.sacco@unina.itIvano SCOTTI (PhD)University of Naples Federico II - Faculty of Sociologye-mail: ivano.scotti@gmail.com
  3. 3. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies Under the Bridge... We present the results of a research carried out between 2011-2012 about the social struggles regarding the project of the Messina bridge (between Sicily and the Calabria region). In this case study we pointed out the Italian model of deliberation regarding infrastructure policies and the role civil society can play in this matter.
  4. 4. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies ...we did a research. A Habermasian perspective was used to analyze the dynamics of the social struggles and the conflicts that developed from it. We chose a qualitative methodology – the study case – with three main techniques: deep-interviews to privileged witnesses (members of movements), official document analysis (local and national newspapers, politicians official statements, etc.), participant observation (public demonstrations, movements meeting, etc.).
  5. 5. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies 1. Civil Society & Social Movements: A revisited Habermasian perspective.
  6. 6. European Sociological Association RN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies Social Movements: between Rationalization and Colonization of the Lifeworld- Social movements are a self- organizations of civil society, a reaction against colonization (Habermas 1984).- Movements try to achieve both redistribution and recognition (Edwards 2009; Fraser 2003).- Movements produce their own counter- public spheres (Negt & Kluge 1993; Fraser 1990).- In the ideal speech situation they can reach a rationalized transformation of the regulatory asset.
  7. 7. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies Social Movements: between Rationalization and Colonization of the Lifeworld Colonization PRIVATE SPHERES ECONOMIC INSTUTITIONS (different social groups) Experiences, Values, Behaviors, etc. Rationalization Systemic Relations Social Movements Colonization PUBLIC SPHERES POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS (different counterpublics) Constitutive elements Rationalization
  8. 8. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies Social Movements: between Rationalization and Colonization of the Lifeworld - Which public sphere influences decision-making process; what factor blocks others actors? (the political opportunities structures) - How counter-public sphere engages other social interests and become more socio-political influence? (resources mobilized) - What are the recognition and redistribution problems? How they play in the social struggles? (cognitive praxis)
  9. 9. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies 2. Civil Society & the Bridge: Interests, inclusion/exclusion, and opinions.
  10. 10. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies About the Bridge... - The Messina bridge project represents one of the major infrastructure works which the last Berlusconi government considered an important part of a modernization plan for Italy. - This colossal infrastructure – 3,300 meters long and 60 meters wide supported by two gigantic piers – should be completed by 2017 at a cost 8.5 billion Euros. - The idea of the bridge has a long history: Assuming the year 1971 as temporal reference «there have been 33 governments and 12 legislatures, 234 ministers have dealt with the issue directly or indirectly, more than 50 Parliamentary Commissions, Organisms for economic and environmental control, Committees, and other oddities, created by the endlessly imaginative Italian bureaucracy, have been consulted expressing their opinions regarding the issue».
  11. 11. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies Interests Involved Formally... (the political opportunities structures) - The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, which has set out rules and timing and provided at least part of the financial resources. - The Stretto di Messina Co. – the public concessionary company established in 1981. - The General Contractor Eurolink – a consortium of International firms which in 2005 won the contract for the realization of the bridge. - The Regional governments, although formally involved, have played a rather marginal role which has consisted mainly in advancing proposals within the State-Regions Conference, but their advising is in no way binding. - Practically, other local public administrations have had no roles. - This is why from its very start the realization of the bridge tends to be seen as a process stemming and governed from above.
  12. 12. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies The Response of The Civil Society... The Messina bridge project has sparked off the mobilization of several grass-roots organizations, come together in the No Bridge Network, in outright opposition to the construction of the bridge. Although within the governance process the No Bridge Network has no formal recognition, its presence and action has considerably complicated the picture of the interests at stake.
  13. 13. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies Production of Conflict and New Discourses... The key-points of the conflict have been chronologically: 1. the negative effects of the bridge in terms of environmental impact; 2. the unsustainability of the infrastructure from an engineering- related standpoint; 3. the uselessness of the bridge in local economy and employment. The No Bridge movement is able to organize large meetings and demonstrations in order to sensitize citizens over the issue and its viewpoint. Currently this movement poses alternative reasons on all issues related to the bridge that are also founded on local experiences.
  14. 14. European Sociological Association RN27 – Regional Network on Southern European SocietiesTwo Different (and Incompatible?) Development Models “We want proximity structures, small public works locally useful and not major public works causing inconvenience. We want small roads and small bridges which do not collapse because of floods or bad weather!” “We want the whole southern area, the whole of Sicily, to be secured; we just want many small things which could lead to employment as well, in addition to a new sense of identity and to a growing awareness” (RNP Activist). These positions go far beyond the debate on a single infrastructure and engage the ethical issue concerning the idea of development.
  15. 15. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies Mobilized Resources... - It is also interesting to underline that this movement has made use of opinions by various experts in several fields. Geologists, engineers, city planners, economists, and social scientists have shared their knowledge producing a higher awareness within the movement and in public opinion. - This has allowed an equal confrontation with counterpart reasons, because the alternative expertise has given the movement a set of data, specialized studies and technical language scientifically oriented and useful for equal understanding on very technical issues. - The movement published several articles and comments on its official website; the website represents the daily update of a virtual meeting place. Here the movement publishes all the activities organized by them and also collects articles about the economy and society of the Straits of Messina.
  16. 16. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies A Double Channel of Exclusion... Due to the absence of institutional alternatives, citizens are forced to choose a collective subject that can provide them a voice, technical knowledge, and a political and intellectual position. But the risk is that between the individual citizens and the levels of representation of local movements, the discussions and comparisons are poor. This leads to a double channel of exclusion. A channel imposed by the top and authoritarian strategy of the government, and another one resulting from social and cultural dynamics leading to the success of certain protest movements with a strong elitist factor.
  17. 17. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies ...and the Public Position? The bridge is seen as the only possible way to resolve the chronic economic crisis, the only action to create employment opportunities, to rapidly revitalize the economy, and to attract huge investments. Many members of the political class claim that the bridge will be, at least, an element for an economic recovery, and it does not matter if it is temporary and it ends when the last stone is laid. What is happening in Southern Italy is the well-known unequal exchange justified in the so-called developing countries of Africa and Latin America. These are places where the classical dilemma of the relationship between the benefits of economic growth and the distribution of environmental and social costs is simply hidden.
  18. 18. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies 3. A Very Short Conclusion: Public reasons and Italian regulatory framework
  19. 19. European Sociological AssociationRN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies What Does Our Research Suggest? A) The capacity of social movements to win depends on the ability to engage several and widespread interests (advocacy action and manage against-coalition) and on the rate of openness of Institutions (political opportunities). B) Italian regulatory frame about infrastructural policies does not present an institutionalized dialogue space with local communities (Legge Obiettivo). Italy seems to adopt a model of modernization without participation.
  20. 20. European Sociological Association RN27 – Regional Network on Southern European Societies Thank youEnrico SACCO (PhD)University of Naples Federico II - Faculty of Sociologye-mail:enrico.sacco@unina.itIvano SCOTTI (PhD)University of Naples Federico II - Faculty of Sociologye-mail: ivano.scotti@gmail.com

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