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Accepted Paper:

The convergence of social and environmental struggles in France.  

Author:

Birgit Müller (CNRS)

Paper short abstract:

I reflect on the challenge to make social and environmental struggles in France converge, to identify their common roots, to propose mobilization strategies and to reflect together on new political structures to strengthen democracy.

Paper long abstract:

2019 has been a year of all-out mobilisation in France. The Gilets Jaunes occupied the roundabouts and toll bridges of mayor highways and staged massive unauthorized demonstrations in all major and minor cities. Few called for Frexit, most challenged the arrogance of power in the person of Macron protesting against unemployment and against the government neglecting and abandoning social and transport infrastructures in the French country-side. In the spring, high school students went on school strike and took to the streets to demand action on climate change, inciting the adults to follow suite. Since December the country is in the grasp of a massive strike against the dismantlement of the national pension schemes based on the principle of solidarity between the generations. The mobilisations encounter coordinated police repression and Orwellian attempts to quell critical voices. In my contribution I will reflect on the challenge to make these struggles converge, to identify the common roots of environmental and social problems, to propose mobilization strategies and to reflect together on new political structures to strengthen democracy.

Panel R004
'All our Brexits': precarity, austerity and backlash