Editorial of Global Dialogue 10.2

The COVID-19 pandemic and crisis dominates the discussions and developments in many countries around the world. The so-called hotspots or the gap between countries of the Global North and South show how social inequalities matter. It is not only healthcare that will be a matter of concern in the next years but also the succeeding economic, social and political developments. In some countries the economic crisis amounts to a deep ongoing social crisis, and/or democracy is put at risk by restrictive politics. With this issue Global Dialogue starts a series on the pandemic and its meaning for the society and for sociology and invites authors from different countries and regions to contribute their insights. To start this series, three authors share their reflections on COVID-19 and its effects.

In our section ‘Talking Sociology’ Sari Hanafi conducts an interview with Alain Caillé, co-founder of the convivialist movement and manifesto. Caillé criticizes the neoliberal standpoint, describes the roots of “Convivialism,” and shows why and how it functions as an “empty signifier” bringing together people who hope and strive to create a “post-neoliberal world.”

In the last years we have been witnessing a lot of protests against anti-democratic tendencies, neoliberal developments, and the effects of market-driven economic and social inequalities. New social movements and protest forms have emerged and challenged the politics of the establishment in many regions of the world. Our first symposium – with contributions by Ngai-Ling Sum, Michalis Lianos, Jorge Rojas Hernández, Gunhild Hansen-Rojas, and Rima Majed – sheds light on the situation in Hong Kong, France, Chile, Lebanon, and Iraq.

The second symposium highlights how media and communication together with the drive for profit shape our society. The articles put together by Marlen van den Ecker and Sebastian Sevignani cover different aspects and effects of the digitalization and marketization of communication – from social media users acting as unpaid laborers and the role of data in capitalist ownership and accumulation to the new digital workers in China and the restructuring of media systems – and show how these processes go hand in hand with the transformation of capitalism in different parts of the world.

The section on ‘Theoretical Perspectives’ also takes up the subject of information and communication technologies. Francis Nyamnjoh reflects on the West and Central African idea of human beings embedded in an ontology of “the incompleteness and compositeness of being human” and shows how this is affected by the use of technologies.

For our section focused on the sociology of a particular country or region Filomin Gutierrez has taken the responsibility to invite colleagues from the Philippines to present important sociological issues and findings. The result is an impressive collection of pieces from urban studies, public sociology and more.

The articles included in our Open Section address important sociological topics such as the gendering of open space, labor internationalism, finance capitalism and the reaction to right-wing populism.

Brigitte Aulenbacher and Klaus Dörre, editors of Global Dialogue

> Global Dialogue can be found in 17 languages at the ISA website.
> Submissions should be sent to globaldialogue.isa@gmail.com.

, Austria, Germany, Volume 10, Issue 2

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