Editorial of Global Dialogue 8.3

In many countries all over the world, democratic institutions and processes face increased challenges and pressure. Authoritarian tendencies can be observed in young and old democracies alike: a top-down leadership gains prominence again, nationalism soars, and civil society is weakened through the restriction of political rights. Women’s and minorities’ rights are particularly under attack. In the interview opening this issue of Global Dialogue Nancy Fraser, one of today’s most renowned and thought-provoking feminist thinkers, takes up some of the aspects of this development when she debates the question of building a more inclusive feminist movement and discusses her idea of a feminism for the 99%.

The articles of our first symposium on “Challenged Democracy” examine how democracy is under pressure in specific parts of the world, from the situation in post-apartheid South Africa to the politics of austerity threatening it in a country like Greece and the erasure of women’s contributions in accounts of the Egyptian Revolution. While the authors describe and analyze new developments such as the authoritarian turn in capitalism, they also evaluate concepts and ideas aimed at strengthening democratic processes.

In May 2018, Aníbal Quijano, one of Peru’s and Latin America’s most eminent sociologists, passed away at the age of 87. His work on imperialism, colonialism, and his concept of the “coloniality of power” influenced generations of sociologists everywhere. Two of his close colleagues and friends look back at his life and celebrate his legacy.

For our second symposium entitled “Facing Poverty,” we gathered papers analyzing a variety of manifestations of poverty, ranging from the impact of austerity politics in Greece to the increasing number of poor women in Latin America despite a friendly political economy. Six authors from around the globe were invited to shed light on the specific regional developments of poverty and obstacles the policies against it are faced with.

In her article on global modernities Sujata Patel, a prominent sociologist from India discusses the nature and content of this theory of the globalizing world. She gives a historical and theoretical insight into this concept of multiple modernities and the critiques it draws on.

From the beginning, Polish thinkers have played an important role in developing sociology as a discipline and therefore this issue offers insights into its history in Poland. But it is not only its history that stimulated us to focus on this country but also its vivid sociology engaged today in many issues of our time. The articles introduce the readers to current research, like studies on young precarious workers, on the recent voting behavior of the Poles as well as on the changes in the Polish public sphere and their implications for sociology today.

Brigitte Aulenbacher and Klaus Dörre, editors of Global Dialogue

, Austria, Germany, Volume 8, Issue 3

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