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"It was like the gauntlet was thrown down" : the No! to APEC story 2000

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V "IT WAS LIKE THE GAUNTLET WAS THROWN DOWN:" THE NO! TO APEC STORY. By ANDREW LARCOMBE B.A. (Hons), The University of British Columbia 1990. A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULLFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE MASTER DEGREE (of Arts) in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Anthropology and Sociology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard The University of British Columbia January 27th 2000 © Andrew C. Larcombe, 2000 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writ ten permission. Department of u rvxiAj^rn^r^rxj^ C U / A ^ T S < y^-i The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date h ^ l ' l S k Z n n n DE-6 (2/88) Abstract Ad hoc social movement coalitions are made up of diverse groups that come together to maximise the use of limited resources. Once formed, they face a dilemma. Coalition logic holds that given the limited time frame and instrumental objectives of the organisation, resources should be disproportionately invested in the visible sphere of action. However, this instrumental emphasis ignores the need to invest resources in the 'submerged' sphere of membership intercommunication. As a result tensions which have their root in divergent ideologies, traditions and histories of resistance can threaten the coalition's collective identity. This thesis is about one such organisation, the No! To APEC (NTA) coalition, one of three groups that made up the movement to oppose the APEC Economic Leader's Meeting in Vancouver held in November 1997. NTA, made up of small left- wing grassroots groups, built a campaign around resistance to "imperialist globalisation." It organised community education, an international conference and a march and rally. Although it succeeded in meeting its objectives, a fracture occurred between the largest and most consolidated member group and the other unconsolidated grouping made up of individuals and representatives of small organisations. The fracture caused a disconnection between the local and the international priorities set by the organisation at its outset. In this study I examine the process that led to this outcome. In particular I identify the importance of establishing a capacity for reflexively monitoring the actions and interactions of members. While consensus is not a pre-requisite for solidarity, disputes arising from different perspectives and ii membership tactics may jeopardise organisational unity. Providing a limited space for evaluating conflicting validity claims and organisational dynamics may help to preserve unity during the active phase of a coalition's mobilisation. The methods used to obtain data for this study were participant observation and interviewing. I spent six months as an activist-researcher with the coalition and I interviewed activists from the three main APEC opposition groups. Although the main focus of this study is on the political and organisational evolution of the NTA coalition, I broaden the discussion to argue that ad hoc coalitions play an important role in generating 'social capital' or 'social movement connectivity.' Social solidarity generated in the course of short-term political action increases the potential for further action mobilisation in social movement networks and communities. In the final part of the thesis I review literature on globalisation and social movements. Combined with what has been learned about coalitions in the previous chapters, this exercise provides a context for examining the APEC opposition movement and, by extension, the prospects for building transnational movements and a counter-hegemonic historical bloc against imperialist globalisation. 111 Table of Contents. ABSTRACT n TABLE OF CONTENTS iv TABLE OF FIGURES vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vu PART ONE: CHAPTERS 1- 3 1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW: SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND COALITIONS 27 Comparing Resource Mobilisation Theory, Political Process and New Social Movement Theory.. 53 Social theory and research: coalitions 62 The No! to APEC coalition and social movement theory 74 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 84 Stumbling towards ethnography 84 Data Collection and Initial Analysis 89 Analytic Framework 96 On Linking Theory and Method. 101 Summary 102 PART TWO: FINDINGS CHAPTERS 4-8 105 Introduction 105 CHAPTER 4: No! To APEC: HISTORY AND COLLECTIVE IDENTITY 106 History 106 NTA's Collective Identity 119 Variation and middle ground 132 Summary 137 CHAPTER 5: CAMPAIGN PERSPECTIVES OF THE CENTRE GROUP 141 Goals of the centre group 141 Organising conditions of the centre group: 143 Summary of the centre group's organising context 156 Actions of the centre group 157 Summary of the centre group's actions 165 CHAPTER 6: CAMPAIGN PERSPECTIVES OF THE NON-CENTRE GROUP 167 Goals of the non-centre group 167 Organising conditions of the non-centre group 168 Summary of the non-centre group's organising context 187 Actions of the non-centre group 189 Summary of non-centre group actions 193 CHAPTER 7: M O B , COCOANDNO! TO A P E C S FINAL ACT 194 CHAPTER 8: DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS 201 Consequences of the actions of centre and non-centre groups 202 Three sources of disunity 212 PART THREE: CHAPTERS 9-11 227 Introduction 227 CHAPTER 9: COLLECTIVE IDENTITY, REFLEXIVITY AND THE TEMPORARY BELIEF SPACE 231 Summary 252 CHAPTER 10: SOCIAL MOVEMENT COMMUNITY, THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES 255 Summary 264 CHAPTER 11: THE A P E C OPPOSITION MOVEMENT AND GLOBAL CONTENTION 266 Introduction 266 Social Movements and Globalisation 267 International Solidarity: lessons from the NTA and PS conferences 291 Globalisation and Gramsci's concept of historical bloc 298 Summary 306 CHAPTER 12: CONCLUSIONS 311 FOOTNOTES 323 BIBLIOGRAPHY 327 APPENDIX 1 :340 APPENDIX 2 343 APPENDIX 3 344 APPENDIX 4 346 APPENDIX 5 354 v Table of Figures Figure 1 Showing the relationship of actions, action consequences and outcomes in N T A 204 Acknowledgements This thesis is dedicated to the activists who were part of the No! To APEC coalition. Their warmth, enthusiasm, and hard work invigorated me during the time that I was privileged to be in their company. While there are people like these in the world, the idea of social justice will not wither away. I wish to acknowledge the support of Bob Ratner. Bob has been a mentor to me for many years. His breadth of knowledge and his ability to look at a problem from different points of view is inspiring. He has been a key influence in my political development and he has encouraged me at each stage of my journey through university. I wish to thank the other members of my committee, Dawn Currie and Charles Menzies, for agreeing to examine this project and for their constructive comments. Thank you to my partner Karen for her patience and generosity in supporting me through the last three years. Thanks also to my friends Andy Libbiter and Nicola Hall who have listened to my laments over the last few years. Finally, I owe a debt of gratitude to my mother Ailsa Larcombe who encouraged all of her children to take an interest in the social and political universe. Without her, this thesis would truly not have been possible. vii Part one: Chapters 1-3. Part one of this thesis contains three chapters: an introduction, a literature review and a chapter on research methodology. Chapter 1: Introduction. "It was like the gauntlet was thrown down when you found out that APEC was being hosted by Vancouver. " (NT A activist) Events surrounding the anti-Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) of November 1997 in Vancouver have become notorious. APEC is associated with the RCMP's violent suppression of dissent at the University of British Columbia's campus where the APEC Economic Leader's Meeting (AELM) took place. This act, the details of which are still being investigated at a public enquiry, was the most dramatic event of that period. As a result, the significance of many other events that took place during the AELM has become obscured. In fact, the groundswell of opposition to APEC went far beyond the demonstration held at UBC. Two other demonstrations involving thousands of protesters and two international conferences took place preceding, and on the day of, the UBC protest. In the year before the AELM a great deal of organising and community education had occurred in what, for the purposes of this study, I will call the APEC Opposition Movement.1 The year of preparation culminated in a loud outpouring of protest in the streets of Vancouver. While not substantially changing the course of 1 the APEC process, the protests created a public relations disaster for the Canadian government.2 APEC is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1989 and made up of 17 Pacific rim nations. Through a series of ministerial forums, international business engagements and an annual leaders' meeting, the objective of APEC is to create a free trade agreement in the Pacific region. Canada's participation in APEC is consistent with the free trade policies of successive governments starting with the election of prime minister Brian Mulroney's Conservatives in 1984. The re-election of the Tories in 1988 followed by the elections of the Liberal Party headed by prime minister Jean Chretien in 1992 and 1996 marked a continuing commitment to free trade by Canada's two main political parties. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) passed into legislation in 1988 and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) passed in 1994. Canada's participation in negotiating the World Trade Organisation's Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) from 1996 onwards is another indicator of the government's trade liberalisation agenda. This agenda is part of the resurgence of neo-liberal philosophy and policy-making that has dominated governance in industrialised nations since the alleged failure in the 1970's of the Fordist Keynesian welfare state (KWS). The KWS failed to perform adequately as a strategy of capital accumulation. Neo-liberalism, which enshrines free-market ideology in the practice of global capitalist restructuring can be viewed as a response to the crisis created by its failure. 'Globalisation,' as it has come to be known, has a number of features. First, the internationalisation of capital and the dependence of national economies on export markets accompany changes in production that affect the global wage relation. These 2 changes are as follows: the proletarianisation of labour in the third world and the introduction of 'flexible' labour practices in the first world. The automation of production and communication has created high levels of unemployment in the advanced capitalist nations of the North. In the South, where corporate capital in search of cheap labour has increasingly shifted its production, oligarchic ruling cliques subjugate an impoverished but disciplined work-force (predominantly female), often in specially designated 'free trade zones.' Those not employed in the productive sectors of capital or in the administration of the state are subject to insecurity and marginalisation in both the first and third worlds. Second, while those affected by unemployment in the North have some measure of state social welfare to ameliorate their suffering, government policies of fiscal restraint erode the 'social safety net' that sustains them. Countries of the South have enforced similar policies as part of 'structural adjustment programs' imposed by international debt restructuring bodies such as the IMF. Third, policies of fiscal restraint in first world countries indicate a changing role of the state in its relation to civil society and to the economy. There is a great deal of controversy among scholars about the nature of these changes. Some authors argue that in the era of globalisation, the ability of the state to influence or steer the economic affairs of the nation has been superseded by the actions of transnational corporate capital and finance capital (Teeple 1995, Hirsch 1997). These authors argue that governments, needing to attract international capital investment, abandon policies aimed at offsetting the negative consequences of capitalist industrialisation and the operation of the market-place. The state, abdicating its responsibility to protect the social security of its more vulnerable citizens also 3 relinquishes its role of promoting stability through social solidarity. Instead, the state's facility for social control supplements the discipline of the market place. This transformation is consistent with the neo-liberal agenda forwarded by corporate capital - -an agenda that results in a net restriction of "social sovereignty" conferred upon the citizenry and a diminishment of democracy. Others argue that the effect of globalisation upon state sovereignty is at best ambiguous. For example, Mann (1997) argues that the retention of sovereignty by the state depends on the nation's economic position relative to others in the global economy. Haslam (1999) argues that while the sovereignty of the state has eroded in some of the respects pointed out by the 'corporate agenda' theorists, it remains the seat of hegemonic power. He writes, 'There remains a great deal of opportunity for states to strengthen their authority through the manipulation of national cultures and individual values' (p.64). While there is ongoing disagreement about sovereignty and role of the state in the globalised economy, none of these critical scholars argues that neo-liberal restructuring has increased opportunities for the exercise of democracy. Rather, their disputes concern questions of how the exercise of democracy has been transformed or declined as a result of changes in the productive forces and social relations of production. The anti-APEC opposition movement was not a unified or cohesive force, and the three main groups involved reflect the different traditions, ideologies and expressions of dissent within it; however, if there was a concern common to all of those who protested, it was the question of democracy. The APEC process, devoid of public scrutiny, confined to the control of government and capital, epitomises the fundamental lack of democracy involved in globalisation. Protesters viewed the three pillars of neo- 4 liberal restructuring —trade liberalisation, privatisation and deregulation— as having wrought destructive changes to Canadian society and to the rest of the world. The literature of the anti-APEC social movement organisations unequivocally argues that 1. APEC will accelerate the process of globalisation that concentrates wealth and power in the hands of fewer individuals and families in Canada, and worldwide, and 2. APEC will hurt those already disadvantaged by the global economic system. The organisations that came to Vancouver from within Canada and from the Pacific nations came together for one reason. This was to organise those most injuriously affected by globalisation to pursue their interests and destinies swimming against the tide of neo-liberal restructuring. A fundamental split occurred between those organisations that grouped under the banner of social democracy demanding reform of APEC, and those who argued for the defeat of APEC including some who argued for the abolition of capitalism. The following thesis examines a coalition of groups that fell into the latter category. No To APEC! (No To Anti-People Economic Control, or NT A) was one of three main groups that made up the APEC opposition movement in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia in the year preceding the AELM . The other two groups were called the Peoples' Summit (PS) and APEC Alert (AA). 3 AA, made up largely of students, formed on the campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC). The PS consisted of national and international NGO's, unions, established left and progressive groups and represented itself as a 'parallel summit' to the AELM. The Canadian Labour Congress was its main sponsor. • By contrast, NTA was a coalition made up of resource-poor grassroots and small left organisations drawn mainly from the social 5 movement networks of East Vancouver. It formed in 1996 and was in existence for 18 months. During that time it conducted public workshops on APEC, "networked" with other social movement organisations, held three conferences and organised several demonstrations against APEC. As a graduate student I studied the literature on social movements. The appearance of local opposition to APEC gave me the chance to apply the various theoretical approaches to a historical event. In particular, I had read a great deal of Resource Mobilisation Theory (RMT), and was disappointed by it. The economistic slant of RMT did not resonate with the richness of my experience as an activist, first with the peace movement and later with the anti-poverty movement. Should recruitment to activism be reduced to a question of rational choice? Should the success or failure of a movement be understood simply in terms of the resources available to it? I wanted to investigate these questions by applying this newly discovered framework to the experience of being present within a social movement organisation. While I was completing my MA course-work, the federal government announced that the AELM would be held at UBC. The announcement presented me with an opportunity to be involved in one of the groups that had started to organise against it. Why did I choose NTA? I was curious why there were two rival organisations opposing APEC —the PS and NTA (AA was in its infancy at that point). I therefore approached both with the intention of conducting a comparative study of the two social movement organisations (SMOs); however, with limited resources I was unable to carry out a project on this scale. I decided, instead, to get to know one organisation well rather than two 6 superficially. I chose NTA for one reason only —it felt more familiar. Although as a union steward I worked within a well-resourced bureaucratic social-movement-like organisation, grassroots organisations had provided my most interesting experiences. These experiences included being involved in direct action campaigns, putting out a community radio show and organising street theatre. I attended a one day workshop put on by NTA at the Philippine Women Centre (otherwise known as the Kalayaan Centre) called 'What the Heck is APEC?' During the workshop the organisers encouraged me, as part of an exercise, to sing an operatic aria against APEC. Despite feeling embarrassed I complied with the request, much to the mirth of the other participants. This eyent signalled to me an unconventional and theatrical aspect of activism that seemed to contradict the arid 'political- scientific' depiction of social movements in RMT. The dedication, enthusiasm and humour of the organisers impressed me. I approached one of the organisers after the workshop to see whether NTA would be willing to have me along as a resident ethnographer. The answer was maybe. I wrote a letter outlining my intentions and continued to attend meetings so that people could get to know me (Chapter 3 describes my research relationship with NTA). Eventually my proposal was accepted. The Philippine Women Centre (PWC) served as the headquarters of NTA. NTA's day-to-day administration took place there and volunteers associated with the centre spent long hours carrying out tasks such as dealing with media enquiries, office duties and newsletter formatting. Committee meetings and workshops also took place at the centre. Groups associated with the centre formed the core of the coalition but half of the regular volunteers came from coalition member groups outside of the centre. The 7 year and a half campaign demanded a high level of work output as well as meticulous planning and coordination. In the six months that 1 was with the coalition I contributed a great deal of time and energy to the tasks at hand. This level of involvement put me in contact with the other activists in the coalition. Such contact also allowed me to observe the tensions and challenges faced by the organisation. From this vantage point, I observed the coalition's attempts to maintain unity and progress (often in very difficult circumstances) towards its goals. This story is about how NTA came together, the actions of its members and the consequences of their actions which led to divisions within the coalition. A key concept used in this study to explain what brings people and groups into the same social movement organisation is collective identity. The members of NTA saw their organisation as different from other organisations opposing APEC. Collective perception of these differences formed the foundation of the coalition's collective identity. What created division was a weakening of the coalition's collective 'action system.' According to Melluci (1989) a movement's collective identity is more than a signifier of what distinguishes it from other movements or actors in what Klandermans (1992) calls the 'multiorganisational field' of social movement action. Collective identity is a socially constructed system that traverses the life of the movement (or in the case of NTA, the movement organisation). Melluci claims that the movement's shared definition of itself is never stable but involves constant debate within the movement's 'submerged networks.' This debate typically is about the ends of its actions, the means to those ends and the relationship of the movement to its environment. Thus, the dilemmas that face movements and movement organisations, for example debates over 8 strategy and tactics, means and ends, are articulations of the action system at work in the construction of collective identity. The idea of collective identity therefore implies the existence of an instituted structure to reflexively monitor the internal and external affairs of the movement as it forms and pursues its objectives. NTA's action system, as it turned out, did not adequately monitor its own internal environment or adequately address the tensions and strains that were part of that environment. Coalitions are subject to the centripetal political forces necessary to maintain unity and by the centrifugal forces of their members' independent action. Coalitions are inherently unstable. Short-term, grassroots ad hoc coalitions like NTA are particularly vulnerable to disintegration. They have a hard time promoting 'co-operative differentiation' among their members (Hathway and Mayer 1993). The story of NTA illustrates the dilemma faced by coalitions. Its members came together for an instrumental purpose. This purpose can be described in terms of a coalition logic. Coalitions are instrumental: by combining with other organisations, members maximise the effective use of their resources (Diani 1992). However, the temporary nature of the campaign and the limited material and human resources available to such a SMO can accent this instrumentality to the detriment of its members' solidarity. Achieving a balance between the need for group unity while respecting the independent priorities of the coalition members (co-operative differentiation) requires a mechanism for reflexively monitoring the organisation's internal relations. Without internal reflexive monitoring the potential for division is greater —but establishing and operating a mechanism to achieve organisational oversight drains resources from precious reserves of time and volunteer labour power. As a coalition directs its resources towards the 9 arena of visible action, holding demonstrations, staging media events and so on, it runs the risk of short-changing the submerged networks of its membership. Without a minimal reflexive forum to address conflicting or competing member goals, the action system has no means of recognising this problem thereby hampering organisational unity. This was a central problem in the development of the NTA coalition. Thus far, the resource based model of social movement theorising is vindicated; after all, coalition logic is all about the use of resources. However, it only provides a framework on which the complexity of social interaction within the coalition rests —the question of resource deployment as such, was never made public within NTA. There was never, to my knowledge, a debate about the application of resources either to external ends or to maintaining internal unity. If anything, there was a tacit agreement to avoid discussing internal unity. To have done so may have exposed the precariousness of the coalition's unity —exacerbating the problem rather than solving it. Nevertheless, even if the use of resources did not come up during formal internal debate, resources were discussed and deployed in strategic ways on an everyday basis. This study reveals that, without an adequate mechanism for monitoring the internal affairs of the organisation, member goals, priorities and what I call 'core allegiances' (personal and group attachments to fundamental beliefs, ideologies, and traditions) will decide the fate of the organisation. These elements, imported into the coalition by its members, decide indirectly, covertly and tactically and through competition with each other, the use of resources and consequently the direction and action outcomes of the organisation. Therefore, the concepts of collective identity, reflexive monitoring and resource allocation are central to this study. Of equal importance is the context in 10 which these processes took place. Two elements were crucial in contributing to this context: one was the differential consolidation of the two main groupings within the organisation; the other was the different expectations within the organisation about what a coalition is capable of achieving. This study attempts to 'get inside' the evolution of the coalition as it moved towards its objectives. From data gathered as a participant observer and from interviews obtained from coalition activists, I was able to get a sense of the issues that emerged as people and groups interacted with each other. I also observed the process that resulted when people and groups encountered the formal structure set up to govern the coalition's operation. The coalition's structure, its rules and resources (Giddens 1984) became an essential part of the story. NTA's rules, its formal basis of unity (its constitution) and resources, its committee system, material assets and volunteers, became appealed to, enlisted, interpreted, transformed or entrenched by various groups and individuals towards realising the objectives of the organisation. The two main objectives of NTA, local organising and the holding of an international conference, took place but sparked division within the coalition. The structure of the coalition, used strategically by the different coalition members and groupings, precipitated the division between local and international priorities. The division occurred along fractures formed by the members' 'core allegiances'. Culturally focused coalition studies mentioned in the literature review point out the obstacles to unity posed by such political and cultural differences among members. I argue that the lack of a formally instituted mechanism to reflexively monitor the consequences of the actions and interactions of NTA's membership strengthened the division. Because there 11 was no public exposure of the causes of the tensions, each side attempted to find explanations for the unsatisfactory practices or actions of the other. In reality, the practices and actions of one side were often responses to the practices and actions of the other. The actions taken were local and contingent in origin and were not driven by the other side's ideological or political orientations. This is not to suggest that the 'other side' did not have ideological or political orientations —indeed there existed core allegiances that defined the overall goals or direction of the two main groupings. However, the existence of these goals does not fully explain the practices and tactical actions used to achieve them. I argue that the coalition members' action is better understood as a response to the conditions that they directly encountered within NTA rather than as organisational behaviour driven by their ideologies and beliefs. Nevertheless, that such causal power was attributed by one side to the core allegiances of the other side, speaks volumes to the way in which group perceptions can create division. Without an instituted means within the action system for addressing the tensions that arose in the coalition, NTA's collective identity, its unity, became weakened. By the end of the coalition some members of the 'non-centre' (non-PWC) group had become less convinced of the rigid distinction between the political positioning of NTA and that of the PS. Despite the tensions and the organisation's eroded collective identity it stayed together; even the most dissatisfied did not leave because, as they testified, there was no other alternative to NTA. The coalition represented the only explicitly revolutionary voice of the left within the APEC opposition movement. This is an 12 important point. For small radical grassroots left organisations a coalition offers the only feasible means to organise protest on a significant scale. By contrast, mainstream left and progressive organisations have access to greater resources and can pull together a more media-intensive event without having to rely on volunteer labour and community networking to the same degree as grassroots groups. The PS was an ad hoc coalition in as much as it was a confluence of different movement organisations; however, the members of the coalition did very little community organising together and at the summit, they remained confined to individual movement 'issue forums.' By contrast, NTA organisations interacted with each other on a daily basis and carried out a great deal of community outreach, education and recruitment in the months preceding the campaign's final events. This contrast illustrates the importance to radical left organisations of coalition work and demonstrates that such work is a necessary congealing of the submerged intersecting networks of contemporary movements. In this thesis I will argue, following Diani (1997), that movements and movement organisations generate social capital -social bonds- that returns to the networks from which the coalition emerged. Therefore, although Peterson (1997) describes such ad hoc coalitions where grassroots sect-like political groups join forces as 'temporary belief spaces' that are by their nature ephemeral, they are nonetheless important way-stations for nurturing oppositional culture. For this reason, I argue that ad hoc grassroots coalitions should, resources permitting, devote some time and energy to discussing and working out tensions. Only by taking this course of action can co- operative differentiation be achieved. This exercise will enhance and enrich the flow of 13 social movement solidarity and knowledge to the social movement networks, without which no opposition to structures of oppression are possible. A large part of this thesis constructs an understanding of NTA as an organisational process. A key concept used so far —collective identity— is essentially a cultural phenomenon; however, by describing solidarity as an 'action system,' its application to the field of study incorporates elements of resource mobilisation. Much of what I have so far described about NTA resides within the RMT paradigm; after all, the lack of resources available to NTA and the deployment of those resources are factors interwoven with the complex social processes that took place. Indeed there are very few aspects of mobilisation, even ideological orientation (Downey 1988), that cannot be expressed as problems of resource deployment. However, this kind of reductionism leaves the reader searching for some historical context within which to place social movements and SMOs. New Social Movement (NSM) theory is a counter-balance to the purposive-rational limitations of RMT. With its emphasis on culture, macro- structural and historical features of contemporary movements, NSM theorists offer a critical theory of current political developments. They link these developments to the appearance of the movements. New social movement theory sets out to explain the emergence of movements that demonstrate a departure from the traditional labour movement: the women's movement, the civil rights movement and the peace and environmental movements. There is little unanimity of opinion about this emergence among NSM theorists; however, some generalisation is possible. New social movements (NSMs) represent a 'proliferation of antagonisms' (Laclau and Mouffe 1985) released by resistance to the 14 regulative state and corporatism of Fordist mass production (Hirsch 1988), to commodified mass society (Marcuse 1963), post-industrial society (Touraine 1977), or complex society (Melluci 1989). Class relation is no longer the only site of antagonism, patriarchy, white supremacy, heterosexism, militarism and anthropocentrism form other sites of antagonism. Consistent with this departure from working class struggle is a new political agent —the new middle class, or service class, made up of disaffected members of state bureaucracies. Other constituents include those most affected by state regulation, women, students and the marginalised. Furthermore, NSMs demonstrate a break with the worker's movement in as much as agency includes a valuation of individualised activism where the meeting of personal needs is as important as the meeting of collective needs. Melluci concludes that, 'the freedom from needs is replaced by freedom of needs' (Melluci 1989:177). Consistent with this politics are new themes of political expression ~a politics of affirming identity in the recognition of groups subordinated by reason of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation. This politics stands out in contrast to the left's traditional class politics of redistribution (Fraser 1995). Finally, NSM politics take novel forms. NSM action tends to be expressive, cultural and symbolic, exposing and de-legitimising the supposed impartiality of technological, legal and policy measures taken by governments and private interests. Above all, NSMs promote equality and democracy. This radical democratic discourse shows up as a dramatic contrast to the hierarchical and often bureaucratic practices of the worker's movement. Internally, NSMs practice 'pre-figurative,' (Breines 1982) self- educating and co-operative processes of organisation (Touraine 1992). 15 NSM theory is not counterpoised to RMT, and a number of writers (for example Klandermans and Tarrow 1988) have found ways to combine the cultural emphasis of the former with the organisational emphasis of the latter. However, NSM theory is different from RMT in that it looks at social movements at a different level of theorising —it tends to be abstract, macro-theoretical and sensitising in contrast to the empirically based middle-range theorising of RMT. An important argument of my thesis is that NTA and the APEC opposition movement cannot be understood without moving to the NSM/political economy level of abstraction. NTA, although largely inspired by a traditional redistributive politics, showed many of the features of NSMs. Groups and individuals who were -or had been- involved in NSMs were present in the coalition. Issues specific to women, students and to the environment were part of the coalition's message. These messages were often delivered in NTA's workshops with a variety of innovative cultural devices such as theatre. The coalition members incorporated this diversity of interests and practices into the organisation, although controversy emerged about how to deal with tensions caused by the proximity of different perspectives. The most prominent area of contention within the coalition was the question of democracy, particularly about decision-making and authority. While these issues have been debated within revolutionary socialist and other left groups for decades prior to the appearance of NSMs, the accent on grassroots radical democracy, particularly the superiority of consensus and participatory democracy over hierarchy or 'vanguardist' politics, is a hallmark of resurgent movements of the 'new left'(Brienes 1982), particularly the women's movement (Flacks 1995: 254). Controversy over decision-making process and undue concentrations of power within the coalition reflect an organisational 16 sensitivity to issues of democracy brought into focus by grassroots politics of the post- war era (in particular see accounts of direct-action oriented groups, for example, Sturgeon 1995). Thus, NTA had many features of a NSM. Likewise, the PS and AA. The PS was a congerie of NSMs converging with the 'old' labour movement. What makes the APEC opposition interesting is that it appeared to frame contemporary movement concerns into a critical political economy of globalisation. The appearance of this opposition calls into question the distinction between old and new social movements. If, as argued by Hirsch (1988), NSMs are the progeny of Fordism, and, as such, they signify opposition that cannot be reduced to a fundamental antagonism between capital and labour (Laclau and Mouffe 1985), the APEC opposition, with its critique of neo- liberal hegemony, offers an example of how different movements can frame the problems faced by their constituencies into questions of capitalist exploitation and expropriation. In other words, issues of identity, militarism and environmental destruction are as conducive to opposing capital4 as are issues related to class. This point is confirmed by recent events in Seattle where a broad opposition to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) succeeded in disrupting the organisation's latest 'round.' All of those that I interviewed spoke of globalisation sharpening social inequality in all of its manifestations. How to organise a unified opposition to particular sites of deepening inequality in an internally coherent way is the major challenge of our era. While any opposition to globalised capitalism is inconceivable simply as a politics of class, such a politics cannot be removed from the picture by substituting, for example, a politics of recognition and identity in its place. Any opposition movement 17 acting to end encroachments made by neo-liberal restructuring must be multi- dimensional and, ideally, multi or transnational. This touches on another key area of contention within NTA —the difficulties of starting a dialogue between progressive social movement sectors of North and South. The literature reviewed on globalisation suggests that local and national conditions will prevail in determining the shape of social movement activity. This is the case despite the supposed transnationality of global communications and the loss of state sovereignty declared by some writers to be an effect of globalising capital. Because capital, the driving force behind globalisation, operates differently in different localities, there is no 'one-size fits all' foundation on which to build an international or transnational movement. This does not mean an abandonment of attempts to build cross-movement and international contacts between movements; the anti-APEC events offered important lessons in the possibilities and obstacles to making such contacts. I end this section with a reflection on my time with NTA. Gaining access to a site of study can be problematic for ethnographers. I had no problems gaining access to the NTA coalition —however, there was a sort of quid pro quo involved. After receiving no reply to my proposal for conducting a study with NTA, I was concerned that I had not been accepted. As it turned out, my letter had inadvertently been set aside. At one monthly whole coalition meeting in July, an activist asked the following question, "How many people here can say definitely that they will be around in the next months leading up to the APEC event?" Most of those present in a room of about twenty-five people put up their hands. I asked to speak and I stated that I had sent in a proposal to the co- ordinating committee to which I had not received a reply. I then stated that I could only > 18 stay working at NTA if the organisation accepted my research proposal. This condition was in no way a bribe. It was a realistic assessment, that, given the restraints on my thesis writing time, I would have to find another field of research if I could not research NTA. I also used the occasion to make a public pitch for doing the research. I declared my political biases and said that my research would be an historical record of the coalition. I outlined the methodology, participant observation and interviewing, and asked anyone, at any time, to approach me if they had questions about the research. The following day I received a phone-call from a member of the coordinating committee giving me the go-ahead. I would make a guess that three elements contributed to my acceptance. First people had seen me around for a month or so. They knew that I was a hard worker and that I could get along well with others. Second, they needed my volunteer labour, and third there was some interest in my research —which is not surprising in an organisation that valued education highly. I have gained immeasurably towards advancing my academic goals by being able to conduct research at NTA. I feel satisfied that the work that I contributed to the coalition campaign and the finished work that I will give to those who participated, is adequate compensation. I sincerely hope that the results of this research will be of use to those who were part of the NTA experience. Nevertheless, I do have some concerns. Much of this material is sensitive —after all it documents tensions and divisions within a social movement organisation as it underwent an often stressful campaign. I tried to be as balanced as possible in describing and analysing the internal dynamics of the coalition. I was therefore relieved that most of the feedback that I received from those to whom I distributed the findings 19 was an endorsement of the present version. However, I am aware that doing this type of in-depth work contains hazards that may have negative consequences for social movement communities -exacerbating, rather than resolving, existing tensions. On the other hand, the opposite may also be true. Groups and individuals mostly act according to the conditions that they confront rarely for nefarious reasons or underhanded motives.5 Providing a plausible explanation of how people make decisions and act can be the basis for rebuilding trust in a community. I hope that this is the legacy of the study that follows. I am not alone in having qualms about this research. The UBC ethics committee sent me a letter turning down my research proposal because I might be investigating a situation where illegal activity could take place. The committee asked for reassurance that this was not so. My thesis advisor protested and defended my case to the committee.6 The committee allowed me to continue my research. Preceding my application to the ethics committee, there had been an active anti-APEC campaign on the UBC campus where police and students had been in conflict for some time. The dismissal of the application likely demonstrated the anxiety that existed in the UBC administration at the time of the APEC protests. It also demonstrates the fragility of academic freedom when the university establishment appears to run scared or does not wish to support controversial research —perhaps for fear of offending funding sources (Ratner and Arnold 1983). While I can only speculate the motives behind the ethics committee's actions, this case does raise concerns about the use of ethical guidelines for gatekeeping purposes. 20 Chapter Guide Part one Chapter 1: Introduction pp. 1-26. Chapter 2: Literature Review pp 27-76. The literature on social movements is extensive. In the 1950's and 1960's, sociologists in the school of structural-functionalism conceived of social movements as evidence of collective irrationality occurring at times of societal change. In the 1970's resource mobilisation theory (RMT) challenged this idea by arguing that social movement action was rational. Theorists in this school claim that insurgencies such as the civil rights movement are 'politics by other means,' and that polity challengers, no less than polity members, rely on opportunities and resources to seek political power. New social movement theory (NSMT) connects forms of social movement activity that originated in the 1960's to historical factors. It focuses on the cultural aspects of protest that characterise movements such as the women's and environmental movements. In this chapter I will outline and contrast these theories as well as examine the small literature on social movement coalitions. Chapter 3: Methodology pp. 84-106 This chapter describes the research methodology used in the study of No To APEC. I will describe how I collected, processed and analysed the field and interview data. The "grounded theoretical" framework that I used pays special attention to the relationship between process and structure in social settings. In this chapter I will 21 present my rationale for dividing the campaign findings into two parts: 1. the perspective of the 'centre group' and 2. the perspective of the 'non-centre group.' Part 2 Findings Chapter 4: No To APEC's History and Collective Identity pp.108-145 The first ten pages of this chapter describe the coalition's history. This includes a short overview of APEC, the key role played by the PWC in the coalition and the significance of the 1996 People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalisation (PCAIG) in the Philippines. Also included is a description of the coalition's committees, meetings and activities. The second part of the chapter describes what served as a basis of collaboration for the organisation's members: the organisation's 'collective identity.' This identity distinguished NTA from other actors in the "multiorganisational field" of activism. I will use testimony from NTA activists to arrive at conclusions about this identity, as well as some views expressed by members of the People's Summit to assess how NTA was viewed by other organisations. Chapter 5: Campaign Perspectives of the Centre Group pp.146-170 Chapters 5 and 6 will look at the campaign perspectives of the centre and non- centre groups. These perspectives include the goals and organising conditions of each group as these were defined by the members of the groups. I describe the actions of each group as a set of strategic responses to the conditions that they encountered. The centre group made up the core of the coalition. Its members wanted to introduce an anti-imperialist and third world perspective to the British Columbia lower mainland's 22 APEC opposition movement. Also, they wanted to see these perspectives reflected in the 1997 PCAIG. They were concerned about weaknesses in the coalition's resources and political stability and took certain actions such as adopting a leadership role and working hard to compensate for these weaknesses. Chapter 6: Campaign Perspectives of the Non-Centre Group, pp.171-198. The non-centre group came from a number of political groups and ideologies. They wanted to build a strong network of resistance to APEC in the B.C. lower mainland. Some members hoped initially that the coalition would become the nucleus for local anti-imperialist organising beyond the APEC event. They disapproved of what they perceived to be undemocratic practices in the coalition and the role played by the centre group in these practices. Members of the non-centre group responded to these circumstances in two ways: reducing their involvement in the coalition for long or short periods of time; setting aside their concerns and becoming focused on their work in the committees. Chapter 7: MOB, CoCo and No To APEC's Final Act, pp. 199-206. This short chapter describes the division that occurred within the coalition. The division came about as a result of tensions between the two main coalition groupings. In particular, tension arose between two of the coalition's committees which developed into a separation of NTA's goal of combining local and international perspectives in a single campaign. 23 Chapter 8: Discussion of the Findings and Conclusions, pp 207-229. In this chapter I examine analytically the processes that took place in NTA. In the first part of the chapter I link the actions taken by coalition members to the consequences of their actions. These consequences, including the bifurcation of the coalition's priorities, arose as the result of a series of actions and reactions between the two main groupings in the coalition. I show the part played in this process by the perceptions and assumptions that one side had of the other. In the second part of the chapter I look at three, what I call, 'subplots' that were active in the evolution of the coalition. These subplots were: 1. structure and process, the elements of which were the lack of effective organisational reflexivity in the operation of the coalition, the presence of one consolidated group and the emergence of a competing nexus of power; l.core allegiances that provide the direction and impetus for actions, if not explaining the strategic aspect of the actions themselves; 3. defining coalition, or how the expectations of coalitions held by different parties influenced NTA's organisational dynamics. Part 3 Chapter 9: Collective Identity, Reflexivity and the Temporary Belief Space pp. 234-257. Central to this chapter are two key concepts, collective identity and structuration. Collective identity is more than a signifier of what sets a movement, or movement organisation, apart from other movements or organisations. It is an 'action system' or collective process that attempts to achieve solidarity by linking a movement's means and ends to the field of action in which it operates. This system implies that movements 24 and SMOs have some capacity to reflexively monitor their progress, not just before embarking on action, but during the period of action. With reference to the work of A. Giddens, I will examine closely the importance of reflexive monitoring to the 'ongoingness' of organisational systems. This discussion will enlarge on the analytical framework provided by grounded theory, referring to the 'sub-plots' mentioned in the previous chapter. I will explain why reflexive monitoring was unsuccessful during the life of the coalition —and why NTA's collective identity remained fragile. I conclude that some degree of reflexive monitoring is necessary for system integration in coalitions. The degree required depends on the resources available and on the political advisability for having such a mechanism. Chapter 10: Social Movement Community: the Struggle Continues, pp. 258-267 This chapter reinforces the argument for maintaining solidarity in ad hoc coalitions. However temporary or instrumental their aims, they are close to the social movement networks from which they arise and to which they return. I examine the literature on social movement networks and argue that the 'social capital' accruing to these networks is dependent on the solidarity obtained during the existence of a coalition. Even if the resulting residue of solidarity is marginal, the knowledge gained by members from their experience of coalition work is nevertheless a valuable contribution to promoting further mobilisation. 25 Chapter 11: The APEC Opposition Movement and Global Contention, pp.268-312. NTA was part of a larger movement that opposed APEC. That movement included political and ideological divisions and tensions between different movements as well as tensions between perspectives of North and South. In this chapter I look at that movement, presenting it as a 'snapshot' of the state of social movement mobilisation in our present time. To do this I start out with a discussion of the controversies surrounding the topic of globalisation. I look at some of the problems confronting social movement organisers faced with the prospect of initiating a dialogue between groups situated differently by the process of globalisation. I look in detail at the lessons learned from the conferences held by NTA and by the PS in terms of the success each had in promoting "international solidarity." In the last section, with reference to the work of Antonio Gramsci, I look at the possibilities for building an international or transnational counter-hegemonic 'historical bloc' Chapter 12: Conclusions, pp. 313-324. This chapter pulls together the various threads of the thesis. Considering the experience of NTA, I arrive at some tentative suggestions for building and maintaining successful ad hoc coalitions. I provide a commentary on networking and apply the insights of NSM theory and RM theory to an understanding of NTA. 26 Chapter 2: Literature Review: Social Movements and Coalitions. Scholarly work on social movements has grown exponentially since the 1960's. The dominant paradigm in this area is Resource Mobilisation Theory (RMT) and its variant, the Political Process model. A recent addition to social movement theorising is what has become known as 'New Social Movement Theory' (NSMT). Research on social movement coalitions is sparse and most often appears within the framework of RMT; however, there are studies that fit a culturally oriented approach and others that explore the philosophical implications of different groups working together in an emancipatory project. There are also a few studies written within the political economy tradition. RMT marked a significant development in social movement research. The traditional functionalist perspective maintained that collective behaviour arose from structural change and was essentially irrational: ...strain at this level of the system (the system of behavioural control) is manifested by a series of symptoms of disturbance showing the psychological marks of irrationality. These will be organized along the major axis of hope and fear of wishful thinking and anxiety showing unrealistic trends in both respects ...There will be fantasies of Utopian ideal future states, of idealized past states, of security in a status quo from which sources of disturbance would conveniently be banished....These motivational components are common to all symptoms of disturbance in the institutionalization of social structures (Parsons Theories of Society 1961 quoted in Oberschall 1973). The political turmoil of the 1960's and early 1970's caused sociologists in the United States to question the assumption that social deviance and psychological irrationality are symptomatic of social change. If anything, they reversed this analysis 27 by stating that collective behaviour was itself the cause of social change, and furthermore, that it was as rational as any other type of political behaviour. Early RMT researchers (McCarthy and Zald 1973; 1977, Oberschall 1973) based their approach on the rational choice model of Mancur Olson (1965). Olson observed that in an economic system individuals would not be willing to curb spending voluntarily to prevent inflation if they could benefit from price stability achieved by • others, .. .the rational individual in the large group in the socio-political context will not be willing to make any sacrifices to achieve the objectives he shares with others. There is accordingly no presumption that large groups will organize to act in their common interest. Only when groups are small, or when they are fortunate enough to have an independent source of selective incentives, will they organize to achieve their objectives (Olson, 1965: 166). The utilitarian logic of this argument implies that individuals will choose to 'ride free' if they perceive that others are working for an indivisible collective good from which they will benefit. Such individuals will only respond positively to involvement in collective action if there is a 'selective incentive' available to induce them to do so. Following from this argument, Oberschall claims that 'In order to explain inside opposition mobilization in high risk situations, one needs only to assume that individual rewards and selective incentives motivate the leaders and activists of conflict groups and that, given the same objective circumstances, some members of a collectivity will respond to these incentives in addition to being driven by the prospects of obtaining the collective good itself (Oberschall 1973: 116). The author departs somewhat from Olsen's individualistic line of reasoning to acknowledge that the social network or pre- existing associations of an aggrieved group facilitates 'bloc recruitment' into a 28 movement (p. 125). However, this acknowledgement does not bring into question Olson's assertion that collective action is out of the question soley on the promise to the individual of a collective good. To explain increasing collective action, Oberschall points to the role played by material and human resources. Relying on another of Olson's tenets, he suggests that 'resourceful actors' such as leaders, often external to the aggrieved group, are necessary to spark the movement into action. They offer selective incentives such as social rewards or sanctions to potential recruits (p. 117). ( Moreover, leaders are motivated to lead by the promise of rewards such as prestige p. 116.) The emphasis given by Oberschall to the economistic calculation of resources needed to make social movements work reached its zenith in the work of McCarthy and Zald. Like Oberschall, the authors identify the importance of material resources and 'entrepreneurial' leadership from outside of the aggrieved group (McCarthy and Zald 1973). As well, in their view, mobilisation is affected by the support or antagonism of outside groups and the rewards and costs of activity (McCarthy and Zald 1977). In this scheme, group solidarity is not forwarded as an important variable and the significance of grievance is discarded as lacking explanatory power because grievance is ubiquitous; what is crucial in explaining mobilisation is the 'flow of resources toward or away from specific social movements (McCarthy and Zald, 1977: 1216). Thus societal support or constraint of social movements is crucial to the process of mobilisation. The task of a social movement organisation is to turn social movement 'adherents' —those who believe in the goals of the movement- into constituents of the SMO who will provide resources for its actions. Constituents are of two types: conscience or beneficiary; the former are supporters of the SMO who do not stand to gain directly from the actions of 29 the organisation, while the latter directly benefit from the collective good provided by the SMO. Case studies have supported the assertions made by McCarthy and Zald. For example, in their study of the farm workers movement Jenkins and Perrow (1979) showed the critical importance to mobilisation of a leadership cadre from outside of the farm worker community and of external sponsorship. They concluded that 'rather than focusing on fluctuations in discontent to account for the emergence of insurgency, it seems fruitful to assume that grievances are relatively constant and pervasive....For many of the movements of the 1960's it was the interjection of resources from outside, not sharp increases in discontent that led to insurgent efforts' (Jenkins and Perrow, 1979: 353). While this study pointed out specific organisations such as unions as instrumental in channelling resources to a politically marginalised group, the overall thesis of Mcarthy and Zald is that organisation of social movements in the present era (from the 1960's onwards) is the result of affluence. The authors maintain that disenfranchised groups become politically active when discretionary income and time supplied by conscience constituents is transferred to insurgent SMOs. There has been a considerable amount of criticism directed at the 'economism' of RMT; however, many of its substantive claims have survived and are in contemporary usage. Objections to RMT have been made on both theoretical and empirical grounds. Among the former, Fireman and Gamson (1979) criticise Olson's rational choice model as it has been adopted by social movement theorists. While they uphold the RMT position of attributing a rational motive and practice to social movements, they question the utilitarian model for its claim that individual choice 30 determines the trajectory of collective action. Instead, they argue that group-interest rather than self-interest is involved in personal commitment to mobilisation. Two variables are involved in group-interest: the first is solidarity, a sense of shared fate and a desire to protect a common identity is reinforced by social connections to friends, relatives, participation in organisations, lifestyle and so on; the second variable is 'principle,' for example, the valuation of a collective good may be attached to a group entitlement. In this situation, collective justice becomes the motivation for action. These variables translate into loyalty and responsibility respectively and when a sense of urgency premised on necessity or opportunity is perceived to exist the chance of collective involvement occurring is increased. The importance of the social context to the process of mobilisation is a theme to be found in many accounts of activism. These accounts offset the economistic individualism inherent in the work of RMT theorists, as well as the thesis of 'professionalisation.' In these accounts the movement itself rather than the professional organiser becomes the key actor. Buechler (1993) points out that the resource-poor women's movement has traditionally been unable to supply selective incentives and yet has been able to achieve a high recruitment and commitment to its SMOs. He points out the critical role played by social movement communities, loosely organised informal networks of women, that, combined with formal SMOs, have been critical in the success of the women's movement. Likewise, Staggenborg (1998) identifies these same communities as crucial in maintaining the women's movement through the high and low points of the protest cycle. Doug McAdam (1988) terms these loose networks 'micromobilisation contexts' for political action. They serve as the collective settings in 31 which people, enjoying solidary incentives, jointly create interpretations of current and anticipated events out of which the rudiments of action are formed. McAdam (1982) and Morris (1993) argue that, in contrast to the views of McCarthy and Zald, professional organisers or 'movement entrepreneurs' were not responsible for initiating the civil rights movement in the USA. Rather, micromobilisation contexts in the form of indigenous organisations in the South including the church, student associations and local chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) were responsible for building an infrastructure capable of mounting protest activities. All of these accounts challenge the notion of individual calculus posited by the early RM theorists and suggest that their view of social movement is limited by its insistence on a narrow range of explanation for mobilisation. The Political Process model is a variant of the RMT model that addresses this problem by bringing ideology, grievances and political power back into the picture of mobilisation. Doug McAdam is the clearest exponent of this perspective, though others, notably Charles Tilly and William Gamson, belong to the same school of thought. McAdam states the two principles of the political process model: First, in contrast to the various classical formulations, a social movement is held to be above all else to be a political rather than a psychological phenomenon. That is, the factors shaping institutionalised political processes are argued to be of equal analytical utility in accounting for social insurgency. Second, a movement represents a continuous process from generation to decline, rather than a discrete series of developmental stages. (McAdam, 1982: 36) The RMT model posed a challenge to pluralist explanations of politics in the United States by aligning itself with the 'elite theory' model. Elite theory challenges the pluralist conception that the political system consists of competing multiple centres of 32 power, none of which are sovereign and which, over time, balance each other's influence on the direction of political governance. Instead, elite theory maintains that there is a disparity of influence between the political elite and those excluded from power. RMT and Political Process theorists agree with this central precept in elite theory, 'social movements are seen, in both perspectives, as rational attempts by excluded groups to mobilize sufficient political leverage to advance collective interests through noninstitutionalized means' (McAdam 1982: 37). Where they disagree is on the question of agency. Whereas RM theorists in their work represent excluded groups as essentially powerless without the help or advocacy of members of an elite, proponents of the political process model incorporate Marxist concepts of political agency. These include the potential for the oppressed to self-organise and the subjective transformation of consciousness from a state of powerlessness to the realisation of collective power (McAdam, 1982: 37-38) and the effect of historically determined structural changes on collective action (Tilly, 1978: 50). Political process attempts to show that those normally excluded from political power by those who have power nevertheless possess the possibility of demanding and taking power through their own efforts. The goal of the Political Process model is to examine the conditions which aid or impede these efforts. Axiomatic to this approach is the difference between what Gamson calls members and challengers. He writes, The central difference among political actors is captured by the idea of being inside or outside the polity. Those who are inside are 33 members whose interest is vested -that is, recognized as valid by other members. Those who are outside are challengers. They lack the basic prerogative of members- routine access to decisions that effect them. They may lack this because it is denied them in spite of their best efforts or because their best efforts are clumsy and ineffectual (Gamson, 1975: 140-145). Gamson studied fifty-three challenging groups in the United States between 1800 and 1945. He concluded that for these groups success depended upon the entry of group spokespeople into the polity and whether they achieved advantages for the challenging group's members. He found that acceptance and acquisition were related, 80 percent of the accepted groups obtained advantages for their members while 21 percent of the non-accepted groups achieved advantages. The key importance of this study was not only its examination of tactics used by challenging groups (single-issue, bureaucratic groups willing to use violent tactics were more successful in gaining entry), but that actions and outcomes of any mobilisation are the result of intense interaction between members and challengers. Tilly (1978) refined this argument further by combining what he called a 'purposive' model of mobilisation which addressed group interests, organisation and resources with a 'causal' model of opportunities (named 'political opportunity structures' by later theorists) and threats posed to contending groups seeking admission to, or leverage within, the polity. In another important work, Tilly argues that changing opportunities and internal organisation will influence the 'repertoires of collective action' chosen by challenging groups (Tilly 1979). This model linking causal and goal directed factors, set in both long and short-run historical conditions, attempts to express the dynamism of social movements as propounded by the political process model. 34 Although the political process model compensates for the sparse and somewhat cynical economistic views of RM theorists such as McCarhy and Zald, the two approaches share a great deal in common. Specifically, they share a commitment to explain the rational basis for mobilisation, the how of social movement participation and organisation. There is agreement on the notion of polity and non-polity membership. However, where the two diverge is on the question of how non-polity members, short of resources and faced with resistance from polity members, are able to organise. RMT suggests that such groups cannot on their own obtain the wherewithal to act politically and so must rely on help from professional organisers and outside resources. Political process theorists dispute this claim by stating that internal organisation is sufficient to permit mobilisation. This difference is not substantial and since, as Pichardo (1988) argues, both approaches take into account the role played by polity members in the development of social movements, they therefore share common ground. Resolution to the dilemma can be arrived at by empirically investigating the motivation of elite groups in supporting non-polity members and by seeking to discover whether certain kinds of challenging groups receive more elite support than others. The difference between RM theory and Political Process theory can be characterised as a family disagreement. What has posed more of a challenge to RMT is what has come to be known as New Social Movement (NSM) theory. NSM theory did not come into being as a response to RMT. If anything, NSM theory's appearance was consistent with the view that classical Marxism cannot account for social movements that do not have an explicit program of proletarian emancipation. Although there are differences within the field of NSM research, a postulate that binds the different 35 approaches is the historical distinctiveness of movements that emerged or re-emerged from the New Left of the 1960's. In contrast to RMT, NSM theorists explain the appearance of social movements in terms of new grievances which have arisen from social and structural changes in Western industrialised societies (Klandermans and Tarrow, 1988: 7). Whereas resource mobilisation theorists dismiss the significance of grievance, new social movement theorists put historically generated grievance front and centre in their perspective. The environmental, peace gay/lesbian liberation and women's liberation movements are described by NSM theorists as expressing grievances different from the traditional worker's movement which preceded them in terms of political project, agency, constituency and organised action. I will cover each of these elements in turn. New Social Movements, New Targets and New Directions. Unlike the worker's movement NSMs do not seek to challenge, reform or replace the capitalist class as the main antagonist in a battle over economic position or rights -although they are often opposed to many of the traditional values of capitalist society. A number of writers describe NSMs as situated in opposition to the substance or effects of cultural and structural forms such as white supremacy (civil rights movement) patriarchy (women's movement), heterosexism (gay/lesbian rights), militarism (peace movement) and anthropocentrism (ecology movement) (Boggsl986). Giddens (1990) explains NSMs as forms of'radical engagement" with the 'multidimensionality' of late modernity. He situates the labour movement (an old social movement) in opposition to globalising capital, free speech and democracy movements 36 in opposition to the modern state's arena of surveillance operations, the peace movement in the field of action delineated by industrialised warfare and the ecological movement as against the 'created environment.' He does not appear to situate the women's movement in any sphere of engagement —a grave omission. Most NSM theorists would agree with Giddens that NSMs are evidence of the multidimensionality of 'modernity,' although such theorists apply this insight to an understanding of dynamics active within social systems whether capitalist, 'post- industrial' (Touraine) or 'complex' (Melluci). Most theorists situate the appearance of NSMs in the context of changes in post-war Western/industrialised society. There is consensus among these writers that the 'proliferation of antagonisms' out of which they have arisen indicate an ongoing 'democratic revolution' (Laclau and Mouffe 1985). According to these observers, NSMs are evidence that the classical socialist project collapsing all anti-systemic opposition into one fundamental antagonism has been replaced by resistance to institutionalised forms of power on a number of fronts. Consistent with this view, NSM theorists construe agency as multiple, socially constructed, contingent and situated in formations opposed to various aspects of contemporary society. New Social Movements, New Agents of Transformation. How new new social movements are is debatable. For example, the civil rights and women's movements have histories preceding the 1960's (Scott 1990). Furthermore, the distinction is not clear because, as Tucker (1991) argues, there are examples of'old movements' such as syndicalism which demonstrate concern for issues 37 thought to be the normative domain of NSMs -- identity and communicative action. Nevertheless, unlike many of the older movements, most contemporary movements reject the unique transformative role ascribed to the proletariat by Marx. This rejection is consistent with Marcuse's notion that the working class as agent of change has succumbed to the totalitarianism of consumerist society and the technological a priori of late capitalism (Marcuse 1964). Consistent with de-emphasising the centrality of a specifically anti-capitalist project, NSMs, unlike Marxist-inspired movements, do not identify the proletariat as the primary agent of social transformation. Instead, NSMs consist of a plurality of groups and interests acting as autonomous agents in opposition to the institutions and structures of contemporary industrial or post-industrial society. In his critique of'post-industrial' society Alain Touraine (1977; 1981) retains the Marxian idea of social classes as fundamentally conflicting parties but rejects the notion of class as a structural entity. In his view, class is synonymous with identity and action, and not the outcome of a single logic of domination. Touraine maintains that classes are groups that recognise that they have common interests and out of these interests build a consciousness of themselves as a class. Social movements, then, are classes involved in an action system which defines social relations between different groups. According to Touraine society is self-produced by 'the changing and unstable results of relations between actors who through their social conflicts and via their cultural orientations change society' (Touraine 1981 p.30). Social movements are part of the very fabric of society and can be defined as 'the organised collective behaviour of a class actor struggling against his class adversary for the control of historicity in a 38 concrete community (Touraine, 1981, p. 77). By historicity Touraine refers to a society's historical environment, the social and cultural field of transformation in which it is embedded. In contrast to Marxist claims that social change is determined by the struggle for realising objective class interests within the mode of production, Touraine's model highlights the struggle for cultural appropriation between contending class forces. He writes that this is particularly the case, in 'post-industrial society' where the system of 'historical action' is shaped by the contours of knowledge-based production (Touraine 1977). Thus, the repertoires of NSMs are different from their predecessors in that their action tends to be reflexive and symbolic rather than institutional, social rather than political. However, in two respects Touraine holds to the Marxist model in that he acknowledges the influence on collective action of the mode of production's historical stage of development and in that he characterises social movements as being in a central conflict with the ruling class (Touraine 1992). His point of departure from Marxism is that this conflict is not necessarily over control of the means of production. Alberto Melluci endorses the sociocultural orientation of NSMs but questions what he sees as the traditional conception of agency attached to NSMs. His account is perhaps the furthest from Marxist interpretations of class agency that can be found. He decries the idea that social movements are in any way unified actors, 'social movements, should not be viewed as personages, living characters acting on the stage of history, but as socially constructed collective realities' (Melluci, 1995: 110). Melluci goes to great lengths to explain that collective action does not come about as the result of a structural precondition and that it should be regarded as 'a fact to be explained rather than as 39 evidence' (Melluci, 1995:111). It is not a unitary action but rather a negotiated process of constructing a 'collective identity.' He describes NSMs in contemporary society as arising not from structurally situated positions but from 'submerged networks' or aggregates of social groupings with unstable memberships (Melluci, 1989: 73). Activists become collectively visible in mobilisations limited to a 'specific time and place' with 'no program and no future' and '...unlike their predecessors, contemporary actors are not guided by universal plan of history; rather, they resemble nomads who dwell within the present'(Melluci, 1989: 55). While Melluci highlights the fluidity of social movement, he certainly draws connections between contemporary forms of mobilisation and what he calls 'complex society.' Interestingly, he does not define exactly what he means by this term, instead claiming that attempts to describe current societal conditions have reached an impasse. However, he provides clues to what he means by the term: 'complex societies are networks of high-density information' and as such produce a primary contradiction. On the one hand complex societies must facilitate, through training and education, the capacity for autonomy and reflexivity because without such facilitation individuals and groups could not process and exchange high-density information. On the other hand the 'pronounced differentiation' of complex societies requires that greater integration and control is required (Melluci, 1989: 45). Some groups such as women and youth, Melluci hypothesises, are more susceptible to the paradox of perceiving the potential for greater self-reflexiveness on the one hand and on the other, experiencing regulative mechanisms of control in the areas of relationships, forms of communication and biological needs. 40 The result is that in contemporary Western society where material needs have essentially been met and 'the individual potential for action becomes itself the object of action' (Melluci 1989: 46) 'individualisation' becomes a key component of contemporary social movements. As Melluci puts it, 'freedom from needs is replaced by freedom of needs.. .the right to equality, under whose banner all modern revolutions have been fought.. .is replaced by the right to difference' (pp. 177-178). Thus, in contradistinction to the traditionally profiled unitary collective social movement, contemporary movements are characterised by individuals whose participation in constructing a collective identity is preceded by a calculation that joining the movement will meet their personal needs. The question of agency, according to Melluci and Touraine cannot be premised on a central conflict tied to a general theory or historical philosophy. While Touraine retains the notion of a central conflict, albeit one that is not teleological, Melluci dispenses with such an idea. Instead, he emphasises the particularity of protest and the precariousness of the various forms that protest takes. Both writers represent the arrival of NSMs as a response to features of contemporary society, particularly to the technocratic and regulatory intrusiveness of modern social systems. By doing so, they decenter social class, keyed to the process of material production, as the driving force of radical transformation. In so doing, these writers and others postulate the connection of new movements to a new constituency. 41 New Social Movements, New Constituency: The New Middle Class. NSMs come into being in response to, or as a result of, opportunities provided by structural or institutional changes apparent in modern or post-modern society. Consequently, they represent a constituency different to that of the traditional worker's movement. Those most affected by these changes tend to be members of the 'new middle class' as well as groups marginalised by the economic and social changes of late capitalism. As we have seen, Melluci and Touraine situate the appearance of NSMs in the context of contemporary society. Their arguments, and particularly the argument of Touraine, are consistent with the work of Habermas. His thesis on the effects of rationalisation in modern society positions NSMs in a defensive posture to the encroachment of state and economic 'steering mechanisms.' These system mechanisms invade the sociocultural 'lifeworld' of normative generation and social integration. The new social movements are, according to Habermas, positioned 'along the seams between system and lifeworld' (Habermas 1987: 397). While this account, along with those of Melluci and Touraine, studiously avoid reducing social movement to capitalist social relations, other scholarship brings class back into the picture. Theories of 'post- Fordism' and 'disorganised capitalism' bring a critique of capitalism to the foreground in explaining the appearance of NSMs. 'Fordism' refers to an 'accumulation strategy' (R. Jessop, 1983) or the means by which capital is accumulated. Such a strategy is determined by the historical development of capital within existing class relations and requires that a 'hegemonic 42 project' of norms, habits and regulatory mechanisms be established to stabilise the relationship between the contending classes. The Fordist project became consolidated in the 1930's as a ruling class strategy to deal with the world-wide economic depression. Its main features were as follows: '... .tayloristic mass production; mass consumption; the submission of labour to capital; social disintegration and individualisation; the vanishing of traditional worker's cultures and the emergence of the Keynesian welfare state.' (Hirsch 1988: 47). Hirsch describes NSMs as a reaction to the evolution of Fordism in the post-war era. Their decentralised organisation, social heterogeneity, anti-bureaucratic and anti-state stands are presented as new forms of struggle to the modern capitalist 'societalisation' consisting of commodification, corporatist regulation, social control and social fragmentation. However, these anti-hegemonic struggles are different from previous ones: 'compared with former phases of capitalist development, we are witnessing a decisive —and I believe irreversible— break between economic class determination, political action and social conflict' (Hirsch: 49). Hirsch attributes this break in large part to corporatism, the emergence of new issues such as ecological destruction, and to the dissolution of working class culture and organisation. His article speculates whether in the post-Fordist era, characterised by neo-liberalism and the decline of the Keynesian state, NSMs will continue to be counter-hegemonic, or whether they may be co-opted into a new 'historical bloc' with capital. Various writers have theorised that the denouement of the working class has left the way open for the 'new middle class' (Offe 1985) or 'service class' (Lash and Urry 1987) to become a political force and that NSMs are the result of that force. Urry's complicated analysis of social class includes the causal power of class, its self- 43 organisation and the place where class organises (Urry 1995). He describes the 'service class' as a group which in the 'organised' phase of capitalism (cf. Fordism) came into being as an occupational group —professional public service employees— located between capital and labour. Its influence as a 'third force' grew out of the antagonistic relationship between capital and labour; as a class it developed autonomy by exerting influence over inclusion/exclusion to labour markets, credentialism, organisation of the state and so on. Lash and Urry see NSMs as an expression of the influence exerted by members of this class who in disproportionate numbers fill the ranks of the various movements.7 Offe likewise, views the 'new middle class' as well as decommodified groups (students, homemakers, the unemployed) as being those most affected by the deepening of bureaucratic capitalism and those most likely to be concerned with issues related to personal autonomy and identity. The problems with both of these accounts is that the authors do not show the exact relationship between membership in the new middle/service class and the emergence of NSMs. They do not demonstrate how structural changes, eg. organised capitalism to unorganised capitalism, affect the interests of this class such that, as a class-for-itself, its members see social movement organisation as a remedy to the problems that they face brought about by change. Eder (1985,1995) tries to make these connections by constructing NSMs as a 'cultural opportunity structure' for middle class people. Following Urry, he argues that the new middle class historically constituted itself through the social opportunities offered by its professional occupational advantages. However, because of its nebulous position sandwiched between labour and capital, it was left with a residual concern about its identity. In addition 'the middle 44 classes live with a traditional notion of the good life, with consensual social relations playing a prominent role. Thus we complement the idea of a specific opportunity structure with the idea of a 'cultural opportunity structure' (Eder 1995: 38). Eder sutures together these several key elements, identity, the good life, and consensual communication as values which find political expression in NSMs. By doing so he bridges the conceptual gap between describing the middle-class as a class 'in-itself and the means by which it pursues its goals as a 'class-for-itself The problem with this argument is that Eder appears to invest the middle class as the unitary subject of historically specific action, a 'personage' as Melucci would say. As Pakulski (1995) points out, the evidence is that NSMs typically do not operate with the consistency and purpose that this personified role suggests. Thus attempts to bring class back into the picture as an explanation of social movements remains problematic. New Social Movement Action and Organisation. While the question of constituency remains ambiguous in the writing of NSM theorists, a clearer consensus emerges in their writing on the nature of contemporary movement organisation and action. In short, they characterise NSM's as preoccupied with objectives of extending democracy and adopting symbolic and expressive tactics over instrumental means of political action. The tactics of NSMs are often unconventional, 'They prefer small-scale, decentralised organisations, are anti- hierarchical, and favour direct democracy' (Klandermans and Tarrow, 1988: 7). This statement contrasts NSMs to the traditional worker's movement organisation characterised as hierarchical, centralised and bureaucratic. It sums up a common 45 finding in social movement research. Magnusson (1996), for example, states that, 'democracy is a movement within the movements, where it finds expression in self- education, affinity network, information exchanges, co-operatives, institutions for public service and self-help and so on.' In order to understand the link between democracy and the various ways that it is expressed, I will begin with an examination of the underlying social and historical aspects of the democratic impulse which informs NSMs. As we have seen, writers such as Touraine and Melluci emphasise the social and cultural aspects of social movements, particularly with regard to their promotion of individuality and subjectivity. According to Touraine these values override the traditional political commitment of becoming a 'subordinate in a logic of order.' He states: The new social movements seem as pacific and as interested in consciousness-raising as the others were violent and interested in the control of power. In brief, the old social movements were associated with the idea of revolution, the new ones are associated with the idea of democracy. Consequently, the idea of democracy can no longer be defined by institutional rules. One cannot consider democratic a regime that is not interested in the rights of the personal subject, which we again call, as in the eighteenth century, the rights of man. However, these are no longer seen as the rights -always linked to duties- of citizens, but as the rights of the individual over against encroaching political power. (Touraine, 1992: 143) Consistent with this observation is the work of Laclau and Mouffe (1985) who claim that NSMs are evidence of the dissolution of socialist essentialism. Furthermore, the appearance of NSMs represents the latest stage in he evolution of the 'democratic revolution' set in motion by the revolution of 1789,' the break with the ancien regime, symbolised by the declaration of the Rights of Man, would provide the 46 discursive conditions which made it possible to propose the different forms of inequality as illegitimate and anti-natural, and thus make them equivalent as forms of oppression.' By creating a 'chain of equivalence' between various forms of inequality, the democratic revolution, 'spread ..equality and liberty into increasingly wider domains and therefore acted as a fermenting agent upon the different struggles against subordination' ( Laclau and Mouffe, 1985:155). According to the authors, subordination is a relation where 'an agent is subjected to the decision of another, and oppression is where relations of subordination have been transformed into 'sites of antagonism.' Oppression, then, occurs when a fixed relation of subordination, constituted discursively, is transformed by a democratic discourse which sets in motion a resistance to domination of one agent by another. A necessary but not sufficient condition for struggle occurs when a collective subject is negated, for example by the denial of rights or when, particularly in the case of the struggles of women and of people of colour, subjects are kept in subordination by a set of discourses but are, 'interpellated as equal by other discourses' (Laclau 1988). The claim of equality which follows the subject's discovery of discourses challenging to the subordinating discourse is the starting point for the subject's liberation from oppression. However, the existence of a democratic discourse does not by itself promote liberation. Like many of the NSM theorists covered so far, the authors state that changing structural and cultural conditions activate the effect of such discourses. The 'proliferation of antagonisms' represented by NSMs are brought into being by the hegemonic formation of post-war capitalism whose Fordist 'historical bloc' oversees the extension of capitalist social relations to a range of social activities previously excluded 47 from market penetration. This commodification of social life occurs along with two other features of Fordism, the pervasiveness of bureaucratic state intervention and uniformity produced by the mass culture of the media. Groups are affected differently by these changes. For example, the interventionist state constrains women in some ways, while providing opportunity for autonomy in other ways. The state provides a site of antagonism whereby struggle involves action aimed at extending or foreclosing regulatory intervention. Such action is aimed at establishing the rights of women against the limits of patriarchal ascription. Laclau and Mouffe's model of social construction and celebration of a 'radical pluralism' is a critique of the failure of Marxism to address the proliferation of antagonisms released by the bourgeois revolution as it displaced the hierarchic ordering of feudal society. This failure arises from the inability of Marxism to build an adequate counter-hegemony based on the concept of a foundational social division between two classes and the privileging of one of those classes in ending this antagonism (Laclau 1988, also contests Touraine's attempt to reintroduce class antagonism for these same reasons). While Laclau and Mouffe theorise NSMs as expressions of resistance to subordination and as agitators for the extension of democracy, other writers of the 'post- Marxist' school explore the organisational dimensions of the democratic revolution-in contemporary conditions. These studies explore the relationship between the form of action taken by NSMs and the political space in which it takes place. According to Melluci, 'the visible action of contemporary movements depends upon their production of new cultural codes within submerged networks' (Melluci, 1989: 73). In other words, 48 visible protest and its outcome is only part of the story of social movements. The social construction of meaning takes place outside of the visible arena of action and is of great significance in generating visible actions which in a post-industrial society require a high degree of symbolic content. This insight expresses succinctly the 'culturalist' position of NSMT. The origins, contents and targets of the 'new cultural codes' highlighted by Melluci have been the subjects of enquiry by a number of writers. If, as Laclau (1988) claims, 'democracy is our most subversive idea because it interrupts all existing discourses and practices of subordination' (p.96), and that NSMs extend the democratic revolution, we might expect, as Magnusson suggests, that their actions would reflect this imperative. Democratic practice was incorporated into the cultural practices of NSMs from two key sources, the new left of the 1960's and the women's movement which itself evolved from the new left. Wini Breines (1982) identifies 'pre-figurative politics' as a central feature in the history of the new left, the term prefigurative politics is used to designate an essentially anti- organisational politics characteristic of the movement, as well as parts of the new left leadership, and may be recognised in counter-institutions, demonstrations and the attempt to embody personal and anti-hierarchical values in politics... The crux of prefigurative politics imposed substantial tasks, the central one being to create and sustain within the live practice of the movement, relationships and political forms that "prefigured" and embodied the desired society, (p.6) Integral to the practice of prefigurative politics is the idea of community. Breines indicates the importance to new left activists of bringing private and public spheres together by emphasising personal rather than instrumental relationships (See 49 also Flacks 1995). In essence, this model of organising was an attempt to build a democratic counter-institution to the hierarchical structure of mainstream politics. However, as many women activists attest, the egalitarian communities created by the social movement organisations of the era did not include the equal participation of women. In a historical validation of Laclau and Mouffe's theory of equivalencies, many women activists who observed the contradiction between the new left's discourse of equality and the sexism practised by male activists, were instrumental in forming the women's liberation movement ( Evans 1979, Breines 1982: 38). A first step in articulating the antagonism of sexual inequality took the form of 'consciousness- raising' by women in caucus and later in groups specifically established to explore women's oppression. Out of consciousness-raising came the analysis that the 'personal is political.' This phrase was the distillation of a discourse that prompted women to resist male oppression. It allowed women to examine the range of male domination in everyday life —combining experience in public and private spheres into an overall theory of subordination (MacKinnon 1989). Noel Sturgeon (1995) summarises the elements of feminist theorising that have had an impact on NSMs: .. .self-reflexivity regarding the construction of social identities, the centrality of the body as a location for political discourse, the emphasis on changing personal relations as a method for revising social relations, the expansion of the political arena into previously private areas, the critique of immediatist (and masculinist) theories of revolution and the preference for transformational models of social change, and the supposed expressiveness rather than instrumentality of new movements. (Sturgeon, 1995: 45). While evidence of this theoretical foundation can be found in the practice of most contemporary movements, it was most completely adopted in the affinity groups 50 which formed the cellular structure of 'direct action' organisations (largely concentrated in the peace and environmental movements). Its prefigurative focus emphasised non- violence, consensus decision-making, anti-hierarchical structure and the creation of space for different political identities within SMOs. These internal organisational principles were co-extensive with the choice of tactics used by movements in their acts of confrontation with, or resistance to, authority. Such tactics involve symbolic challenges to the 'dominant codes'(Melluci, 1989: 60) and are aimed at exposing the inherently undemocratic decision-making practices of rulers in the form of institutional procedures, policies and law-making. As Melluci states, 'collective mobilisation forces power into the open and exposes the interests behind the apparent neutrality of its rationality.' (Melluci, 1994:185). The act of forcing power into the open raises the question of where NSMs make a stand; in other words, where, in relation to political and social structure, do they transform themselves from the submerged to the visible? The familiar refrain from many NSM theorists is that they do not operate in the same space as state-oriented political parties or interest groups, that is to say, they tend to be 'extra-institutional' in their actions. Boggs (1986) claims that they emerge primarily outside of the 'bourgeois public sphere,' that they are rooted in civil society and that they can therefore be regarded as 'social or even pre-political' (Boggs, 1986: 47). Touraine likewise, positions NSMs in civil society (defined as 'the social space of production of social life by work and the creation of cultural values,' Touraine, 1992: 135) claiming that through their direct action they maintain the autonomy of civil society (1992: 142). By contrast, Melucci (1994) downplays the state/civil society split by arguing that in 'complex 51 society' the state has been replaced by a two-tier system of transnational relationships above and a system of decision-making 'partial governments' and representational organisations below. Moreover, the private interests which define civil society have lost all sense of permanence. In this situation democracy, rather than being a matter of competition for government resources, as in the traditional model, 'requires conditions for enhancing the recognition and autonomy of individual and collective signifying processes in everyday life' (Melluci, 1994: 188). Social movement organisations strive to provide these conditions in 'public spaces' that simultaneously represent the interests of an actor and promote a 'democracy of everyday life' by 'identifying with the general interests of the community' (p. 189). While new social movement theorists describe the organisation and action of the groups that they study somewhat differently, there is enough of a conceptual convergence among them that some generalisations are possible. The following typology brings together many of the themes elaborated in the preceding analysis: NSMs are different from the traditional worker's movement in as much as they mobilise to address supra-class issues such as ecology and gender. Furthermore, they operate politically on the understanding that there are a multiplicity of social divisions, rather than one fundamental fault-line of class. Political action is itself redefined by contemporary movements to include a broad rather than narrow reading of what constitutes politics. This includes action, often symbolic, which operates outside of the 'normal' channels of institutional interaction and is embedded in an organisational milieu of collective identity building. The construction of identity is no less political an act than the more visible forms of action taken by new social movement organisations 52 since its prefigurative content is based on providing a model of non-hierarchically structured community which preserves space for personal and individual development. Most NSM theorists attribute the different positioning, organisation and action of contemporary movements to changes in the mode of capital accumulation common to Western industrialised societies in the post-war era. Comparing Resource Mobilisation Theory, Political Process and New Social Movement Theory. Resource mobilisation theory and new social movement theory dominate current sociological thought on social movements. In this section I will examine the points at which these theories are compatible and the points at which they are not. I will then apply the result of this exercise to examine the small literature on the study of coalitions. Since the RMT and Political Process models are closely related, I will refer to them together under the rubric of RMT drawing attention to variation represented by Political Process when called for. RMT and NSM theory are different because theoretically they are pitched at different levels of analysis. The following analysis utilises models of sociological theorising set out by J. Turner (1986). RMT is a classic middle-range theory in that it is a propositional scheme which explores theory and empirical research within the 'middle-range' between concrete empirical or causal models and meta-theoretical levels of abstraction. In other words, middle-range theory explores the relationship among generic variables such as mobilisation, organisation and resources, showing how one affects another in a given set of circumstances. These concepts can be confidently 53 attached to a limited set of substantive phenomena (e.g. specific organisations or campaigns) that are amenable to empirical processes of observation and measurement. By contrast, most NSM theory is an 'analytical scheme' which includes elements of meta-theory. An analytical scheme consists of a typology which attempts to explain empirical phenomena by fitting them into a classificatory framework. Most NSM theory consists of what Turner calls a descriptive or sensitising scheme of 'loosely assembled congeries of concepts intended only to sensitise and orient researchers to certain critical processes (Turner, 1986: 11). Examples might be conceptual congeries such as 'complex society,' or 'Fordism.' A general analytic framework containing such terms is highly abstract and is able to enconipass a broader range of variables than those captured by a middle range theory. However, except where formal propositions can be established, for example, based on Marxist concepts of capitalist 'laws of motion,' the loose structure of the analytic scheme does not easily allow for empirical validation or refutation. Much NSM theory remains macro-theoretical in orientation. Typically, phenomenon such as cultural and normative developments in social movement practice are connected thematically to larger historical and structural processes. Testing the empirical validity of this association is virtually impossible given the generality of the concepts involved and the creative leap required to link discrete instances of cultural practice with overarching social structures. Perhaps, by definition, sensitising schemes should not be expected to serve as the basis for empirical investigation. However, therein lies their weakness —if the relationship of culture and structure can only be understood in terms of historical era or changing political formations, the world of 54 empirical regularity in which phenomena are embedded becomes excluded. Scott (1990) writes that at this level of analysis, the aim of social movements is expressed in one dimension only, namely that of 'the creation of alternative societies which challenge the status quo in toto.' According to Scott this 'reduces social movements to (1) their most fundamentalist expressions and (2) their cultural aspects' (Scott, 1990:150). As a result, any discussion of movement aims more limited than the complete overthrow of the ruling order, or alternatively, discussion of political action designed to be anything other than 'self-referential,' is foreclosed. Unlike NSM theory, RMT has long been associated with the empirical study of substantive areas of collective behaviour and social movement organisation. In contrast to the macro-theoretical and culturalist bias of NSM theory, RMT's 'realist' bias (Scott: 133) is rooted in research confined to the organisational problems of achieving political effectiveness. As such it extends the methodology of the political science tradition to include populations treated as peripheral by political science itself ('Rebellion... is simply politics by other means' Gamson, 1975: 139). Focusing its analysis on a narrower range of variables readily linked to empirical patterns of political behaviour, RMT is capable of generating propositions based on 'operationalised concepts that are incorporated in statements of covariance for a limited range of phenomena' (Turner, 1986: 88). For example, in explaining the organisational dilemma faced by activists seeking new resources at a specific point in a movement's mobilisation, Doug McAdam writes 'as insurgents increasingly seek to cultivate ties to outside groups, their indigenous links are likely to grow weaker' (Mc Adam 1982: 52). RMT, particularly its Political Process variant, is fiill of statements such as this one. 55 In contrast to NSM theory, RMT is capable of examining and generating testable hypotheses on a range of issues. Its level of analysis makes it suited to examining the internal and external factors affecting social movement strategies as well as the costs and risks of such strategies. Unlike NSM theory whose concern with overarching sociological processes is somewhat reminiscent of the 'strain theories' challenged by RMT, RMT does not assume that social relations and collective interest are sufficient to explain insurgency. RMT states that collective action must be accounted for in terms of how movements produce themselves and in terms of political opportunity or available resources. However, in attempting to generate theoretical propositions linking these variables it does not move beyond a 'rational choice' model. RMT confines itself to a measurable but limited examination of means and ends and in so doing ignores the cultural context of values and the role of social context in promoting mobilisation. Its utilitarian focus on strategy, process and outcome prevents it from moving beyond the 'known' institutional realm of politics to arrive at generalisations that have the breadth or complexity of NSM theory. The 'politics by other means' thesis of RMT precludes any conceptualisation of what is new about "new" social movements. Because NSM theory comes out of the European Marxist tradition, and with its adoption of the Gramscian model of hegemony, it can be argued to be a revision of that tradition (Epstein 1990). It redefines the notion of politics to include the specificity of cultural forms that indicate changes in the production and reproduction of advanced capitalism. And while Tilly and McAdam both claim Marxism to be influential in their work, it is a limited aspect of Marxism which focuses on the unequal distribution of resources between dominant and 56 subordinate interests in a system. The specificity of capitalism and the mechanisms that reproduce the system itself do not enter their analysis. The word 'capitalism' or the word 'class' are rarely, if ever, used in the American tradition, whereas they are consistently referred to in the European tradition. RM theorists seem unwilling to grasp these concepts or to encompass insurgency which does not conform to the institutionally circumscribed route to acceptance within the polity (Epstein 1990; Sturgeon 1995; Mayer 1995; Mayer and Roth 1995). However, NSM theory can be accused of the opposite omission because it fails to include in its analysis the extent to which new social movements operate in the conventional political arena. Plotke (1990) argues that, in its rejection of orthodox Marxism, NSM theory has merely inverted the centrality of working class agency recasting contemporary movements as the collective agent of historical change. NSM theorists emphasise cultural and social objectives over material struggles and autonomy over engagement with the state. According to Plotke, this emphasis creates an equally unacceptable orthodoxy because NSMs include material and cultural aspects of struggle in their work. For example, the women's movement has pursued goals at the cultural level, deconstructing traditional conceptions of femininity but it has equally been involved in fighting for measures of legal equity and socioeconomic redistribution. The notion that NSMs are somehow waging a unique struggle beyond the realm of the political is untenable in Plotke's view. Issues of identity and autonomy cannot be pursued by ignoring relations between the bearers of a particular identity and the rest of society. Furthermore, without engaging in the process of alliance-building with other 57 groups/movements, the objectives of a given movement cannot be easily realised. Such engagement requires the development of political strategising. While RMT has been criticised for its economism, unable to capture the 'deep' structures behind the appearance of contemporary social movements, NSM theory has been criticised for the opposite: failing to explicate the necessary conditions, material, organisational and strategic, for mobilisation. For example, in his critique of the structural preconditions of NSM emergence, Bagguley (1992) criticises 'new middle class' theorists for ignoring the resource mobilisation implications of new middle class involvement in social movements, 'NSMs are not the political forms of expression of the interests of the service class, nor the expression of frustration of middle class alienation' (p.39). Rather, he argues, the relationship between the new middle class and NSMs is contingent, not necessary. What is crucial about the involvement of this class is the 'social resources' that it brings to the movement - an 'expanded means of mental production,' (p.38) in the form of knowledge-based skills. The critiques advanced by Bagguley and Plotke identify lacunae in NSM theory which can be compensated for, to some extent, by taking into consideration aspects of the RM thesis. However, some caution is also called for. For example, Plotke does not take into account that within any given movement there are different elements; some may pursue a novel approach, others may pursue a more traditional approach (see Freeman's account of the old and young branches of the women's movement, Freeman, 1979). As a result, he overlooks the importance of those parts of the movement which specifically reject conventional means of protest. Bagguely's argument raises more questions than it answers. If the interests of the 'new middle class' are not the 58 motivating factor explaining the predominance of this class in NSM's, and if the view (held by Eder) of the middle class as a class acting for itself is unacceptable, why would the middle class bring its expanded mental production to such movements? Despite these problems, the main thrust of Plotke's and Bagguley's arguments are germane - analysis of NSMs should not ignore the importance of resources or specifically instrumental/political action in any conceptualising of contemporary movements. Despite the difficulties of combining the two models, trying to synthesise the how of RMT and why of NSM has proved irresistible to some theorists. For example, Klandermans and Tarrow (1988) argue that in terms of social movement emergence there is a 'gap left by both paradigms between the structural determinants of social movements and the psychological dynamics of individual participation in such movements' (p.9). They endeavour to explain how the process of mobilisation bridges the gap between structural transformation and new forms of action. NSM theory is soley concerned with 'mobilisation potential,' the structural factors predisposing groups to collective action, but ignores how this potential actually becomes action. RMT ignores mobilisation potential and concentrates on the resources, costs and benefits which show how action becomes a reality. The authors argue that the two approaches can meet in the concept of 'consensus mobilisation' which is the 'process by which a social movement tries to obtain support for its viewpoints' (Klandermans, 1984: 586). NSM explains potential for action, RMT demonstrates how potential can be transformed into consensus for mobilisation and from there to action. Although RMT, like NSM, tends to ignore consensus mobilisation, its emphasis on mobilisation can illuminate this process showing how mobilisation potential can be 59 translated into consensus for action. In fact, after much criticism concerning RMT's lack of cultural explanations, Snow et al (1986) added the concept of grievance interpretation to offset the instrumental purposive-rationality of the paradigm. Borrowing the concept of 'framing' from Goffman, the authors show how interpretive resources, meanings, and other ideational elements are used by social movement organisations to garner support and to attack opponents. Through framing the movement's views, so that they resonate with an audience of potential recruits, a SMO can facilitate consensus mobilisation as a prelude to action mobilisation. While framing represents an advance, it does not move RMT beyond its concern with resources, political opportunity, inclusion or exclusion from political relevance, or strategic effectiveness (Meyer 1995). Framing becomes part of the organisational repertoire by which movements operate strategically to garner support, defeat opposition groups etc. It does not easily contribute to an understanding of why contemporary movements choose to engage in culturally self-referential or purely expressive action (Melluci 1985; Pizzorno 1985). Consequently, rather than creating a synthesis of RMT and NSM theories, a project examining the role played by framing (or any other RMT concept) in consensus mobilisation would pull the research firmly back into the middle range of RMT. Such research would effectively sideline the importance of macro-processes such as globalisation, capital accumulation and hegemony to the status of patterns in an interesting backdrop. In sum, NSM and RMT make for an uneasy fit at best. However, where they can usefully come together is at the level of conceptual definition —by providing an answer to the question, what is a social movement? Mario Diani (1992) argues that efforts to 60 synthesise social movement perspectives have ignored the need to come up with a common definition of 'social movement.' He argues that while concepts are not the same as theories, they are the cornerstone of theorising. From a survey of NSM and RMT literature, much of which has been reviewed in this chapter, Diani extracts four features common to all social movements: a) networks of informal interaction; b) shared beliefs and solidarity; c) collective action on conflictual issues; d) action which displays largely outside the institutional sphere and the routine procedures of social life. From these elements he synthesises a definition of social movement: 'A social movement is a network of informal interactions between a plurality of individuals, groups and/or organisations, engaged in a political or cultural conflict, on the basis of a shared collective identity' (Diani 1992: 13). Diani's synthesis will stand as the operationalised definition for this study; however, before I can apply it to the case of NTA a few points need to be clarified. The reader will notice that the above definition does not make 'social movement' synonymous with 'social movement organisation.' McCarthy and Zald (1977) define social movements as, 'a set of opinions or beliefs in a population which represents preferences for changing some elements of the social structure and/or reward distribution of a society' and social movement organisations as, 'complex or formal organisation which identifies its goals with the preferences of the social movement' (McCarthy and Zald: 1218). While this distinction stands, McCarthy and Zald's definition of social movement requires supplementation. The idea of network needs to be added to the concept of social movement. As we have seen in both the work of political process and NSM theorists, social movements are more than a 'set of opinions,' they are made up of 61 networks of actors or micromobilisation contexts. Without such networks, social movement organisation would be inconceivable. The looser definition of 'social movements' as networks distinguishes them from more rigidly structured phenomena such as parties or lobby groups. A protest may or may not be a social movement. The likelyhood of protest occurring depends on the degree of collective identity enjoyed by a social movement. Diani defines the optimal development of collective identity as being when 'the sense of belongingness exceeds the length of the public activities and campaigns' (Diani, 1993: 16). Collective identity is a key concept in the following study. Recent research shows that movements do not have a monolithic identity; issue and action framing disputes between different players in a movement demonstrate that a number of collective identities exist, and often compete, within a movement (Benford 1993). A coalition is not a social movement. It is however, an alliance of social movement organisations. Diani maintains the standard argument that coalitions consist of an alliance of groups that come together to maximise the effect of their actions and resources. The interaction of organisations working together in coalition, he argues, is not conducive to building collective identity. While the findings of the present study contradict this assertion, the literature reviewed below on coalition building and maintenance reveals the substantial obstacles to collective identity. Social theory and research: coalitions Research on social movement coalitions demonstrates the trademark of the theoretical approaches named above. Most research on coalitions has been conducted in 62 the United States and perhaps, not surprisingly, falls within the RMT tradition. However, there are also social-theoretical approaches devoted to explicating the problems of coalition formation; there are explicitly cultural approaches and there are studies that originate in the Marxist or political economy tradition. I will deal with each of these in turn. Social-Theoretical Approaches. Social-theoretical approaches to social transformation generally do not examine coalitions as such. Rather, they explore agency and how variables such as subjectivity, values and ideology influence the potential for cross-movement co-operation. Studies, which often take the form of commentaries, look at differences in value orientations among movements. For example, in their historical overview of the U.S. environmental movement, Gould, Weinberg and Schnaiberg (1993) argue that environmentalists will not be able to achieve "sustainable legitimacy" if they do not combine forces with social justice movements. This requires that they integrate their promotion of 'use value with notions of 'exchange value' propelling social justice movements. In attempting to find common ground between movements constructed around notions of 'value' (eg. socialist formations) and movements constructed around 'difference' (eg. ethnic pride groups) Jordan (1994) arrives at a definition of oppression which fits the program of both types: 'oppression exists when one collective benefits because another collective is simultaneously deprived.' Likewise, Fraser (1995) ponders the contradictions between a politics of identity and a material politics of structural transformation, arguing for the 63 inclusion of only those aspects of identity and recognition that can be included in a politics of social inequality. The last two examples echo the theme of tension between traditional and 'new' social movements found in NSM theory. The politics of recognition based on the deconstruction of identity and difference has prompted much philosophical exploration of the nature of subjectivity and agency, particularly as these have posed problems for furtheringthe aims of movements based on ethnicity and gender. For example, early models of solidarity based on essentialist notions of 'sisterhood' have been criticised for not representing the diversity of the women's movement (Hooks 1984; Fraser and Nicholson, 1994). Various writers have suggested ways that diversity and co-operation can be accommodated in the women's movement. These range from postmodernist prescriptions which argue against unified agency, valuing the rifts among women and releasing the term women into a site of 'permanent openness and resignifiability' (Butler, 1995: 50), to the radical epistemology of building a culture of'multiple subjects' where, through imagination, movement participants can 'reinvent themselves in the other' without presuming to speak in the voice of the other (Harding, 1992). The more pragmatic theorising of Caroline Andrew argues for reconfiguring ethnic and gender based pluralism as 'citizenship-based coalition politics' (Andrew, 1995). There is a great deal of literature of the kind mentioned above. Exploring the tensions which arise as a result of trying to build effective agency (when the whole notion of agency is controversial) has been the preoccupation of theorists in the humanities and social sciences for some time. The postmodern challenge to traditional 'foundational' interpretations of progress has prompted much of this enquiry; however, 64 much has also come about as a result of concern for the dilemmas facing contemporary movements. Interestingly, very little substantive research has been conducted into the impact of postmodernism or identity politics on social movement cohesion. Research projects focusing on tensions arising from ideological difference and/or resource deployment are more commonplace. RMT and Coalitions. True to the resource mobilisation tradition, coalitions are represented as social movement organisations which come into being in order to maximise the chances of political success for those participating in them. McCarthy and Zald (1977) note that SMO tactics are affected by the degree of inter-organisational competition or co- operation that they encounter in a given field of action. Coalitions are most likely to form when environmental conditions present either an opportunity for victory or a threat, particularly if a counter-movement becomes active (McCarthy and Zald 1980). McAdam (1982) notes that SMOs within the same social movement sector both compete and co-operate. He noted that the big four civil rights organisations alternately competed or co-operated in coalitions at different times depending on the conditions that they confronted in the Southern U.S. In her study of the U.S. pro-choice movement, Staggenborg (1986) looked at the conditions that affect the formation and demise of coalitions. She concluded that coalitions are most likely to form when individual organisations lack resources to take advantage of opportunities or to fend off threats. Also an incentive for participation exists when coalition work allows member SMOs to conserve resources for tactics other 65 than those engaged in by the coalition. Disincentives for participation include conditions where individual member organisational needs and ideologies cause differences over tactics and competition for resources within the coalition. Lastly, she found that when the exceptional circumstances which brought the coalition into being subside, ideological and resource disputes (eg. resentment over members who don't pull their weight) are more likely to arise. In their study of the peace movement, Hathway and Mayer (1993) examined two long-term coalitions focusing on exactly this period in a coalition's life cycle. They concluded that because of their proximity within a social movement sector, groups that co-operate are also more likely to compete for resources to secure their own organisational survival. A strategy of'co-operative differentiation' can offset some of the difficulties that are more likely to occur in the 'maintenance' period identified by Staggenborg. This strategy entails responding differently to distinct audiences 'emphasising organisational differences to potential supporters while emphasising co- operation to government officials' (pi79). Within the coalition, they discovered that co- operation was enhanced by having an established structure, celebrating past achievements, and taking measures to mitigate competition: allowing for the expression of different ideological positions, avoiding divisive decision-making and so on. They also discovered that the more consensual and loosely organised the organisation, the greater the chance of survival. By contrast, Staggenborg (1988) found that in the pro- choice movement, despite tensions between paid professionals and grassroots supporters, coalitions that became formalised ran better and maintained their existence longer than those that did not. 66 Staggenborg, Hathway and Mayer stay firmly within the Parameters of RMT by examining the political and organisational structures which influence the process of coalition formation and maintenance. Downey's 1986 ethnographic study of the Clamshell Alliance —an anti-nuclear power direct action coalition— combines elements usually outside the purview of RMT —ideology and identity— to show how the internal culture of an organisation can influence its use of resources and choice of tactics. Two components of the alliance's identity, radical egalitarianism and instrumental effectiveness became a central contradiction which limited the coalition's range of actions. Resources and strategies are themselves imbued with ideological significance because their use is held by participants to be consistent with the organisation's principles and identity. Disputes over the upholding of this consistency, or over the principles themselves can lead to fracture and immobilisation. Unlike the preceding studies, Downey demonstrates in this study that ideological disputes within coalitions are as likely during heightened periods1 of action as they are during periods of 'maintenance.' In an attempt to include some of the insights of NSM into their synopsis of the American anti-nuclear 'Freeze' movement, Rochon and Meyer (1997) argue that RMT identifies political opportunities that give specific demands a wide popular appeal, and can thereby demonstrate how mobilisation occurs at a particular time. However, it neglects how the movement's goals are culturally defined at that time. NSM theory's cultural component shows how building a political and social identity, which resonates with public perceptions of a problem at a particular juncture, compensates for this failure. The authors claim that the coalitions of the Freeze movement operated 67 politically by coalescing a force to lobby the government and pedagogically to influence the cultural values of the public through its network of organisations. Coalition research in the RMT tradition focuses on the strategic implications of coalition formation and the organisational factors, internal and external, that promote or impede the survival of coalitions over time. While there is some variation in the identification of these factors, the maximisation of resources offered by coalitions is a central theme in all of the studies. From this starting point variables that intervene to facilitate or detract from the process of maximisation are discussed, primary among them is the degree of co-operation or competition among coalition members. Unity in coalitions is always contingent. Culturally Focused Studies. In a recent article McAdam accused RMT of a 'strong rationalist and structural bias' (McAdam 1994). RMT proposes that at a macro-level, mobilisation is governed by political opportunity structure while at the micro level, the embeddedness of SMOs in associational networks makes recruits 'structurally available.' RMT takes little account of ideas, ideology and identity in the formation of activist communities or organisations. As a counterweight to RMT's bias, a number of studies focus on the cultural underpinnings of coalition organisation and action. In a study of cross-cultural coalitions Chang and Diaz-Veizades (1996) examined Latino-Black and Korean-Black coalitions created to resolve inter-communal tensions in Los Angeles. Both coalitions foundered because they adopted a 'dialogue model' which ran into cultural and political obstacles to effective communication and 68 goal-setting among member groups. The authors concluded that individuals joined coalitions, not for individual incentives, but for 'collective pay-offs' that addressed group-based needs. However, they found that group-based history had an impact on the dynamics within the coalition. Differences in experiences of oppression and discrimination as well as different cultural norms and expectations resulted in different future-oriented goals. For example, the need of the Latino community to advance politically even at the expense of cross-cultural relations was problematic in the case of the Latino-Black coalition. The authors concluded that, 'the role of group-history on coalitions will be particularly germane when entering into coalitions with historically disenfranchised groups whose collective history of betrayal and oppression will influence perceptions of, and behaviour towards, other coalition partners' ( Chang and Diaz-Veizades: 677). The question of multi-cultural alliance was the subject of an ethnographic study developed by Paul Lichterman (1995). He examined the impediments to such an alliance between grassroots environmentalists (greens) and local 'anti-toxic' groups in the U.S. The former were largely made up of members from white middle class backgrounds, while the latter were made up mainly of African-American members from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. He based his research on the premise that 'routine practices of togetherness' are as important in understanding the organisation of political mobilisation as the aspects of movement culture usually focused on by RM theorists: interpretive framing, public discourse, and so, on. Lichterman contrasted the green group's personalised movement community with the communitarian movement community of the anti-toxic group. The former he characterised as a community that 69 accentuates individual responsibility and voice based on an ethic of 'expressive individualism' and a 'culture of fulfilment' in a collective setting. The latter he characterised as based on an ethic of collective effort and united membership, a community speaking with 'one voice.' He observed that attempts to merge these movement cultures failed. Ironically, the green groups considered their model of community as being the most conducive to building an inclusive multi-ethnic alliance. His concluded that the way groups bond (their patterns of togetherness), and the political practices that emerge as a result, are crucial variables in understanding how multi-cultural alliances may or may not form. The themes of group bonding and group culture are explored in a unique study of coalition behaviour in Sweden. Abby Peterson's (1997) participant observation study of the anti-racist movement in Sweden investigates the evolution of what he calls 'neo- sectarian' social movement groups and their interconnection in 'rainbow coalitions.' Peterson characterises neo-sectarianism as a 'general social tendency where the search for identity through construction of ersatz communities has become a central project for individuals in complex societies' (Peterson, 1997: 127). The ersatz community meets the needs of people (particularly young people) in the fragmented conditions of contemporary society. The primary need to be met is a sense of belonging, a 'bund' of intense emotional attachment and identity, built on ideological commitment, cultural praxis (hip-hop music, fashion) and a politics of confrontation. Rainbow coalitions (multi-cultural and ephemeral) come into being when such groups open themselves to the larger action environment compelled by the need to affirm their social and political aims. The rainbow coalition, defined as a 'temporary 70 belief space,' represents, 'concrete examples of the search for new ways of building bridges between walls of difference' (Peterson: 170). The central problem for such coalitions is creating an area outside of the 'hegemonic political space' of institutional politics that can accommodate a variety of ideologies, tactical approaches and identities that otherwise account for multitudinous differences. Culturally-focused coalition studies theorise collective social movement practice that the 'structuralist bias' of RMT overlooks. It empirically investigates questions raised by the social theory approaches regarding identity, culture and politics outlined above. These studies borrow heavily from elements of NSM theory, particularly the work of Melluci. However, they are, like Downey's study, not antithetical to the rational choice and intentionality of RMT. Because identity and culture motivate political action, identity and culture ultimately inform questions of strategy. Political Economy and social movement coalitions Substantive studies of social movement action in the Marxist tradition are rare. NSM theory challenges orthodox Marxist interpretations of social change while preserving key elements of Marxist thought —particularly Gramscian theoretical constructs (Epstein 1990). Carroll and Ratner (1994) argue that although Gramsci held to the Marxist view of the capitalist class as the primary agent of hegemonic domination, 'his attention to culture and to the relatively autonomous institutions of civil society amounted to a rejection of the monodeterministic base-superstructure argument of classical Marxism' (p.21). Gramsci's assessment of the cultural dimensions of ruling class hegemony suggest that any counter movement must operate 71 politically at a cultural as well as at an economic level. The authors argue that Gramsci's notions of a 'war of position' and 'historical bloc' are conducive to understanding coalition-building as a counter-hegemonic process. In their 1989 study of British Columbia's 'Solidarity Coalition' they use a Gramscian analysis to reflect on the failures of a coalition of union and community groups that formed to oppose a raft of neo-conservative and reactionary legislation introduced by the 1983 Social credit government of premier Bill Bennett. The authors concluded that lack of open debate regarding tactical priorities and strategic objectives led to demands being made in an opportunistic way. The conjunctural defensive character of the campaign meant that no 'counter-hegemonic project' based on an alternative to fiscal austerity could flourish. The contingent basis of unity between the proletariat, radical left groups, new social movements and clients of the Keynesian welfare state unravelled when the leading labour unions negotiated a deal with the government leaving out all of the other partners in the coalition. The action of the BC Federation of Labour confirmed the lack of a counter-hegemonic project capable of holding the coalition together. Carroll and Ratner's study did not include an examination of tensions existing at a cultural level between intersecting groups, particularly tensions arising out of contact between practices of the old and new social movements represented in the Solidarity Coalition. Bleyer (1992) does this in his study of the Action Canada Network. He argues that the difference between old and new social movements has been exaggerated by NSM theorists, saying that NSMs incorporate both elements of cultural revolution and protection of social consumption. There is more continuity between old and new social movements than NSM theorists allow. However, in his study of the anti-free 72 trade Action Canada Network coalition, he recognised that that there were different organisational traditions and decision-making styles which conform to 'new' and 'old' practices. For the coalition to succeed, 'bridge building' had to occur in order to link different groups. A co-operative horizontal style of leadership was agreed to by members and a structure adopted that modified the influence of more resource-rich organisations such as unions. The important point to note about this coalition was that new social movements were, no less than traditional worker's organisations, involved in a social justice campaign in an area of'old' social movement political-economic interest. Furthermore, there was recognition that for successful coalescence to take place, and counter-hegemony to form, measures had to be undertaken to include the values and identities of different sectors of the left. The political-economy perspective incorporates 'political process' elements of RMT by examining the balance of forces at a specific historical conjuncture. However, it goes beyond the realm of RM theory by situating social movement mobilisation relative to the productive and reproductive capacity of capitalism. Consistent with NSM theory, Gramscian political economy includes a cultural aspect to struggle. Moreover, the concept of historical bloc (which I will expand on later) provides a means of understanding coalition politics and their relation to social class —without reducing such politics solely to class-based explanations. 73 The No! to APEC coalition and social movement theory. The NTA coalition was an alliance of organisations from the radical/revolutionary sector of a number of different social movements in Vancouver. The APEC opposition in Vancouver constituted a movement as defined by Diani. But it was a movement of a specific kind. Like NTA it was a combination of different movements converging for a limited purpose: to demonstrate resistance to the APEC leader's conference. NTA developed a collective identity based on a framing dispute with the mainstream PS. The identity that set it apart from the PS was its refusal to engage with any institutional processes of consultation with government or indeed with any establishment institution apart from the media. Its actions, which centred on community networking and education, street demonstrations and conferences, included a mixture of conventional and unconventional acts. While the actions of the coalition were purposeful, they had a high symbolic content and they were absolutely not designed to achieve representation of the coalition's interests within the established polity. They were premised, indeed the whole reason for the coalition coming into being was premised, on a show of defiance towards an inter-governmental organisation, APEC, which embodied a macro-structural process: 'imperialist globalisation.' Its collective action had two political dimensions, both of which Melluci describes as characteristic of new social movements; the first is that NTA's protest was oriented towards 'breaking of the system limits.. .(where) limits of a system indicate the range of variations tolerated within its existing structure" (Melluci 1985: 794-795); the second is that the form of the organisation as an expression of the movement —grassroots, egalitarian and militant— was both medium 74 and message of its protest. As a symbol of resistance NTA set out to, in Melluci's words, 'challenge the dominant codes'—in this case the dominant codes of free-trade and globalisation. If NTA had any single purpose it was to build local and international resistance to the process of globalisation. Its purpose was not building resistance towards achieving any modification of the system —rather its mission was to solidify a network of like-minded forces interested in replacing the existing system with a non- oppressive one. While the goal of replacing the system could not possibly be achieved during the course of the campaign, the coalition's identity formed around a set of revolutionary aspirations. The shadow of political science that hovers over RMT occludes the NTA experience. The coalition's marginal status, its unwillingness to engage with established political institutions and its emphasis on cultural expression rather than instrumental political action do not translate easily into a theoretical paradigm that emphasises hierarchy, centralisation, movement leadership and engagement with the polity. NSM theory provides a more solid basis from which to comprehend the actions of the coalition because first, it is able, unlike RMT, to situate the goals and objectives of the coalition in a historical context (eg. Post-Fordism and globalisation) which goes beyond simple 'opportunity.'8 Second, unlike RMT, NSM theory conceives of the importance of these goals and objectives as contributing to the formation of a collective identity without which NTA could not have acted politically. Third, NSM theory provides an insight into elements of the coalition's internal and external actions which 75 are not easily categorised as instrumental and are largely concerned with challenging 'dominant codes.' NSM theory is, however, weak in describing the specifics of the immediate political environment (co-operation and competition with other groups, political opportunity structures etc.) in accounting for its mobilisation. It is also weak in evaluating how NTA's internal organisation, such as the generation and deployment of resources contributed to, or retarded, its stated objectives. RMT can compensate for these weaknesses by providing useful concepts with which to investigate the coalition. Specifically, these concern NTA's ability to mobilise and carry out tasks of organisational maintenance. A grassroots time-limited coalition like NTA is propelled by a 'coalitional logic' to deploy its limited resources towards realising its concrete objectives. This causes a dilemma: resources allocated in this way are diverted from the task of maintaining internal solidarity; weakened solidarity in turn jeopardises the attainment of concrete objectives. RMT's excursion into the cultural aspects of mobilisation (interpretive framing) is also important in understanding the coalition's development of collective identity —how NTA activists defined the coalition relative to other organisations is a crucial element in the overall story. The concept of collective identity will figure centrally in this study because, conceived of as an action system (Melluci 1989) it usefully combines culture and resource deployment as key variables in understanding activism at the meso-level of mobilisation. Building and maintaining solidarity, is essential for a coalition to be successful. Creating a sense of unity in a coalition (or any SMO) is a cultural exercise since it involves creating a 'cognitive map' of the social and political world and the 76 programmatic place of the coalition within it. The coalition's cognitive map changes as its members grapple with their competing ideological and political priorities while searching for the best route through the changing landscape of external events. This mapping is a dynamic process that requires strategic decision-making and the deployment of resources preceding and during the coalition's active and 'visible' phase. Without unity of purpose mobilisation is not possible and this study is concerned with identifying the organisational imperatives required to sustain it, as well as the weaknesses that tend to undermine it. This approach is familiar enough fare within RMT; however, unlike RMT, I do not elevate organisational dilemmas to a position of primary concern. The contents of the issues that the members of NTA grappled with are more than incidental. Their issues are linked to a specific historical time and place and in the spirit of NSM theory and within the framework of political economy, I draw some tentative practical and theoretical conclusions from the literature and from the findings of this study about the current state of mobilisation against capitalist expansion. In particular I look at the possibilities for building national and transnational coalitions in the present era. Research on social movement coalitions is sparse. This is perhaps surprising given that coalitions are the rule rather than the exception during periods of insurgency. Most of the studies quoted above involve coalitions that are ad hoc in the sense that they come into being in response to a crisis or opportunity. However, with the exception of those featured in Peterson's study, they are not truly ad hoc because they tend to become permanent and to persist beyond the abatement of the reason for which they emerged. The present study attempts to fill a gap in the literature on coalitions in two ways. First, 77 it examines the problems of maintaining solidarity and a cohesive program during a period of intense mobilisation in a truly ad hoc and short-term coalition. Second, based on the evidence from a limited campaign against a potent symbol of advanced capitalism, it examines the implications for future cross-movement organising against capitalist expansion and consolidation. Both the Coalition's submerged and visible actions were affected by the phenomenon against which NTA's counter-hegemony was organised: globalisation. This is because the macro-process being targeted positioned members of the coalition, differently. A major challenge in maintaining unity was negotiating common purpose among the different histories, perspectives and priorities engaged in opposing the causes and effects of globalisation. As outlined above, NSM theory and RMT encompass elements which can contribute to as complete a picture of the NTA campaign as is possible. While none of the coalition studies, apart from the Peterson research, clearly demonstrated NSM theoretical parentage, the social theoretical, cultural and political economy perspectives, combined include fundamental issues of identity, culture and macro-level processes addressed by writers in the NSM tradition. The political economy approach suggests that at a given historical moment forces drawn from a variety of popular struggles can coalesce to challenge the dominant political hegemony. The social-theoretical and cultural studies examine the problems that confront such a coalescence. The social- theoretical works address the potential conflicts that arise in the search for common ground among a multiplicity of histories, subjectivities and identities. The culturally focused studies examine the impact of tradition, history and ideology on the building of 78 collective identities and the problem posed to coalition building by the way individual groups 'come together.' The 'given historical moment' in Carroll and Ratner's 1984 study is conjunctural. It is essentially the same as the moment of mobilisation opportunity provided by regime weakness or threat postulated by the RMT studies to explain the emergence of coalitions. The historical analysis of RMT extends only to the disposition of polity members vis-a-vis challengers, whereas, the political economy account situates conjunctural crises as moments in the long-wave or 'organic' developments of capital. Gramsci suggested that for a broad based movement to be successful it must adopt a strategic program that engages critically with the rhythms and edifices of capital (Gramsci, 1971:178). While this idea is entirely foreign to RMT, the work of Tarrow (1989) determines that protest occurs in 'cycles' which in a non-Marxist way acknowledges the ebb and flow of discontent keyed to political climate. Whether speaking of the rhythms and edifices of capitalism, or the ebb and flow of discontent, social movements engaging in conflict are made up of networks that sustain movements through the high and low points of the cycle of protest. I examine the literature on social movement networks in chapter 10. In the study, NTA is presented as an organisation that emerged from a network of grassroots social movements that came together in response to a conjunctural event. NTA's collective identity galvanised around a political principle of anti-imperialism; however, this identity was never stable —not only due to the way that membership groupings were situated relatively to globalisation but because different perspectives were generated from the organisation's process of internal development. Buechler 79 (1993) argues that the formation of grievances and the articulation of ideology comes prior to any utilitarian calculation of the costs and benefits of action. However, once in motion, social movement organisations are tied to making decisions based on the deployment of resources --as Staggenborg's 1986 study suggests. What Buechler misses and what Downey's study confirms is that ideological debate and collective cultural definition proceed beyond the initial calculation of action. These elements exist in a dialectical relationship with the production of visible action. The outcome of this relationship can be observed in NTA's internal process of decision-making about strategy and about resource allocation throughout the cycle of protest. The 'submerged networks' that Melluci claims serve as 'cultural laboratories' for the production of collective identities (Melluci, 1989: 60) do not cease to exist once action becomes visible. In fact, as the following research indicates, there is a continuous exchange of ideas, information and strategic evaluations that represent the views of the various activist communities involved in the coalition. Rochon and Meyer (1997) address one half of this equation, the pedagogical outflow from coalitions to the activist networks, but the authors fail to recognise the cultural flow of knowledge and assumptions that the coalition members bring from their respective communities into the coalition. These assumptions have their roots in what I call 'core allegiances' that are themselves rooted in different cultural and political histories (examples of which are cited in the studies conducted by Chang and Diaz-Veizades 1996 and by Lichterman 1995). Hathway and Meyer (1993) acknowledge the effect of diverse community input and point out that coalition member leadership is compelled to take account of constituent demands in working out the terms of 'co-operative differentiation' with 80 coalition partners. In their study, the notion of leadership is presented as unproblematic. In NTA the question of leadership was problematic, making co-operative differentiation difficult to achieve. The distinction between leaders and constituents is part of the RMT tradition. This distinction is possible because RMT is largely confined to conceptualising social movements that contain formally or semi-formally structured hierarchical organisations with political objectives defined by interaction with the state. RMT is most at home investigating large-scale movement organisations engaged in prolonged campaigns —the coalition studies mentioned above are no exception. NTA was much closer in its constitution and tactics to the 'rainbow coalition' studied by Peterson (1997). In such coalitions, the distinction between leaders and constituency is not sharply drawn. These alliances could be more accurately described as 'temporary belief spaces' where submerged networks meet on a contingent basis. Such networks may or may not have identifiable leaders and the relationship of representation between coalition members and those outside of the coalition is highly ambiguous in many cases. In such conditions the focus of study is more usefully directed towards the challenges of establishing a working relationship among coalition members from the diverse historical, cultural and political backgrounds that people bring with them into the temporary belief space. The culturally focused studies mentioned above supply important pointers in understanding the nature of this challenge. This is not to say that taking account of leadership and direction-setting should be minimised. As the case of NTA demonstrated, where formal leadership of the kind studied by RMT has been replaced by prefigurative horizontal organisation characteristic of NSM structure, these 81 issues are never far away. They come back to haunt the aspirations of the democratic revolution, bringing into focus the dilemmas of co-operative differentiation. This focus on internal organisation should not ignore the wider environment of coalition activity. The coalition's internal working relationship is continually evolving not only in terms of the internal process of intersectional dynamics but also in terms of the impact of external objectives and events on this process. As mentioned, one of the dilemmas faced by coalitions is the question of how much of the organisation's scarce resources (time, labour) should be directed towards either of two imperatives, first, pursuing the organisation's political objectives in an ever-changing external field and, second, maintaining accord among the divergent interests and identities that make up the coalition. Without a workable accord political objectives cannot hope to be met. On the other hand, too much resource expenditure on maintaining the accord detracts from monitoring and pursuing the organisation's political objectives. I investigated this dilemma in depth identifying NTA's organisational structures and processes —including formal and informal instances of both— that made the dilemma more acute, or, alternatively, subdued its potential to disrupt the working of the coalition. There are, then, three lines of enquiry developed in this thesis. The first concerns the problem of unity in social movement organisations and asks, 'what factors facilitate or impede the achievement of political and social solidarity in short-term ad hoc coalitions?' The second concerns the importance of social movement networks and asks, 'in what ways does coalition membership contribute to the strengthening or weakening of the social movement communities out of which they arise?' The third 82 asks, 'based on the experience of opposition to APEC, what are the prospects for building cross-movement and international solidarity?' These questions will be explored at length with reference to the No! To APEC coalition and with reference to the larger APEC opposition movement. The last two questions are not as open to further empirical evaluation as is the middle-range cast of the first. True to Turner's typology, the last two questions are designed to be analytically 'sensitising.' They are intended to broaden the overall discussion to include a number of political and philosophical questions concerning the building of a sustained opposition to neo-liberalism and capitalist hegemony. The first question, directly aimed at the empirical data collected in this study is 'middle-range' in its scope in that it does not involve itself with the larger forces of social change except in as much as these intrude on the range of organisational behaviour examined. This does not mean to say that the data gathered is incapable of generating theoretical propositions; indeed, in chapter nine, conclusions congealed from the analysed data readily attach to abstract generalisations of the social world such as 'collective identity' and 'structuration.' However, in the words of Gouldner, 'Middle range theory seeks to map, and seeks the propriety of mapping , the social world in a limited way --province by province, sector by sector. In so doing, it need not render explicit the larger maps of social reality that it may hold in subsidiary awareness' (Gouldner, 1970: 86). Questions two and three are aimed at broadening the scope of this thesis to include the larger map upon which NTA was a small feature. 83 Chapter 3: Methodology This chapter examines the methods used in researching the NTA coalition. I employed qualitative research methods, participant observation and interviewing to investigate the life of the coalition over six months. The first part of this chapter is a discussion of whether or not the research that forms the basis of this study can be called 'ethnographic' The second part of this chapter describes the sources and processes of data collection and the third part examines the method of data analysis — grounded theory— used in the study. I end with a footnote on theory and method. Stumbling towards ethnography Upon reading the findings of this thesis, the reader will see that much of the research is based on material taken from tape-recordings conducted with members of NTA. She or he might reasonably conclude that, while qualitative, the data obtained from the domain of study is the result of interviewing, a technique employed in the research process, rather than a method that demands the 'being there' of field research. 'An ethnography is written representation of a culture (or aspects of a culture)' writes J. Van Maanen (1988:1). According to this definition what follows is an ethnography because it is one researcher's interpretation of a social realm of shared meanings and social action. However, what an ethnography is also depends on how it comes into being. Emerson, Fretz and Shaw (1995) define what the ethnographer does in the following way, 84 First the ethnographer enters into a social setting and gets to know the people in it; usually the setting is not known in an intimate way. The ethnographer participates in the daily routines of this setting, develops ongoing relations with the people in it, and observes all the while what is going on. Indeed the term "participant observation" is often used to characterise this basic research approach. But, second, the ethnographer writes down in regular, systemic ways what she observes and learns while participating in the daily rounds of life of others These two interconnected activities comprise the core of ethnographic research.... (Emerson Fretz and Shaw, 1995: 1) My approach to data-gathering meets these criteria, because I spent six months getting to know the social setting and the people in it. I also made a great deal of field notes; however, apart from significant observations made at some of the coalition's meetings the findings do not reflect much of the everyday aspects that I was part of. The interview material seems to eclipse details taken from such records. This leaves the reader with the impression that I was simply a volunteer with the coalition who based his research on interviews with people I got to know. This impression is valid but it raises questions about what the process and outcome of getting to know people, the difference between 'volunteering' and 'participating,' and the role of interviews in the ethnographic enterprise. As we have seen in the quote above, getting to know people is an essential part of field research methodology, and without being present in the setting for a prolonged period this could not have taken place. Furthermore, I chose the interviewees based on the principle of purposive sampling, that is, I chose people in a position to provide observations that 'will yield the most comprehensive understanding of (the) subject of study' (Rubin and Babbie, 1989: 344). Without having been present and interacting in the coalition, I would not have been in a position to choose such individuals. 85 However, the circumstances of my presence in the organisation and the way the coalition carried out its work had a negative affect on the gathering of data. As I mentioned in chapter one, there was a quid pro quo involved in gaining access to NTA. I could not participate without being a volunteer, and being a volunteer brought with it a number of drawbacks. Volunteers assigned themselves to committees set up to carry out specific tasks. This restricted my view of the coalition as a whole, not just because interaction with people on other committees was limited but because the demanding work of the Mobilisation Committee filled up much of my available time. The committee tasks that I undertook were most often carried out in solo. Coalition work was task-oriented and meetings, whether of individual committees or of the whole coalition, were business-like with little indication of the internal problems brewing beneath the surface (although, as we shall see, tensions did surface during some of the whole coalition meetings and notes from these meetings provided a rich source of data). Not only did the instrumental purpose of the meetings preclude tensions coming to the surface (as I discovered later) members were unwilling to discuss issues for fear of risking open conflict. The net result of all these factors was that I ended up with a lot of field notes that did not encompass coalition-wide dynamics and that were somewhat mundane. Thus, while volunteering certainly provided opportunity for participant observation, work pressures and organisational practices led me to participate in ways that did not increase the qualitative yield of my observations. Although meetings —the main way in which NTA members came together— did not provide a great deal of observational insight, I was nonetheless able to get a sense of which people did what, what organisations they belonged to —and I got important clues 86 about the issues that were causing tension within the coalition. As a result of 'being there' I was able to come up with a list of questions to ask those that I selected for interviewing. Without getting to know the organisation and the people in it, I would not have been able to come up with questions of the range or topicality that ended up on the questionnaire. Although interviewing was the only method that I had available to test what I thought might be going on beneath the surface of the coalition's everyday work, relying on interview material to the extent that I did was a disappointment. While interviewing is not uncommon in ethnography, and is even emphasised by some researchers (Jackson 1987), it is usually part of an ongoing process of different types of data-collection (Emerson Fretz and Shore, 1995: 9). Becker (1970) recommends that interviews be short, informal and part of the ongoing process of data-collection and analysis. By contrast, my interviews were concentrated within a short time-span at the end of the research period and they were guided by the use of a questionnaire. Ethnographic interviews are often unstructured. 'An unstructured interview is an interaction between an interviewer and a respondent in which the interviewer has a general plan of inquiry but not a specific set of questions that must be asked in a particular order' (Rubin and Babbie 1989: 345). By emphasising the relationship aspect of interviewing, what Seidman (1991) calls 'phenomenological interviewing,' the researcher increases the chances of gaining access to the 'subjective understanding' out of which people create and interpret their social context (Schutz 1967). One of the disadvantages of this type of interviewing is that coming up with clear conceptual comparisons and linkages supplied by information from a range of individuals is a difficult task. Therefore, to help the interviewee and I focus on lines of enquiry that I 87 had developed during my time as a participant observer, I used a questionnaire. While the interviews were not as informal as those recommended by Becker, they did not stick rigidly to the schedule of questions. They were conversational enough that they belonged as much to the sphere of casual interaction as to the realm of formal interviewing. In other words, the interviews had features of the casual interactions that I had hoped to engage in as a participant observer but which had failed to emerge due to the conditions prevailing in the coalition. In sum, while my work can be regarded as ethnographic, it is not altogether a satisfactory ethnography. It relied too heavily on interviews that, by their nature, reduce the full picture of what is goes on. By eliminating usefully observed social cues such as non-verbal language and action observed in context, they are a useful but limited research tool. Furthermore, interviewees are susceptible to researcher bias to a degree that natives interacting in their 'natural setting' are not.9 Nevertheless, the interviews were not isolated events; they can be regarded as connected to my immediate experience of the coalition in as much as the areas that they focused on came out of that experience. Moreover, I was known by those I interviewed such that I was able to establish an associative relationship rather than being forced into a formal sociologist-informant relationship. This arrangement, combined with my having a good sense of the coalition's events, resulted in a rich set of data out of which I was able to capture the themes and processes at work in NTA. 88 Data Collection and Initial Analysis The field research for this project was conducted between May 1997 and January 1998. As a participant observer, I was actively involved in the NTA campaign from May to November 1997. I was a member of the Mobilisation committee (MOB) for the coalition's six month campaign. The MOB committee's role was to organise local organisations and networks to participate in NTA's campaign, march and rally. In addition, I attended most of the coalition's public events, the youth and students' conference, the People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalisation (PCAIG), a number of protest events, including the march and rally, various public forums, and a press conference. I attended all of the MOB organising meetings, one meeting of the Research, Education and Media Committee (REM) and several Coordinating Committee (CoCo) meetings. I attended all of the monthly coalition business meetings and the final assessment meeting. I took field notes throughout this time, and during all of these events. As well; to understand fully the organisation's ideology, aims and objectives, I obtained information about NTA from its published material. This material included the monthly newsletter and various campaign related brochures. I conducted fifteen two to three hour interviews with members of No to APEC, five with members of the centre group and ten with members of the non-centre group. Of the fifteen interviewees, five were men and ten were women. This gender ratio reflected, if anything, an over-representation of men in the interviewee sample compared to the ratio of men to women in the coalition. The activist group in NTA was predominantly female. Centre group interviewees were chosen according to two 89 criteria: first, the individual's degree of active involvement in the coalition; second, representation from the different groups within the Philippine Women Centre. Non- centre group interviewees were chosen with two criteria in mind: first, the degree of active involvement each had in the coalition, and second, to reflect the widest possible range of social movement constituencies claiming membership. The age ranges of those interviewed were as follows: 20-30 years (7) 30-40 years (4) 40-50 years (4). The educational experience of those interviewed was as follows: nine to eleven years of education with some high school (1); twelve years of school, completed high school (1); thirteen to fifteen years of education, some college/university (4); sixteen years of education, completed university (4); seventeen years of education, without completing a post-graduate degree (4); seventeen years of education, graduate degree completed (4); more than seventeen years of education (1). Of those interviewed, four described themselves as unemployed. Those who described themselves as employed gave no indication of whether or not they earned revenue from their employment. Of those who were currently employed, or had been previously employed, only one person occupied a position for which a university degree is required. All of those interviewed spoke of having been involved in social and political activism for the majority of their adolescent and/or adult lives. In order to a achieve a perspective of the APEC opposition beyond the boundaries of NTA's campaign, I conducted interviews with five respondents from the People's Summit and two interviews with members of APEC Alert, one of whom was a member of NTA. Another objective of these interviews was to gauge the degree to which NTA's collective identity, subscribed to by NTA activists, was consistent with 90 the views held of it by activists who were not members of N T A but who were part of the APEC opposition movement. The results of this exercise were used to evaluate the perception of competition or complementarity between the organisations, particularly between N T A and the PS. These interviews lasted between one and two hours in length. I also attended and took notes at three A A organising meetings, one PS organising meeting and one full-day event at the PS - the worker's rights forum. I attended the A A protest at the UBC campus. I designed and used three sets of interview schedules for the interviews, one set for N T A respondents, one for PS respondents and one for the A A respondents. During the interviews I did not stick rigidly to the schedule but instead followed lines of questioning developed from what the participants said (Seidman 1991). This was particularly the case during the N T A interviews where I asked respondents to reflect on the N T A campaign. The interview questions were based on my field observations. They were also based on an exploration of the participant's subjective understanding of the campaign which often took the form of a free-flowing dialogue about specific events or incidents that the participant and I had both experienced. For this reason, the interview was as much an extension of my participant observation activity as it was a tool in its own right. Nevertheless, the interviews were not completely free-flowing -their focus was structured. A l l of those interviewed were asked questions from the schedule in the following areas: 1. activist history 2. NTA and the PS 3. involvement in N T A (internal politics of the coalition) 4. N T A and external relations 5.globalisation.10 The questions asked were both open-ended and closed and were aimed at achieving an understanding of the meaning that people made of their experiences. 91 The interviews were transcribed and entered into a computerised database. The qualitative research computer program used to retrieve, assemble, and code the material was Folio Views 3.1. This program uses a series of levels, fields and highlighters to organise and categorise (code) material. Data were assigned to initial categories which were subsequently split into subcategories, or alternatively, spliced into more integrated overarching categories. The resulting categories were linked with each other. Whereas subcategorising and splicing initial categories is concerned with developing formal relations of difference or similarity, linking data is concerned with substantive relations of interaction (Dey 1993). The computer program can facilitate the process of linking by creating "hyperlinks" between different categories, where, for example, there appears to be a causal relationship between two events. However, in the case of this project, linking was achieved mainly through observing where different categories appeared to coincide or overlap. This was made possible by the computer program's facility for colour-coding fields. I constructed a grid which showed the frequency of overlaps. For example, categories of democratic decision-making, democratic process, focus/direction, coalition consolidation, committee structure and work commitment demonstrated a strong convergence. In fact, so strong were the links between these categories that they appeared to form a cluster within the data as a whole. The single categories in the cluster were copied and assembled in one computer file where, through hyperlinking, they were subjected to a second round of analysis. This analysis suggested that the cluster dealt with various aspects of the coalition's internal politics. A second cluster, 92 not so clearly inter-linked as the first, but nonetheless immediately apparent, dealt with what I labelled local-international priorities/tensions. These two issue clusters, internal politics and local/international priorities, plus a third —collective identity— formed the basis of the study. The overarching theme of each cluster was then divided into analytical subcategories according to a grounded theoretical framework. Before describing this framework, I will mention a step taken which also serves as a foundation for the study. This step involved arranging the data in different ways according to the issue clusters involved. When examining the coalition's collective identity, I pooled the NTA data and examined the formal and substantive relationships between the ideas, memories and interpretations of the coalition members as a whole (collective identity is the conceptual framework around which the organisation formed and by which it operated). By contrast, I divided the data on internal politics and local-international priorities/tensions into two sections: data derived from interviews with members of the Kalayaan centre group and data derived from interviews with members of the non-centre group. My reasons for dividing the data in this way are based on: 1. impressions taken from my field observations that suggested social, political and strategic tensions between these two groups within the coalition — these impressions were confirmed at NTA's final meeting, which I address below; 2. the data itself —which suggested two distinct sets of interpretations and evaluations of the coalition's history. The two main research tools, participant observation and interviews were interwoven. As a participant observer, I was able to observe first hand the tensions that prevailed in the coalition. The observations and opinions expressed in the interviews 93 became evidence for or against my own speculative explanations of what was 'going on' during the campaign, and for or against those expressed to me by campaign participants. As Emerson, Fretz and Shaw (1995) argue, theorising comes in at every point in the ethnographic process, and while the participant's point of view is not taken as fact, but as meaning constructed in a particular context, it gives a clue as to what seems to have been going on in a given location. When considering the two sets of interpretations about what was going on in the coalition —those of the centre group and those of the non-centre group— my most important task was not to decide which of the two versions was the more correct or truthful. Both accounts were not only equally plausible but their plausibility was strengthened by the way each shared a close relationship with the other (i.e. each made better sense when linked to the other than if each had stood alone). My starting point for analysis, then, was not to decide on the veracity of either account but to account for why there were two versions. Later I was able to combine each version into a single story —the story of NTA. That there were two versions was confirmed at the January 20TH 1998 NTA final assessment meeting. A timeline of the coalition's achievements was presented at this meeting. After this, there was a 'round-robin' sharing where the 24 meeting participants expressed their opinions on the evolution, gains and losses of the coalition. All of the participants spoke of the achievements gained over 18 months of intensive political activism. As well as these commendations, a great deal of criticism emerged —most of it concentrated on the following items: the internal decision making process; a destructive fracturing among member interests; a lack of communication between different parts of the formally structured coalition; a lack of internal debate on 94 differences of ideology and identity. The conference design and content also received criticism. While the positive assessment was universal, the criticism came entirely from the non-centre group members. Much of the criticism appeared to be directed at the centre group. Although responsibility was not directly apportioned to that group, a non- centre group member made one reference to the 'core group.' After the criticism abated, one member of the centre group remarked, '7 may be getting the hit but that's all right. " Although the atmosphere of the meeting was tense, there was no hostility, personal or otherwise, expressed —although this remark indicates that personal criticism may have been inferred. At the end of the meeting people voiced an interest in continuing to work together, although this plan did not subsequently transpire. Following the section on collective identity, I have divided the report on the research findings into two parts, one dealing with the campaign perspectives and actions of the centre group and a second dealing with those of the non-centre group. The non- centre group was not a group in the way that the centre group was a group. Whereas those interviewed from the centre group were part of overlapping groups affiliated with the PWC, the non-centre group was made up of individuals who represented groups that did not necessarily work in close co-operation (Other than the centre group, there was only one other member group that had more than one participant working on a regular basis for the coalition). Nevertheless, as mentioned there was a strong convergence of viewpoints among the non-centre group such that they can, for the sake of the findings, be considered a grouping -if not a group (however, for the sake of brevity I will refer to them as a group). 95 Analytic Framework. The process of creating categories, linking these categories to subcategories and creating links between categories is carried out in order to extract the trenchant themes from a mass of unorganised data. To facilitate such a process, I have adopted an analytical framework as part of my method. In the following section I will describe the analytical approach used to arrive at an account of what happened during the life of NTA. The findings are based on my own subjective understanding of the coalition and on the subjective understanding of the coalition members whom I spoke to or interviewed. Exploring subjective understanding offers the researcher a way of putting observed behaviour in context —it gives clues to the perceptions and cultural assumptions that individuals and groups use as they impute meaning to the social reality that they create (Lofland and Lofland 1984). In trying to make sense of these perceptions and assumptions, ethnographic description relies on the researcher's cultural interpretation which Geertz describes as "guessing at meanings, assessing the guesses and drawing explanatory conclusions from the better guesses" (Geertz, 1973). In drawing such conclusions I have used what is called 'grounded theory.' This involves the researcher not starting a project with a pre-conceived theory in mind but rather, 'letting theory emerge from the data' (Strauss and Corbin, 1998:12). Grounded theory attempts to systematically join categories of social phenomena which arise from the data. To do this Strauss and Corbin (1998) suggest a framework which examines the relationship between structure and process: 96 Structure or conditions set the stage, that is, create the circumstances in which problems, issues, happenings or events pertaining to a phenomenon are situated or arise. Process, on the other hand denotes action/interaction over time of persons, organisations and communities in response to certain problems and issues. Combining structure with process helps analysts to get at some of the complexity that is so much part of life. Process and structure are inextricably linked...." (Strauss and Corbin: 127) By linking structure and process, the researcher investigates a relationship between circumstance and action. Action takes place under circumstances created by structure. The action and interaction of agents encountering circumstances created by structure/conditions may change those circumstances fully, partially or not at all. Changed circumstances in turn promote new actions or interactions. Strauss and Corbin, contemporary exponents of grounded theory, are remiss in not clearly suggesting how this takes place —how structure and process are "inextricably linked". They do not fully explain the relationship between process and structure. If, as they maintain, the circumstances that actors encounter are the result of structure, one might expect that circumstances will not generally change unless structure changes. For this reason one might expect that actors wanting to change or reinforce their circumstances will direct their efforts towards changing structures. Rather than the thesis proposed by Strauss and Corbin that 'process is what happens when people encounter circumstances imposed by structure,' the relationship between process and structure is dialectical: "elements, things, structures and systems do not exist outside of or prior to the processes, flows and relations that create, sustain or undermine them" (Harvey, 1996). Process is not the outcome of structure; rather, structure is both a precursor and a product of process. In Chapter 9 of this thesis I will present Giddens' theory of 97 structuration (1984) as a conceptual means of compensating for Strauss and Corbin's failure to fully elucidate the relationship between structure and action. While Strauss and Corbin's definition of structure is vague at best, the authors do introduce a useful synonym for structure which links the concepts of circumstance and structure. When describing what is encountered by actors in a given social situation, they refer to 'conditions.' In making sense of data, they propose this term to mean that: '... .conditions (are) a conceptual way of grouping answers to the questions why, where, how come, and when. These together form the structure, or set of circumstances or situations, in which phenomena are embedded' (Strauss and Corbin: 128). The authors emphasise that conditions are never just local —macro and micro conditions interact and intersect. Collapsing the concepts of structure and condition creates a flexible analytical device which operates on the premise that action and the consequences of action can only be understood with reference to the context in which they occur. What needs to be added to an operationalised use of the term 'condition' is Lofland and Lofland's insistence that social reality is imputed. In other words, for the researcher to decide what conditions made up the social context under study, s/he will be guided by the participant's definitions of the conditions that they were operating within - including the conditions provided by their own traditions, histories and so on. Observing the dynamic and dialectical relationship between structure (conditions) and process provides the researcher with a framework with which to make sense of the issues and problems faced by actors in a given setting. Making sense of social context means understanding the actions taken by people in a social setting when they confront these issues and problems. A final step in the analytical process is 98 drawing conclusions about the consequences of these actions (and interactions). Such conclusions must take into account that actions have both intended and unintended consequences. In the study of NTA, I have examined the conditions that the members of the coalition were working under —as they themselves interpreted those conditions. These conditions may be causal, as in a set of events that influence the phenomenon that they are describing, they may be intervening, events that mitigate the effect of causal conditions (typically happening unexpectedly), or they might be contextual, conditions or patterns that intersect to cause sets of circumstances (Strauss and Corbin: 128). Under causal conditions I include culturally shared assumptions and perceptions which speak to traditions, loyalties and ideologies of the groups studied. Contextual conditions include the temporal, spatial and social dimensions of the immediate environment in which the actors are situated. Intervening conditions focus on the "telling moments" in the life of the coalition when a change occurred that altered the direction or impetus of the organisation. While this schema is useful in giving structure to the picture presented, it should not become an end in itself, taking away from the fluidity of reporting the story. In this study my aim is to illuminate the different conditions which brought the coalition into being, and the context that these conditions created. I will examine the circumstances created by the conditions out of which issues and problems emerged. Following this, I look at the actions and interactions of the coalition members that occurred in response to these problems and issues. Finally, I examine the consequences, intended and 99 unintended, of these actions, and how the consequences changed or reinforced the issues and problems. The findings address the foundation and substance of the criticisms raised at the final meeting. In chapters 5 and 6 I examine the perspectives of the two major groupings within NTA. The process of analysis follows this path: 1. identify the goals and agenda of each group —what brought members of the group into the coalition, and what they wanted to achieve as participants in the coalition. 2. identify the conditions under which the group organised which includes a) political traditions of the group b) view of the Canadian left c) view of the coalition's internal conditions. 3. clarify the actions taken by the group in pursuing its goals given the circumstances under which they were operating. My role of researcher is to bring to consciousness the assumptions and perceptions of the actors in the social field of which I was a part. This process of critical reflection demands what Lofland and Lofland (1984) call 'transcendence' or a stepping back from the situation to understand what is going on. One of the objectives of this exercise is to avoid assigning judgements of right or wrong to the opinions and perceptions presented by participants. However, inevitably, the interpretive process necessitates selecting some information over others. Interpretation involves the researcher applying his/her own good judgement in deciding the authenticity and veracity of claims.made by respondents. As a way of testing the accuracy of my conclusions, I circulated the findings section to members of NTA in order to solicit feedback. My hope was that they would be able to find in the account some reflection of the reality that they were a part of. Their feedback was later incorporated into the revised findings. 100 On Linking Theory and Method. Chapter two is a synopsis of the theoretical perspectives with which I was acquainted before joining NTA. After joining, I was keen to apply what I had learned in graduate student classes to the 'case' of NTA. In true deductive fashion, I anticipated that NTA would fit into one or a combination of theoretical approaches. Concepts such as resource mobilisation and collective identity danced in my head. I tried to explain this or that event as an instance of one or another theoretical construct. As time went on, I found that this was not a useful exercise. I realised that the real story was being played out in the minute details of everyday interactions between people and that I was missing the significance of these details in an effort to find a theory to explain them. By the end of my time with NTA, the theories had all but disappeared from my mind and the details, including the detailed evaluations of NTA made by the interviewees, had become my main preoccupation. Faced with finding a way through the clutter of details that I was left with, I decided that the inductive approach of grounded theory would serve my purposes better than returning immediately to the theories that seemed, after six months of concrete experience, to be highly speculative. I wanted to be sure that any theories about what had happened in NTA were firmly planted in the empirical data gathered. This is not to say that I entered into the systematic analysis recommended by Strauss and Corbin (1998) with a blank mind ready to be filled with whatever came out of the data; however, by relegating RMT and NSM theory to the sidelines, I was able to develop some empirical generalisations, based on the testimony of the members and on my own 101 intuitions, about what happened during the course of the coalition's existence. From this account I was then able to advance to a different level of analysis by tentatively suggesting a relationship between variables such as collective identity, reflexive monitoring and resource mobilisation. Summary In this chapter I have discussed different aspects of the methods employed in conducting this ethnographic research. While I have some concerns about the choice of interviewing as a research tool (my preference would have been to rely on field notes alone), the pace of NTA's political campaign limited opportunities for reflective discussion with participants. The semi-structured nature of the interviews may leave me open to charges of methodogenesis, in that there existed latitude for insertion of my own biases. However, the evidence from the transcriptions suggests that the respondents, all seasoned activists, loyal to their own political groups and perspectives, did not hesitate to present their views unmediated by my interaction with them. Over-reliance on interviews may leave the reader with an impoverished sense of what the coalition was like on a day-to-day basis. Nevertheless, I think that they truly reflect how the various actors in this social movement drama perceived, created and responded to the conditions prevailing in the coalition. The data gathered in the field and in the interviews were subjected to analysis. Observations in my field notes were blended with material collated from the interviews to arrive at a story of the coalition. The analysis of the interview data started with a preliminary review to establish conceptual categories and subcategories of similarities 102 and differences among the ideas expressed by the participants. These categories were then linked to demonstrate substantive relationships of cause and effect and patterns of social interaction. Consistent with the principle of grounded theory, I discarded any pre- determined theoretical models which could be used to impose meaning on the material. I adopted a pragmatic analytical approach suggested by Strauss and Corbin which starts with the understanding that social processes are formed in the conditions that people find themselves. The formation of these processes is influenced by the conditions that people bring with them in the form of cultural 'road-maps'. Conditions, then, are not simply 'found;' they are interpreted differently by different groups and individuals and acted upon according to their respective cognitive 'road maps.' This central idea helped me to arrive at the 'big picture' of what was happening in NTA. The consequences of the actions and interactions of the two main groups within the coalition pushed the coalition in a particular direction. These actions were based on the assumptions and perceptions of the coalition participants as they wrestled with the problems and issues that came up. My main methodological task was to extract these assumptions and perceptions from over four hundred single-spaced pages of type-written text and a thick wad of field-notes. The reward for this effort was to come up with a glimpse of what happens when a number of groups and individuals come together on a short-term basis for a common political purpose. While this study would not have been possible without the use of grounded theory, the empirical generalisations that it generated were not sufficient in themselves to provide a theoretical understanding of the subject at hand. Later chapters in this 103 thesis include theoretical insights drawn from these generalisations and theoretical concepts that situate NTA in its wider political context. Part Two: Findings Chapters 4-8. Introduction The findings of this study look at how the coalition came together and how it maintained itself through a period of protest. It examines the tensions and issues that arose in the course of its existence, paying close attention to the actions and interactions of its members. It concludes by looking at the outcomes of these actions and interactions and, in particular, at how the formal and informal structures of the organisation influenced the outcomes. Chapter four provides a factual history of the coalition covering its composition, formal structure and details of the events that it organised. Following this is I take a close look at what values brought the coalition members to an accord and at the parameters of the coalition's collective identity. Chapters five to seven look at what factors tended to divide the coalition and look, in particular, at the central schism that set the centre group apart from the other members of the coalition. Chapter five examines the campaign perspectives of the centre group, chapter six the campaign perspectives of the non-centre group, and chapter seven the tensions that existed between the two groups in the final phase of the coalition's campaign. Chapter eight presents an analysis of the actions, and consequences of the actions, taken by the different membership groupings. Also, this chapter reaches some tentative conclusions about the competing strategic and value orientations held by the two main groupings. 105 Chapter 4: No! To APEC: History and Collective Identity History No! To APEC (NTA) was a coalition that protested the APEC Economic Leader's Meeting (AELM) held in Vancouver British Columbia in November 1997. NTA sprang from a women's "consciousness-raising" group and took its inspiration from the 1996 People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalisation (PCAIG) in the Philippines. It was in existence for eighteen months. In that time, it established a political position on the landscape of Vancouver's left relative to the other organisations opposing APEC. This position contained a critique of advanced capitalism that included a strong third-world perspective and which aimed to organise and represent the voices of Vancouver's marginalised. Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) is an intergovernmental organisation composed of 17 economies in the Pacific Rim. Established in 1989, its goal is to establish a free-trade zone in the region by the year 2020. The regional consultative body of APEC includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, and the United States. The leaders of the APEC countries meet on an annual basis. The meeting at the University of British Columbia on the 25 th November 1997 was the fifth leader's meeting since the inception of APEC. Other than the leader's meeting, the APEC process involves an on-going series of ministerial meetings and business consultations where the framework of the eventual free trade agreement is worked out. The AELM conducts a review of the progress being made on the framework. While the business sector is included as a full partner in the 106 APEC process, participation of other sectors is confined to a parallel meeting of Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The parallel meeting is not directly incorporated into the APEC process. In Vancouver this parallel summit consisted of 'civil society' non-governmental organisations (NGOs)" such as human rights and women's organisations and was called the People's Summit (PS). It was partially funded by the Canadian Federal Government and was assisted with the provision of a meeting site by the B.C. provincial government. The question of whether or not the PS could be considered a group opposed to APEC is central to the genesis of NTA. Officially, the PS did not take a position on APEC. The PS plan was as follows: resolutions arrived at in a number of issue-related forums set up to debate the advantages —or disadvantages— of APEC would be combined in a joint resolution that would be presented to the AELM. As I will mention later, in the section titled "NTA's collective identity," many of the activists who joined NTA did so because they considered such a process to be an unacceptable position of "engagement" with the AELM. Engagement was seen by these activists to be tantamount to endorsement of the APEC process itself. The position of "non-engagement" with APEC as a signifier of opposition to the official process had wider implications. APEC, according to NTA organisers, was evidence of a larger neo-liberal agenda consisting of trade liberalisation, economic privatisation, and deregulation. Furthermore, this neo-liberal agenda was part of an overarching process of imperialism. The concept of neo-liberalism as the project of imperialism at the stage of advanced capitalism was the master-frame12 around which 107 the coalition was built. The slogan used by the coalition to express this concept was "Imperialist Globalisation." This concept evolved from two main sources, one local, the Grassroots Women Discussion Group (GRWDG), an initiative of the Philippine Women Centre (PWC) and one international, the 1996 Manila People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalisation. The PWC was established in 1989 to organise Filipino women in B.C. and in particular the 6,000 domestic workers who have entered Canada under the federal government Live-in Caregiver Program. In Nov 1995 the GRWDG was formed by some members of the PWC. Their aim was to create an informal discussion group of local women activists to analyse the state of the women's movement in the Lower Mainland and to discuss the social condition of women in first and third world contexts. All but two of the women interviewed in this study were members of this group. Several mentioned that what distinguished this group from other women's groups that they had been in was its focus on connecting women's issues to questions of class, capitalism and globalisation. Due to its focus on these topics, the Grassroots Women's Discussion Group became a natural springboard for organising resistance to APEC. In the spring of 1996, a decision was made to form the No! To APEC coalition and the basis of unity was written at that time. At this transitional stage, monthly meetings, often attended by up to 35 women, became the venue for discussing larger issues while smaller working groups, such as the one that designed the coalition's basis of unity (or constitution), concentrated on doing specific tasks. Until the official 'launch' at the Under The Volcano festival of arts and activism in August 1997, the forming coalition took on the 108 tasks of working out the logistics of the organisation, deepening its analysis of APEC, defining the frame of "Imperialist Globalisation" and working out its relationship to the PS. At the time of the founding of NTA, four of the six initiating groups13 were associated with one of the following: the politics of the Philippines, issues related to the world-wide export of labour from the Philippines, or to issues of concern to Filipino- Canadians. These groups are based at the PWC. Not surprisingly, a major impetus to the formation of the NTA coalition was the creation of continuity between the People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalisation (PCAIG) in Quezon City Philippines in 1996 and the one to be held in Vancouver in 1997. To understand the connection between the anti-APEC forces in Manila and those in Vancouver, a brief detour into the political landscape of the Philippines is necessary. There were five anti-APEC conferences in the Philippines in 1996 but the two most prominent were the Manila People's Forum and the People's Conference against Imperialist Globalisation held in Quezon City. The People's Forum was made up of NGOs and included the first 'International Women's Conference on A P E C which issued its own statement. The People's Conference against Imperialist Globalisation (PCAIG) was organised by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN or New Patriotic Alliance) which is a multi-sectoral united front of militant and progressive groups including the militant trade union organisation Kilisang Mayo Uno (KMU or May the First Movement), the peasant's organisation Kilasung Magbubukid ng Pilipanis (KMP), the League of Filipino Students and the alliance of women's organisations known as Gabriela. What distinguished BAYAN from the organisations hosting the People's 109 Forum was its stand on national democracy in the Philippines. The movement for national democracy in the Philippines is seeking a future free of foreign domination by imperialist powers such as the United States and Japan.14 The PCAIG argued that APEC was a 'tool of imperialism.' It took the view that any strategy involving attempts by civil society to influence the APEC process was wrong, because consulting civil society was itself an attempt by imperialist powers to gain the people's collaboration with imperialism: 'We denounce and oppose the subservient client states for selling out their people's interests. They connive with imperialism in promoting distorted concepts of "democratisation," "civil society empowerment" and "sustainable development" in a bid to disarm the people and co-opt their organisations into the imperialist stratagem.'13 PCAIG took a rejectionist stand concerning APEC, whereas the People's forum, consisting of a plurality of positions on national democracy and engagement, did not. A number of coalition member groups focused on issues pertaining to the Philippines and to Filipino-Canadians ( from here on referred to collectively as the 'centre group'). The centre group had strong ties to the People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalisation held in the Philippines and to BAY AN. The declaration of the PCAIG resolved to 'forge strong solidarity links among ourselves and with other anti- imperialist and progressive organisations to further advance the world's anti-imperialist movement.'16 This goal served as a key factor in the formation of the coalition.17 Despite the obvious parallel between the division that had occurred in the Philippines and that in Vancouver, NTA did not at first reject the idea of joining the People's Summit. Representatives from NTA attended a number of People's Summit meetings in 110 early 1996 to assess whether a partnership was possible. However, they decided that it was not. NTA made a decision not to join the PS on a number of grounds. First, the People's Summit would not allow NTA to become a full decision-making member on its steering committee. The PS objected that NTA was not a nationally federated body — even though there were NTA groups in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto (not to mention a number of groups in the United States). NTA concluded that the PS disqualified non- NGOs and non-labour organisations from important functions and decision-making. Representatives of the PS National Advisory Board met a member of NTA in Manila and attempted to overrule the decision of the local steering committee. The representatives offered NTA full membership in the Vancouver PS decision-making structure. However, by this time, NTA had started to organise its own independent campaign. Second, the NTA campaign that involved a prolonged campaign of 'grassroots' education —in the form of popular education and community conferences- was at odds with the PS strategy. One NTA activist described the PS strategy as a "one- shot conference. " Third, within NTA, the activists thought that adding one more voice to the 'marketplace of ideas' approach adopted by the PS was not the most effective way to get its message across. Lastly, with regards to the message itself, NTA's orientation to the problems posed by APEC was significantly different from the issue-based approach by which the PS was organising its event: "For them, they deal with specific issues that APEC will have an impact on, whereas for us, the specific issues are simply an effect of globalisation" said one NTA activist. I l l Thus, NTA set itself apart from the PS by claiming to have an understanding of the social, political and historical mechanisms responsible for creating problems such as the exploitation of third world labour, unemployment, destruction of the environment and so on. Furthermore, it set out to target these mechanisms, capitalism and imperialism, in a politics of emancipation, a politics not explicitly stated in the program of the PS. One advantage of differentiating itself from the People's Summit in this way came down to a factor of efficiency. Having a singular, theoretically integrated analysis allows an organisation to establish a basis of unity around which a coalition can cohere. A PS organiser who I interviewed made this point. The PS was a broad organisation traversing the engagement question from the rejectionist position of the International Women's Conference to the 'include a social clause in A P E C position of the Canadian Labour Congress. He reflected on the internal difficulties caused by this diversity noting that political questions had to be constantly reworked and revisited. He remarked, "its nice to be involved in a group where you don't have to hatch out analysis all of the time, and you 're only spending time on organising and outreach and things like that. " These words quite accurately describe the situation of NTA that, early on, developed a framework for a unified membership and which was able to deploy volunteer resources in a prolonged campaign (volunteers are the key resource of grassroots organisations). Undoubtedly, this was partly the result of being able to mobilise a constituency to action by articulating a political position made unambiguous by its contrast to that of the People's Summit. The coalition's basis of unity stated this position succinctly. It called for exposing and opposing APEC and imperialist globalisation while strengthening 112 resistance to the same.18 Organisations and individuals invited to become members of the coalition did so on the understanding that they agreed with the principles laid out in the basis of unity. NTA participants acknowledged that some members whose names appeared on the member list would be there more as a token of support than as assurance of active involvement. By October 1997 there were 36 organisations from Vancouver and Victoria registered as part of the coalition.19 Of these 36 organisations, 14 organisations contributed activists to work on a full or part time basis. As well, there were a number of independent individuals who participated on a regular basis. In all, the numbers of core volunteers, those who participated for all of the campaign, or for substantial periods within it, averaged approximately 25 volunteers. Also, there was substantial assistance given to the coalition by volunteers on a short-term basis for particular events such as the youth and student conference, the women's conference, the PCAIG and for the march and rally. The member groups represented a wide spectrum of organisations. The following groups made up the coalition:20 4 human rights groups; 6 women's support groups; 5 third-world solidarity groups; 3 local community groups; 3 socialist groups; 3 environmental groups (one of which was a political party); 1 anti-poverty group; 1 cultural group; 1 public issue research group; 2 groups providing integration of left activities in Vancouver; 1 settler's first-nations support group and 2 youth groups and 3 student groups. Two of these member groups were participants in the PS. One of the student groups was APEC Alert (AA) based on the UBC campus. This group became a major player in mounting opposition to APEC. As mentioned, four of NTA's member groups were Philippines solidarity groups or Filipino support groups. Between them, 113 they contributed the greatest number of activists proportionate to the number of groups in the coalition —about half of the core group of activists. The coalition also benefited from the use of the Philippine Women Centre. It acted as the co-ordinating location for NTA activities. Several members of the Centre Group mentioned the disruptive affect that having the coalition on the premises had on the centre's programs. The basis of unity around which these groups came together was one important aspect of the structure of the coalition. The other was the committee system. There were four committees, the Fundraising Committee, the Research, Education and Media Committee (called REM within the coalition) the Mobilisation Committee (called MOB) and the Coordinating Committee (called CoCo). The fundraising committee was in charge of the finances of the organisation. REM was responsible for producing the coalition's newsletter, coordinating external and internal education and organising media campaigns. Through its educational activities it played a key role in 'networking' for the coalition. MOB was responsible for organising public mobilisation, recruiting activists and networking. CoCo had representatives of all of the other committees sitting on it and was commissioned to act as the general logistical hub for the coalition. It was also responsible for preparing the 1997 PCAIG. 2 2 The committees operated independently and were expected to "make decisions within their competence and recommend these decisions through the Coordinating Committee." CoCo was expected to relay the combined decisions of the committees to the coalition as a whole. At a monthly meeting of the whole coalition the decision-making process would be activated and the decisions discussed. The decision-making process was established by April 1997 and was included in a set of written guidelines in the same month.24 114 Decisions at the monthly coalition meetings were reached by consensus all of the time. However, the question of decision-making became controversial. Although the guidelines themselves were not subject to debate once they were established, they were nevertheless used as a point of reference by the centre group in regard to this controversy (see pp. 159-160). This controversy, which concerned allegedly undemocratic practices, became a public issue only at the end of the coalition's life- span. Nevertheless, tensions concerning decision-making circulated covertly within the coalition for much of it's existence . The fact that these difficulties became publicly stated only after the coalition ended may be partially the result of the busy schedule maintained by the coalition. Above all, NTA was a hard-working coalition and action seemed to take priority over internal debate. Given its size and minimal resources, it achieved a lot in the time that it was active. NTA got its message across in several ways: through taking part in forums; doing popular education workshops, mainly with other grassroots organisations, at educational institutions and at a monthly "What the Heck is APEC? workshop held at the PWC; through presentations in educational institutions (secondary and post- secondary) and at a church; having display tables at community events and through mainstream and alternative media interviews and media conferences. Popular education workshops designed to give participants an 'in-depth' guide to APEC and imperialist globalisation reached 400 people during the course of the campaign. Many times this number of people heard the NTA message through the other forms of outreach. The other tactics used by NTA to mobilise or consolidate support for its cause were through conferences and through protest. It held three conferences. The No to 115 APEC Women and Children's Conference was held by NTA in Vancouver from thel3 tn to thel5 th June 1997 and attracted over 100 women. The conference, had speakers who included organisers working with trade unions, migrant workers, mail-order brides, first nations communities, youth and student groups, maquilldora workers and women in the sex trade. A speaker from an organisation called Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women-Canada, summed up the theme of the conference with the following words, "Free trade comes with a price, and increasingly, that price is paid by poor women in general and third world and migrant workers, in particular." The "Youth and Students Say No! to APEC" conference took place from September 19lh to 21st 1997. It featured a range of speakers including a union organiser, a first nations youth organiser and student organisers. Once again, the theme was marginalisation and a number of workshops offered presentations on issues of importance to youth. The People's Conference Against Imperialist Globalisation took place November 21-24th 1997. The conference speakers were representatives from South and North. On the Saturday Luis Jalandoni the international representative of the NDFP, and a professor of economics Dr Pao-Yu Ching from Marygrove College in Detroit, gave the key-note addresses. A panel of political organisers from Chile, Mexico, and the Philippines followed these speakers. In the afternoon, speakers from countries of the "North" gave speeches. These included Bill Lightbowm from the Union Of B.C Indian Chiefs, Raymond Lotta from Chicago, a Maoist economist and member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and Dr Harry Sharma professor of Sociology from Simon Fraser University. The following day, Nathaneal Santiago of BAYAN gave the morning address. In the afternoon, delegates attended workshops charged with 116 discussing, 'how to continue to expose and oppose APEC and imperialist globalisation and to build and strengthen strategies of resistance.' The conference's general declaration identified the main features of imperialist globalisation as trade liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation. It stated that the turmoil created by the collapse of the Southeast Asian economies 'exposed as rotten the much vaunted 'strong fundamentals' of monopoly capitalism.' It recognised that the non-exploiting classes of industrialised and non-industrialised classes suffer in common the effects of imperialist globalisation. It called for forging unity between national liberation movements in 'countries where imperialist globalisation takes its heaviest toll and the 'politically advanced elements'25 in the United States and Canada. One hundred and eighteen, mainly international, delegates from sixteen countries attended. Seventy-six mainly local observers attended on the first day, nine on the second day and thirty-nine on the third day. Eighty-five NTA volunteers helped during the course of the weekend. NTA also took part in a number of local protests, most notably the IWD march in March 1997. It also held its own protests. These included an anti-APEC rally at SFU in August 1997 and the disruption of a B.C. government youth tour called "Asia Pacific Connections." Premier Clark's opening of the youth tour at a Richmond Shopping Centre was disrupted by chanting NTA protesters. The largest protest was the "No! to APEC-Continuing the Resistance" march and rally which took place on November 25 th. MOB planned this event over several months. This committee expanded in numbers of volunteers over time. It went from 2 to 3 members to about 15 to 25 by the time of the march. The march, that attracted about 1,500 people, made its way through downtown Vancouver, stopping rush hour traffic for approximately two 117 hours. The march stopped at sites of significance in the Downtown Eastside and downtown core. People from a range of organisations, mainly representing marginalised communities, spoke at these sites. The event was loud and militant in tone. Many of the international delegates from the conference attended the event. Given the meagre financial resources available to the coalition (the fundraising committee raised $5,000 through garage sales, admission to events etc.) and a limited volunteer base, the NTA coalition was remarkably successful in achieving the objectives that it set for itself. Strategically, the coalition established a radical critique of APEC and globalisation that set it apart from the People's Summit. Its basis of unity reflected this position. By doing so, it appealed to a cross-section of left groups in Vancouver who identified with its position. This paid off by attracting loyal volunteers. With the active support of volunteers and with solid logistical infrastructure, NTA kept up a strong momentum for its campaign. NTA established a basis of unity and an internal structure. This structure had both decentralised and centralised features and had a formal process for decision-making. It appeared to be sufficient to meet the needs of a hard-working coalition. The gains made by the coalition testify to this; however, there was no mechanism in place to assess the functioning of the structure as the work of the coalition proceeded. As a result, a significant number of coalition members accumulated grievances during their time with the coalition. Before examining the substance of these grievances and the divisions within the coalition, I will examine what brought the coalition together —the organisation's collective identity. 118 NTA's Collective Identity A coalition is an organisation consisting of different social or political groupings that ally to realise common objectives. A coalition cannot form without defining these objectives. This process starts with establishing the common ground on which the coalition members can collaborate. Collaboration is the first step in coalition building. It requires that members of the alliance make a public statement of the coalition's boundaries - those which set it off from other organisations in its field of operations. These include organisations it opposes, supports or has differences with. This process involves building what Melluci calls a 'collective identity.' A collective identity,26 is an '..interactive and shared definition produced by several interacting individuals concerned with orientations of their action as well as the field of opportunities and constraints in which the action takes place... .the process of maintaining and altering a collective identity provides the basis for actors to shape their expectations and calculate the costs and benefits of their action.' (Melluci, 1989: 34 ). In short, collective identity is about establishing solidarity on the basis of a strategic orientation towards a field of action. To discover the construction of NTA's collective identity, I interviewed NTA members to assess their view of the coalition's operational field. I also interviewed members of other organisations in this field as a way of providing, on specific points, some perspective of how NTA was viewed in return. NTA activists oriented their actions to the multi-organisational field of opportunities and restraints by creating an identity -albeit a fragile one. I will try to evoke this identity and then comment on its fragility. 119 To conceptualise what this identity might be, I will start by identifying the 'micro-mobilisation contexts' out of which NTA emerged. This network of organisations —what Melluci calls 'submerged networks' (Melluci, 1989: 73) with unstable memberships constituted the crucible for NTA's formation. A micro- mobilisation context 'can be defined as any small group setting in which processes of collective attribution are combined with rudimentary forms of organisation to produce mobilisation for collective action.' ( D. McAdam, 1988: 134). Micro-mobilisation contexts are positioned mid-way between the individual and the larger political context in which s/he is embedded. Examples of micro-mobilisation contexts are existing political groups, religious organisations, friendship networks, and university campus organisations. These contexts serve as the bases for defining the method of collective action ( D. Mc Adam et al 1988: 710) and diagnosing the problem, identifying the likely trajectory of the problem and designing a strategy to confront it -all of these stages being part of the 'framing' process (Snow and Benford, 1988). Such contexts 'serve as the "organisational staging ground" for the movement. They include personnel and networks of communication (McAdam et al 1988: 715). The purpose of describing the micro-mobilisation contexts of the NTA activists is to provide a backdrop for the basis of collaboration in the coalition. To do this I will mention a few initiatives and projects of the Vancouver left which preceded the NTA coalition, and which many of the core group of activists reported having had some contact with —or were directly involved in organising. First, five network integrating organisations of note are the La Quena Coffee House collective, the Vancouver International of Hope, Mayworks, Under the Volcano 1 2 0 and the International Women's Day Committee. La Quena is a non-profit collectively run cafe on Vancouver's Eastside which acts as a public meeting place for a variety of community and social movement groups. The Vancouver International of Hope formed in 1996. Inspired by the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas Mexico it held a series of community workshops bringing together different groups with the intention of organising resistance to the 'neo-liberal agenda.' Mayworks and Under the Volcano are annual events that combine culture and activism. The IWD committee organises Vancouver's annual women's march. Another network of significance to the coalition was the Philippines solidarity groups in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and in the United States. Like the centre group in Vancouver, these groups, which are also supportive of B A Y A N and the NDFP, spearheaded the creation of similar anti-APEC coalitions in their various locales. These groups are in regular contact with each other. Third, the strong presence of youth and student groups in the coalition reflected the large number of youth having links to organisations in educational institutions. Finally, the key importance of the Grassroots Women Discussion Group to the formation of the coalition testifies to the central role played by the women's movement in providing networking and direction for contemporary radical politics in Vancouver (not to mention the rest of the world). These social movement organisations formed the inter- woven matrix of micro-mobilisation contexts out of which the NTA coalition emerged.27 They can be regarded as NTA's alliance system, the networks of activists out of which the coalition emerged and into which it dissolved. The important relationship between coalitions and networks is explored in chapter 10 of this thesis. 121 Other writers suggest that another level of organisation is necessary to complete the conceptualising of a bridge between micro and macro contexts. These organisations are 'mesomobilisation actors' who 'coordinate and integrate micro-mobilisation groups' (Gerhards and Rucht 1992). Thus, the various background organisations and member groups of the coalition can, for the purposes of this study, be regarded as micro- mobilisation contexts while the coalition, once established, may be regarded as a mesomobilisation actor. In its mesomobilisation role, NTA served as the co-ordinator of the member groups in the campaign of action. Micro and meso-mobilisation contexts generate meaning in the process of building consensus for action. As a mesomobilising actor, NTA became involved in 'developing a common frame of meaning to interpret the issue at stake' (Gerhards and Rucht, 1992: 559). The motif of 'imperialist globalisation' was at the heart of this framing exercise. As mentioned in the history section, integral to this process is the diagnosis, and prognosis of the problem, followed by a rationale for acting. Locating the problem (APEC) in relation to the universe of social and political power (imperialism) was an immediate and on-going task. This universe consisted not just of the larger forces to which NTA was opposed but also of the immediate social movement environment. The appraisal, shared by NTA members, of these elements in the political field, formed the heart of the coalition's solidarity. Movements are set in a 'multiorganisational field' of the mass media, government authorities, competing or complementary movements and countermovements (Klandermans, 1992). Alliances form most often when alignment of the field constitutes a perceived threat or presents a perceived opportunity to achieve 122 movement goals (Zald and McCarthy, 1980). What, then, were some of the elements of this field that constituted threats or opportunities for the activist organisations and individuals whose response was to join NTA? The short answer to this question is that the Federal Government's decision to hold the APEC conference in Vancouver provided an opportunity to confront the threat to social and economic democracy posed by globalisation. All 21 of the activists that I interviewed associated APEC with globalisation. Most saw it as a free-trade agreement similar in design and intention to the U.S-Canada Free Trade Agreement and to the North American Free Trade Agreement. The activists saw it as an attempt by APEC member governments to strengthen both transnational corporate control of trade and the national agendas of the Asia-Pacific nations. The activists from the broad opposition movement regarded APEC as part of a world-wide network of similar measures. It served as a symbolic lightning rod for local opposition to such control, "It was like the gauntlet was thrown down, when you found out that APEC was being hosted by Vancouver, " said one activist. The following is an account of the ways in which NTA activists saw the gauntlet being thrown down or taken up by various groups in the multiorganisational field of which it was a part. The main actors in this field were: the Canadian government, the media, APEC Alert (AA) and the People's Summit. By analysing the views of this field held by NTA activists, I arrived at a representation of NTA's positioning on the spectrum of political action. I will argue that the identification of this space by those who occupied it, is a fundamental factor illuminating the coalition's collective identity. 123 The Institutional Actors: Government, Business, the Police and the Media. NTA activists collaborated first and foremost in opposition to the government and to business. A show of opposition to APEC was not seen by NTA activists as an attempt to get the institutions of business or government to change the agreement. Rather, the stance of opposition had two purposes, first to send a signal of defiance to the government, as one activist put it, "to draw a line, " and as another put it "to let them know we are here. " However one activist thought this defiance "indirectly put pressure on the government." The purpose of NTA's opposition was to educate public opinion towards a rejection of APEC and a re-evaluation of globalisation. As a token of this opposition, the coalition made a decision to not seek government funding for its campaign, as the PS had done. The relationship of the government to NTA consisted of a sustained interest by the state authorities in the activities of the organisation. The police called the centre on a daily basis for almost two months towards the campaign trying to get information on NTA's protest plans. They sent a notice advising the coalition that it would infringe a local by-law if it did not obtain a permit to hold a march. Three weeks before the conference the Department of External Affairs refused entry to a number of conference delegates. In response, the coalition was forced to mount a publicity campaign to obtain visas for its guests. In short, the relationship between the coalition and the government was one of distance and antagonism. NTA's relationship to the mass media can best be described as one of ambivalence. NTA wanted to use the media to get its message across. It held two press 124 conferences, one at the Vancouver 'launch' of the coalition in March and one in October to announce details of the conference and march. NTA received a mixed response from the media. One REM committee activist mentioned that two media outlets would not cover NTA because they thought NTA was a group of 'communists.' However, there was greater interest shown by the media as the AELM approached. Various outlets responded to press releases issued by NTA regarding the External Affairs visa-denials. The media did not report NTA's analysis on globalisation and imperialism. NTA activists were frustrated by this but not surprised —they explained the media's bias in terms of media ownership and editorial policy. Most activists expected that, at best, NTA's anti-APEC position would be reported, if not its broader analysis. The media met this expectation but they focused more on the 'split' between NTA and the PS. Inadvertently, a strategy adopted by NTA may have contributed to this. Two activists mentioned that in the face of anticipated hostility or indifference by the mainstream media, the REM Committee decided on an approach to the media which represented the coalition as the 'true opposition' to APEC. At NTA's news conference in October 1997 a NTA organiser described the forthcoming PCAIG in the following terms: 'unlike the People's Summit, it is a counter-conference, exposing the roots of imperialist globalisation.' During the question period, I observed the following exchange: Media: There are many people in the PS who are as opposed to APEC as you, how can you say that they are going along with APEC? NTA: The historic roots show a clear break in the alignment of our respective positions. We believe that it is futile to struggle for social clauses. We rely on the strength of the grassroots to organise. We are 125 receiving no federal or provincial funding, we believe our conference is the genuine people's conference. Media: But are the people in the PS who are passionate in their opposition.... are you saying that they are misguided? NTA: / can't speak for the PS. There are a range ofpositions within the PS. Some of them are misguided. We are concentrating on our own organising. People in Asia are dying as a result of their government's actions, they are facing evictions from their lands....we have no choice but to take a stand. NTA tried to distinguish itself from all the other actors in the multiorganisational field. In light of this strategy, NTA decided to stake an unequivocal position for itself. It did this by contrasting itself to the engagement position of the PS and to, as one activist put it, "stick to our principles. " While maintaining the integrity of NTA's message this strategy led the media to focus on an apparent conflict between the organisations rather than on the issues at hand. NTA activists were sceptical of the role played by the media in the development of the coalition: one felt that the mainstream media was more in tune with the PS due to its line-up of well known speakers; another felt that the absence of media coverage of the march was of secondary importance to the experience of solidarity gained by the marchers themselves; a third, in the light of the media's proclivity for highlighting conflict over substance, questioned whether the mainstream media was even a useful tool to create a strategy around. Most felt that the alternative media, such as Co-Op Radio paid more attention to —and gave fairer representation of— NTA's objectives.30 NTA's relationship with the media was problematic. The reluctance of NTA organiser's to 'court' or 'play' the media seems to have arisen from a starting point of 126 doubt that the media would be sympathetic to its cause. This doubt arose from the fact that the coalition, unlike the PS, occupied an ideological space beyond the limits of the media's normal range of included ideologies. Nevertheless, NTA did have a strategy to project its position in the public debate created by the APEC Summit. This position, of non-engagement and of solidarity with both third world struggles and with the marginalised of Canadian society, was consistent with the coalition's core beliefs. As a result, this strategy caused no dissension within the coalition (although one activist noted that NTA compromised the validity of its claim to be the 'true opposition' because there were obviously APEC opponents in the PS). The media component of the l coalition's campaign was a measured response to the opportunities and restrictions of the political environment. It also made public the outlines of its collective identity. The Other Social Movement Organisations: People's Summit and APEC Alert. The views held by NTA activists of the other social movement actors in the APEC opposition were complex. I have divided up the data into three categories that demonstrate points of difference identified by NTA activists between NTA and these other actors. These are as follows: a) differences in political analysis and framing b) differences in strategy and tactics employed by NTA, AA and the PS c) structural and cultural differences attributed by NTA members to the personnel of AA and NTA: a) The perception of difference: analysis and framing. NTA activists identified different political orientations between NTA and the other movement actors. The two major oppositional groupings which occupied the coalition's political environment were the PS and APEC Alert (AA), the latter being a member of NTA. 127 Like NTA, AA took a rejectionist stand and was opposed to the position taken by the PS. It was operating on a different terrain to that of NTA, mobilising students on the campus of the University of British Columbia where the leaders' meeting was to be held. An original organiser with NTA was instrumental in starting AA. He linked up with a student campus group that had been conducting an anti-corporate campaign on campus. A A came into full operation on campus in September of 1997. Given that AA was a member of the coalition, one might expect that NTA activists would perceive little difference between the diagnostic framing and ideological orientation of AA. However, there were significant differences identified by NTA activists as to how the two organisations framed the issues. NTA activists viewed AA's campaign as too focused on protesting human rights violations. One activist saw this as a "liberal" approach to the expression of opposition, another as too narrowly focused given the complexity of globalisation, and another as simplistic for the same reason. One NTA activist observed that the focus on human rights was a strategic rather than an ideological decision.31 This same activist also pointed out that AA, like the PS, did not have an analysis of imperialism as part of its project and as a result was limited to focusing on regime leaders rather than on the imperialistic strings that controlled them. Two AA members that I interviewed confirmed that they deliberately did not use the term 'imperialism' in their campaign, although they claimed that the ideas they incorporated were commensurable with the concept. NTA activists criticised the PS for not including imperialism as a framing concept in its analysis. One activist saw the PS focus on human rights as shallow —it did not examine the underlying causes of human rights abuses. A more serious charge 128 advanced by NTA activists was that the PS was complicit with imperialism, that it accepted globalisation as inevitable, or even natural. According to these activists, NTA had a better grasp of the 'big picture' because it challenged such taken-for-granted assumptions. Thus, while NTA activists criticised AA for having too narrow a human rights focus, they criticised the PS for the same but with more evidence presented that this focus was fundamentally the result of not grasping the dynamics of globalisation. Furthermore, the shallowness of this analysis led PS organisers to believe that the problem with APEC, and by extension globalisation, was mere exclusion of 'civil- society' from policy-making. To argue for inclusion in the APEC process, was nothing short of legitimising APEC and therefore the economic forces underlying it. NTA members cast the PS as the official, or even 'loyal' opposition- the "acceptable face of APEC as one activist put it. b) The perception of difference: strategy and tactics NTA activists viewed the campaign tactics of NTA and PS as similar, with one major exception being the pursuit of community outreach. NTA and the PS chose similar formats of protest. Both held a series of conferences32 and a march to culminate their campaigns but NTA activists believed that NTA had a protracted campaign of community outreach that the PS did not. This was expressed by a number of NTA activists as a "step-by-step approach " in comparison to the PS approach which relied on one major event and media exposure to mobilise support.33 With this exception -which was profound given the salience of the view held by NTA activists that the coalition was more 'grassroots' than the PS —there was little critical comment made by NTA activists about the PS tactics. 129 NTA activists regarded AA as solidly anti-APEC. However, NTA and AA differed in their tactical approach. NTA activists were unanimous that AA's use of non- violent civil disobedience was confrontational compared to the more educational approaches of NTA or PS. 3 4 Similar to their perception of the PS, NTA activists thought that AA did not adopt a protracted campaign of education. Instead, AA was seen by NTA activists as incorporating a more spontaneous plan of action than NTA. Some criticised AA's use of direct action as "elitist. " According to this criticism, direct action is based on the questionable premise that a small group of activists can influence social change. AA's direct action amounted to nothing more than, as one activist put it, "tactical radicalism " which failed to build a mass movement. Such action radicalises —but only in the short term. Furthermore, the police brutality that resulted from the student's actions was not connected by AA activists to the 'deep' issues of globalisation. By comparison, NTA activists characterised the coalition's approach as mass action aimed at building community support for its program (although one activist conceded that the march which backed up the campus action was evidence that AA had done considerable groundwork on campus). Many of the NTA activists commented that AA's direct action tactics were evidence of a well-planned and successful media strategy. Some NTA activists praised AA for its 'media savvy.' While there was criticism of AA within the coalition, this criticism was not overt and as one activist put it, "there was license and respect between AA and NTA." c) The perception of differences: structural and cultural. The differences in analysis and in strategy and tactics between NTA and AA and between NTA and the PS, 130 had, according to NTA activists, a foundation in what might be described as an 'ontological ensemble' of structural and cultural variables. NTA activists strongly identified the coalition as a 'grassroots' organisation representing the voice of the 'marginalised.' This identification appears to have been a major reason why many were attracted to becoming members in the first place. By contrast, NTA activists identified the PS as "not grassroots " and as "middle class, " 3 5 representing, as one put it, "the respectable left. " By comparison to NTA, they characterised the PS as having a hierarchy at the top of which were "union bureaucrats," "women's movement bureaucrats," or as one activist put it, "big names, like more liberal activists the people who when the radio needs a quasi-left-wing person, that's who they call up." One activist described a PS meeting in the following way: "...like that's bureaucracy, hacks, paid political organisers being around a table like for an hour its all very regimented and they give their orders to secretaries and things." Not surprisingly, a number of NTA activists connected the apparent privilege accorded this strata of the left to the PS position of engagement. Such a strata, they argued, is motivated to preserve the system which had served it well. While none of the AA activists were accused by NTA activists of wanting to see the system preserved, they made a number of attributions characterising AA adherents as different from members of NTA. Given that the tactical approaches of NTA and AA were highlighted for difference by NTA activists, political and cultural attributions of AA activists were often connected to events staged by that organisation. The spontaneous and creative nature of AA actions were seen to be evidence of the vitality to be expected of young people —particularly those inclined towards anarchism.36 Less 131 positive attributions concerned gender and the influence of the dominant North American culture. One NTA activist identified "heroic" males and another identified "angry white males" posturing in "cooF direct actions as being typical features of the AA campaign. Others saw evidence of "North American immediate gratification" and "libertarian" or "individualistic" values held by AA activists. Despite these criticisms a number of favourable remarks were made about the AA members. They were seen as "committed" and successful at exerting pressure on the powers-that-be. No such compliments were forthcoming about the PS organisers. Variation and middle ground The foregoing analysis suggests that NTA activists constructed a collective identity which unambiguously differentiated the coalition from other organisations in the multiorganisational field. The boundary drawn around this identity relative to other organisations was necessary to keep the coalition together but it was not sufficient to provide a collective 'we' within the organisation. While a sense of NTA's unique position in the multiorganisational field underlay the basis on which its members collaborated, this collective identity did not constitute a point at which the individual activist felt her or his own personal identity meld with that of the organisation. One activist summed up why this was the case for her, "I went to NTA because I perceived it as activist, but politically there were too many political differences for me to actually think about being with the coalition." These political differences resulted in very little variation of opinion among NTA activists when defining the boundary between NTA 132 and the government or business. However, these differences produced variation among NTA activists regarding how they perceived other social movement organisations relative to the coalition. For some NTA activists the boundaries dividing NTA from other actors in the APEC opposition movement were solid, for others they were malleable. Of the PS and AA, NTA activists were the least critical of AA. However, there were variations in their critiques of AA's analysis and campaign —some reflecting negatively on NTA's performance as an organisation. For example, one activist thought that NTA had missed an opportunity to reach a more general audience by not focusing on human rights in the way that AA had done. Another NTA activist who had attended - some AA events noted, with approval, more discussion of identity related issues within AA than within NTA. As mentioned above the criticisms of AA's actions were accompanied by acknowledgement of its achievements. However, these positive acknowledgements did not modify substantial differences between the two organisations attributed to them by NTA activists. That there were differences between the two organisations was confirmed by the A A activists whom I interviewed. Both saw NTA as employing a more traditional approach to campaigning and protest than AA. Both identified a more hierarchical structure existing in NTA than in AA. AA had consciously chosen a horizontal 'process' oriented decision-making model. The activists confirmed that issues of identity, gender and ethnicity in particular, had arisen during the campaign. For example, AA women had caucused to find ways to confront overbearing male behaviour within the organisation. In the two examples given above, human rights and identity 133 issues, two NTA activists stated that AA had features to its campaign lacking in the campaign of NTA. By contrast, NTA activists identified no such features worthy of emulation in the campaign of the PS. Nevertheless, while the perceived differences between the PS and NTA were central to the coalition's origins and maintenance of is collective identity, there was no absolute unanimity of opinion on the extent or character of these differences. This division of opinion within NTA became more pronounced as the AELM drew nearer and the presence of substantial anti-APEC sentiment within the PS became more apparent. For example, the title of the PS women's conference was "The Second International Women's Conference Against APEC" (my italics). Also there were considerable anti-APEC forces within the International Forum: Workers Rights and Democratic Development. (As evidence that there was no unanimity of opinion within the PS, the final declaration of the PS did not include a unified engagement position). As a result of incongruities between these aspects of the PS and the 'official' NTA view, a number of NTA activists cast doubt on some of the key assertions made within NTA about the PS. In the light of a strong anti-APEC contingent within the PS, some NTA activists viewed as exaggerated NTA's claim to be the 'true opposition'. One even stated that the PS played a critical role in representing the opposition of a particular part of the spectrum of the left. In this respect a number of activists regarded the PS as being complementary to —rather than competing with— NTA. One activist cast doubt on the notion that the PS was a "wishy-washy umbrella group" and he regretted that there was a mutual stubbornness between the two groups in recognising the work of the other. Thus, while incorporation of the analysis of the PS as a body 134 against which NTA defined itself as 'different' remained intact throughout the life of the coalition, the research data shows that, in reality, there was less of a polarity than might have appeared to be the case at the outset of the coalition. There were, in short, NTA activists, all members of the non-centre group, who identified intermediary positions between NTA and the PS. This identification amounted to a recognition by those activists that both NTA and the PS were credible organisations PS activists whom I interviewed also recognised common features between the two organisations and between their campaigns. A union organiser described NTA and the PS as being "in the same army, different divisions." A representative of the Council of Canadians said that the engagement/non-engagement issue was not as black and white as it was presented. He described the differences among all of the groups organising around APEC as being one of how much emphasis each put into different parts of a common strategy which involved the following elements: sending a message to the government; educating the public; making international connections and using the media. On the NTA-PS split he commented on the "minute " differences separating the two organisations, "when you compare our positions with that of APEC and that of the business leaders in there, I'm sure the business leaders would have a hard time trying to figure out the difference. " There were, however, some comments made about NTA by PS organisers that were critical and indicated dissimilarities between the two organisations. For example, the Women's Conference organiser spoke of the PS as representing a wide range of groups and she criticised NTA for claiming that it was the only group "truly opposed" to APEC. She remarked that invitations to the Women's Conference were turned down 135 by NTA. The primary reason given by this activist for the women's conference not joining forces with NTA rather than the PS, was that NTA was not a national body, that it was a marginal faction, and that although the Women's Conference took a similar position to NTA, they had chosen to fight the social democratic tendencies in the PS "from the inside. " Three of those interviewed spoke of NTA as not being open, of being dogmatic or as one activist put it, "hard to engage with. " The dissenting views of NTA activists and the political positioning of NTA described by PS activists together suggest that the political boundaries between the organisations was not rigidly defined. NTA activists identified a middle ground where the goals and strategies of the PS and NTA met. This apprehension did not undermine the coalition's collective identity; however, it did lead some NTA activists to question the fundamental assumptions that the identity was based on. The differentiation between A A and NTA was not fundamental to building the identity of NTA —AA was, after all, a member of the coalition and as such was seen as an ally. Nevertheless, qualities associated with AA, its radical democratic structure, anarchistic spontaneity, its unconventional and confrontational tactics, represented characteristics not present in NTA. In certain cases the absence of these characteristics in NTA signified to NTA activists a deficiency in the coalition, calling into question the underpinning of NTA's collective identity. In other cases, the absence confirmed the difference agreed-upon by NTA activists between NTA and AA. The similarity or contrast, presence or absence of certain features in any one of the organisation's campaigns relative to that of another illustrate tensions which exist on the left between different traditions, practices and 136 ideologies. What separates these organisations is also what maintains them over time — identities built on the political forces released by these tensions. Summary By presenting these findings, where NTA activists attributed differences between NTA and the other major actors in the APEC drama, I have tried to come to an image or identity which NTA activists held of themselves. This identity served as an orienting device for NTA activists as they pursued their activities on behalf of the coalition. While this identity held together for the duration of the coalition's existence, it became fragile as events inside and outside of the coalition weakened its coherence. NTA activists joined and perpetuated the coalition on an understanding that it operated on the periphery of Canada's body politic. This positioning was premised on an outright rejection not just of APEC, but of the hegemonic role of the ruling institutions of Canadian society. The coalition's willingness to involve the mainstream media as a means of communicating its counter-hegemonic stand suggests that NTA occupied a space peripheral to, rather than outside of, the body politic. That NTA did not become drawn into a more mainstream position by its use of the media was the result of the media's exclusionary response to the presence of unorthodox ideological discourses within the coalition. Also, NTA remained relatively uncovered by the mainstream media because it made a conscious choice not to use dramatic tactics (such as those chosen by AA) which would attract attention to its campaign. However, in one respect NTA inadvertently became an actor in a media construct: the decision to maintain a critical peripheral position by 'sticking to its principles' played into the 137 media's interest in exploiting the division between NTA and the PS. While this exploitation diverted attention from the issues important to NTA, it nonetheless gave public exposure to one aspect of the coalition's collective identity. The division between the PS and NTA was a primary contrivance, devised by NTA activists, for drawing a boundary around NTA's collective identity. NTA activists clearly saw the coalition as the revolutionary alternative to the reform-orientated PS. NTA activists accused the PS of colluding with the ruling institutions, and it was seen by some members -but not all- as a phoney opposition to APEC. NTA reserved for itself the status of the authentic militant foe of APEC. The roots of this adversarial identity went deep and were, from its inception, international in scope. NTA brought together groups that subscribed to the belief that an overarching system of oppression was responsible for the continued subjugation and immiseration of working and marginalised peoples of North and South. In representing a voice for this constituency, NTA framed itself as an agent for fundamental emancipatory change. There was virtual consensus among NTA activists on the type of collective struggle necessary to bring about this change. Given the constraints of capitalist society, NTA activists subscribed to the idea that struggle is a long, hard process of building communities of support and action among those most affected by globalisation. NTA activists viewed both the PS and AA as comparing unfavourably to the coalition in this respect. Community education and the mobilisation of grassroots organisations were tactics at the heart of the NTA campaign. NTA activists viewed AA, with its creative but mercurial direct action tactics, as deficient in its commitment to the 'long-haul' of collective mobilisation. Likewise, the PS did not appear to fit this requirement but for 138 different reasons —its leadership was viewed as remote, bureaucratic and incapable, or unwilling, to embrace the work of organising those most disadvantaged by the system. In the case of both AA and the PS, attributions made by NTA activists about the kind of people involved in these organisations set them apart from those associated with NTA. This, in turn, added to the sense of a collective 'we' within NTA. To speak of collective identity is to speak of boundaries and conceptual frameworks applied to the multiorganisational field by members of a social movement, or, in this case, a social movement organisation (SMO), as a way of elaborating a common campaign strategy. This collective identity is never stable —changes in the protest environment, and how these changes affect individuals or groups in the organisation mean that re-negotiation of the collective identity is always a possibility (Melluci 1989). Because the coalition's life was finite, most of the NTA activists did not mount a call for any such re-negotiation; however, new information coming into the coalition from the oppositional field weakened certain aspects of the coalition's original basis of collaboration. Evidence of this is contained in the recognition by some NTA activists of intermediary overlapping positions and issue concerns between NTA and the PS. However, other aspects of the collective identity stayed firm. Most NTA activists stayed with the coalition because it represented a collective expression of revolutionary resoluteness. Many NTA activists attributed social privilege to the organisers of the PS as well as gender privilege and individualism to AA organisers. These perceptions reinforced the identity of NTA as a group committed to the interests of the least privileged in Canadian society. Neither the media nor the government 139 presented a threat to NTA's collective identity —if anything their political distance from the work of the coalition strengthened it. The media may have strengthened the coalition's collective identity by consolidating its public image. So far NTA has been figured as one of a number of actors in a multiorganisational field. How the coalition was able to come together as an independent actor in this field depended on the collaboration of its individual members, most representing organisations of their own. As with any coalition this collaboration, once established, had to be maintained. As the campaign progressed and the NTA activists learned about what else was happening within the APEC opposition movement, some activists expressed doubts about the absoluteness of what made the coalition different from the other players. However, there were other factors involved in weakening the cohesiveness of NTA's collective identity. That few of the NTA activists admitted to a consistent sense of personal identification with the organisation attests, in part, to the short-term nature of the coalition and, in part, to tensions generated within the coalition. I now turn to an investigation of these tensions. 140 Chapter 5: Campaign Perspectives of the Centre Group. I interviewed 5 members of the centre group. A l l of these activists had a long- standing relationship with the PWC and had been involved with various aspects of the work carried out by the centre (see history). Three participants were members of the Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance. A l l were part of the N T A campaign from beginning to end. The importance of the centre group to the coalition cannot be overstated. The impetus for N T A came largely from the centre group. Its contribution of resources to N T A was the single most significant factor in the successful day-to-day running of the coalition's campaign. The PWC received and transmitted telephone messages concerning coalition business seven days a week. Committee meetings took place there on a regular basis. The newsletter was written and developed at the PWC. Centre group members worked at the PWC until the late hours of the night. The centre and non-centre groups both identified the centre group as the coalition's "core" member group. I will uncover the various components of this attribution and its significance in the findings (see p. 105 for description of how the findings are laid out). r Goals of the centre group. The centre group had two main goals. The first was to introduce an international perspective to the campaign. This goal had two component parts, first to build international solidarity and second to include and use the term 'imperialism.' The 141 centre activists saw the anti-APEC campaign as an opportunity for North Americans to gain an understanding of the situation of people in the South. They wanted to make public an analysis that connects the exploitation of peoples of North and South. This strategy included educating people to move away from a 'paternalistic' charity model of pity for the South to one of changing the international economic system for the benefit of all workers. They wanted the conference and march to be a signal to people in the South that the North was prepared to act in solidarity with the South. One activist puzzled over what she saw as the reluctance of North American activists to support struggles in the South since, as she put it, "a victory against imperialism in one country is a victory for all. " Achieving this consciousness requires that people in the North have an understanding of the term imperialism to begin with and the centre group activists acknowledged that this was not the case. Several of them cited, as evidence, the initial struggle to have the term accepted within the coalition. Therefore, another part of the goal to promote an internationalist perspective was, as one activist put it, to "reclaim the term imperialism. " This goal could only be achieved by bringing the term back into the consciousness of activists. The second goal of the centre group was connected to the first. This was to define the objectives of the international conference. Several of the centre group activists alluded to the historical significance of bringing together the anti-imperialist struggles of North and South at the conference. One activist talked about the importance of having a third-world perspective at the conference and another saw the opportunity to use the case of the Philippines as a model for understanding the impact of imperialism on third world peoples. Presenting the NDFP campaign at an international 1 4 2 conference was an important symbol of resistance to imperialism for the centre group. While the centre group wanted a strong international content at the conference, they also wanted a local component. As for the content of the conference, among other items, two of the activists thought that there should be academic input at the conference —as one activist put it, "to put into theory what we have practised at the grassroots. " Organising conditions of the centre group: a) Political traditions. The centre group's goals were consistent with its political traditions. The centre-group's source of political inspiration had its foundation in third world anti-imperialist struggles. One activist commented on people's resistance to using the term 'imperialism' in Canada. She pointed out that, by contrast, the term would be instantly recognised and understood in a third world context. Speaking of the uncompromising stand that imperialism forces people in the third world to take, this activist expressed her organisation's commitment to the work of the coalition: There's no way that, I mean, that when people are suffering such hardship, and such brutal conditions, struggling for their own survival, there's no way that they can say OK maybe let's change it, or talk about it, or let's put a human face on it, let's try and make it more inclusive. I mean they know, I mean its so clear for them because its their experience and they know what APEC is a part of and they know what imperialism means because they experience it so harshly. So thinking about that and how that is the basis for our organisation's involvement in the coalition, that's really what drives or inspires our commitment to the coalition and to the organising. The exploitation and oppression of people in the third world witnessed first hand by many of the centre group activists in their own homeland (or the homeland of their 143 parents) of the Philippines provided an intense emotional commitment to the cause of national liberation in that country and to mass-based organisations throughout the third world. A l l of the activists had a consistent and strong analysis which both flowed from and reinforced this commitment. It included a critique of global capitalism which connected a history of colonisation to the debt crisis, International Monetary Fund 'Structural Adjustment Programs' and to the Philippines government's labour export policy which they viewed as 'forced migration.' As part of N T A they wanted to interconnect the politics of the Philippines, APEC, globalisation and conditions in Canada. A cornerstone of interconnection, which joined the work of the PWC and support for the national democratic agenda in the Philippines was to argue that Filipino workers (often highly educated and the majority of whom are women) are forced by their conditions to leave their country of origin to work as domestic labour in Canada. This arrangement works to the advantage of the government of the Philippines which relies on the inflow of foreign exchange sent to the Philippines by overseas workers. It 1 also works to the advantage of the government of Canada because a supply of cheap domestic labour pre-empts middle-class Canadians from lobbying the Federal government for its long promised, but never delivered, national child day-care program. The linking of local, global and international issues was a central objective of the centre group and explained its motivation for being in the coalition. Its members were heavily involved in the coalition's educational outreach and this linking formed the basis of their message. A centre group activist maintained that with their knowledge of conditions in the third world and their links to third world movements, the centre group could provide "political education and guidance " to the coalition. 144 According to the centre group, education was the pivotal component of the campaign. The anti-imperialist national liberation struggle in the Philippines recognised the importance of long-term education as a political tactic and this served as a model for the centre group of how to organise the N T A campaign. Using the concept of protracted struggle, the centre group's template for political organising followed a particular pathway: first, find out what is happening with the people, second, educate and organise them by bringing them into a campaign and, third, in a 'step by step' process expand that campaign. The examples set by third-world national liberation struggles provided the inspiration and a framework for the centre group's strategic approaches. The activists were also oriented to issues of importance to the Filipino community in Canada and to issues affecting the whole of Canadian society. For example, two activists from the Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance spoke of issues of identity as Filipino-Canadians being instrumental in their entry into activism. Thus, the narratives of justice for the third world, forced migration, and ethnic status in Canadian society were linked by an internally unified analysis of imperialism and class politics. The concept of capitalism as a world system combined the analysis of working class struggles in Canada and in the Philippines —at the same time acknowledging differences in the organisation of opposition to capitalism in each location. That there was a strong socialist tradition in the centre group's politics is clear. A l l of the centre group activists stated that, as they saw it, while other struggles were important, class struggle37 and material politics defined the primary emancipatory movement in opposing imperialist globalisation. 145 The centre group's political tradition was animated by a passionate commitment to forwarding the project of global social justice. This commitment meant addressing the roots of inequality between first and third-world nations and the roots of social inequality within all nations. This commitment was pronounced in its focus on the politics of the Philippines with a strong endorsement of the various national liberation movements, above ground and underground, in that country. N T A served as a vehicle to make the expression of this focus a reality in the context of organising to oppose the A E L M in Vancouver. This event provided an opportunity for the group to carve out a place for its revolutionary and anti-imperialist politics in the social movement to oppose advanced capitalist globalisation. The centre group's analysis and goals epitomised the essence of NTA' s collective identity. b) View of Canadian left. The centre group identified certain features of the Canadian left as barriers to their political agenda or adverse to their political tradition. In other areas they were critical of the condition of the left. Centre group members reported that resistance to using the term 'imperialism' was a barrier encountered early in the campaign —inside and outside of the coalition. What was this resistance? To illustrate an answer to this question, the following are quotes from two activists outside of N T A whose organisations had chosen not to use the term. One activist from the PS who included the term in his own analysis of globalisation nevertheless thought that its use set up a reaction in people which was, "God here comes the rhetoric, here it comes. " An activist with A A who was also in favour of the term remarked that "you have to bring it up in the right context. I can see that word resonating in Asia... because people understand imperialism; here, it is a learning process to even think of Canada 146 as being an imperialist country. " N T A activists encountered a number of organisations that had a preference for using the term "corporate globalisation." Within the coalition there had been an intense debate about its use and this had extended to the naming of the conference which some members had expressed a preference for calling a "festival of resistance." However, promoting use of the term imperialism as part of the opposition movement to APEC was critical for the centre group since for them it was the key concept linking struggles against capital in North and South. Highlighting the term was also a tactical decision because at a time when public consciousness about APEC was high, using anything other than the term imperialism would, in their estimation, water down the militancy of the coalition's message. A centre group activist expressed frustration with the Canadian left for not taking the initiative in starting an anti-imperialist group to oppose APEC —as a result, he said, "We got the ball rolling. " The same activist went on to say that the centre group had encountered, both within and outside of the coalition, an expectation that the PWC might form the nucleus of an ongoing anti-capitalist movement in Vancouver. The activist was clear that this would not be the case since building socialism in Canada was the job of the Canadian left —not that of the PWC. That the left had, so far, failed to do this made international solidarity difficult to achieve and one centre-group activist expressed disappointment about the inability of Marxist-Leninist groups in Vancouver to connect with the international delegates at the PCAIG: "They just showed up because they have things to display which is normal behaviour of the left here. And whenever they start gathering, they want to open up their table and their books. That is not the kind of organising that we need in order to achieve radical change. " Furthermore, one 147 of the activists observed that Marxist-Leninist groups paid lip-service to third-world struggles while another commented on the "superior attitude " of some left groups towards people from the third-world. The activist was surprised at this given what she considered to be a "higher form of struggle" in the third world compared to the quiescence of first world 'radical' opposition. The low level of organised radical opposition to the ruling establishment in Canada was another theme that arose from the interviews of centre group activists. The left was characterised as weak, fragmented and sectarian. Two of the activists held up A A as an example of the left's inability to mount a systematic and organised campaign, a symptom of the left's inability to wage a struggle from beginning to end. "Such action raises the consciousness of the people but does not sustain it, " one said. Another mentioned that many left groups were more interested in scoring points over each other than in confronting the common enemy. Another theme was that the left was too preoccupied with divisive identity politics. Such politics did not, for example, in the case of the mainstream women's movement recognise that women were not equally oppressed -that as a result of class, some women oppress others, that likewise, some people of colour oppress others. This is not to suggest that a politics of identity was unimportant to the centre group whose members had long campaigned against racism. However, the North American version of identity politics had a missing element —it did not show how such a politics needed to be situated in the capitalist relations of production. Centre group activists explained identity politics and the competitiveness of Marxist-Leninist groups as characteristic of North American individualism. Lastly, two activists drew attention to the prevalence of 'anarchist tendencies' in the Vancouver left. 148 These tendencies sometimes showed up in the coalition —one activist gave as an example of these tendencies in action: the suggestion that the conference be called a "festival of resistance." There was variation in the centre group's summary of the left; it was not uniformly negative. One activist concluded from her experience in N T A that there was potential for networking and successful coalition building on the left which included activists working together across lines of gender and race. Another concluded that under the right conditions the socially subordinated could gel as a force to defeat capital; however, this would require a skilful leadership that was, at present, not in existence. N T A centre activists generally saw the condition of the left as providing far from ideal circumstances in which to organise opposition to APEC. This was the case to the extent that they felt compelled to initiate the anti-APEC opposition in Vancouver. The low-ebb of left opposition, its unsustainable strategies of resistance, divisive debates and reluctance to adopt the concept of imperialism were cited as hindrances to developing opposition to APEC. These deficiencies nonetheless provided an opportunity for the centre group to make its own unique mark on the political landscape of Vancouver. Consistent with its own traditions the centre group provided the wherewithal to conduct a concerted campaign giving representation to third-world struggles and linking these to social justice issues in Canada. c) View of NTA internal conditions. As for all of the members, the coalition environment became the operational milieu for the centre group to actualise its anti- APEC objectives. This required that the centre group become part of a collective relationship. Into this relationship it brought its political traditions, its experience of the 1 4 9 Canadian left and its own campaign goals. Working out this relationship was an ongoing task. The centre group activists found themselves in partnership with other members from different traditions who, it was perceived, had varying degrees of commitment to the coalition. Being at the logistical hub of the coalition, the centre group was in a strategic position to assess the various working dimensions of the coalition. In doing so, the centre group arrived at a series of conclusions about the impact of variable member experience and variable volunteer labour commitment on the maintenance and momentum of the organisation. The interviewees identified three main areas of concern: deficiencies in commitment; fragility of coalition unity and organisational problems. Uncertain commitment. As mentioned above, the PWC was a very active place in which the lights burned late at night. Hard work was crucial to the success of the coalition. Centre group members found themselves in a position of having to supply a great deal of labour to the organisation. This was confirmed by one of the centre group activists, who, when asked about possible sources of tensions within the coalition, replied: I think the main one, speaking as a member ...who works at the PWC, I think the main one was getting people to commit, to volunteer or to take the initiative, and to take on tasks, to speak at an event or do a workshop, to fax out or do smaller logistical things. That was definitely the main one, because at times there was the perception that because the NTA office was in the centre, that at times if people from other organisations weren't there, there was this perception that the work would go on anyways, almost magically, that stuff would just happen like articles would get written, forms would be completed you know, without fully appreciating that it is happening, because most people at the centre were doing the work. That was one of the sources of tension. 150 The fact that the infrastructure of the coalition was situated at the PWC worked to the disadvantage of the centre group by creating the impression that not only was the main day-to-day business of the coalition happening at the PWC but that the group occupying the PWC was taking care of it without need of assistance. In their comments, the centre group activists spoke of variability in the work commitment of non-centre group activists. Some, they said, were involved on a regular basis right up to the mobilisation. Some started but left midway, some started midway, others were absent for a while but returned, others, as one activist put it, "were willing to put in their ideas but were not willing to put more energy into it. " Various explanations were offered for the variable work commitment. One activist remarked that work commitment could never be assured because the coalition was organised on a volunteer basis and there was no structure to oblige people to attend or to contribute. She pointed out that many members of the centre group were, fortunately for the coalition, in a position to give time because they were on summer break as students, or were otherwise unemployed. With regard to the lack of work contributed at the centre, one activist suggested that the "reluctance to come down, " (to the centre) might have been due to a perception that the coalition was a "Filipino thing. " She based this explanation on information that had reached the centre group from the larger activist community —not from within the coalition. There was acknowledgement by one activist that the centre group was the most "consolidated" group in the coalition and that having a strong base of support might be a factor in encouraging individuals to take on initiatives and commitment to work. However, 151 another activist observed that there were individuals who contributed a considerable amount work but who belonged to no group. One activist saw the variable commitment as evidence of "uneven development" in the coalition. This condition is where, "some people develop more rapidly than others, some are willing to do certain things, some people say I'm not going to attend meetings but I'll be there during the rally. But some people say, no if you want to become more relevant and if you want to lead, then you have to attend the meetings and understand the dynamics of the movement. " This explanation is consistent with a number of the centre group activists who strongly asserted that they were willing to carry the burden of the work that they did because it contributed to the "larger movement." Fragility of coalition unity. Following on from the uneven development argument was the issue of coalition unity. Two of the activists stated that coalitions usually follow a path that alternates between internal struggle and internal unity. NTA was no different in this respect, one activist recalled both controversial debates and moments of solidarity within the coalition —the March official launch being one of the latter. She compared her own group, the FCYA, as enjoying a high level of unity by comparison to NTA, which, because of the broadness of groups represented there, was much less unified. The roots of this essential lack of cohesiveness were explained in terms of uneven development, ideological differences and different political priorities. Although these categories were not clearly demarcated, they nonetheless signified dimensions of an underlying fragility perceived by the centre group activists. 152 Uneven development —sometimes called "different levels of understanding" by the centre activists was a key concept used by four out of the five centre group activists when identifying reasons for instability in the coalition. As used by the centre activists, the term means the differential growth of skill and awareness which arises in the course of activism. It can be summarised in the following way: some activists in the movement develop an understanding of the work in which they are involved more quickly and deeply than others; these activists develop a critical analysis of the system which affects their everyday lives. As a consequence, some are able to grasp the situation that they are working in more thoroughly than others —responding appropriately to the demands of the occasion. The result is that some members of the coalition were able to understand the politics of the anti-APEC organising by responding to the urgency of the work. Some were not able to do this to the same extent, thereby creating a discrepancy in the work output or planning input that could be mustered from the individual coalition members during the campaign. Admitting that this view might not find popular acceptance within the coalition and among its supporters, one activist nonetheless stated that "individual development is always there., its a reality. " Another was careful to avoid blaming individuals -particularly young people— for not having developed a higher degree of political awareness. She lay the responsibility for this lack of development on inadequate guidance provided by the Canadian left. The effects of uneven development were many. One activist complained that co-ordination of tasks within the coalition was difficult given the unreliability of work commitments due to uneven development. Different styles or approaches to resistance 153 were explained as resulting from uneven development. For example, the suggestion made by non-centre activists that the conference be called a "festival of resistance" demonstrated an analysis which was unable to determine the difference between culture and politics. "Do we want only people who will come to a festival to come to a conference? " asked one of the centre activists. The importance to the anti-imperialist movement of making alliances with academics was argued by the centre activists who proposed having an academic speaker at the conference. A centre group activist observed that some coalition members objected to this proposal as condoning elitism. This objection demonstrated the existence of "different levels of understanding" in the coalition. Thus, in many cases where there was disagreement over tactics within the coalition and uneven development was seen as a contributing factor. This is not to suggest that the centre activists did not expect differences to occur within the coalition. They acknowledged the variety of ideological positions, organisational styles and political interests represented within the coalition. These differences were regarded as inevitable —and their incorporation into the coalition even seen as an achievement— but at the same time they constituted a potential threat to the unity of the coalition. Given acceptance of their inevitability, ideological splits were seen as posing a different kind of problem to the instability caused by uneven development. Whereas uneven development tended to weaken the fabric of the coalition, ideological differences might cause a rupture in the fabric itself. Given perceptions of actual and potential threats to the stability and direction of the coalition, how did the centre activists evaluate the unity of the coalition? Here there is contradictory evidence. One activist attributed the inconsistent work output of 154 member groups and individuals to a lack of personal identification with NTA. One remarked that some did identify with the organisation but underrated its historical significance. On the other hand, a couple of centre activists thought that some individuals, particularly those who were not part of an organisation, tended to over- identify with the organisation by having unrealistic expectations of its potential to provide an ongoing focus for the radical left in Vancouver. Organisational problems. Lastly, the centre group members commented on a number of organisational problems affecting the coalition. According to one centre group activist the coalition adopted a committee system in order to, "decentralise the work, because we know that we can't always have meetings of everybody. So if you want everybody to be involved from beginning to end then you hook yourself up with a committee and attend meetings. " One activist reported that, initially, when 30 people turned up to a monthly meeting, decision-making became difficult. The committee system, with a central coordinating committee was designed to facilitate decision- making as well as to provide a means of channelling volunteers into the work. It did not always work that well according to some of the centre activists; for example, it was never clear whether or not MOB should distribute the newsletter. Another noted constant changes in MOB representation, or absence of MOB representation on CoCo, as causing a problem with communication between the two committees. This system also inadvertently set up a division of labour on the basis of assumed group expertise. A centre activist said that a decision was made within the centre group that non- Filipinos were in a better position to do the mobilisation because of their experience and 155 connections organising in the local community. The activist added that not all of the centre group activists were in favour of this decision. Summary of the centre group's organising context. The centre group was the most consolidated member group of the NTA coalition with a collective identity of its own. This was the case by dint of the resources available to it and because of the personal network formed by the overlapping organisations which made up its collective membership. Its consolidation was enhanced by having a powerfully motivated and unified analysis of international and local conditions. The centre group used its position and analysis towards the realisation of unequivocal objectives in the NTA campaign. The political tradition of the centre came out of a particular framework of social justice. This tradition views international capital as imperialistic in its exploitation of third world labour and material resources, as well as constraining in its limitation of national self-determination in the third world. With its connection to groups fighting for national liberation in the Philippines and in continuation of the 1996 anti-imperialist conference in the Philippines, it initiated through a local women's group the NTA coalition to oppose the A E L M in Vancouver. Coming out of its political tradition, its goals were to introduce an anti-imperialist politics into the opposition movement against APEC. A key component of this goal was supporting community education. Educational networking became a hallmark of the NTA campaign. This campaign came into being in what the centre activists regarded as less than favourable conditions. From their point of view the Vancouver left would not, on its own, create an anti-imperialist campaign. For this reason they took the lead in mounting 156 unequivocal opposition to APEC in Vancouver. Consistent with their valuing of international solidarity they had hoped that local left Marxist-Leninist groups would establish connections with progressive forces in the Philippines. However, the divisions on the socialist left and perceived disinterest or a superior attitude to third world struggles manifested by potential allies, were not conducive to such linking. Despite these problems the coalition was able to attract a wide range of local and national groups to become members. The coalition also presented a challenge to the centre group. In particular the diversity of the membership appeared to be a source of frustration. A wide range of political experience and work commitment in the coalition contributed to an unpredictable supply of labour needed to undertake the coalition's tasks. Furthermore, inconsistent attendance and political traditions seen as incompatible with the main thrust of the campaign contributed to shifts of direction or tactics which were not favoured by the group. Ideological differences were seen as another source of potential instability, and the committee structure of the coalition, while a stabilising mechanism, did not work as it was designed to. Given the encountered conditions, internal and external to the coalition, and given their strong motivation to proceed with an internationalist agenda in a local setting, what were the actions of the centre group? Actions of the centre group The centre group responded to the conditions encountered within the coalition by taking actions which would maintain, first, continuity, second, focus and/or leadership, 157 and third, integrity of the coalition's structure. A major problem identified by the centre group was maintaining a consistent approach to decision-making. An activist expressed the problem this way, "it fluctuates in terms of attendance at meetings, so I remember this coming up a couple of times, well you missed the meeting and so this was the only time to make a decision, otherwise, if we keep putting it off, we are not going to see each other until a couple of weeks from now, and then how can we ever make a decision? " A frustration voiced by several of the activists was that they felt forced to re-visit decisions that had been made previously because when an action which was based on a previous decision was made public, people who had not been party to the decision, would raise objections to the action. A centre activist illustrated this point by giving an example. Objections were raised by non-centre activists to conference 38 arrangements introduced for discussion at the last coalition meeting in October. The centre activist was surprised at these objections because, she claimed, the structure and program of the conference had been discussed and agreed to months prior to this meeting. In the light of irregular attendance at coalition and committee meetings, the centre group (who regularly attended meetings throughout the life of the coalition) adopted a strategy of making a decision based on the premise that it was consistent with the basis of unity. One activist explained the strategy this way, " If people can't come to the organisation, sometimes we make a decision. Its sort of understood by people involved who are working within a framework, a basis of unity, and obviously we make decisions that go outside of that committee, even if people don't agree with that decision it can be brought up again. " Thus, at times, decisions were made by the centre group 158 'by default.' This is perhaps not surprising. Due to the fact that they conducted the daily business of the NTA coalition at the PWC office, the centre-group activists had to make 'decisions on the spot.' A full consultation on every decision was not practical. The impracticality of full participatory decision-making in the face of inconsistent attendance and commitment was one of the reasons given for not having what one activist called "ultra-democracy" in the coalition. According to this view, strict adherence to ultra-democratic principles was impractical. Another activist declared that conducting strict consensus politics in an organisation where there was a lack of ideological and political unity would cause more difficulties than it would resolve. As a result, the centre group concluded that the conditions within the coalition were not conducive to a process-based, open-ended decision-making model, As activists, we want the results and if we can't make a decision, so what's the point? We can't achieve anything. We can't be ultra- democratic in our discussions, otherwise we can't achieve anything. We are in a system, the capitalist system is very sophisticated, forward looking. Fifty years from now they know exactly what they want and as an activist, we should have a better way of thinking and we should be more organised. If we want to confront the system, then we 'd better think of ways that we are going to do this. It's not just "anything is OK." A strategy of firm, concerted and practical planning was subscribed to by the centre group. They maintained that people who had not attended meetings where decisions had been made did not have the right to re-open the debate which led to the decision. Also, if decisions were made without the input of the entire coalition, or the entire committee, depending on the situation, they would be made in the spirit and principles 159 laid down in the basis of unity. Moreover, members of the centre group activists steadfastly claimed that they never made a major decision without bringing it to the attention of the monthly coalition meeting. Ultimately the question of decision-making became a major issue within the coalition. I will address this later but, for now, based on the foregoing evidence, I conclude that goal-directed decisiveness was at least as important to the centre group as the need for a meticulous observation of democratic procedures. When conditions dictated that such a process was not possible, the centre group members were willing to make pragmatic decisions. They earnestly maintained the legitimacy of this pragmatism by arguing that decisions were made with reference to the coalition's founding document. In other words, decision-making was consistent with the objectives of the coalition and consistent with the rule that "the majority cannot impose on the minority and the minority cannot stop the work of the majority" (See objectives of coalition under Basic Principles and quoted rule under Decision-Making Process in the document entitled 'The NTA Coalition and PCAIG' Appendix 5). The centre group's decisiveness was situated in a broader concept of leadership. One activist emphasised that this leadership was political leadership. That there would be political leadership in the coalition was regarded as inevitable, as well as desirable, "Within the coalition itself, you need a core of individual leaders, or a core of organisation members in the coalition that would help set the pace of the work of the coalition once the basis of unity has been established and again....but I know that some people might resent some people taking leadership. " As in the case of 'uneven development,' two of the centre group activists anticipated that there might be resistance 160 to a concept or practice used by the centre group, in this case, the concept of leadership. However, from the centre group's perspective there was much to lose by not accepting the need for their political leadership: "I think it (the centre group) played a very big role in trying to give direction and focus. There are a lot of tendencies in the coalition and if we don't, if the Filipino group didn't have a strong focus in positioning ourselves as NTA, then probably it would disperse But I think when people are, some of the organisations are getting out of focus, I think we played a very important role in refocusing the whole coalition. " The activist speaking here regarded the need for leadership as imperative, both for preserving the integrity of the organisation as well as in keeping it on track. Why did the centre group believe that it was the right member to lead the coalition? First, the centre group was the group most consistently present in the coalition —it had been in the coalition from beginning to end. Second, it had a long history of organising. Third, its ideas had certain advantages to those of other groups or individuals. One activist stated that internal struggle was normal in coalitions. This person said that out of a competition of ideas presented, one group emerges ahead of the others and tends to dominate the coalition with its analysis. In the case of NTA, this was the centre group which, having a historical perspective, having connections to third world movements, and having an understanding of APEC, was "well versed" in the political ideas necessary to lead the coalition's work. Leadership and the decisiveness that comes with taking on a leadership role provided the key to keeping the coalition together and focused. However, as leaders making decisions in the interest of the 161 coalition, the point was made repeatedly that the centre group's actions stayed within the spirit and intentions of the basis of unity. Another claim to leadership offered by the centre group was that it did not comprise the only concentration of leadership in the coalition. One activist observed that leadership within the coalition was to some extent governed by task and political priorities. For example, some of the most consistently present activists in the MOB committee, who were from the New Socialists, formed a node of leadership within the coalition. Their priority was to mobilise local groups and individuals for the march and rally. The conference was the bailiwick of the centre group activists on CoCo. One activist remarked that without the consistent presence of the centre group activists, the conference would not have been operationalised. As well as being the organ for ensuring the success of the conference, CoCo played a role in compensating for some of the perceived insufficiencies in the organisational structure of the coalition. According to some members of the centre group, the committee system did not work as well as it was designed to. For example, decisions made in the committees were not always communicated to CoCo. One centre group activist noted that CoCo was "forced to lead" the coalition. This happened as a response to the looseness of the coalition and because of communication difficulties between the committees. However, the activist added that CoCo did compromise when necessary, as, for example, when it backed down on trying to change a MOB committee decision to have the march at three o'clock. CoCo would have preferred twelve o'clock. 162 Keeping the coalition on track was an imperative for the centre group. Exercising leadership politically —and through CoCo practically— were ways in which this could be achieved. However, as I have described before, the functional strength of the coalition was also a matter of concern. The centre group took actions to remedy what they saw as inherent instability within the coalition. One action was to work very hard. Hard work compensated for the perceived variability of work commitment in the coalition and served to establish its claim to leadership: "So usually you will have certain individuals, whether they are connected to groups or not, who are really willing to put in their two cents worth of work; but the people who end up leading who take up most of the burden are those who have been involved in the coalition and they have a very strong organisation, because that is where they draw their strength. " Acknowledging that the consolidation of a particular leading group may cause resentment among other members not in a position to lead, the activist added, "there is really nothing more that we can do about it, the work must go on. " However, leadership and compensatory work did not address less tangible problems perceived by members of the centre group to exist in the coalition. They took a specific action to offset what they viewed as instability created by the presence of different ideological positions in the coalition. The proposal to stop the coalition's internal education was made at a coalition meeting on July 24th by a member of the centre group. Originally the internal education meetings had been set up to increase the coalition members' understanding of key concepts such as imperialism. The reason given for proposing their demise was pragmatic: that ideological cracks had started to 163 appear at the internal education meetings and to continue to hold them meant risking division in the coalition. At the meeting there was agreement that the proposal be accepted. However, this agreement was given reluctantly by some coalition members and the centre group's initiative to stop the education became an issue within the coalition. At the pre- conference assessment meeting a non-centre member expressed her view that the decision to stop the education program may have had negative repercussions. In reply, the centre group members were adamant that the coalition should not be responsible for providing this education, that it was the responsibility of member groups to educate their own members, and that education could be obtained through NTA public forums. One of the centre activists whom I interviewed expressed the view that a short-run coalition was not the venue for political debates and that the coalition was successful in avoiding difficult political debates among groups. Three of the centre group activists mentioned that if the centre group had differences of opinion —political or otherwise- with other coalition members, these disagreements would be dealt with on a bilateral basis. In other words, the whole coalition should not become involved. Thus, given the circumstances of the coalition, the centre group's preference was to prevent potentially damaging disagreements among member groups by limiting the opportunity for (or scope of) such disagreements. 164 Summary of the centre group's actions. The actions of the centre group in initiating the NTA coalition must be seen in the context of the circumstances that existed outside and inside of the coalition. Members of the centre group whom I interviewed expressed misgivings about the fractiousness and ineffectuality of the Canadian left (and therefore of the Vancouver left). However, what was outside became part of the interior of the coalition. The centre group found itself having to deal with a multiplicity of left groups and individuals who represented, in its view, a wide variation of ideological positions and political interests. The centre group had a lot at stake; its mission was not just local but international. Its goal was to provide a demonstration of support for third world struggles and, in particular, a continuation of the anti-imperialist campaign from the 1996 PCAIG. The centre group was, therefore, highly motivated to ensure that the coalition proceeded smoothly and stayed united. In achieving these objectives, the centre group identified problems that the coalition would have to overcome. These obstacles to a successful campaign were as follows: the unpredictability of consistent support for the coalition, inexperienced activists joining the coalition, procedural difficulties in the decision-making capacity of the coalition, and instability both in terms of ideological fissures and structural inadequacies. To remedy these problems the centre group, bolstered by a confidence based in its long history of organising and in the comprehensiveness of its political ideas, took on a political leadership role in the coalition. This meant contributing a great deal of work and other resources to the coalition. Leadership also required making 165 strategic decisions such as using the structure to its advantage and suggesting measures to inhibit potential conflict between members. 166 Chapter 6: Campaign Perspectives of the Non-Centre Group I interviewed 10 members of the non-centre group. Of these, only two were not closely associated with member groups. All were regular contributors to the work of the coalition, four on a continuous basis during the time of the study from June to November 1997. The member groups represented by these individuals included socialist groups, an environmental group, local left community support groups, and third world solidarity groups. All but two of the groups focused their activism in East Vancouver. The groups represented by these individuals, while enjoying amicable relations, cannot be described as constituting a collective unit in the way that the centre group, with its overlapping group memberships, can. While there was greater variation in the views expressed by this group than in those expressed by the centre group, there were many points of agreement on perspective and action. Unlike the centre group, the non-centre group did not have access to office facilities common to all of their organisations. They did have access to the PWC, but none of them were permanently situated there. Goals of the non-centre group The campaign aims of the non-centre group were not as coherent as those of the centre group. This finding is a reflection of the greater political and organisational heterogeneity represented by these groups, as well as a reflection of the looser ties between those interviewed compared to the stronger ties between the centre group interviewees. In fact, there was only one item, offered by half of those interviewed, 167 which suggested a common goal. This goal was the opportunity that NTA presented to organise local groups around a central problem. Arguably, the problem was globalisation rather than APEC specifically; however, the AELM was regarded as a symbolic event that could galvanise local opposition to free trade which as one activist put it, "is a central issue for the Canadian government and is therefore a central issue for the left. " There were two aspects attached to the opportunity for protest offered by NTA. The first was linking local issues such as po