Occupy Representation in order to Uncover Spaces of Power

How to analyze non-state-centered world politics and the possibility of democratizing global futures? I consider the role of representational politics to be one of the most neglected areas in these debates.

Representation is a concept that carries a particularly heavy baggage of state territoriality that complicates its use in non-state, transnational and global contexts. When someone brings up the importance of representation as an issue that social movements should not evade, it is typically perceived as an attempt to emphasize the importance of connecting the strategies of the movements more closely with the state. This exclusive association between the state and representation, that Silke Trommer and I have called their “umbilical cord”, needs to be cut. Continue reading

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Marriage Equality Law Rejection May Have a Silver Lining

A proposal for marriage equality law was blocked today in the Finnish parliament. Among other things, it proposed giving same-sex couples full adoption rights. The decision of the parliament’s legal affairs committee is obviously embarrassing for the attempts to create an image of Finland as a vanguard of equality rights.

The silver lining is that citizen’s initiative will be able to make visible its legislative potential. This could be an unprecedented opportunity for mechanisms of participatory democracy, traditionally not very strong in Finland. Continue reading