Knowledge as Action: An Anthropological Study of Attac Sweden

Detta är en avhandling från Department of Sociology, Lund University

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this thesis is to examine knowledge production around globalisation and politics in Attac Sweden. As a part of the global justice movement that emerged in the 1990s, the organisation Attac Sweden related to a larger process. Attac Sweden was also central in debates about globalisation in the Swedish political context around the years 2000 and 2001. This study is based both on ethnographic data, such as observations and interviews with active members of Attac Sweden, and archival data from the organisation such as internal documents. The chapters of this study cover the emergence of the organisation in France as well as the development in the Swedish political context. In particular, the general critique against neoliberal globalisation and the possible solutions that Attac lobbies for are examined. These general ideas were also brought forward by Attac in Sweden. An initial phase of public interest was, however, followed by decline. The ethnographic chapters examine Attac Sweden’s way of organising and of acting politically on global issues. Being part of a larger movement has shaped the way that Attac Sweden has chosen to organise and how political action has been negotiated. In the organisational structure of Attac Sweden this has meant that ideas of participatory democracy have been elaborated. The activists interviewed also reflected on the difficulties in translating global political issues into local concerns, and put forward knowledge and popular education as both part of a struggle and as part of a participatory democratic ideal. In conclusion, knowledge and democracy are related to a wider civil society debate.