The struggle for democracy

First Wednesdays Autumn 2022 Series

Exploring Commonalities in Global Citizenship and Activism 

Join us this Autumn for the new First Wednesdays series, a set of three interlinked conversations with those currently involved in real-world struggles in Ireland and beyond. We will take a closer look at commonalities ‘in struggle’ across campaigning and activism movements, and explore what it would mean to consider these struggles as part of a process of ‘acts of global citizenship’ and ‘democratising democracy’.

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How do we consider struggles for justice and equality? Do commonalities ‘in struggle’ exist across campaigning and activism movements, and what would it mean to consider these struggles as part of a process of ‘acts of global citizenship’ and ‘democratising democracy’?   

Our upcoming Autumn #FirstWeds series invites you to join us in an exploration of these questions.  A diverse range of local activists and campaigners, from the island of Ireland and beyond, will join us to provide us with practical and real-world experiences to inform discussions and learning.  

The stimulus for the discussions will also come from a recent piece of engaged research, the Emerging modalities of global solidarity and active global citizenship in Ireland’ report, carried out by Comhlámh and Dr Barry Cannon from Maynooth University (Department of Sociology).  The research engaged practitioners from the development sector in an exploration of a range of theoretical perspectives on ‘struggle’, ‘globalisation’, ‘citizenship’, ‘democratisation’ and ‘democracy’.  

Through our #FirstWeds series, as we hear directly from those currently involved in real-world struggles, we will begin to dig deeper into how we direct our thinking towards these theoretical perspectives, ensuring we remain responsive and rooted to struggles on the ground as we examine how they are aligned with ‘acts of global citizenship’ and ‘democratisation’.



Struggle as acts of citizenship

Struggle as Acts of Citizenship

Date: Wednesday, 5 Oct, 7PM

What ‘acts of citizenship’ could we point to in struggles here in Ireland? At our opening October session, we will take a closer look at how these examples might extend our understanding of citizenship, its role in affirming and securing more justice, and helping us to imagine alternative futures. 


The Struggle for the Earth

The Struggle for the Earth: The Global is Local 

Date: Wednesday, 2 Nov, 7PM

While many communities around the world are threatened by the impacts of climate change, others face more direct environmental destruction in the form of extractivism. Following the supply chain disruption caused by Covid-19, European countries are increasingly seeking to develop their own mineral supplies, meaning that harmful forms of mining are no longer confined to the Global South. Mining is coming home, but many of us are unaware of this trend (over 25% of the territory of the island of Ireland is covered by mining concessions) until it arrives on our doorsteps. Around Ireland, ordinary citizens have been transformed into activists by the threat of mining. In doing so, they enter a shared global struggle – the same song played on different instruments. What do their efforts tell us about citizenship and its role in protecting the planet? What are the common contours of these struggles? How do their efforts point to other ways of being with each other, with the land, of organising our economies? 


Unpacking Continuities of Struggle

Unpacking Commonalities in Struggle

Date: Wednesday, 7 Dec, 7PM

In the third and closing session of the ‘The Struggle for Democracy: Exploring Commonalities in Global Citizenship and Activism’ series we will take a closer look at current transnational justice issues, global campaigns and examples of democracy in action. How are international structures reducing the space for democracy and how are citizens and movements reclaiming that space to advocate for change? What issues link these struggles and what lessons can we take from them? To explore these questions, we’ll be joined by 3 activists talking about trade and tax justice, access to medicines, as well as the challenges and possibilities of struggles for change at a global level.


#FirstWeds events are organised in partnership with the Maynooth University Department of International Development and with the financial support of Concern Worldwide for which we are most grateful.

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