Increasing Social Participation; from the top-down or the bottom-up?

Margaret S. Archer


By definition, the ‘marginalized’ may be socially excluded on a variety of dimensions. The one that will concern me here is exclusion from political participation, although some reference to their inferior positions on the distributions of other socially scarce resources cannot be avoided. For clarity, ‘participation’ is defined as a group or collectivity ‘having a say’ in political decision-making and this can obviously be quantitatively and qualitatively different in kind. Political ‘marginalization’ refers to ‘being deprived of having a say’, through formal or informal means of influencing politics. Either acquiring or being deprived of ‘a say may each be politically authorized, that is considered as being legitimate: political ‘participation’ may be given legally (reform) or be grabbed (revolution and uprisings).

One concept that it will be impossible to avoid is the relationship between ‘political participation’ and ‘social integration’ because the processes involved in both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ changes involve the two in combination. They are analytically distinct because people can participate in a political event, without being integrated with one another, or be integrated as a group but denied the possibility of participation. Recognition of this distinction is embedded in two of the best known general approaches to the question in hand. Thus, David Lockwood’s seminal article (1964)[1] advanced the proposition that it is when Social Integration and System Integration are both low which constitutes a social context propitious to change, in participation and control inter alia. What he did not clearly specify were the conditions under which such changes would be instigated from the top-down or the bottom-up.[2] Equally, Charles Tilly,[3] differentiating between ‘social’ categories (such as black/white or male/female) and ‘political’ categories (such as enfranchised/ disenfranchised) treated the former as fixed categories that could change only in social salience. In other words, each category could change in its social importance, but little attention was given to its changes in proportionality vis-à-vis the rest of the population[4] – ones likely to affect its internal integration. Processes of increasing or decreasing participation remained obscure. Top-down and bottom-up were not generalized as theoretical and processual differences in Tilly’s work but would have to be established substantively, case by case, were one to deem this important.

In brief, neither of these influential and important theorists was of assistance in this respect. Yet, this respect is the central topic of my paper because five fundamental issues hang upon top-down and bottom-up processes.

1.    The early but enduring division between radical Sociology (advocates of bottom-up processes) and liberal Economics (protagonists of top-down mechanisms).

2.    Within mid-twentieth century Europe, conciliatory attempts were made by some from both disciplines to forge an inclusive and participatory ‘middle ground’, i.e. the reformist Welfare State from the left and universal ‘citizenship’ from the right. Taken together they formed the main lineaments of Social Democracy after the Second World War.

3.    Amongst other things, this ‘middle ground’ was intended to undermine threats of class warfare and the equally damaging consequences of revolutionary uprising or autocratic resurgence by inserting a wedge that separated off the ‘undeserving poor’ from ‘decent working people’, thus effectively protecting the elites from a coalition of the above, although at a certain price to themselves.

4.    Despite the ‘golden post-war interlude’, the ‘middle’ was never homogeneous and became less so as it grew, manifesting the first signs of social fragmentation in its loss of ‘community’ and eventually blocking both top-down and bottom-up attempts at participatory social steering, by what I term ‘centrism.

5.    The growing role, until very recently, of Social Movements as the main resort for collectivities (Corporate Agents)[5] to achieve their claims for increased participation in political decision-making is now receding, but is it being replaced by alternative bottom-up processes?

Although the last two points are the most crucial ones today, it is necessary to work through the preceding elements rather than to proffer this European experience as a Eurocentric template applicable to other continents.

1.    Radical and Liberal Social Sciences

When we baby-boomers entered University, there were two well-entrenched accounts on offer to explain the exclusion of the majority from political participation, given a triangular structure of social stratification. In both cases, the driver was the capitalist economy. On the one hand, many Sociologists and Political Scientists were unapologetic neo-Marxists who viewed the failure of the exploited working class to transform itself from ‘a class in itself to a class for itself’ as the generic cause of their exclusion. Although the internecine debates from the ultra-left could be hideously complex, the certitude that participatory change could derive only from bottom-up contestation was their constant.

On the other hand, by then liberal economics had greatly elaborated on James Mill’s[6] rationalistic formula that explained how economic competition operated to the advantage of every ‘working man’ and had advanced the beneficent ‘trickle-down effect, working from the top down, that was (or would surely prove to be) in the interests of all.

There is no need to labour the class uprising that never came or how the rising tide of economic growth did not lift all boats. However, two World Wars had provided lessons in the dire physical condition of working class recruits and of their bravery. In 1918 Britain, for example, Lloyd George made his speech about providing ‘homes fit for heroes’ and mooted pensions and health care. In 1942, Lord Beveridge put forward his proposals that were to be the foundation of the British welfare state. By 1949, T.H. Marshall had supplemented this by conceptualizing the direct social responsibilities the state had towards its citizens: “from the right to a modicum of economic welfare and security to the right to share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilized being according to the standards prevailing in the society”.[7] I am not accusing the above reformers of mauvaise foi. On the contrary, all had the prescience and humanity to recognize that gross inequalities foster social divisions and that increases in participation should be accepted to offset these divides.

2.    The Rise and Demise of Social Democracy

Although the problem of offsetting social antagonism was predominantly economic in origin, the panacea was largely political and it remained top-down. After the Second World War and centuries of conflict, with elites attempting to limit political participation in order to be able to regulate the people and the popular classes seeking to extend participatory democracy in order to regulate the elites, the post war formula of social democracy, citizenship and variants upon the welfare state was a compromise in which mutual regulation took the revolutionary edge off enduring class divisions.

Thus, in the post-war economies, after two centuries of struggle between entrepreneurs trying to control wages, hours and conditions, and workers (experimentally) responding with Luddism, syndicalism, unionization, strikes and lock-outs, there was still unfinished business on both sides. Capitalism remained unwaveringly and necessarily competitive, holding itself threatened as national unionized workforces flexed their organized muscles. After various showdowns, the progressive incorporation of the unions into political parties and into industrial management itself was the compromise that inserted the ‘neo’ into capitalism.

This compromise, lasting for three decades in Europe, derived from the mutual regulation arrived at between the traditional antagonists. In both the polity and the economy, the state of opposition mattered to the governing elites and vice versa, just as the state of managerial control mattered to organized labour and vice versa. Some even generalized this result to mean that every modern industrial state necessarily became a welfare state. However, can we call the ‘post-war formula’ in toto [social democracy + neo-capitalism + welfare state] a recipe for social solidarity and participation?

Take the following four specifications of the conditions representing ‘social integration and participation’, in which points 1 and 2 involved participatory concessions and 3 and especially 4 were attempts to take the edge off punitive inequality and only seriously pertained in Scandinavia.

1.    Absence of major social conflict based on class (or class, status and power)

2.    Achievement of formal political representation for all

3.    Social provisions for old age, sickness, accidents and for children

4.    A redistributive welfare state system

Nevertheless, this post-war formula worked for 30 years. The mechanism advanced here for this ‘golden interlude’ consisted in the successful emergence of mutual regulation between the systemic and the social orders. However, the necessary but not sufficient conditions for mutual regulation were rooted in the nation-state itself. When the state’s boundaries also largely defined the outer skin of society, then the necessary interplay between the systemic and the social within the same territorial confines ineluctably meant that the state of the one mattered to the state of the other. That was the case whilst ever the nation state remained co-extensive with ‘a society’. It diminished as this boundary reduced in importance with increasing ‘globalization’.

Mutual regulation had operated largely as a morphostatic mechanism,[8] one producing a balance between the existing institutional and social orders that stabilized relations between them, temporarily.

3.    The new mantra; ‘We’re all Middle Class Now’

European societies were still far from being fair, egalitarian, fully democratic, let alone fully participatory, even though an improvement over modernity in these respects. There remained considerable scope for the reduction of social exclusion within the nation state by incorporating an increasing number of sectional interest groups that remained marginalized and subject to discrimination. The lead given earlier by the lower classes was passed as a baton to other interest groupings that had not engaged in large-scale collective action by developing articulate aims and effective forms of organization. Two of the most significant, ethnic and women’s groups, had broad agendas on which increased participation was the common denominator of their quest for civil rights, promotion prospects, decent conditions of employment, and the abolition of discriminatory laws and practices over which they had no say.

As these social movements became increasingly successful, it was simultaneously the practice in the 1970s for students to be taught that the previous triangular shape of social stratification in Europe was morphing into a diamond-shaped pattern; and this despite findings by David Glass and others that between 1900 and 1960 there had been no increase in social mobility.[9] In short, the old apex of the privileged had shrunk (not yet re-stocked by corporate CEOs, bankers, let alone pop stars) as proportionately had the old ‘proletariat’. This was no longer made up of some kind of ‘reserve army of the unemployed’ but became a disparate cluster of the ‘poor’ (deserving or not) that later sociologists, such as Dahrendorf, sought to brand as the ‘Underclass’ – one not threatening social order like the old working class but nevertheless not participating in citizenship.

On the basis of that type of description of the reshaping of social stratification, a new political constituency was in statu nascendi – the middle – whose middle class ‘we all’ were rhetorically held to be joining. With the smashing or the taming of the Unions (the semantics varying with one’s party affinity), Thatcher led the way in removing the class threat from politics and generalizing the notion that there was no society and were no social entities other than individuals and their families. This Methodist daughter of the grocer from Grantham thus forged the leitmotif that not only underlay Tory rule (1975-1990) but effectively did the same for New Labour and the Third Way of Tony Blair and Anthony Giddens in the 1990s.

The whole point of this excursion, most exaggerated in Britain (and least so in Scandinavia), was that this ‘middle’ was illusory. It was not homogeneous (and became less so), it had diminishing social bonds (the original, mobile entrepreneurial elite had been correctly dubbed ‘the migratory elite’).[10] It sustained no community (preferring the seclusion of the detached property and its fenced garden), its more affluent members were the first to succumb to ‘commodification’ (change the car annually for a bigger one and spend slavishly to follow the fashion colour of the season).

In all of this, they were as totally different from the initial post-war generation as they were to the baby-boomer children that they produced (in much decreased numbers). In the 1950s, the former had been culturally timid; self-made men, early school leavers, unacquainted with and embarrassed by colleges, let alone universities, and without passports, yet preoccupied with their first owner-occupied houses, first cars, and the newly arrived television.

Conversely, those in the 1960s first confronted the fragmentation of ‘the middle’ in the form of graduate entrants to industry, teachers who could not be dismissed as ‘spinsters’, but aspired to professional status, to their children being groomed for University, package-deal foreign holidays, use of private hospitals and eventually, the Beatles and the computer. New, respectable jobs proliferated (Hollerith card punchers, home chiropodists, house designers and decorators), new ‘categories’ occupied enduring positions (some of the despised ‘coloureds’ now became their medical personnel), some sons had formed pop-bands and some daughters went off to become stable grooms or models. Some of them also went on nuclear disarmament demonstrations and thought that there were other ways to get high than on sweet sherry or pints of beer at the pub. Yet, we were ‘all middle class now’! This political mantra echoed The End of Ideology as this ‘class’ continued to increase in diversity.

4.    From lib/lab to Centrism

In the four decades following the Second World War, a pragmatic steering system, that Donati rightly called lib/lab, worked because the representatives (Parties or centre-right, centre-left coalitions) alternated in Government and differentially rewarded their electoral supporters – rewards that were frequently retained when the alternative Party/coalition sequentially assumed Office. However, in the present context we should note that such compromise political systems were predicated on the assumption that the right to vote in a general election alone was almost definitional of political participation. Certainly, municipal elections (or equivalents) often constituted geographical strongholds for either lib or lab, yet their very sponsorship of local or regional institutional innovations appealing to their supporters (such as Comprehensive schools)[11] were often regarded as a step too far towards participatory democracy. With hindsight, this limitation on the powers of local authorities was the first intimation of the Centrism that was to come, compacting lib/lab into the political portfolio of European government in general.

Other slightly later global transformations worked to the same end but there is not space to go into their details here, beyond indicating the following, which my Research Centre for Social Ontology has explored over a series of 5 books devoted to the intensification of Social Morphogenesis from the 1980s onwards.[12]

The rise of the globalized multinational corporation had the important consequence that the companies involved had no need to legitimate themselves to workforces in less developed countries; instead they could move on geographically. In other words, the old mutual regulation had gone: the state of workers no longer mattered to management and there was little that the former could do about their concerns. Moreover, there was little that government could do, even to extract due tax payment from the giants who manipulated their geographical tax bases,[13] evading any version of unitary taxation for their activities and profits, and leaving offshore ‘havens’ to the smaller fry.

The ‘financialization’ of capitalism completed the rupture with the real economy, consecrated the Banks and financial lawyers at the apex of the beneficiaries as the stratum of the highest paid, yet one largely outside governmental control. When the Crisis of 2008 was unleashed and partially revealed, governments behaved almost uniformly by the imposition of Austerity policies.[14] In brief, centralist policies reached full flood.

As collateral damage, ‘the middle’, which had never been homogeneous, now became shapeless, uncomprehending and unpropitious to the appeals of centrist government. Some adopted the slogan of ‘We are the 99%’. Politicians from established Parties found difficulty in knowing what to call those they now addressed. In Britain the first attempt was to use ‘Middle England’, but that sounded almost as indefinite as the location of Tolkien’s ‘Middle Earth’.[15] The ‘middle’ had fragmented even further and little either bridged or bonded its ‘members’. Inequalities had been exacerbated among them, solidarity reached an all-time low, and voter turnout had plummeted: centrist government was punitive, not the participatory tool of the electorate’s aspirations, but it continued to work from the top-down through a novel form of anormative bureaucratic regulation – light years away from participatory democracy.

‘Centrism’ represents a politics without vision and spells a drastic shrinkage of normativity in political life and an enhanced, shared concern of governments with the co-ordination and regulation of activities. Political parties/coalitions are preoccupied with tactics; with a St Simonian ‘administration of things’ – the day to day management of austerity and the reduction of public spending with minimum backlash – not the ‘government of people’ based on a normative conception of the good society grounded upon the co-operation of all, which includes all and thus envisages the participation of the marginalized. Instead, there is ‘tactical’ governance, which ejects commitment from the political domain, whether in the form of expansive political philosophies or explicitly normative organizations with a broad conspectus on the good life. Thus, for example, religion in general was banished from the public domain,[16] henceforth supposed to be a depoliticized matter of private belief and practice. If functionalists had once held that values articulated every system of social action, they have become the antithesis of today’s political aversion towards social normativity.

In the past, social regulation by ‘command and control’ (CAC) was the preserve of the state, using legal rules backed by criminal sanctions. ‘It is “centred” in that it assumes the state to have the capacity to command and control, to be the only commander and controller, and to be potentially effective in commanding and controlling. It is assumed to be unilateral in its approach (governments telling, others doing), based on simple cause-effect relations, and envisaging a linear progression from policy formation through to implementation’.[17] The capacity for such central control had been lost as a victim, ultimately of intensifying morphogenesis on a global scale.[18] This constituted what has been called the ‘hollowing out of the nation state’. Every single state forfeited the power of CAC; none could exert their hegemony over financialized capitalism working in synergy with commercialized digitalisation. Top-down political direction was on the run, but it morphed rather than giving in.

Tactical governance works through bureaucratic regulation whose highest aims are manifest (meaning measurable) efficiency and effective control. Institutionally, the public domain was carved into decreasingly small pieces, each with its own Regulator, meaning that the problems occurring in any sector could be addressed technocratically. As a result, the pieces are never put back together and assessed for their coherence, let alone for their contribution to or obstruction of any normative definition of the good society. The centrist attempt to conduct business as usual in this context nullified any concern for those who were marginalized, those who joined the marginalized through the devaluation of their skills, and those who augmented their ranks as asylum seekers and other categories of refugees, all seeking the ‘right to work’.

In terms of the three main tasks that legal instruments can perform for the social order – assisting co-ordination, co-operation and redistribution – bureaucratic regulation focusses exclusively upon co-ordination, working causally to promote conformity rather than supplying normative guidelines fostering living together in fairness. It represents a ‘moral disconnect’ between norms and values and a privatization of morality. Moral concerns cannot be obliterated but their social diffusion is discouraged as voluntary initiatives prompted by them are colonized, economic philosophy is curtailed into ‘There is no alternative’, political philosophy truncated into ‘getting by’ without vision, and human philosophy reduced to political correctitude unrelated to humanistic ideals of flourishing. In consequence, all the resources most capable of fostering eudaimonia, became repressed by the top-down imposition of anormative social regulation. They are fragmented into the specific remits of each regulative organization, which at most stimulates single-issue pressure groups as the form of opposition. These are hampered from coalescing because they compete for governmental recognition at election time in relation to their numerical strength. This is reinforced because the majority of the population is left to the anti-normative mercies of the media and the triviality of its contents.

Let me bring the strands together and try to answer the key question from the position and perspective of the marginalized within Europe themselves: namely, why was this transition to anormative bureaucratic regulation so hostile to the marginalized (new or old) coalescing into a contesting force? Basically, the answer is quite simple. Social regulation, increasingly reliant on bureaucratic fiat in vastly increasing tracts of society, was itself a further fragmentary constraint. Where were the marginalized to start? Suppose it was with their lack of participation in, say, state education, its policy-making and its national curriculum, the metrics of achievement used, and the Regulatory agency’s (Ofstead) school inspections, rankings and recommendations. This would not only itself be divisive (Asian girls perform much better than white, indigenous working-class boys in Britain), but also how could educational discontents link up with grievances over, say, housing or health or participation itself? Given there is no official linking mechanism apart from parliament, where the marginalized have no participatory ‘voice’, their concerns are largely excluded.

Given the ‘missing middle level’ in the sense of its fragmentation, as discussed above, Emmanuel Lazega puts its consequences starkly: ‘The lack of a meso-level, constituted by organizations, institutions and associations is the biggest blockage to participation or barrier to our understanding of its effects’.[19] This is echoed by my own words, in the same volume: ‘without robust social linkages between the ‘levels’, participation is blocked, meaning potential participants are confined to exercising their agency lower down’.[20] Yet for the marginalized, there is no stratum ‘lower down’.

Some may counter that digitalization provided a plethora of openings for protest against various forms of discrimination. At the level of the personal blog, this is the case – for individuals. However, if we glance at, one of the best-known digital organizers of protest on four Continents since its foundation in 2007, it should be underlined that this is a for-profit enterprise and therefore a rather than a It claimed 12 million ‘members’ by 2012. However, look at how its ‘causes’ are ‘trending’ over the last two years,[21] at least in the English-language version, and we find these too are increasingly personalized.[22] Look further at the allied issues the site suggests ‘we’ might like to support and my interpretation is that these have become ever more personalized, in line with social and other media in general. Such issues cannot mobilise the marginalized precisely because of their particularism. Whatever the merits of these individual causes, they are neither sufficiently general to resonate with the full range of marginalized people nor do they address the problem of gaining greater participation, of having a say, in health or education and every other institutional issue governed by anormative administrative regulation. In short, they neither serve to bind or to bond this diverse collectivity together into a cohesive Corporate Agent that could exercise bottom-up pressure.

Ironically, they share this with the disparate and shifting members of the population making up the ‘middle’ at any given time. These are Party members in decreasing numbers, diminishing supporters of Trades Unions and, until 2016, declining in their turnout for general elections. One issue alone seemed to command consensus amongst a significant number, namely a new version of xenophobia as manifest in a resurgence of Parties of the ultra-right; those keen to shed their anti-Semitic image but confident in their ‘anodyne’ promotion of stricter Border Control. Terrorism provided good camouflage and conceals anti-Muslim sentiments (outside the USA of 2017), and covered-up antipathy towards asylum seekers.

Thus, equally ironic was the fact that fragmentation characterized both the ‘middle’ and the ‘lower’ strata, as judged according to earnings. Some tried to generalize the slogan ‘We are the 99%’ (all those who had experienced austerity measures), but this was quickly perverted by the media into individualism: anger against particular bloated bankers and CEOs paid bonuses unrelated to how their firms had fared, and those corrupt politicians who had profiteered on the economic crisis. This diffused any concerted opposition towards the misdoings of financialized capitalism itself,[23] which certainly required more than a modicum of economic understanding. Conversely, xenophobia, paraded as Border control, did not.

Journalists seized on this highest common denominator of discontent and appropriated ‘Populism’ as the term to characterize the new popularity of the ultra-right Parties in many developed countries. The stories of Brexit, of the leap forward of the French Front National, the Hungarian razor wire plus President Trump’s projected walling off of Mexico are too well-known to need repetition here. Instead, I want to finish this section with a sociological observation. ‘Populism, of this type, is a classical illustration of what could only happen in politics when low social and low systemic integration occur in conjunction. Thus, a single issue, better described as ‘scapegoating’, could mobilize electorates regardless of their economic consequences, effects upon international relations, and total disregard for participatory democracy. It is needless to add that this did precisely nothing for the marginalized except to licence unprecedented street violence against some of their members.

In sum, the major top-down effect is to augment the overall decline in social solidarity, since bureaucratic regulation operates through instrumental rationality and is therefore fundamentally individualistic. Thus, there is no encouragement for the majority to become reflexive relational subjects[24] but, rather, anormative social regulation constitutes both structural and cultural barriers against effective relationality and creative reflexivity. It follows that we should not be surprised that ‘those born here’ can be recruited as jihadists, that migrant groups form residential enclaves, and that the affluent retired are retreating into gated communities. These, at least have some form of social integration and of participation surpassing the absence of both encountered in the developed world and a source of values sustaining normativity, albeit not ones promoting the common good.

5.    The decline of Social Movements in Europe

Since the twentieth century in Europe – and in some countries rather earlier – the acquisition of participatory rights derived from enfranchisement and more generous civil rights depended upon the consolidation of social movements, with articulate aims and coherent organization. Why do the marginalized not benefit from following this well-beaten track? This is a reasonable question, but in answering it the efficacy of social movements cannot be taken as eternally given and the reasons for this turnout to be formally similar in the developed countries.

In the European world, the general demise of social movements is one of the best indicators of social fragmentation in their component countries and the inability for a bottom-up force for increased social participation to be developed there. Instead, they are ephemeral, expressive and thus ineffectual in increasing the ‘political say’ of those whose ‘voice’ is largely confined to the ballot-box in general elections – if that. Within most of these countries current conditions are inimical to the development of old-style social movements. Highly regulated social orders, characterized by low social integration, where values are repressed in public life, are three social features that constitute barriers to their emergence.

Empirically, the most familiar and relatively enduring social movements are experiencing numerical diminution: the membership of political parties, of trade unions and of churches and denominations. Newer voluntary movements in civil society are frequently ‘colonized’ from above and have their normativity stifled in public-private partnerships or by tightly regulated outsourcing (as with care in the community). Alternatively, they are used from below by those for whom they were designed, but are misused from above to supplement the deficiencies of political policies of austerity (as is the case for Food Banks).[25]

Ultimately, the good society is one that promotes the Common Good. What makes it ‘good’ is that all contribute to generating it and without their cooperation it cannot exist. Thus, the Common Good entails a high level of social integration because without everyone contributing there would be a category of the ‘excluded’ or ‘self-excluded’ – of non-beneficiaries and non-participants who cannot even be ‘free riders’ because to experience relational goods entails being in-relationship. What also makes it ‘good’ is that the relational goods produced in one sector do not conflict with those generated in any other, thus entailing a high level of system integration without which the goods in question would clash, damaging both.

The most demanding of these conditions entails overcoming the lack of system integration, whose anatomy was laid bare during the current economic crisis, and of social integration, never clearer than in the European Union’s anti-humanitarian responses to the present migrant crisis and also in the proliferation of terrorism potentially making for a third world war. It seems essential to work in these sociological terms about the two forms of integration, whose referents are to emergent properties and powers, and to work to raise both in actuality. These are the ultimate conditions for kick-starting the universalization of Eudaimonia.

Prospects of Change from the Bottom-up

Typically, Critical Realists ask the question, ‘What needs to be the case for X to be possible’, whether or not these conditions are present or absent at any given time or place. In this case and in a nutshell, the answer is a reversal of the 5 conditions that have already been discussed as characterizing the developed world. I propose tackling these in reverse order for two reasons. First, to show that the absence of collective relational subjects[26] is what afflicts matters from the micro, through the meso to the macroscopic level. Second, to finish very close to home, namely by considering whether meetings like our present one and those held by the two Pontifical Academies do make a significant difference in the Church and in the world to enhancing participation from the grass roots.

(V)          Durable Social Movements give way to instantaneous expressions of outrage

The effect of commercialized digitalization is where the change has and is occurring as far as social movements are concerned. As Carrigan puts it; “by independently contributing towards ‘distracted people’ and ‘fragile movements’, digital technology is undermining the capacity of social movements to contribute in a sustained way towards the steering of social morphogenesis grounded upon normative evaluation of what does exist and a collective commitment to what could exist”. This does not so much represent a failure of moral imagination as a diminishing of the generic capacity to sustain collective projects which have such an origin. The further risk lies in their mutual reinforcement, as increasingly fragile movements flicker intensely during their brief but effervescent life, calling for normative evaluation by distracted people[27] who become less able to sustain trajectories of engagement with collective projects of transformation’.[28]

Why should today’s movements be deemed ‘fragile’, especially to those impressed by the fact that it has never been easier, thanks to the Web and the mobile phone, to mount almost instantaneous demonstrations on a huge scale, as in the case of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations in Paris, 2015? Yet these are too ephemeral and exclusively expressive to lay the foundations of a durable organization with explicit goals; their weakness is their ‘presentism’ and a million people holding up symbolic pencils is a howl of protest not an agenda for change. Why not? In part because the participants are an aggregate of individuals, lacking any relational bonds binding one another together. They differ radically from the Anti-Apartheid and Civil Rights movements with their members’ shared determination ‘to have a say’ because it affected them all, fueling their commitment to withstand individual imprisonment and collectively to forge and realize their participatory charter. In part, because their demands were so fundamental to ‘black well-being’ that no ‘data surfeit’, no ‘pretend’ friends on social media or the doings of digitally created ‘celebrities’ were there to distract them. Compare this with today’s high percentages of unemployed youth in the developed countries, who also have ‘no say’ but whose mobile phones appear to give them a false sense of participating socially by virtue of trivial messaging, which simultaneously dims their powers of and time for reflexive critique.

There is a qualitative aspect too. Today’s issues are complex (from alternatives to ‘austerity’, to the tax evasion of the largest multi-nationals, whose correction by ‘unitary taxation’[29] could go quite far in offsetting the former, but understanding them is demanding. Certainly some of the ‘Occupy’ movements (as in Geneva)[30] set up Seminars to this end before they faded away. The depressing conclusion is that qualified success goes to the simple message. UKIP’s fortunes are a salutary story; it might be called a single issue movement that exceeded most expectations by winning the Referendum for Brexit, leading Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May to reiterate ad nauseam that ‘the people have spoken’, but UKIP is now stranded for want of any coherent aims in leaving the EU. What it cannot tell its (residual) supporters, let alone ‘the people’ is what forfeited modes of participation will be restored to them in two years’ time. Obviously, it may be salutary to compare this with the fate in Germany’s forthcoming elections of Angela Merkel’s humanitarian stance towards Asylum seekers. In other words, simple messages do not make for social movements but that does not mean they are without consequence.

Otherwise, leftist optimism seems to hang upon the ‘indignados, the short-lived ‘Occupy’ movements, illustrated by the optimistic empiricism of Castells,[31] but lacking any account of how these could engage and integrate non-activists in the developed world, let alone in ‘the rest’. In most ways, Graeber’s advocacy of ‘anarchism and democracy [which] are – or should be – largely identical’[32] differs mainly in his aim of eliminating the State’s (legitimate Weberian) monopoly of violence and a genuine concern for building consensus. To him ‘almost everyone agrees on the importance of horizontal, rather than vertical structures; the need for initiatives to rise up from relatively small, self-organized, autonomous groups rather than being conveyed downwards through chains of command; the rejections of permanent, named leadership structures; and the need to maintain some kind of mechanism – whether these be North American style “facilitation”, Zapatista-style women’s and youth caucuses, or any of an endless variety of other possibilities – to ensure that the voices of those who would normally find themselves marginalized or excluded from traditional participatory mechanisms are heard’.[33] Although Graeber uses the term ‘mechanism’ above, this is precisely what is lacking. It is shown by the reference to those involved as ‘autonomous groups’ in the same citation. Thus, he bundles together a patchwork of protesting voices because together they will shout louder. But volume does not unite or integrate or give direction or promote participation; at best, it results in the book’s title, Possibilities.

(IV)                 The ‘missing middle’ becomes even more fragmented

At the next conventional stratum up, I earlier accentuated the ‘missing middle’ in the sense of its vague, shifting and diffuse membership, its lack of solidarity and its members’ extraordinary tolerance of anormative bureaucratic regulation. In brief, this means it provides no hooks that any participatory claims emerging at the grass roots level could catch onto and whose sponsorship could carry them upwards. What would need to change for this not to be the case? Basically, the relationship between structure and culture at the meso-level, because it is this relation, produced by centrism that immobilizes it and precludes it working as a carrier group(s) by transmitting nascent participatory demands upwards and outwards.

On the one hand, the structuring of the ‘missing middle’ is largely contingent. It is constituted by nothing other than the economic vicissitudes that deny ‘members’ the security enjoyed by the elite but temporarily protect them from demotion to the disparate lower stratum. When some do refer to themselves as the ‘99%’, they manifest their awareness that neither their annual increments, nor their employer-sponsored pension schemes are secure, that their mortgage repayments have become problematic, let alone them being able to assist their children onto the housing ladder or with re-paying their student loans etcetera. In short, their anxieties mirror the objective increases in income and wealth differentials throughout society, ones felt most poignantly by those on the lower border of this assorted group.

Nevertheless, self-protection does preclude any sympathetic collaboration with those lower down and still worse off. This is why they will structurally collude with governments in restricting benefits, ones that penalize the disabled, the mentally-ill and have just promulgated a ‘two child’ policy for payment of family allowances. Simultaneously, they show remarkable conformity to anormative administrative regulation, not because they agree with the Regulators involved – they are not consulted – but because these ever-changing rules require no normative consent but only an individual cost-benefit analysis about the personal ability and worth of breaking them.[34]

Conversely, centrism plays a crucial cultural role in promoting a false sense of ideational compassion and homogeneity. All parties use the same rhetoric (the ‘centrist political discourse’ for Foucaudian readers). All have a seemingly boundless sympathy for ‘the vulnerable’,[35] all are glowing supporters of national health services, all are opposed to selective secondary education and fundamentalist believers in free school meals and, obviously, endorse gay marriages and adoptions of children, whilst supporting the removal of glass ceilings impeding the promotion of women or members of ethnic groups. This ‘heartless humanism’ absolves those in the ‘middle’ from any twinges of conscience; the top-down powers-that-be are all normatively on the side of the angels. Though, of course, they don’t ‘do’ religion and they don’t ‘do’ ideology[36] – most especially when imposing financial cuts that impinge on exactly the above causes and categories. This is the ‘politics of duplicitous unconcern’ of centrism in action.

However, the constraints they exert, as described above, are not determinants nor, as active agents, are the members of this disparate collectivity uniformly heartless. On the contrary, they are likely to be the most active in giving personal service to the Voluntary sector, precisely because they are not without social concerns. Nevertheless, staffing the Charity Shops, the Food Banks and housing the homeless, whether canine or asylum seekers, does not add up to one or more strong voluntary conduits that could conduct bottom-up demands for greater participation upwards. In fact, ‘the marginalized’ can and do participate within the third sector, but this itself struggles with the problem of co-ordination. There is a big divide between the large well-established Charities (the ones so well known that they advertise for us not to forget them in our last Wills and Testaments) and that behave according to Business School formulae for entrepreneurial and managerial success (publicizing low overheads, metrifying whilst commodifying what $5 or $100 will do for their target populations, and bombarding us with their standardized emails if we once make a donation). On the other hand, there are many small voluntary ventures that are so stretched in trying to do their best for their few clients – whilst fighting online battles with Regulatory authorities – that we have no time for the necessary integration with compatible initiatives.[37]

The dangers that this co-working would involve are, first, the dilution of the specificities of each Voluntary association in order to generate the highest common denominator of synergy (that is, of ‘working together’); second, of failing to convince their ‘marginalized’ helpers that this is not desertion of the original cause that attracted them; and thirdly of incorporation into bureaucratic agencies as a mere token presence. There is a fourth danger, namely that the most institutionalized Voluntary Associations have almost ceased to be such and would either dissociate themselves or seek to dominate, locally or nationally, given the ‘special relationships’ they have attained with Local or National government, the paid professional personnel they can afford for liaison tasks, their access to the media and the affordability of paid lobbyists.

Networks are not formed overnight and it seems to me that there are only two strategies available, neither being mutually exclusive. In effect this would be working on two fronts simultaneously. On the one hand, encouraging those we have tried to help to become helpers in their turn, and thus to draw in more of the ‘marginalized’ to become engaged. On the other hand, making maximal use of any existing institutions (such as Churches, Universities and Colleges, Food Banks and Libraries, Local Union Branches and M.P.s etc.), for promotion and collaboration. It takes the humility of engaging in what often feels like time-wasting. However, it seems to me that only in these ways can we span the ‘missing middle’ and link bottom-up participatory aspirations to reversing top-down indifference or repression.

(III) Who is securely Middle Class now?

Ironically, it can be argued that were the conditions that are now leading to the fragmentation of the post-war Middle Class to intensify (by further undermining their material aspirations for their living standards continue to grow year upon year or by negating their assumptions about security of employment and expectations of incremental promotion). Their self-satisfied investment in a status derived from the accumulation of yet more expensive commodities are all beginning to evaporate simultaneously. With that, what was once termed their ‘privatization’[38] tends to vaporize too. In short, their vested interests in positions they had achieved in the past and attributed to their own merits and hard work[39] are severely damaged. Reflexively some concluded that ‘unfairness’ and participatory impotence had now become their lot. In turn, the barriers separating them from those lower down had become permeable and their self-satisfaction was threatened by downward mobility. Metaphorically, this could be the making of the 99%!

In reality, it is not improbable. Its occurrence does not depend on the prolongation of economic crisis. On the contrary, it is the mechanism behind economic growth, which in our book series I traced to the synergy between advancing digitalization and multinational capitalism,[40] which will be responsible and stem from China more than from the USA, although their competition will intensify it. One important aspect is already being manifested and documented, namely the impact of robotics on employment.

Recently, the World Economic Forum predicted that robotic automation will result in the net loss of more than 5m jobs across 15 developed nations by 2020, a conservative estimate. Another study, conducted by the International Labor Organization, states that as many as 137m workers across Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – approximately 56% of the total workforce of those countries – are at risk of displacement by robots.[41]

Even more to the point that I am making here about transformation of the old Middle Class, the Financial Times notes that “America has lost nearly one-third of its manufacturing jobs since NAFTA and 50,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization”, says Mr Trump’s official site, citing research from 2007 by the Economic Policy Institute. According to this narrative, the US’s trade policies, growing trade deficits with Mexico and Canada, and China’s “unfair subsidy behaviour” are to blame for the US’s “deindustrialisation” and its disappearing middle class… Overall though, what this suggests is that one of the new administration’s main policy aims, “increasing trade protectionism, is unlikely to override the larger forces of automation and the transition to a digital economy”.[42] As The Economist summarized this latter point, “What determines vulnerability to automation is not so much whether the work concerned is manual or white collar but whether or not it is routine”.[43]

(II) Mutual Regulation between the systemic and the social has vanished.


The root source of mutual regulation in the post-Second World War period was that the state of the indigenous workforce mattered to their employees and vice versa. This ‘golden period’, discussed earlier, derived from the dependency of the two groups upon one another that modified both exclusionary and exploitative practices through the progressive incorporation of workers’ Unions as participants in the political parties and apparatus of government, whilst inducing the entrepreneurs to countenance the burgeoning welfare state. The structural conditions sustaining this counterbalancing of the two main forces of production – capital and labour – were short lived. Moreover, there are good reasons that mean cumulatively these conditions are most unlikely to return this century. Mutual regulation relies on co-dependency and the latter is being progressively eroded, reproducing something of the old Marxian asymmetry between the two in modern dress.

In the previous section, the replacement of routine workers in both the ‘traditional’ Working and Middle classes by robotics was accentuated in terms of job losses. Already the ‘roboburger’, the driverless car and the drone plane have arrived and these affect occupations that were previously classed and remunerated at very different levels and rates. Add to this the rising percentages of unemployment afflicting school/college leavers in many European countries. It has become conventional to refer to a ‘skills mis-match’ between them and available jobs. That issues in calls for its rectification through educational reform, but this seems to be an extremely unlikely antidote.

The (now) centralized structures of most Educational Systems are lumbering machines for introducing innovation; too predisposed to compromise and concession, too rigid, too uniform and too slow to anticipate rather than lag behind change, being reactive rather than pro-active to today’s morphogenesis and lacking the research and development (outside highly expensive laboratories and elite research groups) to pioneer it for tomorrow.[44] Instead education is another sphere intensely invaded by bureaucratic regulation, as witnessed by the ceaseless and futile reforms of organizational governance, curricula, and metrics of performance at all levels. The current privileging of STEM subjects may provide a basic preparation for some pupils and students entering the employment market but equips most for routine jobs in technology (those most susceptible of robotic replacement) rather than being at the cutting edge. Sadly, this same tendency towards routinization is simultaneously being transmitted to the developing world by Campuses overseas and is even exemplified in the UN’s new (2015) Sustainable Development Goals.[45] Creative responses to local requirements are systematically side-lined by what has become a global competition for placement on a plethora of standardized League Tables.

‘Internal investment’ is another factor working against any restoration of mutual regulation. The Office for National Statistics has published some analysis of foreign-owned companies outside the financial sector, which account for around two-thirds of the UK economy.[46] As the EU puts it, foreign direct investment ‘differs from portfolio investments because it is made with the purpose of having control, or an effective voice, in the management of the enterprise concerned’.[47] Although during negotiations with a potential foreign buyer, much is always made about the protection of jobs, this concern is about mass lay-offs at the point of signing the agreement and the local protest it would invoke, but is little protection against subsequent changes in job titles and new competitive developments. Weakened Unions are poor protectors and are at their weakest where the foreign purchase of football clubs or prestige shops is concerned. In terms of control, internal investment has introduced workplace practices that often humiliate the workforce and underline their valuation as dispensable people (for example one of the earliest Japanese purchasers in Britain introduced surveillance by performing pregnancy and HIV tests when any worker used the bathroom).[48]

Taken together, these changing conditions are not propitious to restoring the mutual dependency between the two sides that is necessary to undergird their mutual regulation. Instead, the state moves into guardianship with a growing battery of bureaucratic regulations of which ‘Health and Safety’ are often treated with derision, although is not usually matched by failure to comply. Of course nobody wants jerry-built factory buildings that collapse or fatalities in over-hasty construction work, but neither do they want to sit immobile on a motorway, reduced to one lane for 10 km, whist no work is being done.

This latter part of this paper has been a dismal account of prospects for increased participation of the marginalized in Europe; one that cannot be generalized to other parts of the world, although in certain fields, such as education, its influence is undeniable. However, rather than finishing on this depressing note, I would like to draw attention to certain structural, cultural and agential features, that although not predominant could, if built upon in combination, possibly supply the conditions for envisaging a brighter scenario for participation.

6.     Conclusion: What would promote the political participation of the marginalized?

There is no simple and swift explanation for the fragmented state of Europe that underlies the exclusion of the marginalized. However since this discussion has concentrated upon the factors that impede it, we can envisage what types of reversal need to take place for such participation to become possible. This falls short of projecting a ‘concrete Utopia’ (in Ernest Bloch’s sense,[49] because it advances no comprehensive solution for eliminating the low social and systemic integration that are ultimately responsible for their exclusion from political participation. Nor does it present a picture of a reconfigured socio-cultural structure that would be free from this defect or advocate a novel heterodox economics that would preclude its resurgence). It deals only with the real world, as we currently find it, and asks what processes need to engage to make progress towards a participatory society realistic. These could be called the minimalistic conditions for ‘humanistic morphogenesis’ to get off the ground and can be specified in the most basic terms as follows.

Agential: It requires engaged agents rather than ‘distracted’ people, preoccupied with the ‘digital surfeit’, or by their individualistic desires for advancement (in revenue, repute or representation), or by enclosure within small groups of ‘similars or familiars’. In other words it needs those whose personal reflexivity is of the ‘Meta-reflexive’ variety[50] – ever-critical of prevailing social arrangements and self-critical of the roles they themselves adopt and how they personify them. They are orientated towards collective rather than individual concerns and opponents of ‘politics without commitment’ just as they are of ‘bureaucratic regulation without normativity’.

Cultural: To be effective, such ‘meta-reflexive’ agents must not remain a mere aggregate of persons, but become ‘collective relational subjects’ capable of generating emergent properties, the most important being trust and reciprocity. This can readily be illustrated in the dyad and the relational goods generated that make for satisfied and stable partnerships of many kinds, friendship, partnership, sporting duos, etcetera.[51] However, if they are to transmit ‘bottom-up’ claims beyond personalized confines and up to the ‘meso-level’ they require footholds to that next stratum. Lazega has shown empirically how crucial networks are both for fostering new collegial clusters out of relational advice-seeking and for forming new sub-organizations, which may become dominant despite entrenched opposition from the old guard.[52]


Already, culture and structure are intertwining as is necessarily the case if such networks are to be capable of generating organizational change. Yet it is even more essential if an upward linkage is to be forged with the macro-level and effect representation through increasing participation. Otherwise, these organizations that are in statu nascendi will remain stranded like many voluntary associations; making humanitarian initiatives, but not collaborating with compatible organs that could generate significant relational goods (displacing relational evils) at the macro-level. To do that, they require grappling hooks to reach the highest stratum.

In sum, the three requisites for any effective ‘bottom-up’ process of social change can be expressed in shorthand as

< Reflexivity + Relationality + Representation>

However, to be effective in introducing societal change, linkages are needed between the micro- → meso- → macro- levels. As far as participation is concerned, are there any persuasive examples that can be cited as illustrating such processes at work, within and despite the bleak picture of European society that I have presented?

I believe that there are two such exemplars, ones that have been drawing closer towards synergy and some interpenetration with one another over very recent years. On the one hand, there are the ‘Greens’, who attained the meso-level of organization with Greenpeace and have gone on to establish Political Parties in most European countries, thus at least penetrating the macro-level and becoming serious, if minor, coalition partners. What, however, does this have to do with participation? The simple fact that by robustly confronting Climate Change, inserting the green-into-politics and condemning our collectively unfriendly relations with the natural world, they have sought to contest human and planetary finitude and thus defended the marginalized, especially those who are without their own Voice, who already suffer most from the consequences of carbon emissions.[53]

On the other hand, the Catholic Church, a little slow on becoming eco-friendly, has five advantages accounting for its recent influence. First, the whole tradition of its social teaching places the Common Good at the apex and since Vatican II every social encyclical address ‘all people of goodwill’. Second, is its macro- to micro-organizational influence, from the Vatican to the smallest Parish Church, can and now does acknowledge and promote the concerns of the marginalized (especially, the 3Ts in Spanish – Tierra, Trabajo y Techo – Land, Work and Housing). Third, is its two Pontifical Academies, which produced Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility in 2015[54] and Biological Extinction (2017)[55], countering the Climate Change deniers and stressing the worst of the burden being carried by the poorest. Fourth, is the ready access to the UN, to the ILO and to nearly all other INGOs. This is an alternative route to gaining political participation nationally, but it has more global impact. This is best illustrated by the UN’s newly designated Sustainable Development Goals of 2015 that included not only action for reducing Climate Change, but also promoting education and women’s life-chances, whilst seeking to eliminate Human Trafficking and Forced Labour inter alia. These certainly require national ratification followed by legislation, but both are proving forthcoming although not yet universal. Fifth, we have a Pope who is totally committed to taking this ‘alternative route’ and whose Laudato Si’, the most read of all social encyclicals, is a charter for care of the earth and all its people.

How can I finish better than by quoting from his homily on Holy Saturday (15.4.2017), when he comments on the two women leaving the Sepulchre?

“If we try to imagine this scene, we can see in the faces of those women any number of other faces: the faces of mothers and grandmothers, of children and young people who bear the grievous burden of injustice and brutality. In their faces we can see reflected all those who, walking the streets of our cities, feel the pain of dire poverty, the sorrow born of exploitation and human trafficking. We can also see the faces of those who are greeted with contempt because they are immigrants, deprived of country, house and family. We see faces whose eyes bespeak loneliness and abandonment, because their hands are creased with wrinkles. Their faces mirror the faces of women, mothers, who weep as they see the lives of their children crushed by massive corruption that strips them of their rights and shatters their dreams. By daily acts of selfishness that crucify and then bury people’s hopes. By paralyzing and barren bureaucracies that stand in the way of change. In their grief, those two women reflect the faces of all those who, walking the streets of our cities, behold human dignity crucified”.[56]


[1] David Lockwood, 1964, ‘Social Integration and systems integration’, in G.K. Zollschan and H.W. Hirsch (eds.), Explorations in Social Change’, Boston, Houghton Mifflin.
[2] Though most of the ‘left’ tended to assimilate this to ‘bottom-up’ action.
[3] Charles Tilley (1998), Durable Inequality, Berkeley, University of California Press.
[4] To maintain otherwise would be to endorse a very unhelpful form of Nominalism, i.e. because a category is called the same thing, it is assumed to remain the same thing.
[5] ‘Corporate agents’ are those who have articulated aims and sufficient organization to pursue their claims. Margaret S. Archer (2000), Being Human: The Problem of Agency, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press and Realist Social Theory: The Morphogenetic Approach, 1995, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
[6] James Mill (father of J.S. Mill) quoted in Alexander Bain, 1882, James Mill, London, p. 365.
[7] Marshall, T.H., Citizenship and Social Class: and Other Essays. Cambridge University Press, 1950.
[8] Walter Buckley defines ‘morphogenesis’ as ‘those processes which tend to elaborate or change a system’s given form, structure or state, or state’ as contrasted with morphostatic processes ‘that tend to preserve or maintain a system’s form, organization, or state’. Walter Buckley, 1967, Sociology and Modern Systems Theory, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, p. 58.
[9] D.V. Glass (ed.) Social Mobility in Britain, 1954, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul.
[10] F. Musgrave, 1963, The Migratory Elite, London, Heinemann.
[11] Pioneered by county authorities, Leicestershire being the first in Britain.
[12] Archer, M.S. (ed.), 2017, Social Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing. New York: Springer. Archer, M.S. (ed.), 2016, Morphogenesis & the Crisis of Normativity. New York: Springer. Archer, M.S. (ed.), 2015, Generative Mechanisms Transforming the Social Order. New York: Springer. Archer, M.S. (ed.), 2014. Late Modernity: Trajectories towards Morphogenic Society. New York: Springer. Archer, M.S. (ed.), 2013, Social Morphogenesis. New York: Springer.
[13] Making particular use of the Republic of Ireland that deliberately maintained low corporate taxation rates.
[14] Although inequality in income differentials had soared in the developed world, common denominators of governmental responses were the rolling back of welfare provisions, restrictions upon salary increments for those employed in the public sector, the increased privatization of pension schemes and ‘ability’ testing for those in receipt of disablement benefits etc.
[15] Today, Prime Minister Theresa May oscillates between ‘ordinary working people’ and those bravely ‘just getting by’. The Government hesitates between applauding the ‘self-employed’ as risk-taking small entrepreneurs and penalizing them for their lower contributions to National Insurance. See the Budget Speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, 8th March 2017.
[16] Roger Trigg, 2008, Religion on Public Life: Must faith be privitized, Oxford, Oxford University Press; Douglas V. Porpora, 2001, Landscapes of the of the soul; The loss of moral meaning in American life, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
[17] Julia Black, 2001, Decentering Regulation: understanding the role of regulation and self-regulation in a post-regulatory world, Current Legal Problems, 54(1), p. 106.
[18] It is morphogenesis that was the generative mechanism; globalization was simply its empirical manifestation. For the details of this mechanism and how it unrolled, see Archer, 2015, Generative Mechanisms, Ibid.
[19] Emmanuel Lazega, 2017, ‘Networks and Commons: Bureaucracy, Collegiality and Organizational Morphogenesis in the Struggles to Shape Collective responsibility in New Sharing Institutions’ in Archer (ed.), Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing, Ibid.
[20] Margaret S. Archer, 2017, Does Intensive Morphogenesis foster Human Capabilities or Liabilities?’ in Archer (ed.), Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing, Ibid.
[21] The two years cited are nothing other than the period during which I have been observing its trend.
[22] For example, the most generalized ‘women’s issue’ is the ‘Tampon Tax’, with its star protester, Laura Corydon, whose new vocation (and employment?) this may well have become.
[23] J. Morgan and I. Negru, 2012, ‘The Austrian perspective on the global financial crisis: A Critique’, Economic Issues, 17(2).
[24] Pierpaolo Donati and Margaret S. Archer, 2015, The Relational Subject, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
[25] British Prime Minister David Cameron denigrated the normativity of food donors and volunteers by stating that they were simply enlarging the ranks of ‘benefit scroungers’.
[26] Donati and Archer, 2015, The Relational Subject, Ibid.
[27] Who can, of course, seek to evade such a call by retreating from the complexity of political questions.
[28] Mark Carrigan, 2016, ‘The Fragile Movements of Late Modernity’, in Archer, Morphogenesis and the Crisis of Normativity, Ibid., p.193-4 (my italics).
[29] Jamie Morgan and William Sun, 2017 ‘Corporations, Taxation and Responsibility: Practical and Onto-Analytical Issues for Morphogenesis and Eudaimonia – a posse ad esse?, in Archer (ed.) Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing, Ibid.
[30] Ismael Al-Amoudi, 2013, ‘An Organizational Theorist’s micro contribution to the Occupy Movement’, EGOS conference (in press).
[31] M. Castells, 2012, Networks of Outrage and Hope, Cambridge, Polity.
[32] D. Graeber, 2007, Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, rebellion and desire’, Oakland, AK Press, p. 330.
[33] Idem.
[34] They elaborate on them themselves – e.g. becoming irate if someone is seated in their plane seat.
[35] The most misused word in the English language. For example ‘the old’ are uniformly held to be vulnerable, however fit and resilient some are.
[36] ‘With its long and tortuous history in the social sciences, ideology has become an orphan in social movement theory’. Steven M. Buechler, 2000, Social Movements in Advanced Capitalism, Oxford University Press, New York.
[37] For example, even within Birmingham and surrounding areas, we have experienced difficulties in convening meetings for Charities serving the destitute.
[38] Frank Parkin, 1972, Class Inequality and Political Order, Paladin.
[39] Pierpaolo Donati, 2010, La Matrice Teologica della Società, Rubbettino.
[40] See Margaret S. Archer, 2014, ‘The Generative Mechanism Reconfiguring Late Modernity’, In Archer (ed.), Late Modernity: Trajectories towards Morphogenic Society, Dordrecht, Springer, and 2015, and ‘How Agency is Transformed in the Course of Social Transformation: Don’t forget the Double Morphogenesis’, in Archer (ed.) Generative Mechanisms Transforming the Social Order, Dordrecht, Springer – the two chapters are largely continuous.
[42] (my italics).
[43] (downloaded 11.4.2017).
[44] As I first argued in Margaret S. Archer, 1979 [2013], Social Origins of Educational Systems, London Sage [reprinted 2013 Abingdon, Routledge].
[45] Margaret S. Archer, 2017, ‘Education for Sustainable Development’, in A.M. Battro, P. Léna, M Sánchez Sorondo and J. von Braun (eds.), Children and Sustainable Development, Cam, Springer.
[46] (downloaded 13.4.2017).
[47] (downloaded 13.4.2017).
[48] Tony Elger and Chris Smith, 1994, Global Japanization? The Transnational transformation of the labour process, London, Routledge, republished 2011.
[49] Ernest Bloch, 1959/1986, The Principle of Hope (3 vols) Oxford, Blackwell.
[50] Margaret S. Archer, 2003, Structure, Agency and the Internal Conversation; 2007, Making our Way through the World; 2012, The Reflexive Imperative, all Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
[51] Pierpaolo Donati and Margaret S. Archer, 2015, The Relational Subject, Ibid.
[52] In cancer research, in a Commercial Court and in modifying the policies of a large Diocese. See Notes 12 and 19.
[53] R.E. Dunlap and R. Brulle, 2015, Climate change and society: Sociological perspectives, New York, Oxford University Press.
[54] P.S. Dasgupta, V. Ramanathan, M. Sánchez Sorondo eds.), 2015, Sustainable Humanity; Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility, Vatican City, Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
[55] P. Dasgupta and P. Raven, 2017, Extinction, (in press).
[56] Taken from Zenit’s translation 16.4.2017.




Towards a Participatory Society: New Roads to Social and Cultural Integration

Plenary Session 28 April-2 May 2017 – Since the beginning of his Pontificate, Pope Francis has... Read more

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