Introduction: The Dynamics and Terrains of Local Democracy and Corporate Power in the 21st Century
Particular to the struggles of today is a renewed and increasingly networked politics of local democracy in opposition to global corporate power. With the five urgent essays in this symposium we bring these politics into a world-systems space, considering specific community conflicts with corporations over water and petro-carbon as part of larger translocal struggles, and taking up broader strategies for asserting democratic control over economic life. The included essays feature two of four terrains of struggle —the translocalization of local resistance and contests over sovereignty – that we see as significant in the contemporary dynamics of local democracy and corporate power. We identify additional examples of contests on each these terrains of struggle, as well as those terrains involving contestation of the corporation itself and of alternative global constitutionalisms, in mapping the dimensions of the developing period of community-corporate struggle. Our purpose is to set in motion further collaborations between academic and community-based scholars, with the goal of equipping communities with knowledge useful in expanding and deepening democracy.
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