I’m writing today to share with you a publication we have just launched at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York Office entitled, “The Future We the People Need: Voices from New Social Movements in North Africa, Middle East, Europe & North America” (http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/iez/global/09610-20130215.pdf) which I hope will offer
information and insights for this reignited debate about recovery with a human face. Thank you to Richard Jolly and Isabel Ortiz for getting the conversation going again, as the issues raised have clearly not been resolved.
Many new social movements have sprung up since the financial crisis in 2008. In North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America they emerged out of social protests against economic austerity, inequality and
political exclusion. This publication features 20 contributions, from activists and analysts in Egypt, Tunisia, Israel, Greece, Ireland, Spain, the US, Canada and Mexico, who were invited, not to look back at the protests to analyze their
causes, but to critically and constructively examine the creative proposals and campaigns that have emerged from them.
The motifs that come through— frustration with government for failing to address political and social exclusion, lack of faith in official political processes and actors, the belief that new social movements are sowing seeds of a more direct democracy—are common in each country and all regions.
However, the theme that is emerging most strongly is that of a deep crisis in political representation.
As the UN system is now immersed in discussions to construct a future for sustainable development, what the Rio+20 outcome calls,“The Future We Want,” this publication aims to help articulate why “we the people’s” needs can and must inform the next generation of development goals. The voices of new social and political movements are not well represented in the "post-2015"
debates, and connections between these movements, which we explore in the book, are not well understood. After months of research and networking with activists
and analysts in these countries, I hope this publication will begin to change that.
Very best wishes,
Senior Policy Analyst