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Ngpa research Programme One Day Workshop

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NGPA Research Programme

One Day Workshop

4th November 2008
Are there common interests? Exploring common and conflicting interests

in public action between ‘North’ and ‘South’
to be held at

Institute of Commonwealth Studies,

University of London
27-28 Russell Square
London WC1B 5DS

Convenors: Meri Koivusalo and Maureen Mackintosh

This workshop aims to explore:

  • the extent to which we can find common interests between North and South in non-governmental public action;

  • in which sectors and areas we can find such common interests, and on which issues and policies;

  • whether there are areas and policies where North/South interests are strictly opposed;

  • whether we find more common interests as result of globalisation;

  • and what are the politics of common interests: in particular, are some potential common interests being missed in NGPA politics?

Programme relevance and cross-project links

This one day workshop contributes to ESRC Non-governmental Public Action (NGPA) research programme. It brings together academics and practitioners across some of the NGPA programme research areas around this common theme, and aims to spread the discussion and results beyond the programme. Presentations draw on both NGPA projects and other ideas and experience, and we aim to raise some key issues about international NGPA politics and the implications for joint action and activities between Northern and Southern actors, and to engage with efforts to create joint social movements across North and South. Support is gratefully acknowledged from the Economic and Social Research Council, and from the Innovation, Knowledge and Development (IKD) research centre, Open University.

All those interested are welcome to attend. Travel can be reimbursed, and overnight accommodation in London provided for those travelling from a distance. Please register in advance by emailing Helen Payne at

Workshop programme
Timing: 10.00 – 5.00
Session 1 : 10.00- 11.15

Envisioning common interests

Introductory session, looking across a broad scope of forms of public action and considering the politics of common North/South action. What kind of issues relate to common interests in non-governmental public action. Can we envision common interests? What are the experiences of action on common interests in public action? Where do conflicts arise?

Introduction: Meri Koivusalo: Common interests and public action: aims and purpose of the seminar
Guest speakers:

Vijay Pratap, from the Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam Initiative on Comprehensive Democracy The politics of creating global public action

Firoze Manji, Executive Director and Editor in Chief, Pambazuka News : Common interests, politics and the search for social justice
Commentators: Maureen Mackintosh, Teivo Teivainen (tbc), Richard Crook (tbc)


Coffee - 11.15-11.30
Session 2: 11.30-12.30

Common interests, intellectual property rights and pharmaceutical policies

To what extent we can see common interest in the context of intellectual property rights, industrial and pharmaceutical policies? How do common interests relate to the global nongovernmental

public action ?

Sudip Chaudhuri Pharmaceutical innovation, incentives and common interests?

Meri Koivusalo Global health issues, pharmaceutical policies and common interests
Commentators: Charles Clift (DFID), Nicoletta Dentico


Session 3 : 12.30-1.15

Security - can we envision common interests?

To what extent we can trace or envision common interests in the context of security policies? What kind of issues are of importance? What issues are particularly pertinent in the context of nongovernmental public action ?


Jude Howell, Director of NGPA programme : Politics of common interests in the field of global security post-9/11

Commentator : Sarah Sexton (Cornerhouse)


Lunch: 1.15-2.00
Session 4 :2.00 – 3.30

North/South networks and campaigns: common and conflicting interests

This session examines North/South non-governmental networks and the themes of common and conflicting interests as well as the ways in which common and conflicting interests are dealt with across North/South networks and in the context of the social forum process.


Richard Crook Uneasy partners? Northern money and Southern suspicions in transnational NGPA policy campaigns

John Paul Jones III (NGPA fellow) Transnational Networks of Managerialism in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Teivo Teivainen Common interests and the global politics of democratisation and social mobilisation - where are we now with the social forum process ?

Commentators : Vijay Pratap, Meri Koivusalo


Tea: 3.30-3.45
Session 5: 3.45- 5.00

Alternative media in North and South: common and conflicting interests

This final session examines common and conflicting interests among Northern and Southern alternative media networks, and is presented by the alternative media collective that includes alternative media activists and academics.


Alternative Media Research Collective: Steffen Boehm, Fabian Frenzel, Andre Spicer, Sian Sullivan, Zoe Young

Alternative Media in the South: Stories from Africa, Serbia and South America
Alternative Media in North and South: A comparison
Commentator: Nicoletta Dentico

Discussion and wrap up

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