Social Movements in the Global Age (SMAG)

Geoffrey Pleyers research Initiative

The goal of the initiative Social Movements in the Global Age (SMAG) is to promote intellectual debate and collaboration among researchers in the sociology of social movements and global studies. Based on empirical research and theory, it aims to develop a sociology of the global age, starting with the notion that our age is dominated by the transition from an era of globalisation, as an expansion of modernisation and markets established by economic growth, toward a 'global age' in which the challenge of jointly managing a planet and limited resources transform and strengthen the interdependence of humanity across the planet, as well as the relationship between humanity and nature. How do individuals and groups seek to become actors of their lives and their world in this context? What are the processes that promote their participation in local, national and global decisions that will have an impact on their existence? How do they seek to meet the challenges of democracy, the concept of which should not be restricted to institutional politics?

Based on a sociology of action and of social movements on the one hand, and global studies on the other, this initiative by the Collège d’études mondiales places particular focus on the democratic and environmental challenges. We also intend contributing to the development of a more global sociology, based on three criteria:

  1. Linking the scales of action and analysis, beyond methodological nationalism and methodological globalism.
  2. Promoting discussion and collaboration with researchers from the Global South and integrating the theories, practices and visions of the research community and players from various regions of the world, with particular focus on the 'Global South'.
  3. Promoting multi-location and multi-level research.



Social Classes and Social Movements. The Newsletter of the International Sociological Association Research Committee 47 (RC47)

Sabrina Zajak, Jenny Jansson, Geoffrey Pleyers, Ilse Lenz, Cross Movement Mobilisation — Perspectives from the Global North and South, Journal Special Issue. Moving the social Vol. 63 (2020)

Breno Bringel, Geoffrey Pleyers, Alerta Global. Políticas y movimientos frente a la pandemia. CLASCO (2020)

Geoffrey Pleyer, Opening new horizons for alternative futures, Open Democracy, June 2020 (in Spanish)

Geoffrey Pleyer, Have Movements Disappeared during Lockdown?, Minds of the Movement, An ICNC blog, May 2020

Open Movements: for a global and public sociology of social movements: a platform that aims at providing critical and empirically-based outlooks on social movements and new expressions of social and cultural transformations: the ones which make the media headlines and those which discreetly transform daily life and politics alike, at the local and global scales.


Geoffrey Pleyers Opening Address, ISA World Forum of Sociology 2021 Global Sociology in the Pandemic



The Exodus of mankind

Retrospective of the works of Cristian Pineda
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A plea for global sociology in times of the coronavirus

Paper by Geoffrey Pleyers
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Intervened memory

Listen to the musical pieces of Human Mobility exhibition
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Published at 6 January 2017