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Is Participation Enough?

BUKO 31 // from 9. to 12.5.08 // in Dortmund

Struggles for Self-determination and Against Global Exclusions

A lot is said about integration and participation. Participation in the form of voting in elections – democratic or not – exists nearly everywhere. The inclusion of citizens in local decision-making processes now belongs to the standard fare of neoliberalism. However, the vast majority remains excluded from even these often manipulative mechanisms of participation. Years of neoliberal policies and the wars that have accompanied them have intensified poverty and social polarisation globally and the number of marginalised – the “superfluous” – has increased. They are absorbed by the slums, banlieues, prisons and refugee camps. To this are added the manifold and everyday discriminations along lines of gender, ethnicity, religion and class. A global majority thus remains excluded from the existing forms of social participation.

What is the response of the radical left? Struggles against every form of discrimination and marginalisation are central to left wing politics – but is there a common goal that goes beyond that? In the search for such a common goal, for points of contact and for reciprocal reference points, the concept of Global Social Rights (GSR) is often brought up. Rights, understood as legitimate entitlements to material and social resources. Rights, that should not (only) be demanded, but should be practically taken. The right to life. The right to self-determination. The right to participation. But do rights really have an emancipative power? Or do they hide the utopia of a global welfare state that could perhaps deliver social inclusion, but not more self-determination?

At BUKO 31, this perspective – the focus on rights and participation globally – is to be the centre of debate. Can the dominant and usually corrupting discourse about rights and participation be radicalised? To this aim, the central themes Work, EU/Militarisation, Climate, Migration are to be analysed according to the following questions that will structure the congress: 1.) Where and how are global exclusions produced? This leads to 2.) the question of existing and possible interventions and struggles and 3.) the question of utopias that can be won from these struggles and which can inspire others. How are demands for rights and participation articulated and practically implemented? Do powerful and offensive movements and major cracks in the ruling system emerge from these demands? Or is it other struggles that lead to individual and collective self-determination and to practical solidarity in society?

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Information on the BUKO31 congress

Registration fee:

normal fee (cost effective): 30 EUR
reduced fee: 20 EUR
solidarity fee: 40 EUR and more

political inspiration, sleeping places, care for kids. Food is not included, it is prepared by a Vöku group.

We are trying to keep the contribution as low as possible. People who are really short of money can communicate with us. Because the old BUKO-motto is still valid: Participation shouldn't be limited by money – as well as the BUKO.

BUKO Geschäftsstelle, Nernstweg 32, 22765 Hamburg
Tel.: (+0049) 040/39 35 00, Fax: (+0049) 040/28 05 51 22
» mail[at]buko.info, » www.buko.info
» Online registration

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» Bundeskoordination Internationalismus
» Asta der Universität Dortmund

Financial Support:

logo rls  Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung

logo aktion selbstbesteuerung  Aktion Selbstbesteuerung

logo stiftung ake  AKE Bildungswerk, Vlotho

logo stiftung umverteilen  Stiftung Umverteilen

logo stiftung w  Stiftung W


Venue of the congress

» Universität Dortmund
Emil-Figge-Str. 50, Dortmund
(Campus Nord)
To be reached from the main station with the S1 (sub urban train)
» To get there

BUKO Geschäftsstelle
Nernstweg 32, 22765 Hamburg
Tel.: (+0049) 040/39 35 00
Fax: (+0049) 040/28 05 51 22
» mail[at]buko.info
» www.buko.info
» Online registration

Local congress office:
Soziales Zentrum Bochum
Rottstr. 31, 44793 Bochum
Tel.: (+0049) 0234/547 29 58
» kongressbuero[at]buko.info
Opening: Mo: 16-19 h,
Mi: 16-19 h, Fr: 9-12 h

Übersetzung // Translation


» Bundeskoordination Internationalismus
» ASTA der Universität Dortmund

» Support
» Financial Support

link zu Buko-braucht-Kohle