Policy plan 2019-2020

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Socialism in the 21st century

In order to develop an alternative for the current social order, it is necessary but not sufficient to build social movements. It is also necessary to develop a broad vision on social questions, link them together without imposing a hierarchy between more and less important positions, and to formulate solutions that can have practical significance while also contributing to an economic, social and ecological transition to a different society.

The research collective SOC21 primarily concentrates on the Netherlands, but does so within a wider European setting and against the background of the Netherlands’ colonial past and current global connections.

The foundation’s work is not singularly academic. Serious in-depth research, well-founded visions on the connections between themes and their elaboration at a practical level that can aid activists and social movements go hand in hand. The aim is to contribute to the development of knowledge for and with social movements based on international solidarity, feminism, and ecosocialism.

The Socialist Research Collective is organized through commissions and projects along thematic lines. In addition, an Advisory Board will be installed that includes members with a proven expertise in one or more of these thematic lines. In the year 2019, the foundation will mainly lay the groundwork for future activities by creating the organizational structure, forming the Advisory Board and the first thematic commissions.

In the first quarter of 2020, a first meeting of the Board of the Foundation with members of the Advisory Board will take place to determine the course of the foundation for the coming years. During Spring 2020, a public meeting will be organized in which the aims of the foundation and the plans for 2020-2021 will be presented. Within the Board and among the foundations’ volunteers (including the Advisory Board), a division of labor will be created along thematic lines.

Depending on the number of volunteers, means and current political development, the foundation will pragmatically plan its priorities in order to realize 2-3 expert meetings and two public meetings per year. The aim for 2020 is to at least organize the first two expert meetings. The topics will be determined by the Board, with current ideas for meetings including:

  • Pensions and the role of pension funds as institutional investors in multinational companies; tensions between individual saving programs, national pension systems and the currently existing sectoral pension systems.
  • The role of the Euro and the EU in the European economy after Brexit, and the future of the Euro under the impact of increasing tensions among EU member states, especially northern core countries and the southern-European EU countries.
  • The role and question of the socio-political determinants and impacts of science and technology; the influence of the language of technology on social debate.
  • Climate change, climate justice and the preconditions for a socially equitable energy transition, that takes into account the role of transport, differences in lifestyle, and global North-South relations.
  • Changes in the organization of work; the tensions between shortening labor time and flexibilization; the role of the growing number of micro-companies and of digital processes and platform companies.
  • Migrant rights as human rights, and the impact of growing nationalism and xenophobia.
  • Decolonization of history writing; the study of slavery and colonialism as factors in the development of capitalism; the role of modern forms of coerced labor and hyper-exploitation such as child labor.

Apart from the organizational structure and these meetings, starting from the end of 2019 the Board will start creating a website and other information channels, initiate collaboration with like-minded organizations within and outside the Netherlands and starting up a fundraising campaign.

Since the Socialist Research Collective wants to play a supporting role in developing social movements by means of supporting, facilitating and encouraging research, the Foundation does not aim to make a profit. On the contrary, the finances of the Foundation depend on donations in various forms. We aim for establishing a permanent base of donors, as well as organizing campaigns to receive individual donations for specific projects. Target groups for fundraising might vary depending on specific aims, and can include both new and experienced activists in social movements and people driven by a special interest in particular themes addressed by the foundation. The Board manages the foundation’s funds in accordance with the aims of the Foundation. There is no intention to build up financial reserves larger than necessary for the regular progress of activities. The income of the foundation is primarily destined for the immediate costs of projects and other activities (expert meetings, seminars, public meetings, publications, website).