Emil Holms Kanal 6, 2300 København S, KUA1, Bygning: 24.2.48
Project title: Consumer Boycott as Private Human Rights Politics
The systematic and organised boycott of South African products from the 1950s, which was particularly extensive in the Nordic countries and in the UK, established a new form of participation in mass consumer society where purchase choices became subjected to ethical criteria. Increasingly, consumers express non-economic values through the market arena, which can be perceived as a blurring of the distinction between the public and private spheres as well as between the fields of politics and economics. Consumers may choose to circumvent traditional channels for political participation to address the market and companies directly. This allows for alternative ways of approaching studies of citizenship, globalisation and democracy since the market choices of individual consumers reflect an understanding of material products as embedded in a complex of social and normative context. This project examines the case of the Anti-Apartheid Movement and its exercise of boycotts as human rights politics, though from the underlying perspective of the individual. This case is expected to disclose and emphasise fundamental aspects of ethical consumerism that will illuminate the wider implications of the consumer boycott as private human rights politics.