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Madness, distress and the politics of disablement$
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Helen Spandler, Helen Spandler, Jill Anderson, and Bob Sapey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447314578

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447314578.001.0001

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Solidarity across difference: organising for democratic alliances

Solidarity across difference: organising for democratic alliances

(p.271) Nineteen Solidarity across difference: organising for democratic alliances
Madness, distress and the politics of disablement

Mick McKeown

Helen Spandler

Policy Press

This chapter considers how best to build alliances between survivors of the mental health system, disability activists, and the broader, progressive left, particularly trade unionists organising in health and social care. Current struggles against austerity indicate an urgency for constructive relationships of this sort and also open up possibilities for forging such alliances. However, given the potential for varied standpoints and strong emotions to arise during discussions between different interest groups, it is important to think about the forms of social space which might help facilitate open dialogue and social action. Drawing on critical debates surrounding the idea of ‘communicative action’, and building on our experiences of actual alliances, we suggest ways of creating spaces characterised by deliberative and democratic discourse.

Keywords:   survivors, activism, disability, trade unionism, healthcare, social care, austerity, communicative action, deliberative democracy

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