Discursive movement politics of the crisis : frames, 'subjects' and cultures of sociopolitical contestation : a comparative analysis of the anti-austerity and pro-democracy mobilizations of Greece and Spain
Title: Discursive movement politics of the crisis : frames, 'subjects' and cultures of sociopolitical contestation : a comparative analysis of the anti-austerity and pro-democracy mobilizations of Greece and Spain
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2018
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
The financial crisis of 2008, which plunged the global economy into unprecedented recession caused a dramatic downturn in economic activity and exceptionally increased political instability. In the years of the crisis civil unrest became part of the daily routine of afflicted countries around the world, reaching its peak in the global wave of anti-austerity and pro-democracy mobilizations of late 2010-2011. Protesting the politics of austerity and the diminished solvency of the political system, the mobilizations rose above the business-as-usual type of protesting and summoned an exceptionally heterogenous population raising strong demands for democratization and the political empowerment of the people. The characteristically heterogeneous constituency of the mobilizations, the characteristically broad demand for democratization and the fact that in many instances this demand was raised in sociopolitical contexts of consolidated democracies highlighted a central puzzle with three angles: What does the demand for democratization mean, when it is raised in already democratic contexts? What does the mobilizations’ demand for democracy practically imply? Who constitute the ‘subject’ of the mobilizations and through what processes have they been ‘constructed’ as a collective demanding democracy? Narrowing down the focus on the European wave of mobilizations, this research seeks to find answers to these questions by examining comparatively the antiausterity mobilizations of Greece and Spain. The hypothesis of this comparative examination is that the mobilizations’ commonly raised demands for democratization and their similar advocacies -for ‘Direct Democracy’ in Greece and ‘Real Democracy’ in Spain- are effectively filtered through the lens of nation-specific cultures of contestation. Relying on qualitative methods of analysis, this research examines patterns of contestation and relationships in the Greek and Spanish anti-austerity mobilizations and demonstrates that the Greek and Spanish movement politics of the crisis represent distinct examples of contemporary sociopolitical contestation that cannot be comprehensively understood on the basis of some sort of European -or for that matter Southern European- sameness, despite their firm embeddedness in the European wave of anti-austerity and pro-democracy mobilizations of late 2010-2011.
Defence date: 17 May 2018; Examining Board: Prof. Donatella della Porta, SNS Florence (former EUI) | Supervisor; Prof. Olivier Roy, EUI; Prof. Maria Kousis, University of Crete; Prof. Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Loughborough University
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