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2018 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Syriza, Podemos and Mobilizations Against Austerity: Movements, Parties or Movement-Parties?

Authors : Hara Kouki, Joseba Fernández González

Published in: Europas Zivilgesellschaft in der Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise

Publisher: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden

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Abstract

This chapter traces the development of two political parties during the last few years, Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain: adopting a broad anti-austerity agenda, both parties have been electorally successful in the last years against the background of broader social transformations and conflicts generated due to the protracted crisis experienced in Southern Europe. In order to study the origins and evolution of these parties we link concepts and methodologies developed within two different fields of study—social movements and political parties- so as to understand the interaction between collective mobilizations and party system changes. Moreover, we attempt to explore aspects of convergence between the two cases so as to reflect on the relationship developed between parties and movements during crisis. Both parties acted as ‘movement parties’ for a short period of time revealing on the one hand the massive loss of trust in traditional parties and institutions in both countries, and on the other the fact that it was the ordinary citizens who became agents of protest and change in Southern Europe. Still, both Syriza and Podemos seem as adopting conventional party strategies and discourse losing, thus, their relation with grassroots mobilizations.

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Footnotes
1
Research for this article was conducted within the ERC research project ‘Mobilizing for Democracy’ (directed by Prof. Donatella della Porta). More can be found in the book Movement Parties in Times of Crisis: Syriza, Podemos and 5Star Parties (London: Polity Press, 2017) co-written by D. della Porta, J. Fernandez, H. Kouki and L. Mosca.
 
2
Frame analysis is a social science research method that studies how individuals perceive and interpret events within their life space and the world at large, see Goffman (1974). It is used especially in social movement studies so as to uncover how different actors in different contexts define the issue at stake, propose ways out, and set goals.
 
3
The sample of respondents comprises people mainly residing in the Athens and Madrid with varied party and activist membership (in terms of duration and hierarchy) and socio-demographic features. The list of interviews is available from the authors upon request.
 
4
According to the President of the Greek section of the ‘Doctors of the World’, see http://​www.​theguardian.​com/​commentisfree/​2013/​feb/​11/​greece-humanitarian-crisis-eu as well as the warning issued in 2014 by the United Nations Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights available at http://​www.​ohchr.​org/​EN/​NewsEvents/​Pages/​DisplayNews.​aspx?​NewsID=​13281&​LangID=​E.
 
5
For a detailed account of Podemos’ origins, see “Podemos: Objetivo asaltar los cielos” (Rivero 2015). See also “The Podemos revolution: how a small group of radical academics changed European politics” (The Guardian, 31 March 2015): http://​www.​theguardian.​com/​world/​2015/​mar/​31/​podemos-revolution-radical-academics-changed-european-politics.
 
7
Political Secretary of Podemos and mainly responsible for the electoral strategy of the party.
 
8
¿Qué debe decir la izquierda? Conference of Pablo Iglesias in 2012, available online at: https://​www.​youtube.​com/​watch?​v=​nfK2Bl4NjGM.
 
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Metadata
Title
Syriza, Podemos and Mobilizations Against Austerity: Movements, Parties or Movement-Parties?
Authors
Hara Kouki
Joseba Fernández González
Copyright Year
2018
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-20897-4_6