Challenging Austerity: Radical Left and Social Movements in the South of Europe, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Challenging Austerity

Radical Left and Social Movements in the South of Europe, 1st Edition

Edited by Beltrán Roca, Emma Martín-Díaz, Ibán Díaz-Parra


166 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-11-30
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This book analyses social movements and radical political parties’ strategies in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy from 2008 to today. Events in 2011 such as the Arab Spring and the indignados movement in Spain initiated a new cycle of social protest. This book explores how the economic crisis and policies of austerity have transformed and continue to transform social movements, trade unions and radical political parties in Southern Europe.

The economic crisis has led to a rise in protest movements, which confront political institutions and conventional forms of democracy, and develop new spatial and organisational strategies. This book examines these cases, in addition to those groups who, contrastingly, have used institutional politics to achieve their aims, such as new political parties like Podemos in Spain or Movimento 5 Stelle in Italy.

Analysing the extent to which there has been a change in approach when it comes to contesting neo-liberal capitalism, this book makes an important contribution to the study of social movements and radical politics. With a comparative perspective and an emphasis on studying the largely unexplored recent social and political dynamics in the European periphery, this book is essential reading for students, scholars and activists interested in social movements, radical politics and European politics more generally.

Table of Contents

Introduction: social movements and radical politics in the European periphery a world-systems analysis. Beltrán Roca, Emma Martin-Diaz and Iban Diaz-Parra

1.Radical left in Portugal and Spain (1960–2010). Julio Pérez Serrano

2. Greece and Italy after the Second World War: contentious politics, cycles of protest and radical Left. Nikos Serdedakis, Elisabetta della Corte and Markos Vogiatzoglou

3. Indignados, municipalism and Podemos: mobilisation and political cycle in Spain after the Great Recession. Iban Diaz-Parra, Beltrán Roca and Emma Martin-Diaz

4. Political opportunities, threats and opportunism: examining SYRIZA’s rise in crisis-ridden Greek politics. Kostas Kanellopoulos

5. Building the "contraption": anti-austerity movements and political alternative in Portugal. Elísio Estanque, Hermes Augusto Costa and Dora Fonseca

6. When the Spring is not coming: radical Left and social movements in Italy during the austerity era. Simone Castellani and Luca Queirolo Palmas

Conclusion: learning from the economic crisis and the protest cycle in the South of Europe implications for social movements and the Left. Emma Martin-Diaz, Iban Diaz-Parra and Beltrán Roca

About the Editors

Beltrán Roca is a Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Cadiz, Spain.

Emma Martín-Díaz is a Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Seville, Spain.

Ibán Díaz-Parra is a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Seville, Spain.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Radical History and Politics

The series Routledge Studies in Radical History and Politics has two areas of interest. Firstly, this series aims to publish books which focus on the history of movements of the radical left. ‘Movement of the radical left’ is here interpreted in its broadest sense as encompassing those past movements for radical change which operated in the mainstream political arena as with political parties, and past movements for change which operated more outside the mainstream as with millenarian movements, anarchist groups, utopian socialist communities, and trade unions. Secondly, this series aims to publish books which focus on more contemporary expressions of radical left-wing politics. Recent years have been witness to the emergence of a multitude of new radical movements adept at getting their voices in the public sphere. From those participating in the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, community unionism, social media forums, independent media outlets, local voluntary organisations campaigning for progressive change, and so on, it seems to be the case that innovative networks of radicalism are being constructed in civil society that operate in different public forms.  

The series very much welcomes titles with a British focus, but is not limited to any particular national context or region. The series will encourage scholars who contribute to this series to draw on perspectives and insights from other disciplines.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Radicalism