The 'Arab spring', the Spanish indignados, the Greek aganaktismenoi and the Occupy Wall Street movement all share a number of distinctive traits; they made extensive use of social networking and were committed to the direct democratic participation of all as they co-ordinated and conducted their actions. Leaderless and self-organized, they were socially and ideologically heterogeneous, dismissing fixed agendas or ideologies. Still, the assembled multitudes that animated these mobilizations often claimed to speak in the name of ’the people’, and they aspired to empowered forms of egalitarian self-government in common. Similar features have marked collective resistances from the Zapatistas and the Seattle protests onwards, giving rise to theoretical and practical debates over the importance of these ideological and political forms. By engaging with the controversy between the autonomous, biopolitical ’multitude’ of Hardt and Negri and the arguments in favour of the hegemony of ’the people’ advanced by J. Rancière, E. Laclau, C. Mouffe and S. Zizek the central aim of this book is to discuss these instances of collective mobilization, to probe the innovative practices and ideas they have developed and to debate their potential to reinvigorate democracy whilst seeking something better than ’disaster capitalism’.
’People or Multitude, Hegemony or Autonomy, Laclau or Negri? This is the crucial dilemma the age of resistance� we have entered poses to theory and politics. This sophisticated volume brings together some of the most interesting younger scholars to examine the many aspects of the dilemma. The alternatives are mapped in their full complexity and are backed with detailed empirical evidence from the movements in Spain, Greece and Occupy. This collection will become a classic in radical political philosophy.’ Costas Douzinas, Birkbeck, University of London, UK ’At a time when we have to make sense of the worldwide protests unfolding since 2011 this book comes at exactly the right moment. Intervening into the heated debates around the question of political representation and the necessity of constructing a new left wing hegemony, this book is a must-read for everyone interested in the topic of collective protest.’ Oliver Marchart, DÃ¼sseldorf Art Academy, Germany