Austerity and Protest: Popular Contention in Times of Economic Crisis (Hardback) book cover

Austerity and Protest

Popular Contention in Times of Economic Crisis

By Marco Giugni, Maria T. Grasso

© 2015 – Routledge

226 pages

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Hardback: 9781472439185
pub: 2015-11-28
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pub: 2016-04-08
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What is the relationship between economic crises and protest behaviour? Does the experience of austerity, or economic hardship more broadly defined, create a greater potential for protest? With protest movements and events such as the Indignados and the Occupy Movement receiving a great deal of attention in the media and in the popular imaginary in recent times, this path-breaking book offers a rigorously-researched, evidence-based set of chapters on the relationship between austerity and protest. In so doing, it provides a thorough overview of different theories, mechanisms, patterns and trends which will contextualize more recent developments, and provide a pivotal point of reference on the relationship between these two variables. More specifically, this book will speak to three crucial, long-standing debates in scholarship in political sociology, social movement studies, and related fields: The effects of economic hardship on protest and social movements. The role of grievances and opportunities in social movement theory. The distinction between 'old' and 'new' movements. The chapters in this book engage with these three key debates and challenge commonly held views of political sociologists and social movement scholars on all three counts, thus allowing us to advance study in the field.


'Giugni and Grasso’s edited volume provides an innovative and meticulous perspective to a topic of great contemporary relevance. I highly recommend it to students and scholars of social movements, political participation, and political sociology at large.'

Sotirios Karampampas University of Shef?eld,The British Journal of Sociology 2016 Volume 67 Issue 4

Table of Contents

Austerity and Protest: Debates and Challenges, (Marco Giugni and Maria Grasso)


1. Political Mobilization in Times of Crises: The Relationship between Economic and Political Crises, (Hanspeter Kriesi)

2. At the Ballot Boxes or in the Streets and Factories: Economic Contention in the Visegrad Group, (Ondřej Císař and Jiří Navrátil)


3. Are Anti-Austerity Movements ‘Old’ or ‘New’?, (Maria Grasso and Marco Giugni)

4. Does Class Matter in Protests? Social Class, Attitudes towards Inequality, and Political Trust in European Demonstrations in a Time of Economic Crisis, (Anders Hylmö and Magnus Wennerhag)


5. Bridging the Protest Macro-Micro Gap: Investigating the Link between Motivations, Political Efficacy and Political Context, (Pauline Ketelaars)

6. Trust and Efficacy Taking to the Streets in Times of Crisis: Variation among Activists, (Massimiliano Andretta, Lorenzo Bosi, and Donatella della Porta)


7. Beneficiary and Conscience Constituencies: On Interests and Solidarity, (Bert Klandermans, Jacquelien van Stekelenburg, and Marie-Louise Damen)

8. Anti-Cuts Protests in the UK: Are We Really All in This Together?, (Clare Saunders, Silke Roth, and Cristiana Olcese)


9. A Tale of Two Crises: Contentious Responses to Anti-Austerity Policy in Spain, (Camilo Cristancho)

10. Feelings of Hardship and Anxiety for Contentious Politics: Economic Crisis and the Unemployed Youth in France, (Manlio Cinalli and Pavlos Vasilopoulos)

Austerity and Protest: Lessons and Future Research, (Marco Giugni and Maria Grasso)

About the Authors

Marco Giugni is Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations and Director of the Institute of Social and Political Research at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. His research interests focus on social movements and protest, but he has also published widely on social exclusion and the participation of disadvantaged and discriminated groups such as the unemployed and immigrants. He is the editor of The Politics of Unemployment in Europe, and co-editor of How Social Movements Matter, From Contention to Democracy and Political Altruism?

Maria Grasso is a Lecturer in Politics and Quantitative Methods at the Department of Politics, University of Sheffield. Her main research interests are in political sociology, social change, political participation, and social movements. She was a Research Fellow on the Caught in the Act of Protest: Contextualising Contestation (CCC) project's UK team. She is a work-package Principal Investigator on two collaborative EU projects on social resilience in times of crisis (LIVEWHAT) and trans-national solidarity (TransSOL). She is Deputy Editor for Western Europe of Mobilization: An International Quarterly. Her work has been published in Electoral Studies, Work, Employment and Society and other journals.

About the Series

The Mobilization Series on Social Movements, Protest, and Culture

The Mobilization Series on Social Movements, Protest, and Culture

Published in conjunction with Mobilization: An International Quarterly, the premier research journal in the field, this series publishes a broad range of research in social movements, protest and contentious politics. This is a growing field of social science research that spans sociology and political science as well as anthropology, geography, communications and social psychology. Enjoying a broad remit, the series welcomes books on the following topics: social movement networks; social movements in the global South; social movements, protest, and culture; personalist politics, such as living environmentalism, guerrilla gardens, anticonsumerist communities, and anarchist-punk collectives; and emergent repertoires of contention.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General