Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN25_02a_IC: The Present of Social Activism and Participatory Processes in Europe: Learning from the Past
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Roberto Falanga, Institute of Social Sciences
Session Chair: Britta Baumgarten, CIES UIL, Lisbon
Location: Intercontinental - Arcade I
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Lobby Level

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From social experience to event: restructuring of collective subjectivities through social movements.

Ferran Giménez Azagra

University of Basque Country, UPV-EHU- CADIS-EHESS

Attending mobilization cycle started before the outbreak of 2007 crisis, by defining this as a period in which establishing elements of social mobilization are re-defined, this part of the research, from a PhD project, seeks to draw an explanatory model capable of taking into account the subjectification processes that develope into collective action. From an interpretive and constructivist approach, ethnographic field work was conducted between 2013 and 2015, by using participatory observation in some evenements of the Platform of Affected by Mortgage, PAH, and the Candidacies of Popular Unit, CUP, in Catalonia. Two focus groups and thirty in depth interviews to selected key informants with specific criteria have been conducted, too, as well as documental analysis of text produced by social actors.

Following theoretical purpose of sociology of experience from F. Dubet, from a splitted reality in different logics of action, alongside contributions of M. Lazzarato to theoretical frame of symbolic domination, we analyze five key dimensions of social movements: mobilization structure, repertoire of action, assembly, discursive frame and collective identity. Thereby we propose a procedural conception of social movements in which the concept of event allows us to define mechanisms of subjectivity restructuring. Provisional findings point to a presence of interaction structures with both emotional and political purposes as a base of this processes, as well as a fusion of logics of action related to the configuration of possible subjectivities in collective action.

Bringing in the Past to the Fight for the Future: The ‘Grandparents’ Movement’ Iaioflautas / Yayoflautas in the Spanish Anti-Austerity Protests

Christoph H. Schwarz

Philipps-Unversität Marburg, Germany

Far from being a mere ‘youth movement’, generational discourses have been highly relevant in the Spanish indignados movement. One of the first groups to participate in the occupation of the Plaza del Sol in Madrid in 2011 was Juventud sin Futuro (Youth without a Future), which explicitly and critically engages with the category of ‘youth’ in its campaigns against austerity. However, the Spanish case is rather unique in the sense that this framing strategy is complemented, on the other end of the age spectrum, by a ‘grandparents’ movement’, set up to support the younger activists: The iaioflautas or yayoflautas, older indignados activists, define themselves as ‘the generation that fought and achieved a better future for our sons and daughters’. The movement brings together very experienced activists, some of whom had already organized clandestine resistance under Franco, with newcomers who had never been politically organized before. In the recent years, activists with very different backgrounds have thus regularly been at the frontline of occupations or other anti-austerity protests, marked as yayoflautas by their characteristic yellow vests.

Based on campaign material and life story interviews with activists, this paper discusses three questions: What are the strategic advantages of a framing strategy based on seniority in the post-Franquist context? Which repertoires of contention have been passed on between the old and young generations within the 15M-movement, and along which lines? And, finally, is there a typical biographical trajectory of ‘becoming a yayoflauta’?

What happens after a 'Zero Point'? The Effects of Gezi Parkı Protests on Political Mobilization and Protest Repertoirs of Youth in Turkey

Tuba Emiroğlu1, Öndercan Muti2

1Mimar Sinan Finer Arts University, Turkey; 2Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

During the last two decades, the politization and political mobilization of youth have gained an important academic attention. The social movements around the globe beginning with social forums, continued with oppositions against different summits and recently emerging as occupation of squares and public places have increased this interest. In Turkey, the famous Gezi Parkı Protests, which began with the aim to stop the demolishment of a park but became widespread in different cities as a summer long movement demanding various democratic rights, draw the academic attention on the political mobility of youth and new forms of this mobility. During these protests, activists from a wide range of social movements and ideologies achieved to mobilize millions of people against the police brutality and all kinds of state violence and pursued different strategies and repertoires, both on national and international level. In this paper, the results of a field research done three years after the most extensive cross movement experience in Turkey will be presented with the aim to discuss the dynamics of cross movement mobility letting different social movements and people to form a singularity. In addition, the possibility of these dynamics to build a permanent political mobilization and a singular movement will be explored by looking closer at the process following Gezi Parkı Protests. Lastly, the protest repertoires and types of political participation of young people in this process will be argued.

Keywords: Gezi Parkı Protests - Political Mobilization - Protest Repertoires - Youth - Turkey

Re-defining the enemy: the public discourse of Golden Dawn on refugees

Daniela Chironi, Giorgos Souvlis

European University Institute, Italy

The paper focuses on the public discourse that the Greek nationalist far-right party Golden Dawn (Chrysí Avgí) has developed on the topic of immigration since the beginning of the refugee crisis in 2015. The research question we answer is: how did the refugee crisis affect the political culture of the party under examination? Our goal is to highlight the representation of the “Foreigner” diffused by this party and show how this imaginary construction is used to define a new Greek identity built in opposition to that of the refugees. A secondary aim is to fill a gap in existing party literature that so far has focused mainly on Golden Dawn’s repertoire of action and the characteristics of its members and supporters excluding an in-depth analysis of the public discourse that legitimizes its political behavior and its transformations over time. We believe that such an analysis can contribute to a more holistic understanding of the rise and consolidation of this far-right force in Greece.

To grasp the changes in the party’s political culture we examine the articles regarding immigration published in the official newspaper of Golden Dawn, Stoxos (Target), in other minor newspapers and the party’s leaflets, as well as the speeches that its Members of Parliament delivered in the last two years. Our methodology draws from the tradition of the so-called ‘Essex-school’ of discourse analysis, which is a fundamental qualitative method. We expect to find discontinuities in the party’s constructions of the refugees’ image as well as varying conceptions of popular sovereignty, of ‘the people’ and hence of democracy itself, with a strengthening of an exclusionary vision of the polity on ethnical bases.

“Omnia sunt communia!”: Using Popitz’ theory of power to understand institutionalizing dynamics of power in the commons movement

Christian Schroeder1, Mikko Laamanen2

1University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg; 2Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom

In this paper, we analyse how the common’s movement defends its idea against a formal or informal reappropriation of commons. For this purpose, we draw on the theory of Popitz describing the institutionalization of power in spaces where people establish (new) social order. Analysing the process of power institutionalization allows us to hark back to the fundamental debate around the tragedy of the commons used by economists to legitimise a marketization of non-economic areas such as healthcare, science or education. This paper elaborates how the common’s movement is organised, how it collaborates with state and municipal authorities to establish common spaces and how it organizes to defend common spaces from being reappropriated by individuals or groups. Our research question explores how the common’s movement organizes common spaces and against tendency of groups that take ownership of commons.

Our approach is based on an on-going ethnographic research comprising of participant observations at local commons assemblies, document analysis mapping the commons movement debates transcending movement spaces (such as the World Social Forum and the European Commons Assembly) as well as interviews with key informants. The paper is divided into three consecutive sections. In the first part, we will present Popitz’ concept of the institutionalization of power. Against this background, we approach the conceptual basis of commons and conclude with thoughts on how the commons movement is organizing ‘differently’, how it collaborates with authorities and how the movement avoids the disposition to (re-)establish a social order in which commons are lost.

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