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Bilbao

Universidad del Pas Vasco Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea,


Servicio Editorial = Argitalpen Zerbitzua, 2012.

ISBN: 978-84-9860-595-2
Depsito Legal / Lege gordailua: BI-142-2012

Benjamn Tejerina and Ignacia Perugorra (editors)

Edition: Mikel Azpiri Landa


Book cover design: Josu Aguinaga Cueto
From Social to Political
New Forms of Mobilization
and Democratization

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS
Edited by Benjamn Tejerina and Ignacia Perugorra
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 4

Table of Contents

Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Organizing Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
6FLHQWLF&RPPLWWHH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Conference Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

ARAB SPRING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Mobilizing during the Arab Revolutions: Palestinian Youth Speak for Themselves
Abeer Musleh (Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Iconography and Contestatory Language in the Arab Protest
Moiss Garduo Garca (Universidad Autnoma de Madrid) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Social Media and New Technologies in Egypt and Tunisia:
Two Examples of Innovative Forms of Democratization
Stefania Perna (University of Reading) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
Gdeim Izik. A Change in the Struggle Strategies of the Sahrawi Population
Carmen Gmez Martn (EHESS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62

15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77


Antecedents, Achievements and Challenges of the Spanish Socio-Political Movement 15M
Toms Alberich Nistal (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78
Continuities and Discontinuities in Recent Social Mobilizations.
From New Social Movements to the Alter-Global Mobilizations and the 15M
Benjamn Tejerina and Ignacia Perugorra (UPV-EHU and Rutgers University) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93
The Assemblies of 15th May Movement in Cceres:
An Example of Democracy School, a Road to Dialogic Society
Borja Rivero Jimnez (Universidad de Extremadura) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Among Militants and Deliberative Laboratories: The Indignados
Hlose Nez (Universit Paris 13) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141


The Notion of the Multitude and Lessons from the Present Cycle of Struggles: The Case of Greece
Nikos Sotirakopoulos (University of Kent) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Occupy: A New New Social Movement
Lauren Langman (Loyola University) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158

YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171


The New Wave of Student Mobilizations in Europe Explained as a Fordist-Posfordist Transition
Joseba Fernndez Gonzlez (UPV-EHU) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Precarious Present, Uncertain Future: Multiple Dimensions of Precarity
as a Symbolic Tool and Resource in the Italian University Mobilization
Lorenzo Zamponi (European University Institute) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS

EMOTIONS AND AFFECTS IN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203


Transforming the Ominous into Happiness: How Antinuclear Drive
was Tamed in the Post-War Japan?
Daishiro Nomiya (Sophia University). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204

RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217


Aproximacin a los movimientos sociales como sujetos de emancipacin
Zesar Martnez, Beatriz Casado and Pedro Ibarra (UPV-EHU) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218
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Raphael Schlembach (University of Salford) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234
Environment and health, yes but for other reasons:
Asserting Control, Sovereignty and Transgression in Barcelona
Isabelle Anguelovski (Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona and MIT) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247

MEDIA AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267


What Really Matters in Creating Mass Mobilization: Classical Organization or New Social Media?
A Comparative Case Study of the Mass Mobilization Process in France and South Korea
Jeong-Im Hyun (Sogang University) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268
Twitter and Public Reasoning around Social Contention: The Case of #15ott in Italy
Stefania Vicari (University of Leicester) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Protest Politics Through Music in the Basque Country.
The Spread of the Lip Dub as a New Form of Collective Action
Ion Andoni Del Amo, Jason Diaux and Arkaitz Letamenda (UPV-EHU) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297

IDENTITY AND PERFORMATIVITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313


A Study of Movement Identity on Protest Events:
The case of The Protest Against the 2008 Hokkaido Toyako G8 Summit
Kyoko Tominaga (University of Tokyo) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314
Ocup(arte)!: Cultural Engagement in The University of Puerto Rico Student Movement, 2010
Katherine Everhart (Vanderbilt University) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329

NEOLIBERALISM AND GLOBALIZATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347


From the Save Movements to the Live Ones. An Analytical Approach
to the Evolution of Social Movements in Valencia in the Last Two Decades
Rafael Xamb Olmos and Xavier Gins Snchez (Universitat de Valncia) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 348
Social Movements, Civic Society and Globalization in Latin America
Ilan Bizberg (El Colegio de Mxico) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 364
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 6

Foreword

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Max Weber, and as a central class struggle for the transformation of society by Karl Marx.

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rights and pro-democratization movements constitute alternatives to global domination and the systemic
conditioning of individuals and groups.

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to deepen or initiate processes of democratization in countries such as Tunez, Egypt, Morocco, Libya and
Syria, among other. On the other, the massive displays of discontent regarding the political mismanage-
ment of the socio-economic crisis and the shrinking of the Welfare State in Southern Europe. Among the
latter are the 15M mobilizations in Spain, the Indignate-vous protests in France, Italy and Greece, and
other mobilizations organized by young people and students in England, Israel and Belgium.

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social movements, expressed by the Research Committees RC47-Social Movements and Social Classes
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continuities and discontinuities in the contexts, organizations, repertoires, identities, and symbols suffered
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7

Organizing Committee 6FLHQWLF&RPPLWWHH

Centro de Estudios sobre la Identidad Colectiva Taghi Azadarmaki Iran


-Collective Identity Research Center- UPV-EHU Tova Benski, College of Management Studies Israel
Diego Carbajo Breno Brigel, UNICAMP Brasil
Beatriz Cavia Jorge Cadena-Roa, UNAM Mexico
Gabriel Gatti Casal de Rey 0DUFHOOH'DZVRQ-RKDQQHVEXUJ8QLYHUVLW\
David Gmez Ruiz South Africa
Ignacio Irazuzta 0DULH&KULVWLQH'RUDQ2WWDZD8QLYHUVLW\&DQDGD
Amaia Izaola Antimo Luigi Farro, Sapienza-Universit di Roma Italy
Mara Martnez Helena Flam, Universitt Leipzig Germany
Daniel Muriel Maria da Gloria Gohn, UNICAMP Brasil
Csar A. Or Rocca James Goodman, University of Technology Australia
Alfonso Prez-Agote -HII*RRGZLQ1<8QLYHUVLW\86$
Ignacia Perugorra Eiji Hamanishi, Kyoto University Japan
Silvia Rodrguez &KULVWRSK+DXJ*RWHERUJ8QLYHUVLW\6ZHGHQ
Gema Sancibrian Lukasz Jurczyszyn, Aleksander Gieysztor Academy
Elsa Santamara of Humanities Poland
Andrs G. Seguel Lauren Langman, Loyola University of Chicago USA
Benjamn Tejerina <YRQ/H%RW&516)UDQFH
Henri Lustiger Thaler, Ramapo College USA
Kevin McDonald, Goldsmith College UK
Dai Nomidia, Sophia University Japan
Geoffrey Pleyers, FNRS-U.C. Louvain Belgium
Paola Rebughini, Bicocca Milan University Italy
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Debal Singharoy, Indira Gandhi National
Open University India
Benjamn Tejerina Montaa, UPV-EHU Spain
Emanuele Toscano, Sapienza-Universit di Roma Italy
6KXMLUR<D]DZD+LWRWVXEDVKL8QLYHUVLW\-DSDQ
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 8

Conference Program

Thursday, February 9
9:00 Accreditation
9:30-9:45 Presentation
9:45-11:15 Session 1
ARAB SPRING I
Chair: Antimo Farro

Musleh, Abeer (Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University)
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Khosrokhavar, Farhad (CADIS)
Arab Spring Mobilizations
Garduo Garca, Moiss (Universidad Autnoma de Madrid)
Iconography and Contestatory Language in the Arab Protest
Desrues, Thierry (IESA-CSIC)
The 20th February Movement: Collective Action and Political Responses in Morocco
11:15-11:45 Coffee break
11:45-13:15 Session 2
ARAB SPRING II
Chair: Pedro Ibarra

Perna, Stefania (University of Reading)


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7ZR([DPSOHVRI,QQRYDWLYH)RUPVRI'HPRFUDWL]DWLRQ
Esu, Aide & Maddanu, Simone (Universit degli Studi di Cagliari & CADIS-EHESS)
The Controlled Heteropia: Urban Ethnography among Tunisian Migrants
connected to Arab Spring
Gmez Martn, Carmen (EHESS)
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13:15-15:30 Lunch
15:30-17:00 Session 3A
INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS
Chair: Amparo Lasn

Baumgarten, Britta (CIES-ISCTE, Universidade de Lisboa)


Espanha, Grecia, Irlanda, Portugal! A nossa luta internacional! The Portuguese Mobilizations
around the Economic Crisis and their Relationship to Other Contemporary Protests
Langman, Lauren (Loyola University)
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Grinberg, Lev Luis (Ben Gurion University)
The Israeli Mix of Europe and the Middle East: Collective Identity, Mobilization
and Socio-Political Context of the J-14 movement
9

Sotirakopoulos, Nikos (University of Kent)


The Notion of the Multitude and Lessons from the Present Cycle of Struggles:
The Case of Greece
Session 3B
YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS
Chair: Elena Casado

Fernndez Gonzlez, Joseba (UPV-EHU)


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Zamponi, Lorenzo (European University Institute)
Precarious Present, Uncertain Future: Multiple Dimensions of Precarity as a Symbolic Tool
and Resource in the Italian University Mobilization
Rebughini, Paola (University of Milan)
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17:00-17:30 Coffee break
17:30-19:30 Session 4A
EMOTIONS AND AFFECTS IN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
Chair: Ybon LeBot

Langman, Lauren & Benski, Tova (Loyola University & Tel Aviv University)
The Effects of Affects: Democratic Social Movements and their Visions
Lasn, Amparo & Casado, Elena (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
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Nomiya, Daishiro (Sophia University)
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Bataille, Philippe (CADIS)
Au sujet du corps, le corps du Sujet
Session 4B
RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
Chair: Paola Rebughini

Toscano, Emanuele (Sapienza-Universit di Roma)


The space of movements: An interpretative frame
Martnez, Zesar, Casado, Beariz & Ibarra, Pedro (UPVEHU)
Aproximacin a los movimientos sociales como sujetos de emancipacin
Schlembach, Raphael (University of Salford)
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Anguelovski, Isabelle (Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona & MIT)
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Sovereignty, and Transgression in Barcelona
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 10

Friday, February 10
9:00-11:00 Session 5
15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS I:
CONTINUITIES AND DISCONTINUITIES
Chair: Dai Nomiya

Alberich Nistal, Toms (Universidad Complutense of Madrid)


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in Spain and the 15M Movement.
Tejerina, Benjamn & Perugorra, Ignacia (UPV/EHU & Rutgers University)
Continuities and Discontinuities in Recent Social Mobilizations.
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Fernndez Garca, Manuel (IESA-CSIC)
Emerging Forms of Political Protest as Participation:
The Political Space of 15M Movement
Farro, Antimo L. (Sapienza-Universit di Roma & CADIS)
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11:00-11:30 Coffee break


11:30-13:30 Session 6
15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS II: LEARNING PROCESSES
Chair: Ignacia Perugorria

Rivero Jimnez, Borja (Universidad de Extremadura)


The Assemblies of 15th May Movement in Cceres: An Example of Democracy School,
a Road to Dialogic Society
Romanos, Eduardo (Universidad Pblica de Navarra)
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Movement
Nez, Hlose (Universit Paris 13)
Among Militants and Deliberative Laboratories: The Indignados
Calvo, Kerman (Universidad de Salamanca)
Fighting for a Voice: the 15M Movement in Spain

13:30-15:30 Lunch
15:30-17:00 Session 7A
MEDIA AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
Chair: Emanuele Toscano

Hyun, Jeong-Im (Sogang University)


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11

Vicari, Stefania (University of Leicester)


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Del Amo, Ion Andoni, Diaux, Jason & Letamenda, Arkaitz (UPV-EHU)
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Form of Collective Action
Del Val, Fernn (Universidad Complutense)
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Session 7B
IDENTITY AND PERFORMATIVITY
Chair: Tova Benski

Tominaga, Kyoko (University of Tokyo)


A Study of Movement Identity on Protest Events:
The case of The Protest Against the 2008 Hokkaido Toyako G8 Summit
Everhart, Katherine (Vanderbilt University)
Ocup(arte)!: Cultural Engagement in The University of Puerto Rico
Student Movement, 2010
Martnez, Miguel A. (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
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17:00-17:30 Coffee break
17:30-19:00 Session 8A
NEOLIBERALISM AND GLOBALIZATION
Chair: Simone Maddanu

Xamb Olmos, Rafael & Gins Snchez, Xavier (Universitat de Valncia)


From the Save Movements to the Live Ones. An Analytical Approach
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Rosenhek, Zeev & Shalev, Michael 2SHQ8QLYHUVLW\RI,VUDHO +HEUHZ8QLYHUVLW\RI-HUXVDOHP
Class, Generation and Social Protest. The Summer of Discontent in Israel
Bizberg, Ilan (El Colegio de Mxico)
Social Movements, Civic Society and Globalization in Latin America
Le Bot, Yvon (CADIS)
The Emergence of the Migrant Subject. A Sociological Interpretation
of the Latino Movement in the United States

19:00-19:30 Closing ceremony
ARAB SPRING
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 14

Mobilizing during the Arab Revolutions:


Palestinian Youth speak for themselves

ABEER MUSLEH
Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University

Abstract
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did not succeed in mobilizing despite the emergence of a political opportunity.
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culture of engagement, gender, youth identity and culture of mobilization, Mobilization
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To achieve this understanding the research utilizes in depth case study analysis of the
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2011. The researcher conducted participant observation for events taking place on the
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cation style, leadership style, and the structures they decide to establish.

Keywords
Activism, Arab Revolutions, Forms of Engagement, Identity, Palestine.

Literature Review
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ZK\WKH\FRXOGQRWSUHGLFWWKHVHPRYHPHQWV 6KHKDGD )XUWKHUWKHVHVWXGLHVWULHGWRH[SODLQWKH
GLIIHUHQWGLUHFWLRQVRIUHYROXWLRQVGHYHORSHGZLWKLQWKHYDULRXVFRXQWULHVWDNLQJLQWRFRQVLGHUDWLRQWKHH[LVW-
LQJVLPLODULWLHVLQSDWWHUQVGHYHORSHGVXFKDV7XQLVLD(J\SW6\ULD<HPHQ/LE\D0RURFFR%DKUDLQHWF
+RZHYHUWKHVSLOORYHUHIIHFWRIUHYROXWLRQVFDQQRWEHPLVVHGDOORYHUZKHWKHUWKURXJKVORJDQVUDLVHGIRUPV
RIHQJDJHPHQWOHDGHUVKLSVW\OHDQGVRFLDOFODVVRIOHDGHUV $OVKZHLU\+DQD 

7KHOLWHUDWXUHDERXWWKH$UDEUHYROXWLRQVIRFXVHGRQWKHVRFLRSROLWLFDOFKDUDFWHULVWLFVRIWKHDFWRUVZLWKLQ
WKHUHYROXWLRQPDLQO\WKHHGXFDWHGPLGGOHFODVVQRQDIOLDWHG\RXWKDQGWKHSROLWLFDOSDUWLHV7KHUHODWLRQ
15 ARAB SPRING

EHWZHHQWKHSROLWLFDOO\DIOLDWHGDQGQRQSROLWLFDOO\DIOLDWHG\RXWKLQ(J\SWZDVRQHRIWKHDVSHFWVXQGHU
VWXG\ +DQD )XUWKHUWKH<RXWKDELOLW\WRRYHUFRPHWKHSHUVRQDOLGHRORJ\DQGWKHLUVHQVHRIDJHQF\
WRWDNHGLIIHUHQWVWDQGVRWKHUWKDQWKHLUSROLWLFDOSDUWLHV +DQD LQDGGLWLRQWRWKHLUDELOLW\WRFRQQHFW
EHWZHHQWKHSROLWLFDOFLYLFDQGHFRQRPLFDODVSHFWVZDVFOHDULQWKHVORJDQVRIMXVWLFHUDLVHGPDLQO\E\ERWK
the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt.

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$UDEZRUOGZDVDVVXPLQJWKDWWKHSHRSOHDUHQRWJRLQJWRUHEHODJDLQVWWKHLQMXVWLFHDQGGLFWDWRUVKLSWKH\
OLYH,WZDVDUHYROXWLRQWKDWVXUSULVHGPRVWDFWRU $OVKZHLU\ 0RVWRIWKHVWXGLHVDERXWWKH$UDE
UHYROXWLRQVWULHGWRXQGHUVWDQGZKDWKDSSHQHGIURPDVRFLRHFRQRPLFDOSHUFHSWLRQ/HDYLQJPRVWO\WKHIUHH
VSDFHVLQZKLFKWKHUHYROXWLRQVEXLOWLWVFXOWXUHDQGWKHQHZVSDFHVXWLOL]HGWRQXUWXUHWKLVFXOWXUHPDLQO\
VRFLDOPHGLDVWUHHWVDQGPRVTXHVDVSXEOLFVSDFHVZKHUHFXOWXUHRIPRYHPHQWVDUHGHYHORSHG (O6DNND
 2QHRWKHUDVSHFWRIWKH$UDEUHYROXWLRQVLVWKDWLWUHLQIRUFHGWKHFRQFHSWRISRZHURIRUJDQL]HGQRQ-
YLROHQFHUHYROWVIRUVRFLDOFKDQJH (O(NHU DQGSUHVHQWHGDVSDFHLQZKLFKHDFKFLWL]HQGHVSLWHWKHLU
JHQGHUFODVVHGXFDWLRQFDQHTXDOO\SDUWLFLSDWHDQGFRQWULEXWHWRWKHFKDQJH

7KHGHEDWHDERXW3DOHVWLQLDQPRELOL]DWLRQGXULQJWKH$UDEUHYROXWLRQVPRVWRIWKHWLPHVWDUWHGZLWKWKH
TXHVWLRQZK\WKH3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKIDLOHGWRPRELOL]HRUZK\WKHLUVRFLDOPRELOL]DWLRQZDVQRWH[LVWHQW
5DLVLQJVXFKTXHVWLRQVLVDSUREOHPDVLWDVVXPHVWKDWDPRYHPHQWVKRXOGWDNHSODFHDQGWKHIDFWWKDWLW
did not happen is considered the abnormal (Al-Azzeh, 2011), and it limits the ability to analyze the context.
Nevertheless, both the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions had the largest impact on the Palestinian youth and
LQVSLUHGWKHPWRDFWDVFDWDO\VWVIRUWKHLUFRPPXQLW\5HYLHZLQJWKHVORJDQVUDLVHGE\WKH3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWK
LWLVQRWLFHGWKDWWKHVORJDQVWKHVDPHVWUXFWXUHWKDWVWDUWVZLWK7KH3HRSOHZDQWVWKH\WULHGWRKDYHWKH
VDPHZD\IRUSDUWLFLSDWRU\OHDGHUVKLSDQGSUHVHQWWKHPVHOYHVDVLQGHSHQGHQW <DWHV%URZQ 
+RZHYHURQHLPSRUWDQWDVSHFWRIWKHLPSDFWRI$UDEUHYROXWLRQVRQWKH3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKLVWKHLQFUHDVHRI
sense of agency and ability to change.

When studying youth mobilization in Palestine during the period of Arab revolutions, It is hard not to
ORRNDWWKHFKDQJLQJUHODWLRQEHWZHHQWKH3DOHVWLQLDQVDQGWKH$UDE:RUOG$FFRUGLQJWR$OD$]]HK  
WKH3DOHVWLQLDQVWXUQHGWREHZDWFKHUVIRUWKH$UDEVFHQHLQVWHDGRIEHLQJWKHVFHQH,WZDVDWLPHLQZKLFK
WKH\ZLOOGHPRQVWUDWHLQVROLGDULW\ZLWK$UDEVDQGQRWWKHRSSRVLWH,WZDVDWLPHLQZKLFKWKH\KDGWRVWHS
EDFNDQGOHDUQQHZPHWKRGVDQGIRUPVRIPRELOL]DWLRQ2QHH[DPSOHLVZKHQWKH3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKDW4D-
ODQGLDFKHFNSRLQWRQWKH1DNEDGHPRQVWUDWLRQXVHGVLPLODU7DFWLFVWKDWZHUHXVHGE\WKH(J\SWLDQDWWKH
7DKULU6TXDUHWRRYHUFRPHWKHLPSDFWRIWHDUJDV+63HUVRQDOFRPPXQLFDWLRQ 

)XUWKHU\RXWKPRELOL]DWLRQLVGLIIHUHQWIURPRQHFRXQWU\WRDQRWKHUGHSHQGLQJRQWKHFRQWH[WLQZKLFK
\RXWKOLYHLQ <DWHV :LWKLQWKH3DOHVWLQLDQFRQWH[WWKHLQWHUQDOFRQLFWEHWZHHQWKHWZRELJJHVW
SDUWLHVOHGWRWZRGLVSXWHGJRYHUQPHQWVZKLFKZDVQRWZHOOUHFHLYHGE\SHRSOHDQG\RXWKLQSDUWLFXODU
HVSHFLDOO\WKH:HVW%DQN :% DQG*D]D6WULS *6 ZHUHDQGVWLOODUHXQGHURFFXSDWLRQDGGHGWRWKLVWKH
escalation violence and repression by the Israeli occupation. All of this led to bad economic situation, and
OHIWRWKHUSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVDQGWKH3DOHVWLQLDQFLYLOVRFLHW\WKDWLVLQODUJHO\GHSHQGHQWRQGRQRUVZLWKPLQL-
PDOSRZHU7KLVVLWXDWLRQDIIHFWHGWKHGHPRFUDWLFSURFHVVWKDWKDVEHHQSXWRQKROGDVDUHVXOWRIWKHLQWHUQDO
FRQLFWEHWZHHQWKHPDLQ3DOHVWLQLDQ)DFWLRQV
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 16

Scope of study
7KLVDUWLFOHWULHVWRDQDO\]HZKDWKDSSHQHGLQ3DOHVWLQHGXULQJWKH$UDEUHYROXWLRQV7RGRVRLWWDFNOHV
RQRQHVLGHWKHVRFLRSROLWLFDOFRQWH[WDQGWKHSROLWLFDORSSRUWXQLW\VWUXFWXUHWKDWH[LVWHGLQ3DOHVWLQHRQWKH
RWKHUVLGHLWWDNHVLQWRFRQVLGHUDWLRQWKH\RXWKSHUFHSWLRQRIWKHLUH[SHULHQFHZKLFKZLOODOORZWRXQGHU-
VWDQGEHWWHUZKDWWRRNSODFHLQUHJDUGWR\RXWKSROLWLFDOPRELOL]DWLRQVXFKDVWKHFKDOOHQJHVWKDWKLQGHUHG
mobilization in the Palestinian context. The study is based on both literature of youth engagement and social
movements.

The importance of this research lies in the fact that it not only provides hands on experience that took
SODFHLQ3DOHVWLQHGXULQJWKH$UDEUHYROXWLRQVEXWDOVREHFDXVHLWUHHFWVRQWKH\RXWKH[SHULHQFHWKURXJK
reading their narratives.

Research question and objectives


7KHREMHFWLYHRIWKLVSDSHULVWRXQGHUVWDQGWKHGLIIHUHQWHOHPHQWVWKDWPDGHLWGLIFXOWIRUWKHFXUUHQW
JHQHUDWLRQRI\RXWKWRPRELOL]HRQWKHJURXQGWKURXJKFRQVLGHULQJ\RXWKUHHFWLRQRQWKHLUH[SHULHQFH,Q
GRLQJVRWKHIROORZLQJIDFWRUVZLOOEHWDNHQLQWRFRQVLGHUDWLRQFRQWH[WJHQGHULGHQWLW\IUDPLQJOHDGHU-
ship styles, and forms of engagement.

Methodology
0RVW RI WKH QGLQJV GLVFXVVHG LQ WKLV DUWLFOH VWHP IURP WKH UHVHDUFK FRQGXFWHG EHWZHHQ 'HFHPEHU
DQG-XQHLQ5DPDOODK3DOHVWLQH7KHUHVHDUFKHUXVHGFDVHVWXG\DSSURDFKLQZKLFKWKHWKUHH
PDLQ\RXWKJURXSVDFWLYHLQWKHDUHDRI5DPDOODKZHUHVHOHFWHG7RFROOHFWGDWDWKHUHVHDUFKHUFRQGXFWHG
SDUWLFLSDQWREVHUYDWLRQIRUHYHQWVDQGJURXSVPHHWLQJVLQWHUYLHZVZLWKOHDGHUVRIWKHWKUHHPDLQ\RXWK
groups, and content analysis for articles and responses to the events taking place.

:LWKLQWKHLQWHUYLHZVTXHVWLRQVWR\RXWKFRYHUHGWKHLULQYROYHPHQWLQWKHPRELOL]DWLRQLQUHJDUGWR
WKHLUPRWLYHWRPRELOL]HOHYHORILQYROYHPHQWJURXSVOHDGHUVKLSVWUXFWXUHUROHWKH\SOD\HGWKHLUSHUFHS-
WLRQRIRWKHUPDLQ\RXWKJURXSVDFWLQJRQWKHJURXQGWKHLULGHQWLW\VSHFLFZD\VRIHQJDJHPHQWQHWZRUNV
XWLOL]HGZD\VXVHGWRIDFHUHSUHVVLRQUROHRI\RXQJZRPHQDQGQDOO\WKHLUIXWXUHSHUVSHFWLYHV

$OOLQWHUYLHZVZHUHFRQGXFWHGLQ$UDELFVRPHRIWKHLQWHUYLHZVZHUHFRQGXFWHGGXULQJWKHPRELOL]D-
WLRQSURFHVVDQGDVWKHHYHQWVZHUHWDNLQJSODFHDQGSDUWRIWKHLQWHUYLHZVZHUHFRQGXFWHGDIWHUWKHZKROH
PRELOL]DWLRQSURFHVVHQGHG,QWHUYLHZVZHUHWUDQVFULEHGDQGFRGHGDQGDQDO\]HGXVLQJ$WODV7,VRIWZDUH7R
SURWHFWWKHSULYDF\RI5HVHDUFKVXEMHFWSVHXGRQDPHVZLOOEHXVHGLQVWHDGRIUHVHDUFKVXEMHFWVQDPHV,WLV
LPSRUWDQWWRQRWHWKDWWKHUHVHDUFKHUHQVXUHGWKH\RXWKWRVKDUHWKHUHVXOWVDQGDQDO\VLVRIWKHUHVHDUFKZLWK
WKHP7KHUHVXOWVVKDUHGZLOOEHDZD\RIHYDOXDWLQJWKHH[SHULHQFHWKH\SDVVHGWKURXJK7KH\RXWKFRQVLG-
HUHGWKHUHVHDUFKHUDQLQVLGHULQWKHJURXSVHVSHFLDOO\WKDWWKHUHVHDUFKHUZDVDPHPEHURIRQHRIWKHJURXSV
and considered her task as documentation and as part of the effort needed to enhance the group experience.
17 ARAB SPRING

The Palestinian context and political mobilization


The nature of youth political mobilization in Palestine has been changing over time. The nature of po-
OLWLFDOPRELOL]DWLRQXVXDOO\LPSDFWVWKHSRVLWLRQRI\RXWKZLWKLQWKHLUFRPPXQLW\WKHSRZHUWRKROGLQJ
positions, and the impact they can make in the Palestinian society in general. Historically the Palestinian
youth played an important role in community mobilization for national causes. The 1st Palestinian youth
FRQIHUHQFHWRRNSODFHLQWKH\HDULQZKLFK3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKORRNHGLQWRZD\VWRFRPPXQLW\PRELOL]H
WRUHVLVWWKH=LRQLVWPRYHPHQWWKUHDWVWRWKH3DOHVWLQLDQVRFLHW\ W LQWKHVWKH3DOHVWLQLDQ
youth through the student movement formed and led the PLO and mobilized the Palestinian community
DURXQGWKH0LOLWDQWUHVLVWDQWRIRFFXSDWLRQ \LJKDQG6LUKDQ ,QWKH\SURYLGHGDPRGHORI
non-violent popular resistance through the 1st,QWLIDGD6LQFHVLJQLQJRI2VOR$FFRUGWLOOQRZ3DOHVWLQLDQ
SROLWLFDO\RXWKHQJDJHPHQWVKRZHGYDULRXVIRUPVRIDFWLYLVPWKDWYDULHGEDVHGRQWKHDIOLDWLRQDQGFRQ-
WH[WZLWKLQWKH3DOHVWLQLDQFRPPXQLW\

Studies about the Palestinian youth, indicated a decrease in the level of youth political activism and
mobilization since the signature of the Oslo agreement (Bailey and Murray, 2009) compared to their sig-
QLFDQWUROHGXULQJWKHUVW,QWLIDGD6LQFHWKHQPDLQFKDQJHVWRRNSODFHUHJDUGLQJWKH3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWK
LGHQWLW\IRUPVRIHQJDJHPHQWSRVLWLRQDQGUROHRI\RXWKZLWKLQWKH3ROLWLFDO)DFWLRQV

<RXWKHQJDJHPHQWGRHVQRWKDSSHQLQDYDFXXPLWLVDIIHFWHGE\WKHFRQWH[WLQZKLFK\RXWKOLYHLQ7KLV
FRQWH[WLQFOXGHVVWUXFWXUHVDQGYDOXHVORJLFVDQGSUDFWLFHVWKDWSURYLGH\RXQJSHRSOHZLWKRSSRUWXQLWLHV
FRQVWUDLQVIRUGHYHORSPHQWDQGSDUWLFLSDWLRQ <DWHV %HLQJXQGHURFFXSDWLRQWKHFOHDUV\VWHPWR
UHEHODJDLQVWGXHWRFRQWLQXHGLQFUHDVHGRSSUHVVLYHPHDVXUHVSUHVHQWHGE\WKH$SDUWKHLGZDOOWKHVHWWOH-
PHQWVFRQVFDWLRQRIODQGFKHFNSRLQWVGHPROLWLRQRIKRXVHVDQGDSDUWKHLGODZVDJDLQVW3DOHVWLQLDQV
ZKHWKHUWKH\OLYHLQ,VUDHORULQWKH:HVW%DQN LQFOXGLQJ-HUXVDOHP DQG*D]D6WULSWKHVWDWHGLGQRWH[-
LVWZLWKLQWKHSROLWLFDOFRQWH[W $O$]]HK 'HVSLWHWKHLUGLVDSSRLQWPHQWIURPWKH3DOHVWLQLDQV\VWHP
DQGVWUXFWXUHVZKLFKLVIHHGLQJWKHGLYLVLRQWKH\RXWKFRXOGQRWUHDFKDSRVLWLRQZKHUHWKH\FDQVWDQG
completely against it. This limited the forms of engagement they adopted.

7KHVLWXDWLRQEHFRPHVZRUVHFRQVLGHULQJWKHGLYLVLRQEHWZHHQ)DWHKDQG+DPDVLQZKLFKWKH\RXWK
ZHUHGLYLGHGEHWZHHQWKHWZRELJSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVUHVXOWLQJLQKDYLQJ\RXWKJKWLQJDJDLQVWHDFKRWKHU
LQVWHDGRIXQLWLQJWRJHWKHUIRUGHYHORSLQJWKHVRFLHW\DQGUHVLVWLQJRFFXSDWLRQ %DLOH\DQG0XUUD\
5DKDO (QGLQJGLYLVLRQEHWZHHQWKHPDLQWZRIDFWLRQVEHFDPHWKHPDLQFRQFHUQRIWKH3DOHVWLQLDQ
VRFLHW\LQJHQHUDODQGWKH\RXWKLQSDUWLFXODU %DLOH\DQG0XUUD\ $VWKH3/2ZHDNHQHGDIWHUWKH
2VOR$FFRUGLWFRXOGQRWSOD\DUROHLQVROYLQJWKHLQWHUQDOFRQLFW9DULRXVDWWHPSWWRRNSODFHVLQFH
WRHQGWKHGLVSXWHKRZHYHUDOOWKHVHDWWHPSWVIDLOHGDQGDV\VWHPUXOHGE\VHFXULW\IRUFHVZDVUHLQIRUFHG
in both WB and GS that year.

$WWKHOHYHORIWKH3DOHVWLQLDQRUJDQL]DWLRQVDQGSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVZKLFKDUHLPSRUWDQWLQQXUWXULQJ\RXWK
LQWRSROLWLFDOHQJDJHPHQWDVWKH\DUHWKHSODFHZKHUHSROLWLFDOVRFLDOL]DWLRQXVXDOO\WDNHVSODFHGLGQRW
SOD\WKLVUROH%RWK0FDGDP  DQG &KHFNRZD\DQG*XWLHUUH] GHVFULEHGWKHLPSRUWDQFHRI
community organization and indicated the importance of institutions in creating the opportunity for young
SHRSOHWRHQWHUWKHSROLWLFDOSURFHVV+RZHYHULQWKHFDVHRIWKH3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKPRVWRIWKHPKDYHEHHQ
IDFLQJPDQ\FKDOOHQJHVVXFKDVEHLQJVWXFNZLWKLQROGHUVWUXFWXUHVOHGE\ROGHUJHQHUDWLRQVZKLFKGLG
QRWDOORZ\RXWKWRKDYHDUROHLQGHFLVLRQPDNLQJZLWKLQWKHRUJDQL]DWLRQVDQGSDUWLHVVWUXFWXUHV,QDGGL-
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 18

WLRQWKHQRQJRYHUQPHQWDORUJDQL]DWLRQV 1*2V EHLQJGHSHQGHQWRQ'RQRUVORVWWKHLUFRQQHFWLRQZLWK


WKHJUDVVURRWVDQGFRXOGQRWEHWKHSODFHVZKHUH\RXWKYDOXHVFRPPXQLFDWLRQVW\OHDQGLGHQWLWLHVDUH
GHYHORSHGDQGVKDSHGDQGZKHUHQHJRWLDWLRQVEHWZHHQROGDQGQHZZRUOGVYLVLRQVDQGFRPPXQLFDWLRQ
VW\OHVFDQWDNHSODFH3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKDFWLYLVWVUHHFWHGWKDWWRDFHUWDLQH[WHQWWKDWWKH\GRQWQGD
SODFHZLWKLQWKHVHVWUXFWXUHVSROLWLFDOO\DIOLDWHG\RXWKDQG\RXWKLQYROYHGLQRUJDQL]DWLRQVFRXOGQRWJHW
RXWRIWKHDXWKRULW\RIWKHVHVWUXFWXUHVWRKDYHWKHLURZQZD\RIWKLQNLQJDQGGHYHORSWKHLUHOGRILQWHU-
est. Therefore, it is clear that the existing structures of the various institutions and political parties did not
HQFRXUDJH\RXWKSDUWLFLSDWLRQZKLFKUHVXOWHGLQWKH\RXWKVPLVWUXVWLQWKHVHLQVWLWXWLRQV,WJRHVZLWKRXW
VD\LQJWKDWZLWKLQWKHVHVWUXFWXUHVXVXDOO\WKHSROLWLFDOO\DIOLDWHG\RXWKFRXOGQRWUHPRYHWKHKDWRIWKHLU
SROLWLFDOSDUW\DQGZHDUWKHKDWRID\RXWKDFWLYLVWWKDWKDVDGLIIHUHQWYLVLRQ

7KHRSSRUWXQLW\IRUWKHSROLWLFDOSDUWLFLSDWLRQFKDQJHFDPHDVDUHVXOWRIWKH$UDEUHYROXWLRQVZKHQ3DO-
HVWLQLDQ\RXWKIRXQGDQHZPRGHOWRLGHQWLI\ZLWK7KH)LUVW3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKPRELOL]LQJDWWHPSWGXULQJ
WKH$UDEUHYROXWLRQVZDVDQDFWRIVROLGDULW\ZLWKWKH7XQLVLDQSHRSOH7KHGHPRQVWUDWLRQZDVLQLWLDWHGE\
\RXWKJURXSVZKRLGHQWLHGWKHPVHOYHVDVLQGHSHQGHQW7KLVLVQRWVXUSULVLQJDVWKH\RXWKLQWKHSROLWLFDO
SDUWLHVZHUHWLHGE\WKHLUSDUWLHVSROLFLHVDQGWKLVH[SODLQVZK\\RXWKZKRZHUHQRWSROLWLFDOO\DIOLDWHGWR
SDUWLHVPDGHWKHUVWPRYH7KHVH\RXWKZHUHPHPEHUVRILQGHSHQGHQWDFWLYLVWVJURXSVDQGZHUHUHDFKHG
WKURXJKIDFHERRNSHUVRQDOQHWZRUNV7KHUVWGHPRQVWUDWLRQVWRVXSSRUWERWKWKH7XQLVLDQDQG(J\SWLDQ
SHRSOHZHUHIDFHGZLWKUHSUHVVLRQE\WKH3DOHVWLQLDQVHFXULW\IRUFHV7KHVROLGDULW\GHPRQVWUDWLRQVZLWK
WKH7XQLVLDQDQG(J\SWLDQSHRSOHKRZHYHUVWDUWHGWRUDLVHVORJDQVRIHQGLQJGLYLVLRQDQGRFFXSDWLRQE\
February 7th, 2011

<RXWKJURXSVVWDUWHGWRHPHUJHDQGRUJDQL]HPDLQO\HLWKHUWKURXJKIDFHERRNRUIDFHWRIDFHWKURXJK
FORVHGPHHWLQJV0HPEHUVRIWKHJURXSVZHUHWU\LQJWRDYRLGWKHVHFXULW\IRUFHVLQWHUYHQWLRQDQGLQWHUUR-
JDWLRQ+RZHYHUWKHUHZDVDVHULRXVSUREOHPWKDWIDFHGWKHVHJURXSV7KHDFWLYLVW\RXWKJURXSVFRXOGQRW
UHDFKDFRQVHQVXVRQRQHPDLQREMHFWLYHRIWKHLUPRELOL]DWLRQ7KH\ZHUHPDLQO\GLYLGHGEHWZHHQ(QG
'LYLVLRQDQG(QG2FFXSDWLRQ+XQGUHGVRIJURXSVHPHUJHGRQIDFHERRNXQGHUWKHDERYHWZRREMHF-
WLYHV,QDGGLWLRQWKHUHZDVQRFOHDUDJHQGDRUDJUHHGXSRQSODQWRKRZWRJRDERXWLWDQGFRXOGQRWHYHQ
agree on one date.

Taking into consideration that the Palestinian society is highly politicized , political parties had a high
FRQWURODQGDFFHVVWRQHWZRUNVRILQGLYLGXDOVDQGLQVWLWXWLRQVGHVSLWHWKHKLJKGLVDSSRLQWPHQWRIWKHLUSHU-
IRUPDQFH %URZQ 3ROLWLFDOIDFWLRQVFRQWURORYHUWKHDIOLDWHG\RXWKZDVDQGVWLOOLVYHU\VWURQJ
2QHPDLQLQFLGHQWWKDWVKRZHGWKLVFRQWUROZDVEXUQLQJWKHVLWLQWHQW:KLOHWKHSXEOLFZDVZDLWLQJIRU
WKH\RXWKWRPDNHDFKDQJH\HWDQGLWZDVQRWZLOOLQJWREHSDUWRIWKLVFKDQJH%XLOGLQJRQWKH$UDEH[SH-
ULHQFHVWKHSXEOLFZDVDQWLFLSDWLQJIRUFKDQJHWRKDSSHQ:LWKLQSROLWLFDOVRFLDOL]DWLRQSUHYLRXVH[SHUL-
HQFHUHODWLRQWRLQVWLWXWLRQVDQGFURVVDJHUHODWLRQVDUHDOODVSHFWVWKDWVKDSH\RXWKIRUPVDQGZLOOLQJQHVV
of engagement (boyte,2004).

As the Palestinian society is politicized, the creation of security controlled authority, is one of the chal-
lenges that limited youth and community participation. Within this context, freedom of expression and
SROLWLFDOULJKWVZHUHWKUHDWHQHG

Both of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions created a change in the Palestinian morale, and gave
\RXWKVRPHKRSHWRPDNHDGLIIHUHQFHZLWKLQWKH3DOHVWLQLDQSROLWLFDOVWUXFWXUH
19 ARAB SPRING

Research Results and Discussion


7KLVVHFWLRQZLOOUHHFWRQWKHPDLQLVVXHVPHQWLRQHGE\\RXWKDQGSRVLWLWLQWKHIUDPHRI\RXWKSROLWLFDO
engagement through considering mainly identity, framing, leadership styles, and forms of engagement taking
LQWRFRQVLGHUDWLRQFRQWH[WDQGJHQGHUDVVLJQLFDQWYDULDEOHV

Identity

Identity gets its meaning from being part of collectiveness. Gender, race, class, and education are ele-
PHQWVWKDWDIIHFWLGHQWLW\IRUPDWLRQ .ODWFK $OWKRXJK\RXWKDFWLYLVWVIURPDOOJURXSVLGHQWLHGWKHP-
selves as independent, they still had different identities and perspectives based on their previous and current
DIOLDWLRQV$FFRUGLQJWR0LFKH  HYHU\LQGLYLGXDOKDVPXOWLSOHLGHQWLWLHVDVDUHVXOWRIEHORQJLQJWR
various collectives. Individuals negotiate the dominant identity at a time given depending on the setting
and the various collectivities existing and the public they are trying to create. Groups and individuals are
SHUFHLYHGE\LGHQWLHGE\WKHLUDIOLDWLRQVDQGEHORQJLQJWRYDULRXVFROOHFWLYLWLHV:LWKLQWKH3DOHVWLQLDQ
FRQWH[WSROLWLFDODIOLDWLRQLVRQHRIWKHPDMRULGHQWLWLHVWKDWGHQHLQGLYLGXDOVDQGJURXSV'HVSLWHWKHVHOI
GHQLWLRQDVLQGHSHQGHQWWKHPHPEHUVRIWKHJURXSVZHUHVWLOOSHUFHLYHGE\WKHLUSUHYLRXVDIOLDWLRQV7KH
WKUHHJURXSVZHUHPDLQO\GLYLGHGLQWRLQGHSHQGHQW\RXWK QRSUHYLRXVSROLWLFDODIOLDWLRQ SROLWLFDOO\DIOL-
DWHG\RXWK SUHYLRXVO\DIOLDWHGZLWKOHIWLVWIDFWLRQV DQGDJURXSDIOLDWHGZLWK)DWHKDQG1*2V

0LFKH   PHQWLRQ WKH LPSRUWDQFH RI LGHQWLW\ LQ EXLOGLQJ DOOLDQFH DFURVV JURXSV ZKLOH EXLOGLQJ
DOOLDQFHVDQGQHWZRUNV7KHJURXSVFRXOGQRWDJUHHRQRQHXPEUHOODWRZRUNEHQHDWK7KHGLVFRPIRUW
DFURVVWKHJURXSVZDVQRWLFHGRQWKHJURXQGLQWKUHHIRUPVVORJDQVUDLVHGE\WKHJURXSVGLYLGLQJGD\V
RIDFWLYLWLHVDFURVVWKHJURXSV LHHDFKJURXSFRQGXFWHGLWVDFWLYLW\DWWKH0DQDUDKVTXDUH PDLQVTXDUH
LQ5DPDOODK RQDGLIIHUHQWGD\DQGQDOO\FRQGXFWLQJGLIIHUHQWDFWLYLWLHVRQWKHVDPHGD\ZKHQXQLWLQJ
HIIRUWVZDVQHHGHG7KLVZDVFOHDURQWKH/DQG'D\RQ0DUFKZKHQRQHJURXSSHUFHLYHGWRKDYHOHIW-
LVWDIOLDWLRQVOHGDGHPRQVWUDWLRQWRZDUG%HLW(LO,VUDHOLVHWWOHPHQWZKHUHWKH\JRWLQWRFRQIURQWDWLRQ
ZLWKWKH3DOHVWLQLDQ1DWLRQDO$XWKRULW\ 31$ WKH31$SROLFHGHFODUHGWKDWWKH\ZLOOVWDQGDJDLQVWDQ\
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DIOLDWLRQFDOOHGIRUVXSSRUWLQJWKHSHRSOHRI1DEL6DOHK9LOODJHQHDU5DPDOODKWKDWDUHLPSDFWHGE\WKH
Apartheid and Separation Wall (MM, personal communication).

,WLVLPSRUWDQWWRQRWHWKDWWKHFRQLFWEHWZHHQJURXSVDQGLQGLYLGXDOLGHQWLWLHVPDLQO\H[LVWHGZLWKLQ
JURXSVZKRZHUHFRQGXFWLQJDFWLYLWLHVRQWKHJURXQGFRQWUDU\WRWKHJURXSZKRFRQGXFWHGWKH6LWLQQDQG
KXQJHUVWULNH7KRVHJURXSVRQWKHFRQWUDU\SOD\HGDQLPSRUWDQWUROHDWOHDVWGXULQJWKHUVWPRQWKLQEULQJ-
LQJ\RXWKJURXSVWRJHWKHUWKH\ZHUHWKHEURNHUVEHWZHHQWKHJURXSVHVSHFLDOO\WKDWWKH\KDGPHPEHUVWKDW
DUHFRPPLWWHGZLWKDOORIWKHP7KHIRUPRIHQJDJHPHQWSURYLGHGWKHPZLWKLQVLGHURXWVLGHUSHUVSHFWLYH
and status ( Miche, 2008).

)XUWKHUWKHIHDUWKDWWKH\RXWKKDGIURPEHLQJFRRSWHGE\RWKHUSROLWLFDOIDFWLRQVPDGHWKHPGUDZD
ERDUGHUWKDWLVRODWHGWKHPIURPRWKHUV(YHQZKHQWKH\ZHUHDSSURDFKHGE\\RXWKIURPYDULRXVSROLWLFDO
SDUWLHVWKH\FRXOGQRWEXLOGZLWKWKHPDFROODERUDWLYHUHODWLRQDQGPRYHWRZDUGDPXWXDOLGHQWLW\RUHYHQ
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every attempt to support them from political factions is meant to co-opt their mobilization and eventually
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 20

)XUWKHUWKHERDUGHUVWKDWWKH\RXWKGUDZDURXQGWKHPVHOYHVZHUHFOHDURQWKH0DQDUDKVTXDUHZKHQ
\RXQJSHRSOHPDGHDKXPDQFLUFOHLQZKLFKDFWLYLWLHVWRRNSODFHZLWKLQ$OWKRXJKRQWKHUVWGD\WKLV
circle aimed at protecting the activists from being physically and sexually harassed, it created eventually
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the activists and the rest of the community.

The connotation of the circle is important not only in regard to the identity of the youth activists and the
RWKHU\RXWKJURXSVQRWRQO\ZKRDUHSROLWLFDOO\DIOLDWHGWREXWLWVLVDOVRVLJQLFDQWLQLGHQWLI\LQJZKR
FRPHIURPDZKDWVRFLRHFRQRPLFEDFNJURXQG$FFRUGLQJWR+=LWZDVLPSRUWDQWIRUXVLQRUGHUWRSUR-
WHFWRXUVHOYHVDWWKHUVWGD\VWRGRWKHFLUFOHDIWHUWKDWZHOLPLWHGRXUVHOYHVLQWRDVPDOOFRUQHULQVWHDG
RIRFFXS\LQJWKHVWUHHW +=3HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ )XUWKHUEHLQJLQWKHFLUFOH\RXQJSHRSOHZHUH
DVNHGWREHKDYHLQDFHUWDLQZD\IROORZFHUWDLQGLUHFWLRQZKLFKLVQRWQHFHVVDU\UHSUHVHQWLQJWKHJHQHUDO
SRSXODWLRQRI\RXWK$VDUHVXOWGLVWXUELQJWKHFLUFOHJHWWLQJLQWRLWRUFRQGXFWDFWLYLWLHVFORVHWRLWZDVD
ZD\IURPRWKHUJURXSVWRQHJRWLDWHDQGVKRZSRZHU

The youth tried hardly to identify themselves as non-factional, and tried to present themselves as com-
PXQLW\FDWDO\VWV+RZHYHUVXFKDVWDQGZLWKLQDKLJKO\SROLWLFL]HGFRPPXQLW\PHDQWWKDWWKH\RXQJSHR-
SOHQHHGHGWRKDYHFDUHIXOQDYLJDWLRQEHWZHHQEHLQJFRRSWHGE\WKHROGHUPRYHPHQWVDQGFKDOOHQJLQJ
WKHPWRRGLUHFWO\ %URZQ )XUWKHU$FFRUGLQJWR+LODO  SROLWLFDOSDUWLHVZHUHDIUDLGWKDWWKH
\RXWKPRELOL]DWLRQFDQWXUQLQWRDPDVVPRELOL]DWLRQZKLFKZLOOPDNHSROLWLFDOIDFWLRQVORVHLWVUROHDQG
SRZHULQWKHFRPPXQLW\VSHFLDOO\ZLWKDQLQFUHDVHRIGLVDSSRLQWPHQWDQGZLWKGUDZDORI\RXWKIURPSR-
litical parties to reach approximately 60 percent (Hilal, 2011). As a result political parties tried to limit and
co-opt the youth mobilization directly or indirectly.

*HQGHUZDVDQRWKHUFRPSRQHQWRILGHQWLW\IRU\RXWKPRELOL]DWLRQ6WDUWLQJth of March gender iden-


WLW\VWDUWHGWRVKRZFOHDUO\WKURXJKUROHVDQGUHVSRQVLELOLWLHVWDNHQE\GLIIHUHQWJURXSPHPEHUVSRZHU
perception, type of repression by security forces, forms of engagement. Starting the demonstrations of 15th
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FLDOO\ZKHQGLVFXVVLQJLVVXHVRIZRPHQVOHHSLQJLQWKHVLWLQQLWZDVFOHDUWKDW\RXQJPHQLPPHGLDWHO\
DGRSWHGWKHWUDGLWLRQDOUROHVLQZKLFKWKH\WKRXJKWDOO\RXQJZRPHQVKRXOGJREDFNKRPH )43HUVRQDO
FRPPXQLFDWLRQ+63HUVRQDOFRPPXQLFDWLRQ=63HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ )XUWKHUWKHSHUFHSWLRQRI
PDOHDFWLYLVWVDOOWKHWLPHZHUHWKLQNLQJWKDWWKH\KDYHWKHUHVSRQVLELOLW\WRSURWHFWWKHIHPDOHDFWLYLVWV
DOWKRXJK\RXQJZRPHQZHUHWKHRQHVZKRDFWXDOO\SURWHFWHGWKHPDOHDFWLYLVWVIURPSK\VLFDOKDUDVVPHQW
ZKHQLWWRRNSODFHRQWKDWVDPHGD\)XUWKHULWLVLPSRUWDQWWRQRWHWKDWIHPDOHDFWLYLVWVIURPDOOJURXSV
ZHUHWKHRQHVZKRDUHZLOOLQJWREULGJHJDSVEHWZHHQWKHJURXSVWKH\ZHUHZLOOLQJWRSDUWLFLSDWHLQDOO
IRUPVRIHQJDJHPHQWKRZHYHULWZDVQRWDOZD\VDOORZHGE\PDOHDFWLYLVWVIURPWKHLURZQJURXSV

Framing

,QWKHFDVHRI3DOHVWLQHWKUHHGLVFRXUVHVXVHGZHUHHQGLQJ2FFXSDWLRQHQGLQJGLYLVLRQDQG1HZ
3DOHVWLQLDQQDWLRQDO&RXQFLO 31& IRUWKH3DOHVWLQLDQ/LEHUDWLRQ0RYHPHQW 3/2 $OWKRXJKWKHJURXSV
tried at some points to raise all the slogans at the same time mainly in the demonstration of the 15th of
0DUFK\RXWKZHUHQRWDEOHWRKDYHRQHIUDPLQJWKDWDOOJURXSVZLOODGRSW)XUWKHUWKHUVWIUDPLQJ
RIREMHFWLYHVRIPRELOL]DWLRQZHUHQRWDUHVXOWRIZHOOWKRXJKWIXOSURFHVV$FFRUGLQJWR+$+
21 ARAB SPRING

:HZHUHPDUFKLQJRQWKHthRI)HEUXDU\GHPRQVWUDWLRQZKLFKZDVDODUJHWXUQRXW$IULHQGDQG,ZHUHZRQGHULQJZKDW
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onstration started calling the same slogan. At the same demonstration people also started calling for ending the occupation.
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combined both ( HAH, Personal communication).

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QLW\)RUH[DPSOHWKH\RXWKJURXSVWKDWVHOHFWHGDQHZ31&VORJDQUDLVHGWKHVORJDQDVDVWDUWWREHGLIIHU-
HQWIURPWKHJURXSVRI\RXWKDIOLDWHGZLWKSROLWLFDOSDUWLHV%RWK)DWHKDQG+DPDVDIOLDWHGJURXSVWKDW
UDLVHGWKHVORJDQRIHQGLQJGLYLVLRQDQGRQHPDMRUJURXSZKLFKLQFOXGHGERWK1*2VDQG)DWHKDIOLDWHG
UDLVHGWKHVORJDQ(QGLQJRFFXSDWLRQ,WZDVWKHLUZD\WRVKRZWKHLULQGHSHQGHQWLGHQWLW\DQGWRFRQQHFW
ZLWKODUJHUQXPEHURI3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKLQDQG'LDVSRUD )43HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ+$+3HU-
VRQDOFRPPXQLFDWLRQ1%3HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ=63HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ 

)UDPLQJ $IUDPHLVVFKHPDWDRILQWHUSUHWDWLRQ*RIIPDQ  LVLPSRUWDQWWRVXSSRUWSDUWLFL-


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SHUFHLYHLGHQWLI\DQGODEHORFFXUUHQFHVZLWKLQWKHLUOLIHVSDFHDQGWKHZRUOGDWODUJH)UDPHVSOD\DQ
LPSRUWDQWUROHLQRUJDQL]LQJH[SHULHQFHDQGJXLGHDFWLRQVIRUERWKLQGLYLGXDODQGWKHFROOHFWLYH 6QRZ(
%XUNH5RFKIRUGHWDO )UDPHVDUHFRQVLGHUHGYLWDOIRUVKDSLQJZD\VDFWLYLVWVRUJDQL]HDQGFRP-
PXQLFDWHDVZHOODVV\PEROVWKH\FDUU\)UDPHVDIIHFWFKDQQHOVRIFRPPXQLFDWLRQVWUXFWXUHVIRUPHG
LGHQWLWLHVDQGZRUOGYLHZV

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different living situations across the various Palestinian places of existence. For example, the interest of
WKH\RXWKLQ*D]DPDGHHQGLQJGLYLVLRQWKHLUSULRULW\KRZHYHULQUHJDUGWR3DOHVWLQLDQVZLWKLQWKH:HVW
%DQNLQDGGLWLRQWRGLYLVLRQHQGLQJRFFXSDWLRQZDVDOVRDSULRULW\7KHGLIIHUHQFHLQWKHFRQWH[WEHWZHHQ
the West Bank and Gaza impacted the interpretation to priorities. The geographical division also impacted
the level of communication across youth groups during the framing process. Most of the discussions took
SODFHRYHUIDFHERRNSDJHV )4SHUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ=63HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ H[FHSWIRUIHZ
meetings that took place across some youth leaders, and lectures conducted by youth groups at various
locations before 15th of march, 2011.

6HFRQGWKHLGHQWLW\RIWKHSROLWLFDOIDFWLRQZDVVWURQJHUDPRQJPRVWRIWKHSROLWLFDOO\DIOLDWHG\RXWK
WKH\FRXOGQRWVHSDUDWHWKHPVHOYHVDZD\IURPWKHLUSDUWLHVDQGZRUNRQDGLIIHUHQWIUDPLQJDQGWKHLQGH-
SHQGHQW\RXWKFRXOGQRWWUXVWWKHSROLWLFDOO\DIOLDWHG\RXWKQRWWRWU\WRFRRSWWKHLUPRYHPHQWDQGKLMDFN
LW7DNLQJLQWRFRQVLGHUDWLRQWKHKLJKO\SROLWLFDO3DOHVWLQLDQVRFLHW\ZLWKSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVWKDWGRQRWSUR-
vide a place for young people to be part of decision making (Rahal, 2009), and considering the existence of
ruling political party structure and culture in both the WB and GS and the high levels of disappointments
IURPSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVVLQFH2VORDFFRUGGHYHORSLQJDQDOOLDQFHEHWZHHQLQGHSHQGHQWDQGSROLWLFDOO\DIOL-
DWHG\RXWKZDVQRWDQHDV\PDWWHU

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RUGHUWRGHYHORSWKHFROOHFWLYHSRZHUWRLQXHQFHWKHSROLWLFDOV\VWHPLQ3ROLWLFDOSDUWLFLSDWLRQ3DUWLFLSD-
WLRQUHTXLUHGJURXSVWREHDEOHWRSUHVHQWWKHLURZQLQWHUHVWVOLVWHQWRRWKHUVDQGQHJRWLDWHMRLQWGHFLVLRQV
8QGHUVWDQGLQJWKHRWKHUVSHUVSHFWLYHVZDVQRWRQHRIWKHVWURQJDVVHWVIRUWKHH[LVWLQJJURXSV
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 22

Further, taking into consideration both the context and the characteristics of youth activists, the fram-
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Palestinian youth could not raise slogans that could mobilize people around them and this is due to the
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FKDOOHQJHIRUWKHWZRDXWKRULWLHVLQWKH:%DQG*6$FFRUGLQJO\\RXWKFRXOGQRWUHDFKDPDWXUHIUDPLQJ
process to encourage people join them.

Falling short from unifying the objectives meant that the youth could not build a strategy, and an ap-
SURDFKWRUHDFKWKHLUREMHFWLYHV<RXWKFRXOGQRWEXLOGDFROODERUDWLRQZLWKWKRVHZKRKDGKDYHVLPLODU
LQWHUHVWVZKLFKZDVQHHGHGWRGHYHORSWKHFROOHFWLYHSRZHUWRLQXHQFHWKHSROLWLFDOV\VWHP

Leadership and communication style

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SDUWLFLSDWRU\OHDGHUVKLSVW\OHDVVW\OHRIOHDGHUVKLSWKDWDOORZVIRUPRUHSDUWLFLSDWLRQDQGGHFLVLRQPDN-
LQJ$FFRUGLQJWR0LFKH  /HDGHUVKLSVWUXFWXUHVDGRSWHGE\JHQHUDWLRQVDUHLPSDFWHGZLWKWKHLUSUH-
YLRXVH[SHULHQFHVDQGDIOLDWLRQVLQZKLFKWKH\GHYHORSGLIIHUHQWZD\VRIFRPPXQLFDWLRQDQGWKH\DGDSW
LWDFFRUGLQJWRWKHVLWXDWLRQWKH\OLYH7KLVDSSOLHVODUJHO\WRWKH3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKVLWXDWLRQ7ZRIDFWRUV
OHG\RXQJSHRSOHWRDLPWRKDYHDKRUL]RQWDODQGSDUWLFLSDWRU\OHDGHUVKLSUVWWKHLUSUHYLRXVH[SHULHQFH
ZLWK3DOHVWLQLDQ,QVWLWXWLRQVSUHVHQWHGE\ SROLWLFDOIDFWLRQVDQG1*2V 7KHVHVWUXFWXUHVGLGQRWSURYLGH
DVSDFHIRU\RXWKWRSDUWLFLSDWHLQDGGLWLRQWRWKHGLVDSSRLQWPHQWRI\RXWKZLWKWKHSHUIRUPDQFHRISROLWLFDO
SDUWLHVDQG1*266HFRQGWKHPRGHOSUHVHQWHGLQERWK7XQLVLDDQG(J\SWUHYROXWLRQVLQZKLFKQRFOHDU
JXUHVRIOHDGHUVZHUHSUHVHQWHGDQGWKHERXQGDULHVEHWZHHQJURXSVZHUHH[LEOHDQGHYHQWXDOO\NHSWD
OHYHORILQQRYDWLRQIRUDOO\RXWKZKRVKRZHGLQWHUHVWLQJHWWLQJHQJDJHG )43HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ
+63HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ+=3HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ 

+RZHYHUWKLVNLQGRIOHDGHUVKLSFUHDWHGSUREOHPVIRUWKHJURXSRQWKHJURXQG6RPHRIWKRVHSUREOHPV
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media, and reaching a joint demand and discourse. Not having a clear structure and channels of commu-
QLFDWLRQRQWKHJURXQGLQZKLFKXVXDOO\WKHWUDGLWLRQDOFKDLQRIFRPPDQGWDNHVSODFHPDGHLWGLIFXOWIRU
WKHDFWLYLVWVWRIDFHWKHWZRPDLQSROLWLFDOIDFWLRQVWKDWKDYHDVWURQJQHWZRUNRILQGLYLGXDOVDQGRUJDQL]D-
WLRQV7KHODFNRIFOHDUVWUXFWXUHFRPELQHGZLWKDVPDOOQXPEHURIDFWLYLVWVDQGOLWWOHRIH[SHULHQFHPDGH
it impossible for young activists to keep their stands, and instead of acting, most of their action became a
reaction to the repression they faced from the security forces and the attempt of the Main political parties
to coop their Political Mobilization.

<RXWKJURXSVOHDGHUVKLSZDVGHPRQVWUDWHGRQWKHJURXQGLQIRUPVRIHQJDJHPHQWVWKHOHDGHUVKLS
of youth participating in the sit-in, leadership of youth participating in the hunger strike, and leadership of
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tant to notice that until the 18thRI0DUFKWKHOHDGHUVKLSIRUWKHWKUHHIRUPVRIHQJDJHPHQWZDVRQH
$QGERWKPHPEHUVRIWKHKXQJHUVWULNHDQGWKHVLWLQZHUHWKHVDPHDV\RXWKFRQGXFWLQJDFWLYLWLHV+RZ-
HYHUZLWKWKHLQFUHDVHLQWKHQXPEHUVRI\RXWKSDUWLFLSDWLQJLQWKRVHIRUPVRIHQJDJHPHQWDQGZLWKWKH
increase in the level of risk taken, the leadership for the those forms of engagement became more apparent,
keeping into consideration the need to coordinate efforts. In one of the meetings to evaluate the events of
23 ARAB SPRING

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pated in the sit-in and hunger strike said: We cannot decide on the demands of the people participating in
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)40HHWLQJRQWKHth of March).

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JHQGHU PHGLD LQWHUDFWLRQ ZLWK SROLWLFLDQV DQG VHFXULW\ IRUFHV UDSLG FKDQJHV RQ WKH JURXQG WLPH DQG
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WDVNV 0HGLDGHDOLQJZLWKLQVXUJHQF\IRUFHV EXWWKDWDSSURDFKPRYHGWKHJURXSVIURPWKHSDUWLFLSDWRU\
OHDGHUVKLSVW\OHWRPRUHLQGLYLGXDODQGKLHUDUFKDOOHDGHUVKLS +63HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ+=3HUVRQDO
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WKHVSRWDQGDWVRPHSRLQWVWKH\EXLOWWKHH[SHFWDWLRQVWKDWRWKHUPHPEHUVLQWKHJURXSVZRXOGIROORZ
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IHPDOHDFWLYLVWVZHUHWKHRQHVZKRUDLVHGFRQFHUQVLQUHJDUGWRWKHH[SHFWDWLRQVRIWKHLUUROHWKHVSDFH
SURYLGHGIRUWKHPWRSDUWLFLSDWHDQGWKHDSSUHFLDWLRQRIRWKHUIHOORZPHPEHUV

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members, and, eventually it ended in some members halting their participation, or moving to other groups
)43HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ+63HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ163HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ 

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PDMRUPRELOL]DWLRQHYHQWZKHUHFRQIURQWDWLRQZLWKWKHDXWKRULWLHVWRRNSODFH$WWKDWPRPHQW WKH\ UH-
JUHVVHGWRWKHWUDGLWLRQDOZD\RIOHDGHUVKLSZKLFKZDVHDVLHUWRSUDFWLFH7KHOLPLWHGH[SHULHQFH\RXWKKDG
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made it easier to drop participatory leadership.

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ZLWKLQLW0DOHDFWLYLVWVDWYDULRXVWLPHVFRXOGQRWVHHWKHUROH\RXQJZRPHQDFWLYLVWVFRXOGSOD\7KH
VRFLDOULVNWKDW\RXQJZRPHQIDFHGDQGIXUWKHUWKH\H[SRUWHGWKHWUDGLWLRQDOSDWULDUFKDOPDOHFKDUDFWHUWR
WKHLUOHDGHUVKLSVW\OH$OOWKHVHIDFWRUVOHGPDQ\WLPHVWRDFRQLFWDPRQJJURXSPHPEHUV

Forms of engagement/ type of activities

Forms of engagement adopted by youth are a result of a combination of different factors, such as politi-
FDOVRFLDOL]DWLRQDQGSROLWLFDORSSRUWXQLWLHV 0F$GDP<DWHV LQGLFDWHVWKDWWKHFKDUDFWHULVWLFV
RIWKRVHZKRSDUWLFLSDWHLQULVN\DFWLYLVPLVGLIIHUHQWIURPWKRVHZKRDUHLQYROYHGLQORZULVNIRUPRIDF-
WLYLVP3ROLWLFDOSDUWLFLSDWLRQIRUPVDUHLPSDFWHGZLWKWKHW\SHRIH[SRVXUHWRLQVWLWXWLRQVDQGWKHUHODWLRQ
ZLWKWKHV\VWHP3ROLWLFDOVRFLDOL]DWLRQKHOSVWRXQGHUVWDQGWKHEDFNJURXQGRIDFWLYLVWVWKHLURULHQWDWLRQDQG
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 24

3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKXWLOL]HG7KHIROORZLQJIRUPVRIHQJDJHPHQWLQWKHLUPRELOL]DWLRQGXULQJWKH$UDE
revolutions.

Social media activism


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centralization and hierarchy from other structures. yet trying to escape the intrusion of security forces,
JURXSVVWULHGWRFRQWUROPHPEHUVDFFHVVWRLWVIDFHERRNVLWHV6RFLDOPHGLDVVXFFHVVLQPRELOL]LQJ\RXWK
YDULHGIURPRQHHYHQWWRDQRWKHUIRUH[DPSOHLWZDVYHU\VXFFHVVIXOLQWKH1DNEDPDUFKRQWKHth of May,
EXWLWZDVOHVVVXFFHVVIXOGXULQJGDLO\DFWLYLWLHVDWWKH0DQDUDKVTXDUH7UDQVIHUULQJDFWLYLVPIURPWKHYLUWXDO
ZRUOGWRWKHUHDORQHGLGQRWWDNHSODFHLQODUJHQXPEHUV7KHQXPEHURI\RXQJSHRSOHSDUWLFLSDWLQJLQYLUWXDO
DFWLYLVPZDVPXFKKLJKHUWKDQWKHRQHZKRDFWXDOO\VKRZHGXSGXULQJWKHHYHQWV0RYLQJIURPEHOLHYLQJ
LQVRPHWKLQJWRDFWLRQGHSHQGRQPDQ\IDFWRUVVXFKDVWKHOHYHORIFRQVFLRXVQHVV 0F$GDP<DWHV
5DKDO H[LVWLQJVWUXFWXUHVDQGLQVWLWXWLRQVDQGWKHFXOWXUHRIHQJDJHPHQW 0LVFKH 

In addition to the mobilization role of social media, it played a role as observers for both occupation
DQGDXWKRULW\SUDFWLFHVSHUVRQDOFDPHUDVDQGPRELOHVOLYHVWUHDPLQJDUHDOOQHZPHDQVWKDW\RXWKXVHGWR
VSUHDGWKHLUSHUFHSWLRQVDQGZKDWLVKDSSHQLQJRQWKHJURXQG

6RFLDOPHGLDZDVDWRRORIFRPPXQLFDWLRQDFURVV3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKDWSODFHVRIH[LVWHQFH <RXWKLQ
'LDVSRUD DQGDZD\RIFRQQHFWLQJZLWKDFWLYLVWVDURXQGWKHZRUOGDQGWKH$UDEZRUOG

Demonstrations
'HPRQVWUDWLRQVZHUHXVHGE\YDULRXV\RXWKJURXSVLQDMRLQWHIIRUWWRFRQWHVWWKHH[LVWLQJVLWXDWLRQ
+RZHYHUWKHPDLQGHPRQVWUDWLRQVFRQGXFWHGZHUHPDLQO\FRRSWHGE\SROLWLFDOIDFWLRQVWKDWDUHUHVSRQ-
VLEOHIRUWKHFXUUHQWVLWXDWLRQ'HPRQVWUDWLRQVZHUHDSODFHWRFKDOOHQJHWKHVORJDQVRIWKHUXOLQJSDUW\WKH\
ZHUHDSODFHZKHUH\RXWKWULHGWRUDLVHWKHLUIUDPLQJDQGEHYLVLEOHWRWKHFRPPXQLW\$VGHPRQVWUDWLRQV
ZHUHFRRSWHGE\SROLWLFDOSDUWLHVDQGFRQVLGHULQJWKHYLRODWLRQVRIWKHVHFXULW\IRUFHVWRWKHULJKWVRI
expression of the demonstrators in public, failed the expectations of the public that built expectations on
\RXWKHQJDJHPHQWDQGOHGWRWKHZLWKGUDZDORIYDULRXVFRPPXQLW\JURXSVIURPGHPRQVWUDWLRQVRUHYHQ
refusing to participate at all.

Hunger strike, Sit-in


<RXWKGHFLGHGWRVWDUWZLWKWKHVLWLQDQGKXQJHUVWULNHWZRGD\VEHIRUHWKHDVVLJQHGGDWHIRUWKHPDLQ
demonstration (15thRI0DUFKGHPRQVWUDWLRQ 7KHSXUSRVHRILQLWLDWLQJWKHKXQJHUVWULNHDQG6LWLQZDV
to ensure that political factions cannot co-opt the initiative of youth. One of the aspects that affected the
LPSDFWRIWKHVHWZRIRUPVRIHQJDJHPHQWLVWKHODFNRIH[SHULHQFHRI\RXWK)RUPRVW\RXWKWKLVZDVWKHLU
UVWSDUWLFLSDWLRQLQVXFKDQHYHQWDVDUHVXOWWKHUVWFKDOOHQJHZDVVHWWLQJWKHLUREMHFWLYHVVRKLJKLQVWHDG
of building gradually their demands. Second the hunger strike and sit-in needed more proper preparation,
HVSHFLDOO\LQWHUPVRIORJLVWLFVGHPDQGVDQGPDQDJHPHQWRIWKHVLWLQDQGKXQJHUVWULNH )43HUVRQDO
&RPPXQLFDWLRQ+$+3HUVRQDO&RPPXQLFDWLRQ 

+RZHYHUWKHWHQWDVDSODFHIRUWKHVLWLQDQGKXQJHUVWULNHEHFDPHDVSDFHZKHUHGLVFXVVLRQWRRNSODFH
educating process about the Palestinian history, structures of the PLO, and other issues of concern. Ensur-
LQJWKDWWKHWHQWVWD\VDWWKH0DQDUDK6TXDUHKDGDQLPSRUWDQWVLJQLFDQFHIRUDOOJURXSVZKRDUHSDUWLFLSDW-
ing in sit-in in the various locations of WB and GS.
25 ARAB SPRING

6HWWLQJWKHWHQWDWWKH0DQDUDK6TXDUHGLGQRWWDNHSODFHZLWKRXWVRPHGLIFXOWLHV7KH31$UHIXVHG
WRDOORZVHWWLQJWKHWHQWWLOODIWHURQHZHHNRIVWDUWLQJWKHVLWLQDQGKXQJHUVWULNH6HFXULW\IRUFHVHQVXUHG
WRKDYHVRPHRILWVLQIRUPDQWVDVSDUWRIWKHSDUWLFLSDQWVLQWKHVLWLQDQGQDOO\WKHWHQWZDVDWWDFNHGDQG
EXUQHGE\)DWHKDIOLDWHG\RXWKRQWKHth of March.

Daily activities at the Manarah


$FWLYLWLHVDWWKH0DQDUDK6TXDUHVWDUWHGDVDZD\RIPRELOL]DWLRQDQGUHFUXLWPHQWRIWKHFRPPXQLW\
WKHVTXDUHZDVDOVRDSODFHWRUDLVHGHPDQGVIURPWKH$XWKRULW\7KLVSHULRGZDVFKDUDFWHUL]HGE\WHQVLRQ
ZLWKVHFXULW\IRUFHVSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVZKRZHUHWU\LQJWRFRRSWWKH\RXWKPRELOL]DWLRQDQGFRQLFWVZLWK
WKH)DWHKDIOLDWHG\RXWKDQGVHFXULW\IRUFHVDVWKH\ZHUHWU\LQJWRUHSUHVVWKHHYHQWVWDNLQJSODFH

$QRWKHUFKDOOHQJHZDVFRRUGLQDWLQJZLWKRWKHUJURXSVDERXWDFWLYLWLHVWRWDNHSODFHWU\LQJWRGHFUHDVH
WKHOHYHORIWHQVLRQDFURVVWKH\RXWKJURXSVWKHJURXSVGHFLGHGWKDWHDFKJURXSZLOOEHUHVSRQVLEOHIRU
DFWLYLWLHVRQDGLIIHUHQWGD\)XUWKHUDIWHUDZKLOHWKHDFWLYLWLHVFRQGXFWHGE\\RXWKJURXSVEHFDPHUHSHWL-
tive, and became a burden on the youth instead of a tool to reach for people. According to youth activists,
WKHGHFODUDWLRQRIUHFRQFLOLDWLRQZDVDJRRGRSSRUWXQLW\WRVDYHWKHLUIDFH

,WKLQNRQHRIWKHFKDOOHQJHVIRUWKHDFWLYLWLHVWDNLQJSODFHDWWKH0DQDUDK6TXDUHVWKDW\RXWKZHUHWU\-
LQJWRGXSOLFDWHZKDWLVWDNLQJSODFHDW7DKULU6TXDUHLQVWHDGRIDGDSWLQJIRUPVWKDWWZLWKWKHLUFRQWH[W
and situation.

Resisting occupation form of engagement


7U\LQJWRHVWDEOLVKDEHWWHUFRQQHFWLRQZLWKZKDWWDNHVSODFHLQWKH3DOHVWLQLDQFRPPXQLW\WKH\RXWK
started to participate in resistance of occupation activities. Not all members of the groups participated in
WKHVHDFWLYLWLHVEXWLWEHFDPHRQHRIWKHPDLQDFWLYLWLHVWKDWWKH\PRELOL]HDURXQG7KLVZDVFOHDULQWKH
PRELOL]DWLRQIRUWKH1DNEDPDUFKDQGWKHZHHNO\GHPRQVWUDWLRQVDJDLQVWWKHZDOO

<RXWKVWDUWHGWRMRLQRWKHUPRYHPHQWVZRUNLQJLQWKH3DOHVWLQLDQVRFLHW\VXFKDVWKH%R\FRWWDQGGLYHVW-
PHQWDQGVDQFWLRQVPRYHPHQW %'6 SULVRQHUVPRYHPHQWDQGSRSXODUUHVLVWDQFHPRYHPHQW

Conclusions
$OWKRXJKWKHDERYHUHVXOWVVKRZWKDW3DOHVWLQLDQ\RXWKSROLWLFDOPRELOL]DWLRQIDLOHGWREHDWWKHOHYHORI
\RXWKSDUWLFLSDWLRQLQWKH$UDEUHYROXWLRQVLWLVZRUWKQRWLQJWKDWWKLVH[SHULHQFHZDVWKHEHJLQQLQJRID
QHZWUDMHFWRU\RI\RXWKSROLWLFDOPRELOL]DWLRQ

)LUVW<RXWKSROLWLFDOHQJDJHPHQWLVPHDVXUHGE\LWVFRQWLQXLW\DQGVXVWDLQDELOLW\7KHVH\RXWKKDYHQRW
RQO\FRQWLQXHGWRPRELOL]HEXWFRXOGDOVRLQYHQWQHZIRUPVRIHQJDJHPHQWVWKDWZHUHQRWSUHVHQWLQWKHLU
UVWPRELOL]LQJH[SHULHQFH WKHSHULRGFRYHUHGE\WKHVWXG\ 7KHVHQHZIRUPVRIHQJDJHPHQWDUHDGDSWHG
from Arab and international social movement experience. Examples are the latest Freedom Riders initia-
WLYHZKHUHWKH\RXWKWRJHWKHUZLWKQRQYLROHQFHDFWLYLVWVZHQWRQDQ,VUDHOLVHWWOHUVEXVDVDSURWHVWDJDLQVW
Israeli Apartheid.

$WDQRWKHUOHYHOWKHVH\RXWKEHFDPHPRUHH[LEOHWRMRLQGLIIHUHQWPRYHPHQWVDQGJURXSV7KH\GHYHO-
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 26

RSHGWKHDELOLW\WRZRUNZLWKHDFKRWKHUZLWKRWKHUJURXSVDQGFRXOGEXLOGDOOLDQFHVZKLFKKDYHUHVXOWHGLQ
FRQWLQXRXVDFWLRQVRIDFWLYLVPDJDLQVWRFFXSDWLRQDQGWKHGLIIHUHQW3DOHVWLQLDQSROLWLFDOLVVXHVRIFRQFHUQ
VXFKDVWKHLQWHUQDOGLYLVLRQQRUPDOL]DWLRQZLWKWKHRFFXSDWLRQVWDWHGHFODUDWLRQ

7KHLGHQWLW\LVVXHLVRQHRIWKHPDMRUFRQFHUQRIWKH\RXWKZDVUHVXUUHFWHGWRFRQVLGHU3DOHVWLQLDQVLQ
3DOHVWLQHDQG'LDVSRUD7KLVZDVUHHFWHGLQWKHFRPPRQDFWLYLWLHVWKDWWRRNSODFHDWWKHVDPHWLPHDQG
YLUWXDOQHWZRUNVGHYHORSHGLQWKHGLIIHUHQWPDMRUDUHDVRI3DOHVWLQLDQVUHVLGH$WDQRWKHUOHYHOWKH\RXWK
DUHVWLOOGHPDQGLQJFRQGXFWLQJHOHFWLRQVIRUWKH31&ZKLFKUHSUHVHQWV3DOHVWLQLDQVHYHU\ZKHUH

As for framing, although the youth conducted various actions, their efforts do not build on one other.
7KH\VWLOOQHHGWRGHYHORSWKHLUGLVFRXUVHDFFRUGLQJO\WKH\QHHGWRGHQHWKHLUIXWXUHDFWLRQZKLOHFRQ-
WLQXHGHYHORSLQJWKHLULQGLYLGXDODQGJURXSQHWZRUNVDQGDOOLDQFHV7RGRVRWKH\QHHGWRRSHQXSWR
RWKHU\RXWKZKRDUHDIOLDWHGWRSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVWRGLIIHUHQWVRFLDOFODVVHVDQGWRFURVVWKHJHRJUDSKLFDO
boundaries to learn more about the different realities of the Palestinian people.

7DNLQJLQWRFRQVLGHUDWLRQWKDWSDUWLFLSDWRU\OHDGHUVKLSLVDSURFHVVLWJRHVZLWKRXWVD\LQJWKDWLWQHHGV
WLPHWRPDWXUH+RZHYHUOHDGHUVKLSVW\OHLVGHQHGE\H[SHULHQFHLGHQWLW\DQGGLVFRXUVH

Abbreviations
PLO: Palestinian Liberation Organization
PNC : Palestinian National Council, Which is the highest council in the PLO
NGOs: Non Governmental Organizations
PNA: Palestinian National Authority.
3DOHVWLQH3DUWRI+LVWRULFDO3DOHVWLQHZKLFKZDVRFFXSLHGLQWKH\HDUDQGWKHVWDWHRI,VUDHOL
is established over it.
Palestine 1976: It represent the Palestinian land occupied by Israel in the year 1976 and it includes the
West Bank ( Including east Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip.
WB: The West Bank
GS: Gaza Strip
BDS: Boycott and Divestment and Sanctions of Occupation
27 ARAB SPRING

References
$O$]]HK$$O,QWLIDGDW$ODUDELDK+RGRG$OWDWKLU)DODVWLQLDQ3URFHHGLQJLQWKH$UDE5HYROXWLRQVLGHRORJLFDODQGSROLWLFDO
FKDOOHQJHVFRQIHUHQFH 0XZDWLQ3DOHVWLQLDQ,QVWLWXWHIRU'HPRFUDWLF6WXGLHV5DPDOODK 
$OVKZHLU\<$O7DKDZRODW$O$UDELDZ0RIDMDDW$OWKDZUDW-RXUQDORI$OPRVWDTEDO$ODUDEL -XO\ 
%DLOH\6DQG'0XUUD\7KH6WDWXVRI<RXWKLQ3DOHVWLQH3URPLVHRU3HULO" 6KDUHN<RXWK)RUXP5DPDOODK 
%URZQ13DOHVWLQH7KH)LUH1H[W7LPH5HWULHYHG-XO\IURPKWWSFDUQHJLHHQGRZPHQWRUJSDOHVWLQHUH
next-time/2sh8.
&KHFNRZD\%DQG0/*XWLHUUH]<RXWKSDUWLFLSDWLRQDQG&RPPXQLW\&KDQJH +DZRUWK3UHVV1HZ<RUN 
(O(NHU0,QWURGXFWLRQ-RXUQDORI$IDT%DUODPDQLD  
(O6DNND$$O+DUDNDW$O,KWLMDMLDK$ODUDELD$OMDGLGD,DGDW$O,WLEDU/LOIDGD$O,MWLPDL-RXUQDORI$IDT%DUODPDQLD  
+DQD67KDZUDW$O\DVDPLQZ$OPLGDQ-RXUQDORI,GDIDWZLQWHU
+LODO-:DT$O,QWLIDGDWDOVKDEL\HK$GLPRTUDWH\HK$OD$O+DUDND$OVL\DVH\HK$O)DODVWLQL\HK-RXUQDORI3DOHVWLQLDQ6WXGLHV
Special volume: Arab Revolutions.
W%QDO4L\GWZDDOPXDVVDVWDOVL\V\DKI)LODVQ ,QVWLWXWHIRU3DOHVWLQLDQ6WXGLHV%HLUXW 
.ODWFK5$JHQHUDWLRQGLYLGHGWKHQHZOHIWWKHQHZULJKWDQGWKHV 8QLYHUVLW\RI&DOLIRUQLD3UHVV%HUNHOH\ 
0F$GDP'5HFUXLWPHQWWR+LJK5LVN$FWLYLVP7KH&DVHRI)UHHGRP6XPPHU-RXUQDORI7KH$PHULFDQ-RXUQDORI6RFLRORJ\
92(1), 64-90.
0LVFKH$3DUWLVDQSXEOLFVFRPPXQLFDWLRQDQGFRQWHQWLRQDFURVV%UD]LOLDQ\RXWKDFWLYLVWQHWZRUNV 3ULQFHWRQ8QLYHUVLW\3UHVV
Pnrinceton).
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\LJK<GDQG%6LUKDQDO.LIDOPXVDOODZDDOEDWKDQDOGDZODKDODUDNDKDOZDDQ\DKDO)LODVQ\DK 
0XDVVDVDWDO'LUVWDO)LODVQ\DK%HLUXW 
6KHKDGD0/LPDWKD/DP<DWHP$OWDQDER%L7KDZUDW$O$UDELD-RXUQDORI$IDT%DUODPDQLD  
6QRZ'-(%XUNH5RFKIRUGHWDO)UDPH$OLJQPHQW3URFHVVHV0LFURPRELOL]DWLRQDQG0RYHPHQW3DUWLFLSDWLRQ-RXUQDORI
$PHULFDQVRFLRORJLFDOUHYLHZ  
<DWHV05RRWVRIFLYLFLGHQWLW\LQWHUQDWLRQDOSHUVSHFWLYHVRQFRPPXQLW\VHUYLFHDQGDFWLYLVPLQ\RXWK &DPEULGJH8QLYHUVLW\
3UHVV&DPEULGJH1HZ<RUN 
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 28

DZUDFRQWHVWDWRU\ODQJXDJHDQGLFRQRJUDSK\
in the Arab revolution

MOISS GARDUO
National Autonomous University of Mexico/Autonomous University of Madrid

Abstract
7KLVSDSHUZLOODQDO\]HWKHSDUWLFXODULWLHVRIWKH$UDE3URWHVWWKURXJKYLVXDODQGYHU-
bal expressions in its resistance language. Lexical expressions like LUDO JRDZD\ RU
DODE\XUGLVTDOQLP SHRSOHZDQWWRGLVPDQWOHWKHV\VWHP DUHHPERGLHGLQD
language that, on one hand, has to organize and to coordinate the protest itself in the
PLGQQHLJKERUKRRGPRVTXHDQGKRVSLWDOVDQGRQWKHRWKHUWRH[SUHVVWKHOHJLWLPDWH
FODLPVWKURXJKHOHFWURQLFDQGPDVVPHGLDQHZVSDSHUVDQGRWKHUVWRWKHLQWHUQDWLRQDO
public opinion. Time after time, language shines as an important identity element that,
in the case of Arab people, grammatical rules of IXj, DPL\D and ZXVWD play a crucial
role to the incorporation of existing concepts as XUUL\DOWDEU (freedom of speech) or
XUUL\DDODID (freedom of the press) to the protest in the street and as a tool of self
determination against corruption, censorship and persecution of the governments.

Keywords
Arab civil society, contestatory language, creative resistance, lexical and visual expres-
sions, revolution

Introduction
$OPDNWEXTUXPLQXQZQLKL (the content of a book must be read it from its title) is a famous Arabic
proverb that people use not only to analyze a visual/verbal piece but also to understand it. In Arabic, title
comes from the verbal root DQ WRVLJQLI\DQGUHIHUVVRPHWKLQJRUVRPHRQHWKDWPDWWHUVWRDSHU-
VRQDVZHOODVWKHFRLQFLGHQFHRIDOOHOHPHQWVWKDWFRQVWLWXWHWKHIXOOHVWLQWHOOHFWXDOZRUNRIDSLHFH7KHYHUE
DQLVDOVRGHURRWRIWKH$UDELFZRUGVLJQZKLFKHPERGLHVVORJDQL]DWLRQDOOHJRULHVV\PEROVLFRQVDQG
LPDJLQDWLRQZKLFKLVWUDQVPLWWHGIURPWKHUDWLRQDOKHDUWRIDZULWHUWRWKHVHQVLWLYHPLQGRIDUHDGHU

7KH$UDE6SULQJKDVLWVRZQWLWOHVPHVVDJHVV\PEROVDQGVORJDQVWRLQWURGXFHSHRSOHWRWKHHPHUJHQFH
RID1HZ$UDE(UDDQGWRH[SODLQZK\DQGKRZ\RXQJVWXGHQWVDFWLYLVWVZRUNHUVGRFWRUVDQGPXFK
PRUHSHRSOHDUHLQWKH$UDE6WUHHWVULJKWQRZ'HVSLWHRIWKHPRVWRISHRSOHFDOOWKLVVSULQJDV$UDE
WKHUHDGHUVKRXOGQRWHWKDW$UDELF LQWKHVWDQGDUGDQGFROORTXLDOUHJLVWHUV LVQRWWKHRQO\ODQJXDJHXVHG
by people in the demonstrations and by contrast English, Amazigh, Kurdish, French and Persian, among
RWKHUVDUHLQFOXGHGWRVKDSHPHVVDJHVVWURQJHUZLGHUDQGPRUHUHFHSWLYHWRSXEOLFRSLQLRQDEURDG,QIDFW
WKHUVWZRUGXVHGDVFRQWHVWDWRU\ODQJXDJHLQWKHVRFDOOHG7XQLVLDQ5HYROXWLRQZDVWKH)UHQFKZRUG
GHJDJH JRDZD\ WKDWJDYHULVHWRWKHYHU\SRSXODU$UDELFWUDQVODWLRQLUDOZKLFKTXLFNO\ZDVH[SDQGHG
LQRWKHUGHPRQVWUDWLRQVDFURVV(J\SW<HPHQDQG6\ULD
29 ARAB SPRING

But to talk about signs, it is necessary to be able not only to translate messages but also to transfer them
WRSUHVHQWWLPHV)RUWKDWZHZLOOWDNHDORRNDWWKHSULQFLSOHVRIVLJQVWKHRU\LQRUGHUWRUHFRJQL]HWKH
SOHWKRUDRIVLJQLHG V DQGVLJQLHU V WKDWUHVXOWLQWKHOH[LFDODQGYHUEDOH[SUHVVLRQVRI$UDE5HYROXWLRQV
and, at the same time, to provide textual and contextual readings of slogans stressing on the difference be-
WZHHQPHDQLQJDQGVLJQLFDQFH7KLVVKDOOEHGRQHWRSURYLGHDEHWWHUXQGHUVWDQGLQJRIVORJDQVDQG
PHVVDJHVE\$UDESHRSOHDYRLGLQJFRQIXVLRQLQGLIIHUHQFHDQGPLVLQIRUPDWLRQWKURXJKDFORVHUVLJQLFD-
WLRQRIZKDWSHRSOHIHHODQGSHUFHLYHIRUWKHIXWXUHRIWKHLUFRXQWULHV

6LJQLHG6LJQLHU0HDQLQJDQG6LJQLFDQFHLQWKH0DNLQJRI6ORJDQ
Slogans are used in political, commercial, religious and others social contexts as a repetitive expression
RIRQHLGHDRUIHHOLQJEXWLWPXVWEHFOHDUWKDWWKH\DUHQRWRQO\PHPRUDEOHPRWWRVZDLWLQJWREHWUDQVODWHG
but also series of verbal, visual and gestural signs providing a dynamic UHSUHVHQWDPHQ for a fact during
LQDEVHQWLD (or LQSUDHVHQWLD) of something or someone (Kristeva, 1981: 13).

$Q\VSHDNHULVPRUHRUOHVVDZDUHWKDWODQJXDJHV\PEROL]HVUHSUHVHQWVDQGQDPHVIDFWVEHFDXVH
RIWKHVLJQLVWKHFRUHRIWKHODQJXDJH,QZRUGVRI3LHUFH  WKHVLJQLVDWULDGLFUHODWLRQVKLSGHYHO-
RSHGEHWZHHQDQREMHFWLWVUHSUHVHQWDWLYHDQGWKHLQWHUSUHWHUDVORQJDVWKHVLJQGRHVQRWUHSUHVHQWWKHZKROH
REMHFWEXWRQO\DYHU\FOHDULGHDRIWKDW$FFRUGLQJWRWKLV3LHUFHKDVFODVVLHGVLJQVLQWRWKUHHFDWHJRULHV

a) The icon. 6LJQWKDWUHIHUVWRWKHREMHFWE\LWVUHVHPEODQFHWRKLPIRUH[DPSOHWKHGUDZLQJRIDWUHH


WKDWUHSUHVHQWVWKHUHDOWUHHZKLFKORRNVOLNHLWLVDQLFRQ

b) The index.6LJQWKDWGRHVQRWVHHPQHFHVVDULO\WRWKHREMHFWEXWUHFHLYHVDQLQXHQFHRIWKHIRUPHU
DQGIRUWKDWPDWWHUKDVVRPHWKLQJLQFRPPRQZLWKWKHREMHFWIRUH[DPSOHVPRNHFRPLQJIURPD
EXLOGLQJFDQEHDUHDJHQWLQGH[RIUH

c) The symbol.6LJQWKDWUHIHUVWRDQREMHFWE\DNLQGRIODZRUFRQYHQWLRQWKURXJKDQLGHDIRUH[DPSOH
the linguistic signs.

6LQFH3LHUFHGHYHORSHGDJHQHUDOWKHRU\RIVLJQV6DXVVXUHZDVWKHUVWVFKRODUZKRPDGHHPSKDVLVRQ
OLQJXLVWLFVLJQV6DXVVXUH DE QRWHVWKDWLWLVLOOXVRU\WREHOLHYHWKDWWKHOLQJXLVWLFVLJQLVMXVW
DVVRFLDWHGZLWKWKHUHODWLRQVKLSQDPHWKLQJDQGSURSRVHVWKHFRQVWUXFWLRQFRQFHSW VLJQLHG VRXQGLPDJH
VLJQLHU . This latter is not the sound itself but the psychological imprint of the sound or the representa-
WLRQWKDWJLYHVXVWKHWHVWLPRQ\RIRXUVHQVHV$FFRUGLQJWR6DXVVXUH  IRUH[DPSOHLIZHWDNHWKH
WHUPUHYROXWLRQWKHQLWVOLQJXLVWLFVLJQZRXOGFRQVLVWRI WKHPHQWDOLGHDRIUHYROXWLRQ VLJQLHG DQG
 WKHVRXQGLPDJHUHYROXWLRQ VLJQLHU ERWKRIZKLFKZLOOJLYHXVWKHSV\FKRORJLFDOVHQVHRIWKH
fundamental change in organizational VWUXFWXUHVWKDWWDNHVSODFHLQDUHODWLYHO\VKRUWSHULRGRIWLPH (Tilly,
 7KXVUHYROXWLRQ DVDVLJQ ZLOOKDYHDQHTXLYDOHQWLQWKHSV\FKLFUHDOLW\RID6SDQLVKVLJQLHU
UHYROXFLyQWKH3HUVLDQHQTHOEWKH3RUWXJXHVHUHYROXomRWKH$UDELFDZUD among others.

$FFRUGLQJWR6DXVVXUHDVLJQLHGPD\KDYHVHYHUDOVLJQLHUVDQGYLFHYHUVD:HFDQFDOOWRPDWRWR-
PDWHDQGWDPWLPWRWKHWUDGLWLRQDOO\HGLEOHUHGIUXLWWKDW(QJOLVK6SDQLVKDQG$UDELFVSHDNHULPDJLQH
LQKLVPLQGUHVSHFWLYHO\DQGRQWKHRWKHUKDQGZHFDQVD\WKHLGHDDSSOHWRUHIHUWRHLWKHUDFRPSXWHU
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 30

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KDSSHQVZKHQZHFDOOVRPHWKLQJE\DSV\FKRORJLFDOLGHDWKDWQRWEHORQJVWRWKHREMHFWZKLFKZHLPDJLQH
RULQVWHDGZHLPDJLQHVRPHWKLQJWRWDOO\GLIIHUHQWIURPZKDWRWKHUVZDQWWRPHDQ,QWKLVVHQVH0HVFKRQ-
QLFVWKHRU\  GHVWUR\VWKLVELQDU\RUJDQL]DWLRQZKHQQRWHVQRPRUHVRXQGDQGVHQVHQRPRUH
GRXEOH DUWLFXODWLRQ RI ODQJXDJH QR PRUH VLJQLHG DQG VLJQLHUWKH ODQJXDJH LV RQO\ VLJQLHUV7KH
VLJQLHU0HVFKRQQLFLQVLVWVUHIHUVWRDSUDFWLFHWKHDFWLQJRIDVXEMHFWZKLFKH[SRVHVLWVKLVWRULFLW\7KH
)UHQFKZRUGVLJQLDQWNHHSVWKHLGHDPRUHHIFLHQWO\WKDQWKH(QJOLVKZRUGVLJQLHUZKRVHHQGLQJ
VXJJHVWVDUROHRUDIXQFWLRQWKDWLVWRVD\DQDFWLRQRQHFRXOGXQGHUWDNHZLWKGLVWDQFHRUQHXWUDOLW\,Q
$UDELFZHFDQH[SODLQLWZLWKWKHSURWRW\SHIDLODQGPDIXO WDNLQJWKHYHUEDQ ZKHUHWKHVLJQLHU
LVWKHVXEMHFWRUWKHUHVSRQVLEOHIRUVLJQLI\ LQ DQGWKHODWWHULVMXVWZKDWLVVLJQLHGE\WKHUHVSRQVLEOH
PDQDZ ZKLFKFDQH[LVWMXVWWKURXJKWKHVXEMHFW &RUWpV 

,QVKRUWZKHQZHWUDQVODWHVLJQVZHWUDQVODWHVLJQLHUVFXOWXUHPHDQLQJWLPHDQGFRQWH[WLQRUGHUWR
H[SODLQWKHDXWKRUVYHUEDOPHDQLQJDVXQGHUVWRRGE\WKHFRPPHQWDWRU /DIUDLH 7KHZKROH
SUREOHPLVQRWRQO\WKHPHDQLQJRIZRUGV OLQJXLVWLFVLJQLWVHOI EXWDOVRWKHVHQVHRIODQJXDJH7KDWVZK\
ZHDUHFRQFHUQHGQRWVRPXFKZLWKVORJDQVSXUHPHDQLQJEXWUDWKHUZLWKLWVVLJQLFDQFH7KHGLVWLQF-
WLRQEHWZHHQPHDQLQJDQGVLJQLFDQFHKDVEHHQSDUWLFXODUO\GHYHORSHGE\('+LUVFK-U  
ZKRSRLQWVRXWWKDWWKHWHUPPHDQLQJUHIHUVWRWKHZKROHYHUEDOPHDQLQJRIDWH[WDQGVLJQLFDQFHWR
WH[WXDOPHDQLQJLQUHODWLRQWRDODUJHUFRQWH[W7KHQVLJQLFDQFHRIDZUD (revolution) must be elucidated
E\FULWLFLVPZKLFKLVQRWLGHQWLFDOZLWKVLJQLFDQFHEXWUDWKHUUHIHUVWRLWWDONVDERXWLWDQGGHVFULEHVLW
+LUVFK ,QWKHVHUHJDUGVRQHPLJKWDOVRVD\WKDWWRH[SODLQWKHSRZHURIODQJXDJHLQSROLWLFDO
life the context is everything. It gives meaning to events and creates an aura of understanding. It is a basis
RIFRPSHWLQJYLHZV,QVKRUWFRQWH[WIUDPHVPHDQLQJDQGPHDQLQJFUHDWHVFRQWH[W&KDQJHWKHRQHDQG
you change the other (Apter, 2006: 780).

DZUD
$IWHUUHFHQWIDFWVDW7DKULU6TXDUH+RPV6DQDDQG0DQDPDLWPXVWEHVDLGWKDW$UDEFRXQWULHVDUH
HIIHFWLYHO\IDFLQJDQRWKHUFRQWH[WDQRWKHUHUDDQGDQRWKHUV\VWHPRIYDOXHVZKLFKVXJJHVWDOLWWOHRIWUDQV-
ODWLRQDQGDOLWWOHPRUHRILQWHUSUHWDWLRQ:KHQ0RKDPHG%RXD]L]LVHWKLPVHOIRQUHRQ'HFHPEHU
QRERG\NQHZKHZRXOGHOHFWULI\WKHHQWLUHUHJLRQDQGVHQGWKHH[LVWLQJSROLWLFDORUGHULQWKH0LGGOH
(DVWLQWRDORQJSHULRGRIWXUPRLO9HU\TXLFNO\KRZHYHUWKHUHZHUHVLJQVWKDWWKHVXFFHVVRI7XQLVLDQ
demonstrators in toppling their long-ruling dictator had sparked something important and one label derived
IURP&]HFKRVORYDNLDVEULHI&ROG:DUHUDXSULVLQJDJDLQVW6RYLHWUXOHTXLFNO\HQJUDYHGLWVHOILQWKH:HVW-
HUQOH[LFRQ7RGD\WKHXSULVLQJVWKDWKDYHHQJXOIHGDGR]HQ$UDEFRXQWULHVDUHFROOHFWLYHO\NQRZQLQWKH
West as the Arab Spring (Ghitis, 2011: 1).

7KHODEHODSWRUQRWKDVWDNHQKROGIRUQRZ%XWDFFRUGLQJZKDWZHKDYHVHHQKHDUGDQGSHUFHLYHGLQ
$UDE6TXDUHV PLGQ) the title of Arab Spring is by far eclipsed by the Arabic term revolution (DZUD)
ZKLFKKDVEHHQSURFODLPHGE\WKHDXWKRUWKHSHRSOH DOVKDE DGGUHVVHGWRRQHFRPPHQWDWRUZKLFK
has been by far the public opinion (UDDODPP LQWKHPLGGOHRIDIUDPHZRUNUHSUHVHQWHGE\WKHHDUO\
21st century.

DZUDKDVEHHQDZLGHO\XVHGWHUPFRLQHGE\SHRSOHLQWKHPLGQ as an effort to change the domestic


31 ARAB SPRING

tyranny that has emerged in the aftermath of European colonialism in the form of post-colonial societies.
From Western Sahara to Syria young people believe that dictators represent fake and phony post-colonial
VWDWHVWKDWKDYHSRVLWHGWKHPVHOYHVDVDQWLFRORQLDODQGWKHQIRUIRUW\RUIW\\HDUVKDYHORRWHGWKHLU
FRXQWULHVZLWKRXWDQ\VHPEODQFHRIGHPRFUDWLFLQVWLWXWLRQVRUFKDQJH$\RXQJDXGLHQFHWKDWKDVQRIXWXUH
in their country, is sick and tired of being denigrated and denied any kind of participation in the global
VRFLHW\7KH\GRQWZDQWWRHPLJUDWHWREHVXEMHFWVRIHYHQPRUHKDUDVVPHQWDQGUDFLVPLQ(XURSHDQGWKH
8QLWHG6WDWHVDQ\PRUHDQGLQVWHDGWKH\ZDQWWRUHFODLPWKHLUVRFLHW\WKHLUFXOWXUHDQGWKHLUSROLWLFVDQG
other civil rights through peaceful means.

,QWKLVTXHVWWKH\KDYHFDOOHGWKLVSURFHVVDDZUDDUHYROXWLRQDFKDQJH+RZHYHURQHRIWKHUVW
WUDQVODWLRQVDQG PLV LQWHUSUHWDWLRQVGRQHE\WKHPHGLDDQGVRPHVFKRODUV .KRXUL ZDVWKHWHUP
DZDNHQLQJZKLFKUHIHUVWR$UDEVDVLIWKH\KDGEHHQLQDVWDWHRIOHWKDUJ\DOOWKHVH\HDUVMXVWWRZDNH
XSRQ'HFHPEHUDQGWRJKWDJDLQVWGLFWDWRUV%XWLQIDFW$UDESHRSOHZHOFRPHGWKHFXUUHQWFHQWXU\
ZLWKWKHVHFRQG,QWLIDGDLQ3DOHVWLQHDQGZLWKDPDVVPRELOL]DWLRQDJDLQVWWKHLQYDVLRQRI,UDTFRQGXFWHG
socio economic demonstrations against dictatorial regimes like Berber uprisings in Algeria, textile strikes
DQGSURWHVWVE\.HID\DPRYHPHQWLQ(J\SWDQGPLQLQJZRUNHUVGHPRQVWUDWLRQVLQ7XQLVLD$UDESHRSOH
also denied any legitimacy to jihadist solutions refuting ideas of Bin-Laden and radicalism, and last but not
OHDVWUHLQYHQWHGFLYLFSDUWLFLSDWLRQEDVHGRQQRQHFRQRPLFSXEOLFVSDFHVDVFLYLFDVVRFLDWLRQVDQG1*2V
(Gmez, 2011). For Arabs, the 21st century began as the 20thH[DFWO\GLGZLWKUHSUHVVLRQZDUVDQGSRVWFR-
ORQLDOGLFWDWRUVKLSVEXWQHYHUZLWKWKHFORVHGH\HVDQGLPPHUVHGLQWRDGHHSVOHHS

$IWHUWKHWHUPDZDNHQLQJPDQ\RWKHUWUDQVODWLRQVRIDZUDZHUHSUHVHQWHGWRSXEOLFRSLQLRQVXFKDV
GHPRQVWUDWLRQVLQVXUUHFWLRQVJKWLQJPRELOL]DWLRQVSURWHVWVXSULVLQJVDPRQJRWKHUVZKLFK
KDYHSHUSOH[HGWKHFRPPHQWDWRU:KHQWKHYLHZHUFDQQGDZRUGWUDQVFULEHGDQGWUDQVODWHGLQIRXURU
YHGLIIHUHQWZD\VKHFDQQRWUHFRJQL]HWKHVLJQLFDQFHRIZRUG MXVWVHYHUDODQGGLIIHUHQWPHDQLQJV DQG
FRQVHTXHQWO\LWOHDGVKLPWRDQHVWUDQJHPHQWWKDWDJJUDYDWHVWKHLJQRUDQFHWRZDUGVWKHSKHQRPHQRQ$VDQ
example, it is enough to remember the misunderstanding of Islam in general and Arab People in particular
since 9/11 events and even before since the beginning of French and British orientalist approaches to the
0LGGOH(DVW 6DLG ZKHUHUHOLJLRQWKHJXUHRI3URSKHW0XKDPPDGDQG,VODPLFFXOWXUHZHUH
UHGXFHGWRV\QRQ\PVRIYLROHQFHIDQDWLFLVPDQGWHUURULVPLQWKHOH[LFDOH[SUHVVLRQVRIZHVWHUQ/LWHUDWXUH
3ROLWLFVDQGPHGLD /HZLV 6RLIFRPPHQWDWRUWUDQVODWHVDZUD for any other concept that is
QRWUHYROXWLRQQRWRQO\PLVXVHVWKHWHUPEXWDOVREHWUD\VLWVVLJQLHG FKDQJH DQGLWVVLJQLHU DZUD)
DQGWKHUHIRUHZKDWSHRSOHZDQWWRPHDQLVWRWDOO\PLVUHSUHVHQWHG

Even, the term DZUDPXVWEHDFFRPSDQLHGZLWKWKHDGMHFWLYHWKDWFKDUDFWHUL]HVWKHFXUUHQWIRUPRIPR-


bilization in modern social movements at the PLGQ, this is, peaceful. We say this because the current sig-
QLHUUHYROXWLRQLVQRWWKHVDPHVLJQLHURIUHYROXWLRQWZRKXQGUHG\HDUVDJRZKHUHWKHVRFLDOFKDQJH
KDGEHHQGRQHPRUHE\YLROHQWWKDQE\SHDFHIXOPHDQV 7LOO\ ,QQRZDGD\VUHYROXWLRQRU
DZUD is a concept that must be taken in the media simply by the fact that comes from its author, DOVKDE,
and because involves stated support for (or opposition to) actual or proposed actions by the objects of
PRYHPHQWFODLPVXQGHUQHZSDUDGLJPRIFROOHFWLYHDFWLRQZKHUHSHRSOHGRQRWXVHUD]RUVNQLYHVRUJXQV
EXWFDPHUDVPLFURSKRQHVDQGPRELOHVDQGGRQRWVHWUHDQGYLROHQFHLQWKHPLGQEXWMXVWVKRZWKHVROH
RIWKHLUVKRHVDVRQO\ZHDSRQWKH\XVHDORQJZLWKWKHLURZQYRLFHWKHYR[SRSXOL the voice of people.

The Arab DZUD LV E\ IDU WKH UVW VRFLDO UHYROXWLRQ RI FXUUHQW FHQWXU\ ,W UHSUHVHQWV WKH HQG RI SRVW
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 32

FRORQLDOLVPDQGXQOLNHIURPWKHLUSUHFXUVRUVVXFKDVWKHODERUPRYHPHQWDQGRWKHUPRYHPHQWVZKLFK
KDGEHHQVHHQSUHYLRXVO\DVIRFXVHGRQHFRQRPLFFRQFHUQV$UDEUHYROXWLRQORRNIRUVSHFLFFKDQJHVLQ
SXEOLFSROLF\LGHQWLW\OLIHVW\OHDQGFXOWXUH0RUHRYHUWKLVQHZHUDLQ$UDE:RUOGLVFOHDUO\LQVHUWHGLQWKH
DJHRIWKHVRFDOOHG1HZ6RFLDO0RYHPHQWVZKHUHDJUHDWHPSKDVLVRQWKHUROHRISRVWPDWHULDOYDOXHVLQ
FRQWHPSRUDU\DQGSRVWLQGXVWULDOVRFLHW\LVJLYHQDVRSSRVHGWRFRQLFWVRYHUPDWHULDOUHVRXUFHVGHVSLWH
of contra-revolutionary strategies taken by some Arab States that believe that this revolution is just for the
money. According to Melucci, these movements arise not from relations of production and distribution of
UHVRXUFHVEXWZLWKLQWKHVSKHUHRIUHSURGXFWLRQDQGWKHOLIHZRUOGDVDUHVXOWRIZKLFKWKHFRQFHUQKDV
shifted from the sole production of economic resources directly connected to the needs for survival or for
reproduction to cultural production of social relations, symbols and identities (Melucci, 1999: 21). In other
ZRUGVWKHFRQWHPSRUDU\VRFLDOPRYHPHQWVDUHUHMHFWLRQVRIWKHPDWHULDOLVWLFRULHQWDWLRQRIFRQVXPHULVP
LQFDSLWDOLVWVRFLHWLHVE\TXHVWLRQLQJWKHPRGHUQLGHDWKDWOLQNVWKHSXUVXLWRIKDSSLQHVVDQGVXFFHVVFORVHO\
WRJURZWKSURJUHVVDQGLQFUHDVHGSURGXFWLYLW\DQGE\SURPRWLQJDOWHUQDWLYHYDOXHVDQGXQGHUVWDQGLQJVLQ
UHODWLRQWRWKHVRFLDOZRUOG7KH/\ELD6\ULD$UDELD6DXGLDQG%DKUHLQFDVHVFDQEHJRRGH[DPSOHVRI
these realities.

DZUDVFODLPVFRQVLVWRIDVVHUWLRQVWKDWZH WKHFODLPDQWV FRQVWLWXWHDXQLHGIRUFHWREHUHFNRQHG


ZLWKDEOHWRDVVHUWWLHVDQGVLPLODULWLHVWRRWKHUSROLWLFDODFWRUVOLNHH[FOXGHGPLQRULWLHVUHOLJLRXVJURXSV
RUOR\DOVXSSRUWHUVRIWKHUHJLPH IRUH[DPSOHWKHDUP\LQWKH(J\SWLDQFDVHDQGDWOHDVWLQWKHUVWGD\V
RIWKHPDQLIHVWDWLRQV DQGIXUWKHUPRUHRIWHQUHMHFWZKROHFDWHJRULHVRIWKHORFDOSRSXODWLRQDVXQZRUWK\
of belonging to the people.

,UDO
,UDO JRDZD\ LVDQ$UDELFYHUELQLPSHUDWLYHIRUPSHUIHFWO\DGDSWHGE\$UDESHRSOHLQWKHFODLPV
against dictators and particularly expressed in Egypt against Mubarak. In the DZUDWKHVLJQLHULUDO
KDVKDGPDQ\RWKHUVVLJQLHUVIRUWKHVDPHVLJQLHG JRDZD\ LQYLVXDOH[SUHVVLRQVPRUHWKDQLQYHUEDO
RQHV6LQFHWKH3UHVLGHQWLVWKHV\PERORIWKHQLP UHJLPH DVZHOODVWKHDUP\DQGVWDWHEXUHDXFUDF\
SLFWXUHVLPDJHVDQGFDUWRRQVRI0XEDUDN6DOHK4DGDDQG$O$VVDGKDYHEHHQWKHEHVWLFRQVIRUWKH
VLJQLHGZHGRQWZDQW\RXZHZDQWFKDQJHDVWKHDJHQWVRISRVWFRORQLDOLVPDQGW\UDQQ\LQWKHLUUH-
VSHFWLYHFRXQWULHV$FFRUGLQJ1VDVUD  WKLVVORJDQSDUWRIFUHDWLYH(J\SWLDQVZHDSRQVRIWKHZHDN
DQG*HQH6KDUSVPHWKRGVRIQRQYLROHQWUHVLVWDQFHFRQWULEXWHGDORWLQWRSSOLQJGRZQ0XEDUDNVUHJLPH
DQGQRZLVFDXVLQJHIIHFWLQRWKHUVFHQDULRVOLNH<HPHQDQG6\ULDZKDWVXJJHVWLQJWKDW(J\SWLDQVDOVRKDYH
FUHDWHGDQHZHQF\FORSHGLDRIQRQYLROHQWDFWLRQWRROVDQGWKDW*HQH6KDUSPLJKWKDYHDGGHGWKHPWRKLV
list of 198 methods of non-violent actions.

,UDO comes from the Arab root UDDODWRJR &RUWpV DQGLVDYHU\JRRGVLJQLHUWRGH-


mand the exit not only of dictator but also the removal of all their supporters abroad, mainly the United
States and Israel. As popular, the street-based LUDO term has tried to force domestic reforms through the
$UDEFRXQWULHVDQGWKHRQO\[HGFULWHULDLQWKLVZLGHVSUHDGVRFLDOH[SHULPHQWKDVEHHQWKHGRJJHGLQWHU-
YHQWLRQVRIWKH8QLWHG6WDWHVDQGLWVDOOLHV)URP7XQLVLDWR%DKUDLQWR6\ULDWR<HPHQWR(J\SWWR/LE\D
$PHULFDIRRWSULQWVPDUNWKHRWKHUZLVHLQGLJHQRXV$UDESROLWLFDOVDQGVWRUPVKXUOLQJWKURXJKWKHUHJLRQ
1REOHLQLWLDWLYHVWRKDVWHQPXFKQHHGHGSROLWLFDOUHIRUPVDQGHFRQRPLFVWLPXOXVZRXOGEHZHOFRPHGZLWK
RSHQDUPVE\PRVW$UDEV%XWWKH8QLWHG6WDWHVKDVVKRZQOLWWOHLQWHUHVWLQWKHVHGHYHORSPHQWDOHVVHQWLDOV
33 ARAB SPRING

instead focusing entirely on a strategic holy trinity: 1) unfettered access to cheap oil, 2) advancing Israeli
hegemony over its Arab neighbors and 3) regime-change in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Nasra, 2011).

There is not one thing on this list that seeks to promote a better life for Arabs. In fact, in order to achieve
LWVJRDOVFRVWHIIHFWLYHO\DQGHIFLHQWO\:DVKLQJWRQKDVGRJJHGLQWRWKHEDJRIROGFRORQLDOGLUW\WULFNVOLNH
QXUWXULQJDQGHVWDEOLVKLQJDQHOLWHFODVVUHJLPHWRDGPLQLVWHULWVLQWHUHVWVDVZHKDYHVHHQZLWKWKH0RGHU-
DWH$UDE6WDWHVRI6DXGL$UDELDDQG-RUGDQZKLFKDUHVWLOOVWXFNUHSHDWLQJWKH:DVKLQJWRQERUQQDUUDWLYHV
WKDWFKDUDFWHUL]HVWKH0LGGOH(DVWDVWKHZRUOG OLNHRQHZRUOGDSDUWLQWKHZRUOG WKDWLVRIWHQWRUQEH-
WZHHQ,VODPLVPYHUVXVVHFXODULVP6KLDYHUVXV6XQQLDQG$UDEVYHUVXV,UDQLDQVDQGRWKHULGHRORJLFDO
DQGVWXSLGDUWLFLDOGLYLVLRQV

,UDO LV DJDLQVW WKH KLJKO\ F\QLFDO DSSURSULDWLRQ RI UHYROXWLRQDU\ LGHDOV E\ 3RZHUV ,UDO America,
LUDO Iran, LUDO Israel are very blunt slogans against a pressure cooker effect. The United States sug-
gests not repression but the opposite: the creation of spaces for people to speak. Sell them hope, the hope
of change. But Arab people see this as contra slogans describing them as the magic ingredient for Arabs
these days. Arabs are shouting LUDO$PUHHNDVKRZEXOOHWVPDGHLQ$PHULFDLQIURQWRIWKHPDUW\UV
DQGFDPHUDVDQGVWURQJO\FULWLFL]HWKH$PHULFDQPLOLWDU\VXSSRUWWRWKHUHYROWLQ6\ULDDQG/LE\DZKLOH
this support is keeping a suspicious silence in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain (this latest home of the 5th
Naval American Fleet in the Gulf).

Religious terms social concerns


$JDLQZHVD\UHOLJLRXVWHUPVDQGQRWVDFUHGWHUPV

From ODLODKDKLOD$OODK, (no god except God) to $OODKXDNEDU, God is great, the diffusion of this term
throughout Arabic language expresses lots of feelings in the DZUD, but it does not mean that WDZUD is taking
VKDSHRID.KRPHLQL,VODPLFUHYROXWLRQDV,UDQH[SODLQHG 0DQWKRUSH :HIRFXVRQMXVWRQHZRUG
*RGWKHUVWQDPHRIWKHUVWYHUVHRIWKHUVWTXUDQLFVXUD%LVPLOODKHUUDKPDQHUUDKLP LQWKHQDPHRI
*RGWKHPHUFLIXOIXOORIJUDFH ZKLFKJLYHVWKHELJJHVWVHQVHRIFROOHFWLYHRUDOLW\LQWKH$UDEVWUHHW*RGLV
WKHPDLQGHIHQGHURISHRSOHQRWRQO\IRU0XVOLPVEXWDOVRIRU&KULVWLDQDQG-HZVDQGUHSHDWLQJDOPRVWKLV
QDPHRQHKXQGUHGWKRXVDQGWLPHVDGD\EHFRPHVDXGLEOHDQGDVWURQJVLJQLHUIRUWKHRQO\RQHZKRQHYHU
let DZUD be abandoned. A better example of this can be found in the latest slogans pronounced by Syrian
3HRSOHLQ+RPVODVW-DQXDU\ZKHUHSKUDVHVOLNHYLFWRU\LVIURP*RGRQO\QRW2EDPDQRW(UGRJDQZH
VZHDUE\*RGWKH0DJQLFHQWZHZLOOQRWEHVLOHQWRYHUWKHEORRGRIRXUPDUW\UV*RGZHKDYHQRQH
RWKHUWKDQ\RXDPRQJRWKHUVZHUHSOHGJHGZLWKUHDOGHYRWLRQDVDV\PERORISHDFHIXODQGFLYLOUHVLVWDQFH

Of course young people respect God and reject his misuse by corrupt regimes to justify their actions and
false politics. Today, the WDZUDLVVHHQDVDQHZYHUVLRQRIWKH,EQ.KDOGXQV$VDEL\DZKHUHSHRSOHKROGWKH
SRZHUWRRYHUWKURZWKHLUUXOHUVDQGWRHVWDEOLVKDPRUHMXVWHTXLWDEOHDQGGHPRFUDWLFV\VWHP1ROHDGHUVQR
ideology, neither Arabism nor Islamism, it just people using religious terms and chanting the right to do it.

%LVPLOODKHUUDKPDQHUUDKLPKDVVRPHVLJQLHUVOLNHLQWKHQDPHRI*RG more the clement et mi-


VHULFRUGLHX[FOHPHQWDQGPHUFLIXOOHWUHVPLVHULFRUGLHX[OH&RPSDWLVVDQWDPRQJPDQ\RWKHUVZKDW
GUDZVDWWHQWLRQQRWRQO\IRUWKHXVHRIDOOWKHVHVYDULDQWVDWWKHHQGRIWKHSKUDVHEXWIRUWKHOLWWOHLQWHUHVWLQ
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 34

WUDQVODWLQJWKHZRUG$OODK,QRWKHUZRUGVWKHPRVWRIZHVWHUQPHGLDGRQRWWUDQVODWHLW WKHQDPH E\WKH


VLJQLHU*RG7KH\OHIWWKHQDPHLQ$UDELF$OODK$QGWKLVLPPHGLDWHO\UHYHDOVDWKHRORJLFDOLVVXHWKDW
LVWRVD\DFRQVLGHUDEOHDQGGUDPDWLFWKHRORJLFRSROLWLFDOLVVXHYHU\PXFKRIFXUUHQWFRQFHUQ,IZHVD\
*RGLQWUDQVODWLRQ LQZKLFKHYHUODQJXDJH ZHSODFHRXUVHOYHVLQDXQLYHUVDOSHUVSHFWLYHZLWKWKHVDPH
VLJQLHG 0HVFKLQQLF *RGPHDQVWKDWWKHUHLVRQH*RGZKRLVWKHORUGRIWKHZRUOGV
ZKLFKE\GHQLWLRQKDUERXUVERWKWKHZKROHZRUOGDQGHYHU\RQH:KDWHYHUWKHWUDQVODWLQJODQJXDJHLIZH
WUDQVODWH$OODKE\*RGZHPDNHRI,VODPDXQLYHUVDO7KHUHIRUHWKHQRQWUDQVODWLRQZKLFKLVWKHPRVWDF-
FXUDWHIURPWKHWKHRORJLFRSROLWLFDOSRLQWRIYLHZRIVXQQD,VODPZLWKWKHFRQVHTXHQFHVLWLPSOLHVEULQJV
DNLQGRIGHQHJDWLRQ7KHQ*RG'LHX*RWWDUHDGLVDYRZDORI$OODKDQGYLFHYHUVD:KDWZHWU\
WRVD\LVWKDWERWK:HVWHUQDQGFRQVHUYDWLVP,VODPYLHZVRI*RGDUHQRWLQFOXVLYHDQGFRQQHFWHGZLWKWKH
UHOLJLRXVFXOWXUHRIHDFKRWKHUDQGWKHUHIRUHDUHWRWDOO\LQFRKHUHQWZLWKWKHFXUUHQWXVHRISHRSOHFROOHFWLYH
DFWLRQZKLFKKDVVKRZQXVKRZHDV\LVWRLQFOXGHSHRSOHZKHQRQO\DFFHSW*RGODQJXDJHDQGFXOWXUHDV
VXFK7KLVKDVEHHQDOVRH[SUHVVHGE\KXQGUHGVRI&RSWVDQG0XVOLPVSHRSOHZRUNLQJWRJHWKHULQWKHSUR-
WHVWVRI7DKULU6TXDUHZKHUHWKH&RSWVFDUULHGPHGLFLQHVWRPRVTXHVWKDWZHUHIXQFWLRQLQJDVWHPSRUDU\
hospitals for the protesters.

7KDWVZK\ZHKDYHWRWUDQVODWH$OODKE\*RG'LRV*RWWDQGVRRQLQWKHUHVSHFWLYHVLJQLHUV
of our psychic reality. Allah is not a strange and particular God of Arabs and much less a singular be-
LQJDSDUWIURPWKHPRQRWKHLVWLFZRUOGYLHZDQGE\FRQWUDVWLVZKDWPDNHV,VODPVWURQJ

$UDESHRSOHTXLFNO\DGDSWHG*RGLQWRDZUD in both verbal and visual expressions. We are talking about


the slogan NXQPDDOODKZKLFKPHDQVEHZLWK*RGZKLFKZDVDGDSWHGWRNXQPDDZU EHZLWKUHYR-
lution). .XQPDDOODKLVYHU\IDPLOLDUSURYHUEWRSHRSOH,Q(J\SWZKLFKLVDUHOLJLRXVVRFLHW\ ZKHQ
VORJDQZDVUHSODFHGZLWKDZUDZDVVRPHWKLQJELJ.XQPDWDZUD has had a multiple plastic interven-
tions in the PLGQWKHPRVTXHWKHFKXUFKWKHKRVSLWDOVDQGRWKHUVWUDWHJLFSODFHVIRUSHDFHIXOFROOHFWLYH
DFWLRQLQVHYHUDOFLWLHVRI$UDEFRXQWULHV7KLVFDOOLJUDSK\DUWZRUNZDVSUHVHQWHGLQ$SULOZKHQWKH
DFWLYLVWVLQ(J\SWFDOOHGIRUDJHQHUDOVWULNHDOORYHU(J\SWLWZDVMXVWDQDUWZRUNE\0RKDPHG*DEHUV
SURMHFW*UDSKLF$JDLQVW6\VWHPDQGE\WKDWWLPHLWZDVXVHGRQOLQHRYHUVRPHRIWKHSKRWRJUDSKVWDNHQ
IRUWKHULRWVKDSSHQHGWKDWWLPHDQGZDVJHQHUDOO\VSUHDGRQOLQHRQDOOWKHVRFLDOQHWZRUNDV)DFHERRN
DQG7ZLWWHU%\'HFHPEHU*DEHUPDGHDQRWKHUYHUVLRQFDOOHGNXQPDIDQ or be part of art used
LWLQDVWUHHWDUWSURMHFWZLWKVWUHHWDUWLVWVIURP$OH[DQGULD%\-DQXDU\DQGWKHPRELOL]LQJIRUth
January revolution in Egypt, the activists online re-used it, spread it online, and printed it out into posters
DQGEDQQHUVWRKROGLQ7DKULUVTXDUH7KHQWKHDXWKRUGLGDFRZRUNZLWKWKH%UD]LOLDQFDUWRRQLVW&DUORV
/DWXIIZKLFKIRXQGDJUHDWIHHGEDFNE\SHRSOHLQWKHVWUHHWV *DEHU EHFRPLQJDJUHDWLFRQIRUWKH
$UDEUHYROXWLRQLQQRZDGD\V

Revolutionary Arabic in the creative resistance


7KHXUJHQWQHHGIRUKXPRUWDNHVDYHU\ZHOOHVWDEOLVKHGSRVLWLRQLQWKHDZUD. To rediscover the comical
RIWKRXJKWSHRSOHKDYHFUHDWHGORWVRIZRUNVIRUSXEOLFLW\DQGSXEOLFXWLOLW\PLQGVHWZKLFKKDYHWDNHQDQ
active role in the struggle against the repressive regimes, especially against the Syrian one and the violent
FUDFNGRZQLWKDVODXQFKHG

User-generated creativity has been a distinctive mark of the Syrian revolution. Syrian artist have dared
35 ARAB SPRING

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the people have braved the streets despite daily violence. Top Goon: Diaries of a Little Dictator, a series of
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in the Palestine issue. Since its launch, Top Goon has received lavish praise and occasional furious out-
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dark humor that Top Goon is so provocative and innovative (Della Ratta, 2011).

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tary cartoon pieces that sarcastically tackles some of the burning issues in Arab societies. One of them is
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riety of music styles from the rap and rock to acoustic and regional music. Among the most famous songs
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6TXDUHVWHQWYLOODJHIRUWKHHQWLUHUHYROXWLRQFRPSRVLQJVRQJVDQGSOD\LQJDOPRVWHYHU\KRXURQRQHRIWKH
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*HQHUDOUHOHDVHGDQLQFHQGLDU\UDSVRQJFDOOHG+HDGRI6WDWHDURXQGWKHVDPHWLPHDV%RXD]L]LVVXLFLGDO
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inspiring thousands of young Tunisians to take to the streets, and landing El General in jail. El General took
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Negm, sung by Sheik Imam. Egyptian folk act al- tanbura and others from the El Mastaba Centre for
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Rush, on the night of Thursday January 27. Cairo rock luminaries, Amir Eid, Hany Adel and Sherif Mosta-
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 36

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LQJSODVWHUHGRQWKHJUDIWLVWUHZQZDOOVRIWKH0LGGOH(DVWVQHZHVWGHPRFUDF\LQZDLWLQJ$ORQJVLGHDOO
of the earnest portraits, optimistic slogans and anachronistic symbols, an enigmatic series has been pop-
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0DWDGLQHHVK GRQWPDNHPH\RXUHQHP\ PDWLVWDJKUDEQHHVK GRQWFRQVLGHUPHVWUDQJH PDWNDIDUQ
HHVK GRQWFDOOPHDQLQGHO DPRQJRWKHUVORJDQVKDYHFDUHIXOO\FKRVHQZRUGE\ZRUGRQDSRVWHUWR
communicate more than grandiose proclamations of patriotism and morality.

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RIWKH$UDEUHYROXWLRQZKLFKKDYHHPHUJHGLQ(J\SWDVDZD\WRPDNHIHHOQRZPRUHWKDQHYHUWKHSRSX-
lar language of the VKDEDJDLQVWWKHW\UDQQ\WKDWKDVVKRZQWKH6&$)LQUHFHQWGD\V7KHVLJQLFDQFHRI
XVLQJGLDOHFWLVWKDWZKLOHLWLVFRQVLGHUHGWKHODQJXDJHRIWKHSHRSOHLWLVUDUHO\XVHGLQWKHSROLWLFDOPHGLD
UHDOPDQGFHUWDLQO\ZDVQRWXWLOL]HGIRUDQ\RIWKHFDPSDLJQSRVWHUVDGYRFDWLQJFDQGLGDWHVRYHUWKHSDVW
IHZZHHNV7KHGLDOHFWLPSOLHVDGLIIHUHQWNLQGRIWRQHDQGIDPLOLDULW\ZKLFKVHUYHVWRVWULNHDUHVRQDQW
FKRUGE\DPSOLI\LQJWKHPHDQLQJRIWKHZRUGV%\XVLQJ(J\SWVGLVWLQFWVWUHHWSDWRLVWKHFDPSDLJQVXE-
YHUVLYHO\FULWLTXHVWKHODQJXDJHRISROLWLFDOGLVFRXUVHDQGFRPPXQLFDWHVLWVSDUWLFXODUVORJDQVWR(J\S-
tians from Egyptians.

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commonplace party-led campaigns. He calls it Hamlit Matikhsarneesh, (Spread a Word). The campaign
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ary 2011 (killing 21 people and injuring hundreds) and had the intention of making political posters to
avoid sectarian divisions in the revolution emphasizing that those attacks had been made by the govern-
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WRGHOLYHULWVRZQPHVVDJHWRDQ\SHUVRQRUDXWKRULW\WKDWYLRODWHVWKRVHULJKWV %HUJHU 

,QWHUPVRIYRFDEXODU\LWLVQHFHVVDU\WRVD\WKDWERWKFROORTXLDODQGHORTXHQW$UDELFKDYHEHHQH[SRVHG
together in the sticks, posters, songs, slogans and other kind of visual and verbal demonstrations in Arab
revolutions, making of DOOXJD WKH$UDELFODQJXDJHDVRQHFRUSXV DUHIHUHQFHODQJXDJHZKLFK,FDOO
0LGGOH&RQWHPSRUDU\$UDELF *DUGXxR ZKLFKLVWDXJKWLQPRVW$UDEDQGQR$UDEXQL-
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,QWKHFDVHRI$UDEUHYROXWLRQZHKDYHFROOHFWHGVRPHLFRQLFDQGXVHIXOZRUGVIRUWKHDZUD based in
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37 ARAB SPRING

Egypt maSr
Tomorrow Bokrah

Real Education ta3leem begad

Freedom of opinin Horeyyet er ra`y

System niZaam

Parity takafoo`

Dignity karaama

Hope amal
Poverty Eradication maHo el-fa`r 
Retirement el-ma3aash
The change et-taghyyer
Democracy eddimoqraTayya
Abolition of Emergency law ilgaa` qanoon eT-Tawaaree` 
Conscience eD-Dameer
New president ra`-ees gedeed 
Social Responsibility mas`oolayya eg-tima3aaya 
Social Justice 3adaala eg-tima3ayya

Dialogue= el-Hiwaar

Fair Salaries mortabaat 3aadila 
Sincerity el-ikhlaaS
-RERSSRUWXQLW\ MREWKDWEHQHWVPH shoghl yenfa3ni

Elimination of ignorance al-qadaa` 3ala el-gahl 
Better living ma3eesha afDal 
Appreciation et-taQdeer
Secure life Hayaah amna

Political Freedom Horeyya seyasay-ya

Honest ,virtuous people shorfaa C 
Citizen ship mowaTanah
KFC*(This is a sort of a joke because there kentaaki

were rumors during demonstration that some
demonstrators are paid 50LE+KFC daily
To protest )
Zamalek champion * Another wish ed-dawri lil zamalik 
as Zamalek football team used to be one
of the best of teams in the Egypt but they
couldnt win any real champion chip in years )
Cleanliness naDaafa

From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 38

Our right Haq-qina



Health care re3aaya SeH-Heyya 
Fresh air hawaa` naqi 
Domestic Industry Sinaa3a maHalayya

Security for my children amn awlaadi 
Honest media i3laam SareeH 
Accept the other taqbo l al-aakhar

Homeless care re3ayet el-moshardeen 
State of institutions= dawlit mo`sasaat 
Food (ak l is the word for food but lo`met 3ayesh 
(lo`met 3ayesh) which is an expression
that means a piece of bread , Minimum of
poor Egyptians food ,basic sustenance, and it
refers her to the minimum wages people)
Bride 3aroosa

Master ship of public syaada sha3baya

public sha3b,sha3bayya

National Unity (This expression is usually wiHda waTanayya 
used to refer to the unity between Muslims and
Christians )
A look to upper Egypt (The word naZra naZra lil-Sa3eed maSr

here means attention as Sa3eed is a poor part
of Egypt
Dignity of teachers (Colloquial word for teacher karaamat al-mo3lem

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teachers of local schools feel because of their low
salaries )
Human rights Hoqooq el-insaan

Change taghy-yeer

Youth housing iskaan esh-shbaab 
Literacy maHo el om-mayya 
Culture thaqaafa

Renaissance nah-Da

Humanity insanay-ya
Disability rights hoqooq el-mo3aqeen

$IOLDWLRQ entimaa`  
Fair Representative councils magaales nyabayya Haqeqayya 
Azhar rights(this refers to the low wages that hoqooq al-azhreen

Azhr employs are struggling with )
Implementation of Judicial Decision tanfeez aHkaam qada`ayya

39 ARAB SPRING

Free voting Soutee yawSal



Better future mostaqbal afDal  
Ethics akhlaaq 
Freedom Horayya

A look at Suez naZra lel-swees

Physiotherapy 3elaag Tabee3i

Easy exams imtiHnaat sahla 
Childhood Tofoola

Egyptians agenda agendet el-maSreen 

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Studying Arab Protest through visual and verbal expressions in its resistance language is a very impor-
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on one hand, has to organize and to coordinate the protest itself in the PLGQQHLJKERUKRRGPRVTXHDQG
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and others to the international public opinion.

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WRLQFRUSRUDWHVRPHH[LVWLQJFRQFHSWVDVXUUL\DOWDEU IUHHGRPRIVSHHFK RUXUUL\DDODID IUHH-
dom of the press) to introduce the meaning of the DZUD as a tool of self determination against corruption,
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of peaceful mobilization, is the language, not only in grammatical rules of IXjEXWDOVRLQWKHZLVGRPRI
IUHVKYRFDEXODU\DQGSURYHUEVRIFROORTXLDODQG0LGGOH&RQWHPSRUDU\$UDELFWKLVODWWHUDVWKHFRQWHPSR-
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DGMXVWPHQWYLVDYLVWKHHPHUJHQFHRIWKHHFRQRPLFFXOWXUDODQGSROLWLFDOLQXHQFHRI*UHDW3RZHUV,Q
QRZDGD\VLQWKHPLGGOHRIDZUD, Arab People have incorporated several Arabic and no Arabic terms in
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tions, songs and pamphlets not only in Arabic language but also in English, Farsi and other languages that
appeared in the streets since the so called Tunisia revolution.

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LVTDOQLP SHRSOHZDQWWRGLVPDQWOHWKHV\VWHP 7KLVSKUDVHHYROYHVWKHFOXHWRFRPSUHKHQGWKHVLJQLI-
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ERWKWHUPVFKDQJHDQGUHYROXWLRQDVWKHPDLQREMHFWLYHVRISHRSOHDUHLQWKHVTXDUHDQGVWUHHWV6RXUFHRI
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 40

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$UDEVZKRKDYHVHUYHGQRWLFHDVSXEOLFO\DVSRVVLEOHWKDWWKH\ZLOOQRORQJHUWROHUDWHEHLQJWUHDWHGZLWKWKH
FRQWHPSWDQGGLVUHVSHFWWKHLUJRYHUQPHQWVKDYHVKRZQWKHPIRUWKHLUHQWLUHOLYHV:KHQWKH\UHSHDWWKLV
phrase they are not only referring to their corrupt governments but they also mean the old regime that has
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In post-Mubarak Egypt, given the fact that the military government only partially met the demands of
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)LHOG0DUVKDO0RKDPHG7DQWDZL DODE\XUGLVTDOPXVKLU).

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WDNHDWOHDVWWHQ\HDUVWRRIIHUWKHLUUVWDQGFRQFUHWHUHVXOWV:KDWZHFDQFHOHEUDWHIRUWKHWLPHEHLQJLV
that people, the author of WDZUDDUHQDOO\VSHDNLQJDQGDUHEHLQJKHDUG DOWKRXJKPRUHLQVRPHSODFHV
than others). But major challenges lie ahead. We are living an important moment in the Middle East that
covers sensitive topics like the jure achievement of the Palestinian state in the United Nations, the future of
GHPRFUDF\LQ(J\SWDQGDVHULHVRISHQGLQJGHPDQGVLQVHYHUDOSHRSOHVIURP<HPHQ6\ULD%DKUDLQ,UDT
DQGRWKHUVDQGWKHQXFOHDULVVXHLQ,UDQ*LYHQWKLV,VUDHOKDVUHVSRQGHGZLWKDWKUHDWHQLQJUKHWRULFLQ
RUGHUWRSXVKWKH86DQGRWKHUZHVWHUQFRXQWULHVWRDWWDFN,UDQRUDWOHDVWWRDFWLYDWHWRXJKHUVDQFWLRQVWR
the political, economical and military elite, the Pasdaran.

Once again, those interested in opening this rhetorical political marketing, primarily AIPAC leaders,
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from real interest issues in the Arab region, this is, envisioning democratic governments in the Middle East
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American, Russian, Iranian or Israeli interference in internal affairs of Arab Countries.

In this sense, the only thing in the mind of Israel government is to remain as the only democratic state
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Arabs called: Iran and Islamism.

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sion of Khamenei or Saudi Islam), is ready to enter into the democratic game and to replace authoritarian
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,VUDHODQGRWKHUSROLWLFDODFWRUVOLNHWKH86DQG6DXGL$UDELDWKDWZLOOVHHNDW\SHRIUHLVODPL]DWLRQLQ$UDE
VRFLHW\LQRUGHUWRXVHUDGLFDO,VODPWRFRQYLQFH(J\SWLDQ/LE\DQ<HPHQLDQGRWKHUSHRSOHVWKDWWKHHQG
of authoritarian governments is at the same time the end of the guarantors of stability and security people
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41 ARAB SPRING

LQRUGHURQRQHKDQGWRIRUFHSHRSOHWRFRQGHPQWKHIDNHIDFHRIQHZ,VODP3DUWLHVDQGRQWKHRWKHUWR
persuade people to make no more changes, protest and revolts.

This re islamization attempts to connect distortion of Islam and Islamist parties in coming months.
7KLVVWUDWHJ\ZLWK,VUDHODQG6DXGL$UDELDQDQFLDOVXSSRUWZRXOGEHDVSHDUKHDGIRUGLVFUHGLWWKHFXUUHQW
$UDE6SULQJSURFHVVPDNLQJDVWURQJHUGHWHUPLQLVPDJDLQVWQHZ,VODPLVWFDQGLGDWHVDVZHOODVJHQHUDW-
LQJIHDUEHWZHHQUHOLJLRXVPLQRULWLHVLQWKHFDVHWKDWWKH\VXSSRUWWKHUHYROWVDQGGHPRFUDWLFSURFHVV7KLV
UHVSRQGVWRWKHUHFHQWDWWDFNVRQVRPH&RSWLFFKXUFKHVLQ(J\SWZKLFKDFFRUGLQJWRVHYHUDOYHUVLRQVRI
\RXQJDFWLYLVWLQVLWXKDYHEHHQWKHZRUNRIIRUPHU0XEDUDNVJRYHUQPHQW6DXGL$UDELD,VUDHORU8QLWHG
States. The fact is that the perpetrator can be any of them.

Moreover, there is another and more complicated strategy in this game called Iran. The current rhetoric
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Although the Syrian regime is disable to provide logistical and intelligence support to Iranian regime
as he had promised some years ago, the current situation indicates that Israel cannot attack Iran unilater-
ally and automatically because an attack in the coming months has to involucrate, at least, some Arab Gulf
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ments in the Gulf zone mainly Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and to rebuild, if that is possible, the U.S image
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43 ARAB SPRING

Social media and new technologies in Egypt and Tunisia:


two examples of innovative forms of democratization

STEFANIA PERNA
University of Reading

Abstract
In 2011 Web 2.0 has emerged as a crucial tool in organizing demonstrations and mo-
ELOL]LQJSHRSOHLQ:HVWHUQFRXQWULHVDQGGXULQJWKHXSULVLQJVLQWKH$UDEZRUOG7KLV
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UHYROYHVDURXQGWKHGLIIHUHQFHVEHWZHHQ:HEDQG:HE7KHVHFRQGLOOXVWUDWHV
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LQWRFRQVLGHUDWLRQWZRFDVHVWXGLHV(J\SWDQG7XQLVLDZKLFKFOHDUO\VKRZWKHLPSDFW
on democratization that such approach has had.

Keywords
,&7V&URZGVRXUFLQJ(OHFWLRQV'HPRFUDWL]DWLRQ:HE

Introduction
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7KURXJKWKHLQWURGXFWLRQRI566DQGWKHFRQVHTXHQWFUHDWLRQRIVRFLDOPHGLDWKH,QWHUQHWKDVEHHQWUDQV-
IRUPHGLQDIRUXPIRULQWHUDFWLRQZKHUHXVHUVDUHQRPRUHERXQGWRWKHOLPLWDWLRQVLPSRVHGE\WKHLQWHUHVWV
RIWKHELJZHEUPVEXWKDYHEHFRPHWKHPDLQFUHDWRUVRIWKHFRQWHQWVRIWKHZHELWVHOI7KHVHQHZIRUPV
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RUGHUWRJHWSULPDU\LQIRUPDWLRQWKHZHEDQGQHZWHFKQRORJLHVRWKHUZLVHNQRZQDV,&7VKDYHEHFRPH
tools to expand political, social and economic freedom of people and for this reason have been named lib-
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RQJRLQJ$UDEXSULVLQJVWKDWHUXSWHGLQDUHFOHDUH[DPSOHVRIKRZ,&7VKDYHFUHDWHGDQHZZLQGRZ
of opportunities for common citizens to mobilize and to regain the control of their social and political life.
:KDWWKHVHWRROVKDYHDOORZHGKDVEHHQWKHELUWKRIDQHZIRUPRIDFWLYLVPZKLFKLVWZRIROGLWLVIXQF-
WLRQDOWRWKHGHYHORSPHQWRIQHZIRUPVRIHQJDJHPHQWRISHRSOHLQWKHVRFLHW\EXWLWLVDOVRIXQGDPHQWDO
LQGHQRXQFLQJZKDWKDSSHQHGLQDFRXQWU\RQWKHLQWHUQDWLRQDOVWDJH,QWKHPRPHQWLQZKLFKVXFKWRROV
KDVEHHQRUJDQL]HGLQWZRRSHQVRXUFHVRIWZDUHVXFKDV8VKDKLGLDQG)URQWOLQH606WKHLPSDFWRIWKHVH
QHZWHFKQRORJLHVKDVEHHQDVWRQLVKLQJDVWKHH[SHULHQFHLQ(J\SWLQDQGLQ7XQLVLDLQVKRZ
,QWKHVHWZRFDVHVWKHGHSOR\PHQWRIRQOLQHSODWIRUPVWKDWPHUJHGWKHXVHRIQHZWHFKQRORJLHVZLWKWKH
WHFKQLTXHVRIFURZGVRXUFLQJKDYHFRQWULEXWHGDWVWUHQJWKHQLQJZKDW,GHQHG$FWLYLVPDQGLQHQ-
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 44

gaging citizens in the process of democratization.

From Web 1.0 to Web 2.0: the electronic democracy


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merce. Web 2.0 is people2. What happened in 2005 can be considered a revolution that changed not only
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system itself. The author listed seven main principles that differentiate Web 2.0 from Web 1.0: the Internet
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as the use of the Internet as a platform for political confrontation, the propagation of political content over
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puter technology topics.
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for the Information Society, Vol. 5:1, 2009.
45 ARAB SPRING

become the main features of a system that through the Nineties has presented itself as a one-to-many tool
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in terms of the Froomkin approach. In his trenchant examination of online democracy, Michael Froomkin
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philosopher argued that engaging people in political debates and encouraging them to associate in order to
exchange opinions can improve inherently the political process itself, as it enables the masses to disenfran-
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recent experiences, such as the on-going political uprisings in the Arab World, or the demonstrations in Lon-
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The web 2.0 as Liberation Technology: the power of crowdsourcing


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to express opinions on a broader amount of issues, to mobilize and monitoring and to spread information in
real time on the international stage only by connecting to the Internet. Web 2.0 has enhanced the freedom of
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technologies. For a deeper analysis see Maurizio Bolognini, Democrazia Elettronica, Carocci Editore, Roma, 2001.
10 /DUU\'LDPRQGLVVHQLRUIHOORZDWWKH+RRYHU,QVWLWXWLRQDQG)UHHPDQ6SRJOL,QVWLWXWHIRU,QWHUQDWLRQDO6WXGLHVGLUHFWRURI6WDQIRUG8QLYHUVLW\V&HQWUH
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 46

and Communication Technologies11. According to Diamond (2010) liberation technology is any form of in-
formation and communication technology (ICT) that can expand political, social and economic freedom12.
:KDWFKDQJHGFRPSDUHGWRWKHSDVWLVWKDW,QWHUQHWXVHUVDUHQRPRUHSDVVLYHUHFLSLHQWVRIZKDWWUDGLWLRQDO
PHGLDSURYLGHEXWLQPRVWRIWKHFDVHVWKH\DUHWKHPDLQDFWRUVRIZKDWPHGLDODWHO\UHSRUWV3DWULFN0HLHU13
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DWHG0HLHU  UHFDOOHGZKDWDQ(J\SWLDQDFWLYLVWWROGGXULQJWKHXSULVLQJDJDLQVWWKHUHJLPHRI+RVQL
0XEDUDNLQ&DLURDWWKHEHJLQQLQJRI+HVDLG:HXVH)DFHERRNWRVFKHGXOHRXUSURWHVWV7ZLWWHUWR
FRRUGLQDWHDQG<RX7XEHWRWHOOWKHZRUOG147KHIURQWSDJHRIWKH1HZ<RUN7LPHVRI7KHth June 2009
FDQRIIHUDQRWKHUYLVXDOH[DPSOHRIWKHLPSRUWDQFHWKDW,&7VKDVDFTXLUHGLQWKHODVW\HDUV'XULQJWKHUH-
YROWVWKDWIROORZHGWKHDOOHJHGHSLVRGHVRIIUDXGLQWKHDIWHUPDWKRI,UDQLDQSUHVLGHQWLDOHOHFWLRQVLQ
mobile phones and the Internet have played a fundamental role in circumventing the censorship imposed by
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been used to document the revolt and the push for change embodied by the Green Movement15.



Picture 1: Picture of the front page of the New York Times, 22 June 2009. Source: Meier 2011.

Although their primary use is not related to political activities, ICTs have proved to play a fundamental
role at the point of supporting citizens and protesters in organizing demonstrations and revolts. For this rea-
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to create, change, spread and manipulate information on a large scale.
12 /DUU\'LDPRQG/LEHUDWLRQ7HFKQRORJLHVLQ-RXUQDORI'HPRFUDF\9ROSJ1DWLRQDO(QGRZPHQWIRU'HPRFUDF\DQG7KH-RKQV+RSNLQV8QL-
versity Press, 2010.
13 3DWULFN0HLHULVWKH'LUHFWRURI&ULVLV0DSSLQJDW8VKDKLGLFRIRXQGHURIWKH,QWHUQDWLRQDO1HWZRUNRI&ULVLV0DSSHUVDQGSUHYLRXVO\FRGLUHFWRURI+DU-
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15 The Green Movement is a pro-reform movement born in the aftermaths of the presidential elections in Iran in 2009. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Kar-
roubi are considered the leader of the movement.
47 ARAB SPRING

ing people, a phenomenon he called smart mob16$V'LDPRQG  ZULWHVUHFDOOLQJWKHGHQLWLRQRI


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hierarchy or central direction in order to gather at certain location for the sake of protest17.

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purposes.

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WHUPVPHDQVWRFRXQWRQSHRSOHLQRUGHUWRJHWLQIRUPDWLRQRUWRSURFHVVWKHP7KURXJKFURZGVRXUF-
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as rescue programs, monitoring or information activities. Although can be a very general phenomenon,
FURZGVRXUFLQJZLOOEHDGGUHVVHGLQWKLVSDSHUE\JLYLQJH[DPSOHVRILWVLPSOHPHQWDWLRQLQWKHFDVHVRI
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processes and about possible episodes of frauds violence or misconduct during the electoral confrontations.
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but also to overcome the censorship and denounce the episodes of frauds and corruption of the regime of
Hosni Mubarak on the international stage. On the other hand, in Tunisia, the initiative has been launched
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the Abdulaziz Ben Ali regime, the election of the Constituent Assembly.

,QWKHVHH[SHULHQFHVDVZHOODVLQHYHU\VLWXDWLRQLQZKLFKFURZGVRXUFLQJLVLPSOHPHQWHGRQHRIWKH
PRVWGLIFXOWFKDOOHQJHVLVWRYHULI\LQIRUPDWLRQJDWKHUHGIURPWKHFURZG$WWKHSRLQWLQZKLFKFRPPX-
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mation, but also the possibility of manipulating or falsifying them. A clear example of manipulation and
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16 +RZDUG5KHLQJROG6PDUW0REV7KH1H[W6RFLDO5HYROXWLRQ&DPEULGJH%DVLF%RRNV
17 Larry Diamond, cit., pg. 11.
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19 -HII+RZH&URZGVRXUFLQJ:K\WKHSRZHURIWKHFURZGLVGULYLQJWKHIXWXUHRIEXVLQHVV1HZ<RUN&URZQ%XVLQHVVSJ
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 48

in Kenya in the aftermath of 2007 elections. Once violence erupted, after the communication of the results,
some groups mobilized and started sending text messages to prevent violence and to inform people about
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spread hate speeches, further igniting an already tense and violent situation.

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refer both to the information coming from mobile phones or the Internet and social media. Depending on
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ing the processes of interrogating the source and/or triangulating the information. If an information is taken
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has been given in occasion of the violence erupted in South Kyrgyzstan in 201020.

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tion process. Once several different pictures or video, or messages, are submitted to the organizers of the
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20 During the months of May and June the turmoil in the country have been fuelled by misinformation and disinformation, especially through mobile phones.
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available at http://irevolution.net/publications/, accessed on the 3/01/2012.
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London, UK: UN Foundation-Vodafone Foundation Partnership, 2009
49 ARAB SPRING

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vided by Web 2.0 are Ushahidi and FrontlineSMS. Whilst the latter counts on the improved communication
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the Internet and goes a step further, introducing real time mapping activities.

FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi: Development 2.0


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16,000 times and is being used in over 70 countries and in every case users have adapted this toll to local needs.
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report by International Telecommunication Union, in 2011 the mobile-cellular subscriptions have reached the 5.9
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22 Ibidem.
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 50

Picture 3: Mobile-cellular subscriptions by level of development; Source: ITU *Estimates

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Picture 4: Mobile-cellular subscriptions 2006-2011; Source: ITU

Many FrontlineSMS deployments have been made especially in the health, agricultural or human devel-
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KDVEHHQPDGHLQWKHRFFDVLRQRI1LJHULDQHOHFWLRQVLQ,QWKDWRFFDVLRQWKHVRIWZDUHKDVEHHQXVHGWR
UHFHLYHWH[WVIURPSHRSOHDWWHQGLQJWKHSROOVWKDWZHUHZLWQHVVLQJLQFRQVLVWHQFLHVRUIUDXGVLQWKHHOHFWRUDO
SURFHVV7KLVLQIRUPDWLRQKDYHEHHQODWHO\IRUZDUGHGRQWRWKHHOHFWRUDOERG\DQGSODFHGRQDPDSZKHUH
SUREOHPVSRWVFRXOGEHYLVXDOL]HG7KHUVWDLPRIWKLVSURMHFWKDVEHHQDQDWWHPSWWRSXWGHPRFUDF\EDFNLQ
WKHKDQGVRIWKHYRWHUVWKHUHIRUHHPSRZHULQJWKHPDQGPDNLQJWKHPSOD\DQLPSRUWDQWUROHLQWKHVRFLHW\

24 ITU, ICT Facts and Figures, The World in 2011, ICT Data and Statistics Division Telecommunication Development Bureau International Telecommunica-
tion Union, Geneva, 2011.
51 ARAB SPRING

Picture 5: How FrontlineSMS works; Source: FrontlineSMS

Ushahidi

8VKDKLGLLVDQRUJDQL]DWLRQWKDWZDVFUHDWHGE\DJURXSRIVFKRODUVGXULQJWKHWXUPRLOLQWKHDIWHUPDWK
RI.HQ\DQHOHFWLRQLQZLWKWKHDLPRISURYLGLQJLQIRUPDWLRQWRSHRSOHRIZKDWZDVKDSSHQLQJLQ
WKHFRXQWU\LQDPRPHQWLQZKLFKRIFLDOLQIRUPDWLRQZHUHODFNLQJRUQRWUHOLDEOH&RXQWLQJRQWKHDELOLW\
of putting together the functionalities of different ICTs (the Internet and mobile phones), Ushahidi created
DQRSHQVRXUFHVRIWZDUHDEOHQRWRQO\WRJDWKHULQIRUPDWLRQWKURXJKFURZGVRXUFLQJEXWDOVRWRPDSWKHP
on a visual interactive map.



Picture 6: Screenshot of the Ushahidi website; Source: http://blog.ushahidi.com/

7KHVHLPSURYHPHQWVKDYHSURYLGHGDQHZWRROWKDWKDVEHHQXVHGLQGLIIHUHQWGHSOR\PHQWVIRUGLIIHUHQW
goals, from natural disasters rescuing operations to election monitoring activities, therefore contributing to
HOHFWLRQUHODWHGYLROHQFHULVNDVVHVVPHQWVRUHDUO\ZDUQLQJSURMHFWV%\DOORZLQJWKHSDUWLFLSDWLRQRISHR-
ple, Ushahidi represents the kind of tool that has succeeded in using the advances of technology in order to
prompt local population to take part in their political life. From 2008 to March 2011, there have beenmore
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 52

than 11,000 Ushahidi deployments and the Ushahidi platform25ZKLFKFDQEHGHQHGDVDIUHHDQGRSHQ


VRXUFHSODWIRUPWKDWFRPELQHV6067ZLWWHUDQG*RRJOH0DSVWRFURZGVRXUFHFULVLVLQIRUPDWLRQ26, has
proved to be a useful support to traditional methods of analysis and data gathering.

,WVPDLQVWUHQJWKLVWKHIDFWWKDW8VKDKLGLLVDQRSHQVRXUFHIUHHO\GRZQORDGDEOHDQGWKDWLWLVHDVLO\
DGDSWDEOHWRWKHQHHGVRQWKHJURXQG2QFHLQVWDOOHGRQDODSWRSRUSFWKH8VKDKLGLVRIWZDUHLVDEOHWR
UHFHLYHLQIRUPDWLRQFRPLQJIURPPRELOHSKRQHVHPDLOVDQGVRFLDOPHGLDVXFKDV7ZLWWHUWKDWDUHSUR-
FHVVHGDQGJHRORFDWHGRQDQLQWHUDFWLYHPDSDQGWKHQYHULHG7KLVSURFHVVFDQEHGRQHE\WKRVHZKRUXQ
WKHVRIWZDUHEXWLQWKHFDVHRISDUWLFXODUO\UHOHYDQWGHSOR\PHQWVVXFKDVWKHRQHLQRFFDVLRQRIWKH+DLWL
HDUWKTXDNHLQZKLFKDVEHHQWKHWXUQLQJSRLQWLQWKHKLVWRU\RI8VKDKLGLRUDJDLQGXULQJWKH/LE\DQ
crisis, an entire online community has taken part to the projects, putting together individual skills that have
PDGHSRVVLEOHWRUHDFKREMHFWLYHRWKHUZLVHXQDFKLHYDEOH

7KHPHWKRGRISURFHVVLQJWKHLQIRUPDWLRQWKDWDUULYHRQWKHSODWIRUPLVVWUDLJKWIRUZDUGDQGHYHU\VLQJOH
step is designed to get the most out of the information received and to ease the process of drafting reports and
VWDWLVWLFVRQZKDWKDSSHQVRQWKHJURXQG(YHU\PHVVDJHLVDQDO\]HGLQRUGHUWRPDNHLWWLQRQHRUPRUHFDW-
egories, useful at the point of identifying the different types of problems that appear in a given situation. In the
case of deployments aimed at monitoring an electoral process, the categories can refer to episodes of violence
against polling stations, harassments of candidates, hate-speeches or frauds committed during the voting day.
7KHPHVVDJHVDUHODWHO\ORFDWHGRQDPDSJLYLQJWKHFRRUGLQDWHVRIZKHUHWKHHYHQWKDVWDNHQSODFHDQGWKHQ
video or photos, if present, are uploaded. Once completed the processing procedures, the information pass to
WKHYHULFDWLRQWHDPDQGRQO\DIWHULWKDVEHHQFRQVLGHUHGUHOLDEOHLWDSSHDUVRQWKHPDLQSDJH

The impact of the use of Ushahidi has been huge, especially in supporting organizations on the ground
and its use has demonstrated that people can be the most ready and reliable source of information in situ-
ations of crisis.

)URQWOLQH606DQG8VKDKLGLDUHMXVWWZRH[DPSOHVRIWRROVWKDWKDYHEHQHWWHGIURPWKHODWHVWWHFKQR-
logical advances and that have been designed to bring people back to the central stage of their political and
VRFLDOOLIH7KLVLVSDUWLFXODUO\HYLGHQWLQWKHFDVHVLQZKLFKWKHVHWRROVKDYHEHHQXVHGWRPRQLWRUHOHFWRUDO
processes. Elections are an essential part of any democratic system and only by granting the development
RIUHJXODUDQGWUDQVSDUHQWHOHFWRUDOSURFHVVHVLWLVSRVVLEOHWREXLOGDQHIIHFWLYHDQGHIFLHQWGHPRFUDF\
&RQYHUWLQJSHRSOHLQHOHFWRUDOPRQLWRUVPHDQVQRWRQO\JLYLQJWKHPWKHSRZHUWRFRQWURODQGWRGHQRXQFH
possible irregularities during the polls, but it also translates into the possibility of spreading democratic
SULQFLSOHVDQGJRRGSUDFWLFH2QFHSHRSOHOHDUQZKDWLVULJKWDQGZURQJLWLVHDVLHUIRUWKHPWRUHFRJQL]H
a good or a bad social or political behavior and not to be manipulated by political or governmental actors.

,QWKLVVHQVHQHZWHFKQRORJLHVDQGFURZGVRXUFLQJKDYHEHHQSDUWLFXODUO\XVHIXOWRWKHJRDORIGHPRF-
UDWL]DWLRQDVWKHGHSOR\PHQWVRIWZRFURZGVRXUFLQJSODWIRUPVLQ(J\SWDQG7XQLVLDVKRZ

,QWKHODVW\HDUV(J\SWLDQDQG7XQLVLDQSHRSOHKDYHEHQHWWHGIURPWKHRSSRUWXQLWLHVJLYHQE\ZHE
DQGKDYHULGGHQWKHZDYHRIFKDQJHSOD\LQJDQHZUROHLQWKHLURZQFRXQWULHV
25 Sarah George, Ushahidi Key Deployment Report March 2011, available at http://blog.ushahidi.com/index.php/2011/03/21/key-deployments-and-les-
sons-learned-part-1/, accessed on 8/01/2012.
26 Diane Coyle and Patrick Meier, cit., pg. 23.
53 ARAB SPRING

Egypt and Tunisia: two examples of innovative forms


of democratization
,QRUGHUWRXQGHUVWDQGZK\WKHWZRFURZGVRXUFLQJH[SHULHQFHVWKDWZLOOEHDQDO\]HGLQWKLVSDSHUKDYH
been so important in mobilizing Egyptian and Tunisian people and in democratizing their social processes,
LWLVIXQGDPHQWDOWRGUDZDSLFWXUHRIWKHVRFLOEDFNJURXQGVLWXDWLRQVLQERWKWKHVHFRXQWULHV$OWKRXJK
different, Egypt and Tunisia share some common features, especially if related to freedom of expression,
movement, press and speech.

,Q  ERWK7XQLVLD DQG (J\SW VXFFHHGHG LQ WRSSOLQJ WZR RI WKH PRVW ORQJVWDQGLQJ GLFWDWRUVKLSV
RIWKHUHJLRQZKRVHDXWRFUDWLFUXOHVLPSRVHGIRUGHFDGHVDVROHSROLWLFDOWKRXJKFRXSOHGZLWKDUHVWULFW-
HGIUHHGRPRIVSHHFKDQGRWKHUSROLWLFDOULJKWVERWKWRZDUGUHOLJLRXVPLQRULWLHVDQGSROLWLFDORSSRVLWLRQ
JURXSV,QWKLVFRQWH[WWKHULVHRIQHZWHFKQRORJLHVDQGWKHXVHRIWKHDGYDQFHVSURYLGHGE\:HEKDYH
SURYHQWREHIXQGDPHQWDOLQJLYLQJYRLFHDQGSURYLGLQJDQHZSODWIRUPZKHUHWRRUJDQL]HGLVVHQWWRWKDW
SDUWRI7XQLVLDQDQG(J\SWVRFLHWLHVWKDWZDQWHGWRQGDZD\WRH[SUHVVWKHLUGLVFRQWHQWDJDLQVWWKHUH-
gimes. These tools became instruments in the hands not only of social and political activists, but also of
WKRVHSDUWVRIWKHVRFLHW\HVSHFLDOO\WKH\RXQJDQGHGXFDWHGSHRSOHWKDWVDZLQWKH,QWHUQHWDQGLQWKHQHZ
technologies an opportunity of getting again possession of their political life. By canalizing the dissent and
SURYLGLQJDQHZYLUWXDOVSDFHIRULQWHUDFWLRQWKHVHGHYHORSPHQWVKDYHFRQWULEXWHGWRWKHUHVKDSHRIWKH
VRFLDODQGSROLWLFDOVFHQDULRERWKLQ7XQLVLDDQG(J\SW$QHZVRFLDOFODVVKDVHPHUJHGIURPWKHQHWZRUNHG
DUHQDRIWKHZHELQZKLFKRUGLQDU\FLWL]HQVDQGKLJKO\,7OLWHUDWHLQGLYLGXDOVZLWKDVWUXFWXUHGSROLWLFDO
consciousness, emerged as leading actors of the protests and then as primary monitors of the democratic
SURFHVVHV7KLVVRFLDODQGSROLWLFDOHQJDJHPHQWUHVKDSHGLQLWVIRUPDQGPRGDOLWLHVKDVSURGXFHGDQHZ
NLQGRIDFWLYLVPWKDWFDQEHGHQHGDV$FWLYLVP7KHIDFWWKDWQHZPHGLDDQGQHZWHFKQRORJLHV
have been considered crucial elements during the uprising that led to the fall of the regime both of Hosni
0XEDUDNDQG$EGXOD]L]%HQ$OLUHVROYHVDURXQGWKHVHFRQGLWLRQV+RZHYHULWLVLPSRUWDQWWREHDULQPLQG
WKDWWKHVHQHZIRUPVRIFRPPXQLFDWLRQKDYHQRWEHHQWKHVROHWULJJHULQJFDXVHVRIWKHVRFLDODQGSROLWLFDO
XQUHVWVUHJLVWHUHGLQWKHVHFRXQWULHVGXULQJEXWWKH\RSHQHGZLQGRZVRIRSSRUWXQLWLHVWRDOUHDG\H[-
LVWLQJVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVVXFKDVWKHQHWZRUNRI(J\SWLDQEORJJHUVWKDWDOORZHGEHWWHUFRPPXQLFDWLQJDQG
RUJDQL]LQJSHRSOH,QRWKHUZRUGV1HZPHGLDHQDEOHGLQGLYLGXDOVWRE\SDVVWKHWUDGLWLRQDOJDWHNHHSHUV
to, and sources of, information27.

+RZHYHUWKHGHVLUHRISOD\LQJDGLIIHUHQWUROHLQWKHVRFLHW\DQGWKHLQFUHDVLQJSROLWLFDODZDUHQHVVRIWKH
SRSXODWLRQWRZDUGVRFLDOLVVXHVKDYHEHHQHYLGHQWZHOOEHIRUHHVSHFLDOO\LQWKHFDVHRIWKH86KDKLG
experience in Egypt in occasion of the parliamentary elections in November 2010.

7KHLGHDRIXVLQJDFURZGVRXUFLQJSODWIRUPGXULQJWKHHOHFWRUDOSURFHVVLQ(J\SWKDVEHHQDQDWWHPSW
WREULQJEDFNWKHHOHFWRUDOSURFHVVWRSHRSOHE\SURYLGLQJDPHFKDQLVPRIFRQWUROWKDWZDVLQWKHKDQGRI
WKRVHZKRZHUHFDVWLQJWKHLUYRWHV%\SXVKLQJ(J\SWLDQVWRPRQLWRUWKHLURZQHOHFWRUDOSURFHVV86KDKLG
ZDQWHGWRPDNHSHRSOHUHDOL]HWKDWE\DFWLYHO\SDUWLFLSDWLQJLQWKHFRQIURQWDWLRQWKHSURFHVVLWVHOIZRXOG
have become more authentic and less corrupted. By observing and judging the regularity of the electoral
process, Egyptian have been pushed to look at the electoral process no more as tool in the hand of the au-
WKRULWLHVWRDIUPRQFHDJDLQWKHLUSRZHUEXWDVDQLQVWUXPHQWWKDWZRXOGKDYHDOORZHGWKHPWRSOD\DQHZ
27 (OLVDEHWK,VNDQGHU&RQQHFWLQJWKH1DWLRQDODQGWKH9LUWXDO&DQ)DFHERRN$FWLYLVP5HPDLQ5HOHYDQW$IWHU(J\SWV-DQXDU\8SULVLQJ",QWHUQDWLRQDO
Journal of Communication 5, London School of Economics, 2011.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 54

role and to take back the control over the democratic practices of the country. For such a long time elec-
WLRQVKDYHORVWWKHLUPHDQLQJIRU(J\SWLDQVDVLWXDWLRQGHPRQVWUDWHGE\WKHLQFUHDVLQJO\ORZYRWHUWXUQRXW
registered during the last 30 years.

Year Turnout Year Turnout


1976  1995 
1984  2000 
1987  2005 
1990 

Picture 7: Voter Turnout in Previous Egyptian Parliamentary Elections, Source: Al-Ahram Press Institute

Under the Mubarak regime, taking part to the electoral process has been a privilege limited to people
FORVHG WR WKH *RYHUQPHQW RU WKH 0LOLWDU\ HVWDEOLVKPHQW ZKHUHDV VWULFW ODZV WKDW KDYH FRQVWUDLQHG WKH
SROLWLFDODQGVRFLDOULJKWVRIRSSRVLWLRQPRYHPHQWVKDYHLQXHQFHGWKHSROLWLFDOFDPSDLJQWRWKHSRLQW
WKDWWKHUHZDVQRGRXEWRQZKRZRXOGKDYHHPHUJHGDVWKHZLQQHURIWKH(J\SWLDQHOHFWRUDOFRQIURQWD-
WLRQV7KLVVLWXDWLRQKDVLQFUHDVLQJO\SXVKHGSHRSOHDZD\IURPSROOLQJVWDWLRQV0RUHRYHUVLQFHWKH
HOHFWRUDOSURFHVVHVKDYHDOZD\VEHHQSROOXWHGE\IUHTXHQWHSLVRGHVRIIUDXGVWKDWKDYHQHYHUIRXQGMXVWLFH
WKURXJKDSSHDOSURFHGXUHVGXHWRWKHKLJKOHYHOVRIFRUUXSWLRQ+RZHYHULQWKHHYHRISDUOLDPHQWDU\HOHF-
WLRQVLQWKHSROLWLFDOVLWXDWLRQLQWKHFRXQWU\ZDVVOLJKWO\GLIIHUHQW$VRUWRISROLWLFDOYDFXXPZDV
YLVLEOHVLQFH0XEDUDNVXIIHUHGIURPVHULRXVKHDOWKSUREOHPVEXWKDGQRWQDPHGDVXFFHVVRUDQGWKHUHZHUH
GRXEWVRQWKHDELOLW\RIKLVVRQ*DPDORIJDLQLQJWKHWUXVWRIWKH$UP\ZKLFKZDVDIXQGDPHQWDOFRQGL-
tion to rule the country. In this context the opposition gained space and capitalized this opportunity through
WKHRSSRUWXQLWLHVRIIHUHGE\QHZWHFKQRORJLHVDQGPHGLD

7KLVZDVWKHFRQWH[WLQZKLFKWKH86KDKLGSODWIRUPKDVEHHQODXQFKHG7KHGHFLVLRQWRJLYHELUWKWR
this experiment has been taken by the DISC (Development and Institutionalization Support Center)28, an
(J\SWLDQJURXSEDVHGLQ&DLURZKRVHDLPZDVWRPRQLWRUWKHSDUOLDPHQWDU\HOHFWLRQVWKURXJKUHSRUWVVXE-
PLWWHGE\ORFDOSHRSOHWKURXJK606HPDLODQGWZLWWHUDQGWRSURFHVVWKHPWRDUHDOWLPHPDS7KH',6&
GRZQORDGHGWKH8VKDKLGLSODWIRUPDQGFXVWRPL]HGLWDFFRUGLQJWRWKHQHHGVRQWKHJURXQG

28 The Development and Institutionalization Support Center, DISC, is an Egyptian organization promoting political, economic, and social change throughout
WKH0LGGOH(DVWDQG1RUWK$IULFDZKRVHDLPLVWREXLOGWKHFDSDFLWLHVRI1*2VDQGFLYLOVRFLHW\HQFRXUDJH\RXWKSDUWLFLSDWLRQDQGVXSSRUWWUDQVSDU-
HQF\DQGDFFRXQWDELOLW\WKURXJKWKHXVHRIQHZPHGLDKWWSGLVFHQWHUFRP"SDJHBLG DFFHVVHGRQWKH
55 ARAB SPRING

Picture 8: Screenshot of the U-Shahid home page; Source: www.u-shahid.org

7KHSULQFLSOHDWWKHEDVHRIWKLVGHSOR\PHQWZDVWKHEHOLHIWKDWE\SURYLGLQJDFFHVVWRSHUWLQHQWDQG
WLPHO\LQIRUPDWLRQDERXWWKHHOHFWRUDOSURFHVVWKLVZRXOGKDYHDFTXLUHGWUDQVSDUHQF\DQGLWZRXOGKDYH
SXVKHG (J\SWLDQV WRZDUG DQ LQFUHDVHG SDUWLFLSDWLRQ DQG WUXVW LQ GHPRFUDF\ 7KLV REMHFWLYH KDV EHHQ
VWUHQJWKHQHGE\WKHIDFWWKDWSHRSOHWKHPVHOYHVZRXOGKDYHPRQLWRUHOHFWLRQVDQGWKDWWKH\ZRXOGKDYHQRW
be dependent on foreign help. Through the U-Shahid platform, deployed by a local NGO, common citizens
have become activists, creating a circle of trust that has strengthened the initiative. For this reason the call
to take part to the project has been opened to candidates, election observers, a range of commentators, and
ordinary Egyptian citizens29DQGLQVWUXPHQWDOWRWKLVDLPKDVEHHQWKHWUDQVODWLRQRIWKHZKROHZHEVLWHLQ
$UDELF+RZHYHUIURPWKHYHU\EHJLQQLQJWKHLGHDZDVWKDWWKHLPSDFWRIWKHSODWIRUPVKRXOGQRWKDYH
been limited to the country itself, at least in terms of communication. On the contrary, one of the main aim
ZDVWRRYHUWDNHWKHFHQVRUVKLSVDQGWKHOLPLWDWLRQVLPSRVHGE\WKH0XEDUDNUHJLPHZKRGLGQRWRSHQHG
the country to international observers, and therefore to spread to the international stage the information
related to the electoral process, denouncing the frauds, the constrains and the corruption in the country. The
LQLWLDWLYHKDVWKHUHIRUHEHHQWZRIROGPDNLQJDZDUHSHRSOHLQWKHFRXQWU\EXWDOVRPDNHWKHLQWHUQDWLRQDO
FRPPXQLW\KHDUWKHLUYRLFHE\GHQRXQFLQJRQWKHZHEWKHIUDXGVDQGLUUHJXODULWLHV

Another interesting feature of the U-Shahid platform is the fact that its deployment has not been limited
to the days of the election, but it has run for an extended period of time, a characteristic that has given the
SRVVLELOLW\RIORRNLQJQRWRQO\DWWKHYRWLQJGD\EXWWKDWKDVDOVRDOORZHGWRJLYHDJHQHUDOLQVLJKWRIZKDW
have been the entire electoral process, from the starting of the electoral campaign to the communication of
results. This is an interesting aspect of the deployment because it proved the validity of the platform also in
terms of risk assessment tool since it monitored the situation of the ground on the medium and short term.
+RZHYHUWKLVKDVQRWEHHQWKHRQO\DGYDQWDJH%\SXVKLQJSHRSOHWRUHSRUWIURPWKHLQLWLDOVWDJHRIWKHHOHF-
WRUDOSURFHVVWKH86KDKLGGHSOR\PHQWKDVFRQWULEXWHGWRUDLVHSRSXODUDZDUHQHVVWRZDUGHOHFWLRQVZLWKRXW
IRFXVLQJWKHDWWHQWLRQRQO\RQWKHYRWLQJGD\2QWKHFRQWUDU\LWKDVFRQWULEXWHGWRLOOXVWUDWHWRSHRSOHZKDW
is the correct code of conduct during electoral confrontations, playing as a tool for voting education.

7KHSHULRGLQZKLFK86KDKLGKDVPRQLWRUHGWKHHOHFWRUDOSURFHVVLQ(J\SWFDQEHGLYLGHGLQWKUHH
parts: the registration of candidates, the political campaign and the voting day.

29 KWWSGLVFHQWHUFRP"SDJHBLG DFFHVVHGRQWKH
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 56

'XULQJWKHUVWSKDVHZKLFKFRYHUHGWKHSHULRGEHWZHHQWKH3rd of November, the start of candidate reg-


istration, and the 15thRI1RYHPEHUWKHGD\EHIRUHWKHDQQRXQFHPHQWRIWKHQDOFDQGLGDWHVOLVWV
UHSRUWVZHUHVXEPLWWHGDQGWKHELJJHVWSDUWRIWKHP  UHIHUUHGWRHSLVRGHVRILOOHJDOFDPSDLJQLQJ LH
campaigns that started before the set time, or that used public facilities). All the reports have been divided
DFFRUGLQJWRGLIIHUHQWFDWHJRULHVZKLFKUHPDLQHGDOPRVWWKHVDPHGXULQJWKHZKROHREVHUYDWLRQSHULRG
violation and frauds, illegal campaign, harassment of candidates, violation of political rights and violence.


Picture 9: Testimonies categorization on Ushahid platform on the stage of candidates
registration for the Egyptian Parliamentary Election 2010; Source: U-Shahid

7KHVHFRQGSHULRGWKDWZHQWIURPWKHth of November until the 27th of November 2010, the day before
WKHYRWLQJGD\UHSRUWVZHUHVXEPLWWHGPRVWRIWKHPUHODWHGDJDLQWRLOOHJDOFDPSDLJQDQGYLROHQFH


Picture 10: Categories of campaigning reports, Source: U-Shahid

'XULQJWKHYRWLQJGD\WKHUHZDVDERRPRIUHSRUWVLQWRWDORIZKLFKZHUHFRUUHODWHGE\YLGHR
and 111 by images. The majority of these reports (265) highlighted again violations related to the continu-
DWLRQRILOOHJDOFDPSDLJQLQJZKLOHGRFXPHQWHGIUHTXHQWDQGVSUHDGHSLVRGHVRIYLROHQFH
57 ARAB SPRING

Picture 11: U-Shahid reports on election day; Source: U-Shahid

According to the administrator of the platform, one of the most curious features highlighted by the
UHSRUWVVXEPLWWHGRQWKHHGD\ZDVWKDWWKHUHZDVDSSDUHQWSDWWHUQVRIYLRODWLRQVUHSHDWLQJWKURXJKRXW
(J\SWDWWKHVDPHWLPHZKLFKJDYHFOHDULPSUHVVLRQWKDWWKRVHYLRODWLRQVDUHV\VWHPDWLF30

7KHLPSDFWWKDWWKHSODWIRUPKDGRQWKHSROLWLFDOVFHQHLVGLIFXOWWRDVVHVVEHFDXVHHYHQLIWKHQXPEHUV
ZHUHLPSUHVVLYHIRUVXFKDQH[SHULPHQWWKH\ZHUHTXLWHVPDOOLIFRPSDUHGWRWKHQDWLRQDOYRWHUWXUQRXW
1HYHUWKHOHVVZKDWLVLPSRUWDQWWRKLJKOLJKWLVWKHSRWHQWLDOLPSDFWWKDW86KDKLGKDVKDGRQORFDOSRSXOD-
WLRQDQGWKDWKDVEHHQFRQUPHGE\WKRVHZKRUXQWKHSODWIRUP$V0HLHUUHSRUWVLQKLVZRUN  WKH
DGPLQLVWUDWRUVRIWKHZHEVLWHDJUHHGRQWKHIDFWWKDWWKHSRVVLELOLW\RIUHSRUWLQJDQRQ\PRXVO\IURPWKH
polling station, surely encouraged people in taking part to the project and the details that emerged from ev-
HU\UHSRUWVXEPLWWHGSURYHWKDWWKHSROLWLFDODZDUHQHVVWKDWRQWKHth of January 2011 pushed Egyptians to
WDNHWKHVWUHHWVDQGWKDWOHGWRWKHRXVWLQJRI+RVQL0XEDUDNZDVDOUHDG\WKHUHLQDQGWKDWSHRSOHZHUH
UHDG\WRXVH,&7VLQRUGHUWRPDNHKHDUWKHLUYRLFH0RUHRYHUZKDWWKH86KDKLGSODWIRUPKDVSURYLGHG
KDVEHHQDQDOWHUQDWLYHVRXUFHRILQIRUPDWLRQWRWKRVHZKRZHUHORRNLQJIRUUHDOHYLGHQFHVDERXWZKDWZDV
happening in the country.

A similar experiment has been also developed in Tunisia during the last polls for the elections of the
Constitutional Assembly last 23rd2FWREHU$OWKRXJKWKHEDFNJURXQGFRQGLWLRQVUHODWHGWRWKHZLOORI
WKHSRSXODWLRQRIJHWWLQJEDFNWRWKHFHQWUDOVWDJHRIWKHLUSROLWLFDOOLIHZHUHFRPSDUDEOHWRWKRVHGHVFULEHG
for U-Shahid in 2010, in the case of the Carte de Controle du Processus Electorale, the Tunisian deploy-
PHQWKDVZRUNHGLQDFRPSOHWHO\GLIIHUHQWSROLWLFDOHQYLURQPHQW7KLVHOHFWRUDOSURFHVVKDVWDNHQSODFHLQ
a country already free from its dictatorship and the electoral process represented an historic opportunity for
WKH7XQLVLDQWRVKRZWRWKHLQWHUQDWLRQDOFRPPXQLW\WKDWSHRSOHZHUHUHDG\WRUHVSHFWGHPRFUDWLFUXOHVDQG
to actively contribute to the construction of a democratic country.

30 KWWSZZZXVKDKLGFRPHQ"S DFFHVVHGRQWKH
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 58


Picture 12: Screenshot of the home page of the Carte de Controle du Processus
Electorale web site, Source: http://carte.isie.tn/fr/?l=fr_FR

The Carte de Controle du Processus Electorale has been organized by the Higher Independent Election
Committee, or ISIE31WRJHWKHUZLWKWKH,&73HDFH)RXQGDWLRQRI6ZLW]HUODQG32 and Ushahidi, and funded
by DCAF33ZLWKWKHDLPRIDQVZHULQJWRWKHQXPHURXVFDOOVFRPLQJIURPWKHSHDFHEXLOGLQJDQGWKHKX-
manitarian assistance community for a more integrated communication among the electoral stakeholders.
,QIDFWWKHUHTXHVWWRODXQFKVXFKSODWIRUPKDVEHHQPDGHE\WKH(OHFWLRQ&RPPLVVLRQDQGWKH7XQLVLDQ
0LQLVWU\ RI ,QWHULRU ZLWK WKH DLP RI XVLQJ WKLV WRRO DV D FRQGHQFHEXLOGLQJ LQVWUXPHQW EHWZHHQ ORFDO
DXWKRULWLHVDQG7XQLVLDQV7KHJRDOZDVWRSURYLGHDWRRODEOHWRJUDQWWUDQVSDUHQF\GXULQJWKHHOHFWRUDO
SURFHVVWKHUVWVLQFHGHFDGHVWKDWIRUWKHELJJHVWSDUWRIWKHSRSXODWLRQUHSUHVHQWDWHVWRIWUXVW

$GHHSHUDQDO\VLVRIWKH7XQLVLDQLQLWLDWLYHVKRZVWKDWWKLVFURZGVRXUFLQJH[SHULHQFHKDVEHHQVOLJKWO\
GLIIHUHQWIURPWKHRQHGHYHORSHGLQ(J\SWEXWDOVRLQWKLVFDVHZKDWHPHUJHVLVWKDWHYHQLQDGLIIHUHQW
FRQWH[WDQGZLWKGLIIHUHQWPRGDOLWLHV,&7VDUHLQFUHDVLQJO\EHFRPLQJDQLPSRUWDQWWRROIRUGHPRFUDWL]D-
tion and mobilization.

:KDWGLIIHUHQWLDWHVWKH&DUWHGX&RQWUROHGX3URFHVVXV(OHFWRUDOHVSODWIRUPLVWKHIDFWWKDWWKHFURZG-
sourcing has been made mainly by SMS and that in this case the authorities chose to implement a bounded-
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VLDVHQGLQJUHSRUWVDQGREVHUYDWLRQVYLD606WRWKHSRUWDOZKHUHLWZLOOEHYDOLGDWHGE\WKHPDSSLQJDQG
31 Instance Suprieure Indpendante pour les Elections
32 ICT4Peace is a policy and action-oriented international Foundation that explores and champions the use of Information Communications Technology
,&7 IRUFULVLVPDQDJHPHQWKXPDQLWDULDQDLGDQGSHDFHEXLOGLQJ,&73HDFH)RXQGDWLRQ:RUNRYHUDYDLODEOHRQWKHZHEVLWHKWWSLFWSHDFHRUJ
accessed on the 12/1/2012.
33 '&$)LVDQLQWHUQDWLRQDOIRXQGDWLRQHVWDEOLVKHGLQRQWKHLQLWLDWLYHRIWKH6ZLVV&RQIHGHUDWLRQDVWKH*HQHYD&HQWUHIRUWKH'HPRFUDWLF&RQWURORI
$UPHG)RUFHV'&$)FRQWULEXWHVWRHQKDQFLQJVHFXULW\VHFWRUJRYHUQDQFH 66* WKURXJKVHFXULW\VHFWRUUHIRUP 665 0RUHLQIRUPDWLRQFDQEHIRXQG
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59 ARAB SPRING

YHULFDWLRQFHQWUHEHIRUHLWPDNHVLWWRWKHRQOLQHIURQWHQGRIWKHSRUWDO34. Also in this case the Ushahidi


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LQWKLVRFFDVLRQWKHRUJDQL]DWLRQODXQFKHGWKHDGYDQFHGYHUVLRQRILWVWUDGLWLRQDOVRIWZDUH8VKDKLGL
ZKLFKLVPRUHHDVLO\FXVWRPL]HGDQGPRUHSUHFLVHLQWHUPVRIJHRORFDWLRQ7KHSODWIRUPKDVUXQIURPWKH
1st of October 2011 to the 23rd of the same month and during this period more that 800 reports have been
VXEPLWWHGDQGYHULHG

Picture 13: Carte de Controle du Processus Electorales reports; Source: http://carte.isie.tn/fr/reports

7KHPDMRULW\RIWKHUHSRUWVUHIHUUHGWRHSLVRGHVRIZURQJSXEOLFLW\WKDWLVWKHSRVWLQJRISROLWLFDOSRVWHUV
RXWVLGHWKHDXWKRUL]HGDUHDVWKHXVHRIDJVWKHSRVVLELOLW\WRKDYHDFFHVVWRSODFHVZKHUHWKHHQWUDQFHZDV
restricted and the violation of the electoral silence.

$QRWKHULQWHUHVWLQJIHDWXUHRIWKHSODWIRUPZDVWKHSRVVLELOLW\RIDFWLYDWLQJWKHFURZGIHHGLQJIXQFWLRQ
WKDWLVUHJLVWHULQJRQHVSRVLWLRQJLYLQJWKHHPDLODGGUHVVHGDQGEHDGYLVHGLQWKHFDVHHSLVRGHVRIYLR-
OHQFHRURWKHUVFDWHJRULHVZRXOGKDYHKDSSHQHGLQDQDUHDRINLORPHWUHVDURXQGWKHVXEVFULEHU

7KHQDORIFLDOUHSRUWVRIWKHSODWIRUPKDYHVWLOOWREHUHOHDVHGEXWIURPWKHDOUHDG\DYDLODEOHLQIRU-
mation it is evident that this experience has had an enormous impact in such an historic moment as the
Constitutional Assembly Elections in Tunisia has been.

Conclusions
7KHDGYHQWRIWKH:HEKDVUDGLFDOO\FKDQJHGWKHDSSURDFKWKDWXVHUVKDGWRZDUGWKH,QWHUQHWDQGWKH
LQFUHDVHGFRQQHFWLYLW\WKDWWKHQHZV\VWHPKDVSURYLGHGFRQWULEXWHGWRWKHULVLQJRIDQHZIRUPRIVRFLDO
and political involvement, especially in Egypt and Tunisia. Not just bloggers and activists, but normal citi-
zens have become the main actors and monitors of their social and political life. Through innovations, they
H[SORLWHGWKHQHZRSSRUWXQLWLHVSURYLGHGE\WKH,QWHUQHWZKLFKEHFRPHDYLUWXDOIRUXPZKHUHWRH[FKDQJH
RSLQLRQVVSUHDGLQIRUPDWLRQDQGEHKLQGZKLFKVKLHOGLQJLQRUGHUWRE\SDVVWKHFHQVRUVKLSDQGWKHFRQWURO
34 0RQLWRULQJ7XQLVLDVUVWHOHFWLRQ,&73HDFH)RXQGDWLRQDQG,QVWDQFH6XSpULHXUH,QGpSHQGDQWHSRXUOHV(OHFWLRQVKWWSLFWSHDFHRUJXSGDWHVPRQLWRU-
LQJWXQLVLDVUVWHOHFWLRQLFWSHDFHIRXQGDWLRQLQVWDQFHVXSHULHXUHLQGHSHQGDQWHSRXUOHVHOHFWLRQVDFFHVVHGRQWKH
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 60

LPSRVHGE\DXWKRULWLHVRQWUDGLWLRQDOPHGLD7KLVQHZZD\RIXVLQJ,&7VKDVEHHQGHQHG$FWLYLVPD
WHUPWKDWXQGHUOLQHVWKHLQFUHDVHGSROLWLFDODZDUHQHVVRISHRSOHDQGWKHLUSUHGLVSRVLWLRQDWXVLQJWKHZHE
DVDWRROIRUPRELOL]DWLRQ(J\SWDQG7XQLVLDKDYHZLWQHVVHGLQDQGLQUHVSHFWLYHO\WKHLPSDFW
WKDWWKHXVHRIDQRQOLQHRSHQVRXUFHSODWIRUPWKDWPHUJHVQHZWHFKQRORJLHVZLWKWKHWHFKQLTXHVRIFURZG-
sourcing, Ushahidi, has had on the processes of democratizing and mobilizing people. In order to analyse its
LPSDFWLWKDVEHHQFKRVHQWRVWXG\LWVLPSOHPHQWDWLRQLQRFFDVLRQRIWZRUHOHYDQWHOHFWRUDOFRQIURQWDWLRQV
the Egyptian parliamentary election of 2010 and the Constituent Assembly election on 2011 in Tunisia.
7KHSROLWLFDOEDFNJURXQGFRQGLWLRQLQZKLFKWKHSODWIRUPKDVEHHQLPSOHPHQWHGDUHYHU\GLIIHUHQWVLQFH
LQ(J\SWZDVVWLOOXQGHUWKH+RVQL0XEDUDNUHJLPHZKLOVWLQ7XQLVLDZDVDOUHDG\IUHHIURPWKH
GLFWDWRUVKLSRI$EGHOD]L]%HQ$OL7KHPRGDOLWLHVLQZKLFKWKHSODWIRUPKDVEHHQXVHGFKDQJHGIURPRQH
FRXQWU\WRWKHRWKHUDVZHOO,Q(J\SWWKHLQLWLDWLYHKDVEHHQODXQFKHGE\DORFDO1*2ZLWKWKHWZRIROGDLP
of re-engaging people in the electoral process, after decades of ridded elections and corruption that caused
a dramatic drop in voter turnout, and of denouncing on the international media the lack of democracy in the
FRXQWU\,QWKHFDVHRI7XQLVLDORFDORIFLDODXWKRULWLHVVXFKDVWKH(OHFWRUDO&RPPLVVLRQUHTXHVWHGWKH
XVHRIWKHSODWIRUPEHFDXVHOHWWLQJSHRSOHPRQLWRULQJWKHHOHFWRUDOSURFHVVKDVEHHQFRQVLGHUHGDZD\RI
JUDQWLQJWUDQVSDUHQF\DQGSXWWLQJSHRSOHDWWKHFHQWUHRIWKHSROLWLFDOOLIHRIWKHFRXQWU\WKDWZDVHPHUJLQJ
DVDQHZGHPRFUDWLFHQWLW\RQWKHLQWHUQDWLRQDOVWDJH%\EHFRPLQJRIFLDOPRQLWRUVSHRSOHKDYHFRQWLQ-
ued to play the role of actors that they began to develop at the starting of the uprisings that ousted Ben Ali.
+RZHYHUGLIIHUHQWZKDWHPHUJHVLQERWKWKHVHGHSOR\PHQWVLVWKHDVWRQLVKLQJUROHWKDW,&7VKDYHSOD\HGDW
the point of not only mobilizing people but also engaging them in the democratic process. The Internet and
PRELOHSKRQHVKDYHEHHQWKHPDLQWRROVE\ZKLFKVSUHDGLQJLQIRUPDWLRQRQKRZWKHHOHFWRUDOSURFHVVHV
ZHUHGHYHORSLQJUHSODFLQJLQWKHFDVHRI(J\SWRUMRLQLQJLQ7XQLVLDWUDGLWLRQDOPHGLD
61 ARAB SPRING

References
Bolognini, M., 2001, Democrazia Elettronica, Carocci Editore, Roma.
&KDGZLFN$:HE1HZ&KDOOHQJHVIRUWKH6WXG\RI('HPRFUDF\LQDQ(UDRI,QIRUPDWLRQDO([XEHUDQFHLQ,6$-RXUQDORI
/DZDQG3ROLF\IRUWKH,QIRUPDWLRQ6RFLHW\9RO
&R\OH'DQG0HLHU31HZ7HFKQRORJLHVLQ(PHUJHQFLHVDQG&RQLFWV7KH5ROHRI,QIRUPDWLRQDQG6RFLDO1HWZRUNV:DVKLQJWRQ
D.C. and London, UK: UN Foundation-Vodafone Foundation Partnership.
'LDPRQG//LEHUDWLRQ7HFKQRORJLHVLQ-RXUQDORI'HPRFUDF\9RO1DWLRQDO(QGRZPHQWIRU'HPRFUDF\DQG7KH-RKQV
Hopkins University Press.
)URRPNLQ07HFKQRORJLHVIRU'HPRFUDF\LQ'HPRFUDF\2QOLQH7KH3URVSHFWRI3ROLWLFDO5HQHZDO7KURXJKWKH,QWHUQHW3HWHU0
6KDQHHWDO5RXWOHGJH1HZ<RUN
George, S., Ushahidi Key Deployment Report March 2011,
available at http://blog.ushahidi.com/index.php/2011/03/21/key-deployments-and-lessons-learned-part-1/, accessed on 8/01/2012.
+DEHUPDV-7KH6WUXFWXUDO7UDQVIRUPDWLRQRIWKH3XEOLF6SKHUHDQ,QTXLU\LQWRD&DWHJRU\RI%RXUJHRLV6RFLHW\&DPEULGJH0,73UHVV
+RZH-&URZGVRXUFLQJ:K\WKHSRZHURIWKHFURZGLVGULYLQJWKHIXWXUHRIEXVLQHVV1HZ<RUN&URZQ%XVLQHVV
,VNDQGHU(&RQQHFWLQJWKH1DWLRQDODQGWKH9LUWXDO&DQ)DFHERRN$FWLYLVP5HPDLQ5HOHYDQW$IWHU(J\SWV-DQXDU\8SULVLQJ"
International Journal of Communication 5, London School of Economics.
ITU, 2011, ICT Facts and Figures, The World in 2011, ICT Data and Statistics Division Telecommunication Development Bureau
International Telecommunication Union, Geneva.
0HLHU3'R/LEHUDWLRQ7HFKQRORJLHVFKDQJHWKHEDODQFHRISRZHUEHWZHHQUHSUHVVLYHVWDWHVDQGFLYLOVRFLHW\"$7KHVLV3UHVHQWHGWR
WKH)DFXOW\2I7KH)OHWFKHU6FKRRORI/DZDQG'LSORPDF\
0HLHU39HULI\LQJ&URZGVRXUFHG6RFLDO0HGLD5HSRUWVIRU/LYH&ULVLV0DSSLQJ$Q,QWURGXFWLRQWR,QIRUPDWLRQ)RUHQVLFVDYDLODEOHDW
http://irevolution.net/publications/, accessed on the 3/01/2012.
0HLHU3:K\&URZGVRXUFLQJDQG&URZGIHHGLQJPD\EHWKHDQVZHUWR6QRZPDJHGGRQ
DYDLODEOHRQKWWSLUHYROXWLRQQHWFURZGVRXUFLQJFURZGIHHGLQJVQRZPDJHGGRQDFFHVVHGRQWKH
Rheingold, H., 2003, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Cambridge: Basic Books.
6KDUPD$&URZGVRXUFLQJ&ULWLFDO6XFFHVV)DFWRU0RGHO6WUDWHJLHVWRKDUQHVVWKHFROOHFWLYHLQWHOOLJHQFHRIWKHFURZGDYDLODEOHRQKWWS
ZZZFURZGVRXUFLQJRUJGRFXPHQWFURZGVRXUFLQJFULWLFDOVXFFHVVIDFWRUPRGHOVWUDWHJLHVWRKDUQHVVWKHFROOHFWLYHLQWHOOLJHQFHRIWKH
FURZGDFFHVVHGRQWKHth December 2011.
6LQJHO5$UH<RX5HDG\IRU:HE"DYDLODEOHDWKWWSZZZZLUHGFRPVFLHQFHGLVFRYHULHVQHZVDFFHVVHGRQ
http://discenter.com/
http://ict4peace.org/
KWWSLFWSHDFHRUJXSGDWHVPRQLWRULQJWXQLVLDVUVWHOHFWLRQLFWSHDFHIRXQGDWLRQLQVWDQFHVXSHULHXUHLQGHSHQGDQWHSRXUOHVHOHFWLRQV
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 62

Gdeim Izik: a change in the struggle strategies


of the Sahrawi population

CARMEN GMEZ MARTN


EHESS

Abstract
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NQRZQ RI WKH$UDE UHYROXWLRQV :H ZLOO DOVR VKRZ WKH GLIIHUHQFHV EHWZHHQ WKLV UH-
volt and other events taking place in neighbour countries some moths later: above all,
WKHFDSDELOLW\RIWKH6DKUDZLSHRSOHIRUFRPELQLQJVRFLDODQGHFRQRPLFGHPDQGVWKH
struggle for identitary recognition and classical claims of independence. Finally, these
HOHPHQWVZLOODOORZXVWRWU\WRSUHGLFWWKHHIIHFWVWKDWWKHQHZVFHQDULRHPHUJHGIURP
*GHLP,]LNZLOOKDYHLQWKHVKRUWPHGLXPWHUPLQ:HVWHUQ6DKDUD,QWKLVVHQVHZH
IRUHVHHDQLQFUHDVHGSROLWLFDOFRPPLWPHQWRI6DKUDZLSHRSOHLQWKHRFFXSLHGWHUULWR-
ULHVWKHWUDQVLWLRQIURPSHDFHIXODFWLRQVWRZDUGVPRUHUDGLFDODQGYLROHQWUHDFWLRQV
DQGDGLUHFWDQGGDLO\FRQIURQWDWLRQZLWK0RURFFDQVHWWOHUVDIIHFWLQJUHODWLRQVKLSVEH-
WZHHQERWKSRSXODWLRQVDQGVWRSSLQJDQ\SRVVLELOLW\RIFRH[LVWHQFH

Keywords
:HVWHUQ6DKDUD*GHLP,]LNSHDFHIXOFDPSUHYROWV6DKUDZL0RURFFDQ

Introduction
,QDXWXPQDVDSUHOXGHWRWKHSRSXODUSURWHVWVLQWKH0DJKUHEDQG0DFKUHNWKH6DKUDZLSRSXOD-
tion living inside the occupied territories performed a totally unexpected action: more than 20.000 people
VHWWKHSHDFHIXOFDPS*GHLP,]LNWRGHQRXQFHWKHLUSROLWLFDOHFRQRPLFDQGVRFLDOVLWXDWLRQ6HYHUDOZHHNV
DIWHULWVHVWDEOLVKPHQWWKHFDPSZDVYLROHQWO\GLVPDQWOHGE\0RURFFDQVHFXULW\IRUFHV7KLVLQWHUYHQWLRQ
triggered bloody riots in some cities of Western Sahara, causing 13 dead among Moroccan policemen and
6DKUDZLFLWL]HQVDQGKXQGUHGVRIZRXQGHGDQGDUUHVWHG

Gdeim Izik is considered by some authors1DVWKHUVWUHYROXWLRQRIWKH$UDEVSULQJ$FFRUGLQJWR


3URIHVVRU/ySH]*DUFtD  *GHLP,]LNPXVWEHOLQNHGWRDQHZ$UDEWLPHEHFDXVHDVLQWKHIROORZ-
LQJSURWHVWVLWZDVWKH\RXWKZKRIRUFHGDQDXWKRULWDULDQSRZHUWRQHJRWLDWHXVLQJLQQRYDWLYHZD\VRIFDOO
DQGRUJDQLVDWLRQ7KLVDXWKRUFRQVLGHUVDVZHOOWKDWWKHFDPSDVSURWHVWVWUDWHJ\ZDVH[SRUWHGIURP*GHLP
,]LNWRWKH.DVEDKRI7XQLVDQG7DKLU6TXDUHDW(O&DLUR7KHVRFDOOHG'LJQLW\FDPSLQWURGXFHGLPSRU-
WDQWFKDQJHVDERYHDOODUDGLFDOL]DWLRQRISROLWLFDOSRVLWLRQVDQGDQLQFUHDVHRIYLROHQFHDPRQJ6DKUDZL
and Moroccan population. One year after the appearance of the camp, the dynamics of this action and its
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 2QHRIWKHUVWDXWKRUVSRLQWLQJRXWWKLVIDFWZDVWKHQRUWK$PHULFDQSROLWLFDOVFLHQWLVW1RDP&KRPVN\KWWSZZZGHPRFUDF\QRZRUJWKHBJH-
QLHVBDUHBRXWBRIBWKH
63 ARAB SPRING

remains, and that it fed the riots happened in other Arab countries. Despite the initial failure of their revolt,
6DKUDZLSHRSOHGLGQRWORVWKRSHUHJDUGLQJWKHLUFDXVHEHFDXVHWKH\YHULHGWKHSRVVLELOLW\WREUHDNWKH
dynamics of impunity characteristic of some Arab regimes.

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WKHIROORZLQJTXHVWLRQV+RZZDVWKHSROLWLFDOVRFLDOL]DWLRQRIWKHDFWRUVLQYROYHGLQWKHUHYROW":KDW
KDYHEHHQWKHPDMRUFKDQJHVLQVWUXJJOHREMHFWLYHVDQGPHWKRGVFRPSDUHGWRSUHYLRXV\HDUV"&DQZHWDON
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PDVVPHGLDDQGWKHQHZLQIRUPDWLRQWHFKQRORJLHVLQWKHGHYHORSPHQWRIWKLVSURWHVW"

Chronology
Gdeim Izik resulted from several unfruitful attempts of setting protest camps in the outskirts of a num-
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VWUXJJOHVWUDWHJ\WKH6DKDUDZLSHRSOHWULHGWRGHQRXQFHWKHKDUVKVRFLDODQGHFRQRPLFVLWXDWLRQLQWKHRF-
cupied territories, specially their marginalisation regarding access to jobs and housing, the corruption of
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by socio-economic criteria, and the traditional denounce of the plundering of natural resources of Western
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DJHPHQWRIGHYHORSPHQWIXQGVDQGVRFLDOVXEVLGLHVE\WKH0RURFFDQDXWKRULWLHV7KHUVWGHPRQVWUDWRUV
JDWKHUHGRQ2FWREHUPRVWRIWKHPZRPHQDQGXQHPSOR\HG\RXQJPHQ2QWKLVRFFDVLRQWKH0RURFFDQ
security forces did not ban the rally, encouraging more people to join the protest3. Such massive attendance
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IHZGD\VWKHIRUPDWLRQRIVRFDOOHGSRSXODUFRPPLWWHHVZDVQHFHVVDU\LQWHUQDOVHFXULW\FOHDQLQJFDPSSODQ-
ning, basic services and negotiation47KHFDPSZDVGLYLGHGLQVL[TXDUWHUVHDFKRQHXQGHUUHVSRQVLELOLW\RID
]RQHFKLHI$VWLPHZHQWRQWKH0RURFFDQVHFXULW\IRUFHVHVWDEOLVKHGDEORFNDGHDURXQGWKHFDPSE\GLJJLQJ
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DQG6PDUDZKHUHWKUHHSROLFHFKHFNSRLQWVPDGHHYHQPRUHGLIFXOWJDLQLQJDFFHVVWRWKHSURWHVWSODFH

7KHFDOPZDVKDUGO\PDLQWDLQHGXQWLO2FWREHUZKHQDFDULJQRUHGRQHRIWKHFKHFNSRLQWVDQGZDV
VKXWE\WURRSHUVNLOOLQJRQHRIWKHSDVVHQJHUVD\HDUROGZKRZDVEXULHGWKUHHGD\VODWHUZLWKRXWWKH
DXWKRULVDWLRQRIKLVSDUHQWVDQGZLWKRXWWKHSUHVHQFHRIDQ\UHODWLYHV7KLVHYHQWFKDQJHGGUDPDWLFDOO\WKH
VLWXDWLRQDW*GHLP,]LN2XWVLGHWKHFDPSWKHLQIRUPDWLYHEORFNDGHZDVWLJKWHQHG7KH0RURFFDQDXWKRUL-
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 64

country5. This happened also to some international observers and MEPs such as the Spaniard Willy Meyer
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RIWKHOLNHO\LPPLQHQWGLVPDQWOLQJRIWKHFDPSSURLQGHSHQGHQFHVSHHFKHVZHUHPRUHDQGPRUHIUHTXHQW
among the displaced population.

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LPDJHWKH0RURFFDQDXWKRULWLHVDJUHHGWRQHJRWLDWHZLWKDFRPPLWWHHRIUHSUHVHQWDWLYHVRIWKHFDPS FRP-
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had been to that date the :DOL JRYHUQRU RI(O$DL~QDQGODWHUZLWKDFRPPLVVLRQRIWKH+RPH0LQLVWU\
integrated by three :DOLVRIWKHFHQWUDODGPLQLVWUDWLRQ)LQDOO\WKHODVWSKDVHRIWKHQHJRWLDWLRQVZDVOHGE\
WKH+RPH0LQLVWHULQSHUVRQ7DwHE&KHUNDRXL2Q1RYHPEHUDEDVLFDJUHHPHQWZDVUHDFKHGE\ZKLFK
the Moroccan State pledged to address progressively the housing and employment demands of the protest-
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a census of impoverished people. In principle, such measures should have been in force from November 8,
EXWQRQHRIWKHFRPPLWPHQWVZHUHIXOOOHGVLQFHWKHFDPSZDVGLVPDQWOHGWKDWYHU\VDPHGD\6.

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and those trying to organise resistance against the State security forces. According to Moroccan authorities,
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KHOGSDUWRIWKHSRSXODWLRQDJDLQVWWKHLUZLOO7+RZHYHU6DKDUDZLDQG0RURFFDQ+XPDQ5LJKWVRUJDQLVD-
WLRQVTXHVWLRQWKLVYHUVLRQ8$FFRUGLQJWRWKHPLWLVGLIFXOWWRXQGHUVWDQGKRZIRXU:DOLV from the Home
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SDQWVLQWKHSURWHVWZDVRVFLOODWLQJDORQJWKHZHHNLPSO\LQJWKDW6DKDUDZLSHRSOHFRXOGWUDYHOEHWZHHQWKH
FDPSDQG(O$DL~QZLWKRXWRYHUZKHOPLQJSUREOHPVGHVSLWHWKHFKHFNSRLQWV9.

The breaking of the security forces into the camp generated an extremely violent response among many
of the displaced young people109LROHQFHVSUHDGVKRUWO\ODWHUWR(O$DL~QZKHUHWKHODFNRILQIRUPDWLRQ
and rumours induced people to believe that a massacre had happened during the eviction. The confuse
LQIRUPDWLRQDQGWKHODFNRISROLFHEURXJKWFKDRVWRWKHFLW\FHQWUHZKHUHEDUULFDGHVZHUHHUHFWHGDQG
SXEOLFEXLOGLQJVVKRSVEDQNRIFHVDQGFDUVRI0RURFFDQFLWL]HQVZKHUHSOXQGHUHGDQGEXUQHG11. During
WKHULRWVD6DKDUDZL\RXQJPDQZLWK6SDQLVKQDWLRQDOLW\GLHGDIWHUEHLQJUXQRYHUE\DSROLFHFDUZKLFK
DPSOLHGWKHVWULNHVDJDLQVWVKRSVDQGSXEOLFDQGSULYDWHSURSHUWLHV7KHDUULYDORIWKHEXONRIWKH0RURF-
FDQVHFXULW\IRUFHVEDFNIURP*GHLP,]LNVWRSSHGWKHYLROHQFHXQOHDVKHGE\WKH6DKDUDZLSRSXODWLRQDW
El Aain, but during the evening Moroccan civilians under police protection launched into plundering and
 7KH6SDQLVKMRXUQDOLVWVZHUHWKHZRUVWKLWE\WKLVGHFLVLRQ5DEDWDFFXVHGWKHPRIFRQGXFWLQJDFDPSDLJQWRGDPDJHWKHLQWHUQDWLRQDOLPDJHRI0RURFFR
 $69'+UHSRUWVXUOHFDPSHPHQWGH*GHLP,]LNHWOHVpYpQHPHQWVTXLRQWVXLYLVRQGpPDQWqOHPHQW/$$<281(6DKDUD2FFLGHQWDO-DQYLHU
2011, p.10.
 $PRQJWKHVHJURXSVDOVRYLROHQW\RXQJPHQEHORQJLQJWR)UHQWH3ROLVDULRZKHUHLQFOXGHG
8 E.g. CODESA, ASVDH and AMDH.
9 A.I. report: Morocco/Western Sahara Rights trampled amidst protests, violence and repression, p. 4.
10 6HYHUDOSROLFHRIFHUVDUHNLOOHGLQWKHFDPSDQGGXULQJWKHIROORZLQJULRWVDPRQJWKHPDWOHDVWRQHKDGKLVWKURDWFXW
11 $PRQJWKHEXLOGLQJVZRUVWGDPDJHGLQWKHULRWVDUHWKH&RXUWRIDSSHDOWKH(QHUJ\DQG0HWDOV2IFHWKUHHVFKRROVDFOLQLFDQGWKH,QYHVWPHQWV&HQWUH
65 ARAB SPRING

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against the management of the crisis by the Moroccan government.

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H[FHVVLYH$WWKHHQGRIWKHGD\WKHQXPEHURILQMXUHGPRVWO\6DKDUDZLVZDVRIVHYHUDOKXQGUHGZKLOH
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the other hand, the search of the instigators of the revolt engulfed El Aain in a non-declared emergency
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ODWHUDURXQGSHUVRQVZHUHWUDQVIHUUHGWRWKH%ODFN3ULVRQDW(O$DL~Q12 and another group of 24 persons
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RIFULPLQDOEDQGSRVVHVVLRQRIZHDSRQVWDNHRIKRVWDJHVDQGDWWDFNRQWKH6WDWHVHFXULW\

Consequences of the 2010 revolt


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authorities had prided themselves in the past.

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KDYHKHOSHGWRHVFDSHIURPWKHXVXDOGHDGORFNRIWKLVFRQLFW

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DQGNQRZOHGJHEHWZHHQSRSXODWLRQV

7KHUHIRUHWKHLPSRUWDQFHRI*GHLP,]LNGRHVQRWOLHLQKRZWKHFDPSSURWHVWGHYHORSHGEXWLQWKH
changes that this action triggered DSRVWHULRULLQWKH6DKDUDZLSRSXODWLRQDQGLQJHQHUDOLQWKH:HVWHUQ
6DKDUD+HUHLWLVQHFHVVDU\WRGLVWLQJXLVKEHWZHHQIRXUGLIIHUHQWHIIHFWV

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12 7KHJXUHVRIDUUHVWHGSHRSOHDUHQRWDFFXUDWHHLWKHU$FFRUGLQJWRZRUNHUVRIWKH0RURFFDQ)RUHLJQ$IIDLUV0LQLVWU\WKHQXPEHURIDUUHVWHGLV+RZ-
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(O$DL~QUHSRUWV$,UHSRUW0RURFFR:HVWHUQ6DKDUD5LJKWVWUDPSOHGDPLGVWSURWHVWVYLROHQFHDQGUHSUHVVLRQ
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 66

traditional political claims.

2. The inrush in the public scene of a generation of young people suffering alarmingly high unemploy-
PHQW UDWHV DQG ODFNLQJ D SURPLVLQJ RXWORRN WKDW ZLWKRXW EHLQJ SROLWLFDOO\ RUJDQLVHG WHQG WR FRPH
together and carry increasingly radical actions.

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FODVKHVEHWZHHQWKHWZRFRPPXQLWLHVIURP1RYHPEHURQ

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contexts.

Revitalisation of the struggle in Western Sahara


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PLQLPDORUJDQLVDWLRQFRQWLQXHGZLWKWKHLUSDUWLFXODUUHVLVWDQFH'XULQJWKHODVWWHQ\HDUVUHFXUUHQWXQUHVWV
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PDQ5LJKWVDFWLYLVWV7RJHWKHUZLWKWKHVHIUHTXHQWSURWHVWVWKUHHFULWLFDOPRPHQWVVHSDUDWHGE\\HDUV
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)URQWDVWKHUVW6DKDUDZL,QWLIDGD7KHSURWHVWUDOOLHVDW(O$DL~QZHUHKDUVKO\FUXVKHGE\WKHVHFXULW\
forces under command of Briss Basri, Home Minister and strongman of the late Hasan II. The claims of
the population focussed mainly on economic issues. In fact, at that point, problems such as unemployment,
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67 ARAB SPRING

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Hassan II.

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\HDU7KHVRFDOOHGVHFRQG6DKDUDZL,QWLIDGDKDGDFOHDUO\SROLWLFDOQDWXUH WKHFODLPRIWKHVHOIGHWHUPL-
nation right an if independence for Western Sahara) and a larger international impact. The crushing of a
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turn severely repressed at El Aain, Smara and Dajla. The unrests extended to several Moroccan cities such
DV$JDGLU&DVDEODQFD5DEDWRU)H]ZKHUHWKHSROLFHFODVKHGYLROHQWO\ZLWK6DKDUDZLVWXGHQWV14.

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OHP7DPHN%UDKLP1RXPULDDQG$PLQHWRX+DLGDUZHUHYLROHQWO\DUUHVWHGDQGWULHGXQGHUWKHDFFXVD-
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sentenced to 6 months in prison, although the intense campaign of political pressure from abroad forced
their release in early 200615. During this period, the imprisoned activists and several Human Rights organ-
isations denounced the practice of torture in police stations and prisons, arbitrary transfers of prisoners,
inhuman arrest conditions and systematic mistreatment16.

After the 2005 events, Western Sahara disappeared again from the headlines of the international media.
+RZHYHUWKHGHFUHDVHRIWKHLQWHQVLW\RIWKHSURWHVWVGRHVQRWPHDQLWVHQGPDLQO\EHFDXVHWKHVHULRXV
political, social and economic problems persist, and the only measures undertaken by the Moroccan admin-
istration consist on reinforcing security and repression machinery. The Western Sahara did not come back
WRWKHLQWHUQDWLRQDOKHDGOLQHVXQWLOZKHQWKH+XPDQ5LJKWVDFWLYLVW$PLQHWRX+DLGDUEHJDQDKXQJHU
strike at the Lanzarote airport17VKRZLQJDJDLQWKDWGHVSLWHRIWKHH[WHUQDOLQYLVLELOLW\WKHFRQLFWFRQWLQXHV
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of oblivion, causing a reactivation of the struggle in Western Sahara. In fact, during 2010 and thanks to the
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October 8, 2009, at the airport of Casablanca after visiting the Tinduf refugee camps, accused of attempt-
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QXPHURXVFODVKHVEHWZHHQ6DKDUDZLVDQG'DNKLOLV during the hearings, Gomez Martn (2011: 159).

The hunger strike of Haidar caused an acceleration of events. The intense social unrest originated by
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the construction of camp-cities in the outskirts of the large urban centres of the Western Sahara managed
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14 ,Q2FWREHUDVWXGHQWZDVNLOOHGLQFODVKHVZLWKWKHSROLFH7KH0RURFFDQDXWKRULWLHVUHSRUWHGWKHNLOOLQJDVDQDFFLGHQWZKHUHDVWKH6DKDUDZL+XPDQ
Right groups denounced police brutality during the arrest as the cause of death.
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16 $0'+5DSSRUWUHODWLIDX[pYpQHPHQWVTXDFRQQXVODYLOOHGH/Dk\RXQHjODQGXPRLVGHPDL
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 68

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ZLWKLQWKHFRQWH[WRIWKHVRFDOOHG$UDEUHYROXWLRQV

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WKHGHYHORSPHQWRIDQXQSUHFHGHQWHGWHQVHDWPRVSKHUHEHWZHHQ6DKDUDZLVDQG'DNKLOLV.

Role of the Saharawi youth in the new wave of protests


One of the most relevant characteristics of the democratic revolutions across the Magreb and Machrek
from the beginning of 2011 is the massive participation of young people, acting as the driving engine of
the protests and spreading the unrest among other sectors of the population. The major role played by the
PLGGOHDQGORZFODVV\RXWKLVQRWUDQGRP$VSRLQWHGRXWE\.KDGHU  WRJHWKHUZLWKWKHGHPRJUDSKLF
IDFWRUV LPSRUWDQWGHFUHDVHRIWKHELUWKUDWHIURPWKHVDQGDQH[WUHPHO\\RXQJSRSXODWLRQ19), there has
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WKLVUHDOLW\LVLQRSHQFRQLFWZLWKWKHSURGXFWLYHVWUXFWXUHRIGHFDGHQWDQGFRUUXSWHGUHJLPHVJRYHUQHG
IRUGHFDGHVE\ROLJDUFKVZKRDPDVVHGKXJHIRUWXQHVDQGNHSWWKHLUSRZHUWKURXJKWKHXVHRIIRUFHZLWK
the approval of the West. Thus, the current situation in the Arab countries cannot be disconnected from the
context of global economic crisis, nor from the social contradictions generated by the neo-liberal system,
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PLJUDWLRQHWFFRQVWUDLQWKHODQGVFDSHRID\RXQJSRSXODWLRQZKRKDVLGHQWLHGWKHGHVWUXFWLRQRIWKHROG
UHJLPHVDVWKHRQO\ZD\RIWUDQVIRUPLQJWKHLURZQIXWXUH

,Q:HVWHUQ6DKDUDWKHSURWHVWVZHUHRUJDQLVHGE\XQHPSOR\HG\RXWKVLQFRQWUDVWWRWKHXQ-
UHVWVZKHQWKH+XPDQ5LJKWVDFWLYLVWVSOD\HGDOHDGLQJUROH7KHODFNRILQIRUPDWLRQDERXWWKH6DKDUDZL
\RXWKGRHVQRWLPSHGHWRHVWDEOLVKFRPPRQFKDUDFWHULVWLFVZLWKWKH\RXWKVRIQHLJKERXUFRXQWULHV8SWRD
SRLQWDQGWDNLQJLQWRDFFRXQWWKHVSHFLFLWLHVRIHDFKFRXQWU\LWFDQEHVWDWHGWKDWWKH6DKDUDZL\RXWKVXI-
fer from the same problems than the youths of other countries of the region: a not very promising outlook,
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traditional sectors of the dissidence such as opposition parties or trade unions.

The marginal presence of the Polisario Front in the occupied territories and the ban of political parties
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capability and external support, Veguilla (2009: 106-107). The current important social support for Human
Rights associations and the transformation of its most charismatic members into icons of the resistance
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bidden and a tolerated protest, that is, susceptible of not causing a repressive response from the Moroccan
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by others linked to the territory and the right to economic and social development of the region, Veguilla
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as legitimate, although carrying an underlying political component evident both to the participants and
to the Moroccan authorities, thus causing that many actions ended up in riots and repression. As pointed
out by the Organisation marocaine des Droits Humains: It is not possible to speak about social claims of
citizens ignoring their political claims. Indeed, the social issue in the background is political, because is a
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UHVRXUFHV21.

Finally, another important element characterising the development of the protests during the last decade
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ZKLFKFRXOGDGXOWHUDWHWKHQHZV

20 6XFKLVWKHFDVHRIWKHIRXQGDWLRQLQ$SULOLQ'DMODRIWKHDVVRFLDWLRQFDOOHG/DOLVWHSRXUOpJDOLWpFUHDWHGE\XQHPSOR\HG6DKDUDZL\RXWKVLQ
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21 $0'+UHSRUW5DSSRUWUHODWLIDX[pYpQHPHQWVTXDFRQQXVODYLOOHGH/Dk\RXQHjODQGXPRLVGHPDLS
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 70

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The rupture of the coexistence myth: ethnic tensions and racism


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over again.

The breach in the population goes beyond the Western Sahara independence issue and its total annexa-
tion by Morocco. From the occupation of the territory in 1975, the Moroccan State implemented a series of
HFRQRPLFDQGVRFLDOSROLFLHVZKLFKRQWKHORQJWHUPKDYHJHQHUDWHGDQXPEHURISHUYHUVHHIIHFWV,QWKLV
VHQVHZLWKWKHREMHFWLYHRIPRURFFDQLVHWKHWHUULWRU\5DEDWSURPRWHGWKHWUDQVIHURISRSXODWLRQIURP
0RURFFRE\PHDQVRILQFHQWLYHVDQGJHQHURXVZHOIDUHSROLFLHV2QWKHRWKHUKDQGPHDVXUHVZHUHDG-
RSWHGWRRIIHULPSRUWDQWSRVLWLRQVLQWKH0RURFFDQSXEOLFDGPLQLVWUDWLRQWRWKRVH6DKDUDZLH[FRPEDWDQWV
DEDQGRQLQJWKH3ROLVDULR)URQWGLVFLSOLQHIURPWKHVRQ)LQDOO\DWKLUGJURXSWKHVRFDOOHGLQKDELWDQWV
RI$O:DKGD 8QLRQ FRPSOHWHWKHSRSXODWLRQVVXEVLGLVHGDQGVXSSRUWHGE\WKH0RURFFDQ6WDWHLQWKH
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OLYLQJRXWVLGHWKHWHUULWRU\XQGHUGLVSXWHZKLFKIURPRQKDYHEHHQHQFRXUDJHGWRVHWWOHLQSURYLVLRQDO
FDPSVLQWKHSHULSKHU\RI(O$DL~Q6PDUD%RMDGRUDQG'DMODZLWKWKHREMHFWLYHRIEHLQJLQWHJUDWHGLQ
WKHLGHQWLFDWLRQOLVWVRI0,18562%HQQDQL  6LQFHWKHUHIHUHQGXPQHYHUWRRNSODFHVXFKFDPSV
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6XFKELDVHGZHOIDUHSROLFLHVQDOO\FRQYLQFHGWKHQDWLYH6DKDUDZLVWKDWWKHDFFHVVWRGHFHQWKRXVLQJ
state subsidies or basic services completely depends on the ethnic origin or opinion about the Sahara con-
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of resources have been joined in the last year by ethic and tribal tensions promoting dangerous racist atti-
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JDPHLQWKHVDPHFLW\LQ6HSWHPEHUZKHUHSHRSOHZHUHNLOOHG

As stated by the Moroccan journalist Driss Bennani (2011), the total absence of mutual understand-
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prejudices promoted during three decades, and from the policies implemented in the Western Sahara by the
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71 ARAB SPRING

WKH6DKDUDZLSRSXODWLRQLQDPDUJLQDOLVHGHWKQLFPLQRULW\XVHRIVXEVLG\SROLFLHVDVDFRHUFLRQWRIRUFH
6DKDUDZLVWRDVVXPHWKH0RURFFDQSUHVHQFHVWDWHVXEVLGLHVQRWGULYHQE\VRFLRHFRQRPLFFULWHULDHWF,Q
VXPPDU\WKHULVHRIWKHHWKQLFIDFWRUDVDQHZYDULDEOHLQWKHFRQLFWLVDQDGGLWLRQDOGDQJHUZKLFKFRXOG
contribute to destabilise the region permanently.

Effects of Gdeim Izik in the refugee camps


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events sparked off the indignation among the population of the refugee camps, leading to more and more
FULWLFDOVWDQFHVDJDLQVWWKHDFWLRQRIWKH6DKDUDZLDXWKRULWLHV7KHVHHYHQWVFDQEHFRQVLGHUHGDVPRPHQWV
of rupture or loss of hope.

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RZQFDOOFRLQFLGLQJZLWKWKHFROODSVHRIWKHst Baker plan. Thus, the freezing of the belligerent actions and
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sector of the refugees, the conditions imposed by the 2nd Baker plan22+RZHYHULWZDVWKLVWLPHWKH0RURF-
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22 $IWHUWKHEORFNDGHRIWKHSURFHVVRILGHQWLFDWLRQRIWKH6DKDUDZLSRSXODWLRQZKLFKVKRXOGKDYHOHGWRWKHFHOHEUDWLRQRIDVHOIGHWHUPLQDWLRQUHIHUHQGXP
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:HVWHUQ6DKDUDFRQLFWWKHst and 2nd%DNHUSODQV DQG %RWKSODQVSURSRVHDWZRVWHSSURFHVVLQUVWSODFHD\HDUWUDQVLWRU\SHULRGLQ
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 72

about the need of rising in arms again, Gmez Martn and Omet (2009: 210).

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UHVXPSWLRQRIQHJRWLDWLRQVZLWKWKH0RURFFDQUHSUHVHQWDWLYHVDW0DQKDVVHW 1HZ<RUN MXVWDIWHUWKHGLVPDQ-
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WKHWRWDOGLYRUFHEHWZHHQSDUWRIWKH6DKDUDZLSRSXODWLRQDQGWKHIRUHLJQSROLF\RIWKHLUJRYHUQPHQW23.

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desertions of former cadres of the Polisario and external and internal discrediting campaigns orchestrated
from Morocco. Thus, the suspicion of betrayal impregnates any criticism exerted against the actions of
the government or the direction of the Polisario. Gdeim Izik and the revolutionary context in the Magreb
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the prime minister Mohamed Abdelaziz, but asked for a stronger support of the Polisario Front to the Sa-
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the president of the Republic24.

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and the suspicion of manipulation by Morocco to create internal disputes, discouraged the participation
of young people in the event256LPXOWDQHRXVO\WKHGHPRQVWUDWLRQFDOOZDVHQGRUVHGE\WKH-DW$FKDKLG
PRYHPHQWIRUPHGE\DJURXSRIGLVVLGHQW6DKDUDZLVEDVHGRXWVLGHWKHFDPSV7KHLUVXSSRUWLQFUHDVHG
WKHVXVSLFLRQVDQGHYHQPRUHZKHQWKH\VHQWDOHWWHUWRWKH$OJHULDQJRYHUQPHQWDVNLQJIRUDXWKRULVDWLRQ
to access the camps accompanied by independent journalists and members of Human Rights groups to
SUHYHQWDSRWHQWLDOUHSUHVVLRQE\WKH6DKDUDZLDXWKRULWLHVDUHSUHVVLRQWKDWKRZHYHUQHYHUKDSSHQHG26.
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24 ZZZDIUROFRPHVDUWtFXORV
25 The most optimist attendance estimations are of 150-200 people.
26 Ibd.
73 ARAB SPRING

of nationalist paraphernalia and pro-Polisario symbols. Such behaviour looks like a clear attempt to reject
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cusations of being pro-Morocco or trying to support the Moroccan discourse about the existence of internal
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In this sense, the democratic character and the importance given by this society and its government to
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Conclusion
After a detailed analysis of the events and the aftermath of Gdeim Izik in the occupied territories and
LQWKH6DKDUDZLVRFLHW\DVDZKROHLWFDQEHREVHUYHGWKDWWKLVZD\RISURWHVWDOWKRXJKLQQRYDWLYHLVWKH
ORJLFDOSURGXFWRIDSURFHVVRISROLWLFDODQGVRFLDOWUDQVIRUPDWLRQZKLFKZDVRQLWVZD\IURPWKHEHJLQQLQJ
RIWKHGHFDGH,QRWKHUZRUGVLQVWHDGRIDUXSWXUHZLWKWKHSUHYLRXVVLWXDWLRQLWZRXOGEHPRUHDS-
SURSULDWHWRVSHDNDERXWDQHYROXWLRQWRDQHZVFHQDULRFXOPLQDWLQJLQWKH'LJQLW\FDPSDQGPDUNLQJWKH
approach for the next years in Western Sahara.

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WKHLUUXSWLRQRIQHZDFWRUVOHGE\WKHXQHPSOR\HG\RXWKVDQGWKH+XPDQ5LJKWVDFWLYLVWVZKRHQULFKHG
WKH6DKDUDZLQRQFRQIRUPLW\5HJDUGLQJWKHVWUXJJOHLQVWUXPHQWVWKHMDLPD WHQW HPHUJHVDVWKHSULQFLSDO
HOHPHQWRIWKHSDFLFSURWHVWV277KHMDLPDWXUQVWKLVZD\LQWRWKHV\PERORIWKH6DKDUDZLFXOWXUHDQHOH-
PHQWDQFKRUHGWRWKHODQGLWVPRVWYLVLEOHDQGH[SRUWDEOHLGHQWLW\VLJQ,QQRYDWLRQDOVRVKRZVXSLQWKH
methodology of the protests: camps are placed in spaces close enough to cities to facilitate the supply of
essentials, but, on the other hand, free and outside the urban orbit and the control of the local and even the
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ZLWKVLJQLFDQWLQWHUQDODQGH[WHUQDOLPSDFWDQGPRVWLPSRUWDQWO\LPSOLHVDWDV\PEROLFOHYHOWKHXVHRID
IXQGDPHQWDOVSDFHZKLFKGHQHVWKH6DKDUDZLLGHQWLW\DQGFXOWXUHWKHGHVHUW

7KHPDUJLQDOLVDWLRQLQZHDOWKGLVWULEXWLRQWKHFRUUXSWLRQRIDORFDOHOLWHHPHUJHGIURPQRQWUDQVSDUHQW
HOHFWLRQVDQGFRQWUROOLQJDOOWKHVRXUFHVRIIXQGLQJZKLFKLPSHGHVDUHDOSDUWLFLSDWLRQRIWKH6DKDUDZL
society in the decision making processes and the distribution of resources, are key elements to understand
Gdeim Izik. But another key factor is the displacement of the nonconformist actions from the political to
WKHVRFLRHFRQRPLFVSKHUHZKHUHYHUWKH\DUHPRUHWROHUDWHGDQGHYHQOHJLWLPDWH7KLVGRHVQRWPHDQWKDW

27 $OUHDG\LQWKHFULVLVDFDPSKDGEHHQEXLOWDWWKH(FKGHLUD6TXDUHRI(O$DL~Q
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 74

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VRFLDOQRQFRQIRUPLW\ZKLFKPDNHWKHFRQLFWHYHPRUHFRPSOH[LISRVVLEOH

$OWKRXJKLWFDQEHVWDWHGWKDW*GHLP,]LNJHQHUDWHGDPXOWLWXGHRIFKDQJHVLQWKH6DKDUDZLVRFLHW\DW
the same time the basic problem persists. A proof of this is that the Moroccan regime has made the same
mistake of imposing stability in the region by only reinforcing the security and repression machinery. But
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QRQFRQIRUPLW\ZKLFKZRXOGKDYHKDGLPSRUWDQWFRQVHTXHQFHV:KDWZRXOGKDYHKDSSHQHGLIWKH 6D-
KDUDZL\RXWKZRXOGKDYHMRLQHGWKH0RURFFDQSURWHVWVOHGE\WKH)HEUXDU\PRYHPHQW"7KLV
PRYHPHQWWRJHWKHUZLWKWKHH[SHULHQFHDW*GHLP,]LNFRXOGKDYHPDGHWKHFRPPRQLQWHUHVWVRIWKH6D-
KDUDZLDQG0RURFFDQ\RXWKVFRQYHUJHIDFLOLWDWLQJDQDSSURDFKRIWKHWZRSRSXODWLRQV+RZHYHUWKLVGLG
QRWKDSSHQDQGLWLVQRWHYHQFRQVLGHUHGDVDSRVVLELOLW\1HLWKHUWKH6DKDUDZLSRSXODWLRQIHOWFRQFHUQHG
E\WKH\RXWKVGHPRQVWUDWLQJLQ0RURFFRQRUDQ\RIWKHUHIRUPVFODLPHGE\WKH)HEUXDU\PRYHPHQW
PHQWLRQHGWKHVROXWLRQRIWKH6DKDUDZLFRQLFWVLQFHDVDPDWWHURIIDFWWKH0RURFFDQ\RXWKFRQVLGHUV
6DKDUDDSDUWRI0RURFFR1HYHUWKHOHVVWKHWRWDOODFNRIFRQQHFWLRQEHWZHHQERWKPRYHPHQWVLVUHPDUN-
DEOHVLQFHWRJHWKHUZLWKWKHDXWRFUDF\FRUUXSWLRQVRFLDOLQHTXDOLW\DQGODFNRIIUHHGRPGHQRXQFHGE\WKH
Moroccan youth, the heaviest burden compromising the future of Morocco both at economic and political
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Abbreviations
$69'+$VVRFLDWLRQVDKUDRXLHGHVYLFWLPHVGHVYLRODWLRQVJUDYHVGHV'URLWVGHO+RPPH
$0'+$VVRFLDWLRQPDURFDLQHGHV'URLWVGHO+RPPH
&2'(6$&ROOHFWLIGHGpIHQVHXUV6DKUDRXLVGHV'URLWVGHO+RPPH
CORCAS: Conseil royal consultatif des affaires sahariennes
FRENTE POLISARIO: Frente de liberacin nacional de Saguia El Hamra y Rio de Oro
MINURSO: United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
75 ARAB SPRING

References
$,UHSRUW5LJKWWUDPSOHGSURWHVWVYLROHQFHDQGUHSUHVVLRQLQ:HVWHUQ6DKDUD
$0'+UHSRUW5DSSRUWUHODWLIDX[pYpQHPHQWVTXDFRQQXVODYLOOHGH/Dk\RXQHjODQGXPRLVGHPDL
$69'+UHSRUW5DSSRUWVXUOHFDPSHPHQWGH*GHLP,]LNHWOHVpYpQHPHQWVTXLRQWVXLYLVRQGpPDQWqOHPHQW/Dk\RXQH6DKDUD
Occidental.
Barona Castaeda, C.: 2011, Memoria histrica y resistencia cultural, de Zemla a Gdeim Izik, XXIII Simposio Electrnico Internacional.
Medio Oriente y Norte de frica. Estados alterados y la geopoltica de la transformacin. Universidad Externado de Colombia and
Centro de Estudios Internacionales para el Desarrollo.
%HQQDQL'QRYHPEUH6DKDUD&RPPHQWWRXWDEDVFXOp7HOTXHO
%HQQDQL'QRYHPEUH6DKDUD/DERPEHjUHWDUGHPHQW7HOTXHO
&DUDWLQL6/D3ULVRQGXWHPSVOHVPXWDWLRQVVRFLDOHVjOXYUHGDQVOHVFDPSVGHUpIXJLpVVDKUDRXLV$IULTXHFRQWHPSRUDLQH
222, 181-197.
),'+UHSRUW6DKDUD2FFLGHQWDO/HVDIIURQWHPHQWVGXQRYHPEUHj/Dk\RXQH(VFDODGHGDQVXQFRQLWTXLVpWHUQLVH
*yPH]0DUWtQ&DQG2PHW&/HVFKHPLQHPHQWVGHODSROLWLVDWLRQGHVMHXQHVGDQVOHFKDPSSROLWLTXH6DKUDRXL(WXGH
FRPSDUDWLYHHQWUHODGLDVSRUDHWOHVFDPSVGHUpIXJLpV/$QQpHGX0DJKUHE9
Gmez Martn, C.: 2011, La migracin saharaui en Espaa. Estrategias de visibilidad en el tercer tiempo del exilio, (Editorial Acadmica
Espaola,), p.159.
+XPDQ5LJKW:DWFKUHSRUW6DKDUD2FFLGHQWDO3DOL]DV\PDOWUDWRSRUSDUWHGHODVIXHU]DVGHVHJXULGDGPDUURTXtHV
.KDGHU%/DMHXQHVVHPRWHXUGHVVRXOqYHPHQWVGpPRFUDWLTXHVDUDEHV,QVWLWXWHXURSpHQGHUHFKHUFKHVXUODFRRSpUDWLRQHXUR
arabe (Medea).
/ySH]*DUFtD%(O6iKDUD2FFLGHQWDOHQHOQXHYRWLHPSRiUDEH7ULEXQD'LDULRHO3DtV
0DVVLDK*/HVLQVXUUHFWLRQVUpYROXWLRQQDLUHVFLQTSUHPLqUHVOHoRQV&HQWUHWULFRQWLQHQWDO
5pYROXWLRQVOHUpYHLOGXPRQGHDUDEH0R\HQ2ULHQW, n10, Avril-Juin 2011.
Ruz Miguel, C.:1995, Sahara Occidental y Espaa: historia, poltica y derecho. Anlisis crtico de la poltica exterior espaola, (Editorial
Dykinson, Madrid).
6REHUR<6iKDUD0HPRULD\ROYLGR (GLWRULDO$ULHO0DGULG 
9HJXLOOD9/DUWLFXODWLRQGXSROLWLTXHGDQVXQHVSDFHSURWHVWDWDLUHHQUHFRPSRVLWLRQ/HVPRELOLVDWLRQVGHVMHXQHVVDKUDRXLVj
'DNKOD/DQQpHGX0DJKUHE9
:LOVRQ$'HPRFUDWLVLQJHOHFWLRQVZLWKRXWSDUWLHVUHHFWLRQVRQWKHFDVHRIWKH6DKUDZL$UDE'HPRFUDWLF5HSXEOLF7KH-RXUQDO
of North African Studies, Vol. 15, 4, 423-438.
15M AND INDIGNADO
MOBILIZATIONS
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 78

Antecedents, Achievements and Challenges


of the Spanish 15M Movement

TOMS ALBERICH NISTAL


Universidad de Jan

Abstract
Historical antecedents of the sociopolitical participative movements in Spain since the
HDUO\VHYHQWLHVRIODVWFHQWXU\7KRXJKZLWKRXWWU\LQJWREHYHU\H[KDXVWLYHZHZLOO
SUHVHQWVRPHRIWKHVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVZKLFKKDYHXVHGPHWKRGVDQGDFWLRQVWUDWHJLHV
WKDWE\WKHLUIRUPRUFRQWHQWVZHFDQFRQVLGHUHUDVDSUHFHGHQWRIWKHRQHVXVHGE\WKH
SUHVHQWSURWHVWPRYHPHQWVWKDWZHGHQRPLQDWHFROOHFWLYHO\DVLQGLJQDGRVLQGLJQH]
vous movement, indignant movement, or 15M movement (the plural-international
and restrictive-national versions respectively). Emergence of the 15M movement: dif-
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DQG IDLOXUHV RI WKH  0RYHPHQW 6RPH RI WKH FRQVHTXHQFHV WKDW KDYH DIIHFWHG WKH
GHPRFUDWLFSROLWLFDOV\VWHPDQGPRUHVSHFLFDOO\WKHVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVWUDGHXQLRQV
DQGOHIWZLQJHGSDUWLHV)XWXUHVFHQDULRVDQGFKDOOHQJHV

Keywords
0PRYHPHQWFLWL]HQLQYROYHPHQWQRQSURWVDVVRFLDWLRQVVRFLDOPRYHPHQWV

Immediate causes
0\LQWHQWLRQLVQRWWRFDUU\RXWDSURIRXQGDQDO\VLVRIWKHFDXVHVRIWKHELUWKRIWKH0PRYHPHQWZK\
it came up just in a particular moment in the middle of the campaign for the municipal and autonomic
HOHFWLRQVLQ0D\EXW,GRZDQWWRIRFXVRQWKHFRQXHQFHRISDUWLFXODUIDFWRUVDQGVLWXDWLRQVWKDW
PDGHLWVDSSHDUDQFHLQ6SDLQSRVVLEOH+HUHDUHVRPHRIWKHPRVWVLJQLFDQWRQHV

1. The feeling of having enough, of bearing an almost four year lasting crisis that is causing ever big-
JHUKDUGVKLSVIRUDJURZLQJSDUWRIWKHSRSXODWLRQ JURZLQJVWUXFWXUDOXQHPSOR\PHQWDVRFLHW\XQGHU
home mortgage and debt).

2. The general perception that the crisis has been caused by sectors and economic groups (Bank Entities
DQGLQWHUQDWLRQDOVSHFXODWRUV WKDWDUHVWLOOOHDGLQJWKHHFRQRP\DQGJHWWLQJULFKHU$OOWKLVDOORZHG
if not fostered by, governments and main political parties. By the political HVWDEOLVKPHQW.

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DJDLQVWSROLWLFDOSDUWLHV RIWKH6SDQLVKVRFLHW\ZKLFKGDWHEDFNIURPWKH)UDQFRUHJLPHEXWZKLFK
also have its antecedents in historical anarchism, libertarian communist, or revolutionary traditions.
7KLVSROLWLFDOFODVVKDVEHFRPHDFFRUGLQJWRWKH&,6 2IFLDO6RFLRORJLFDO,QYHVWLJDWLRQV&HQWUH 
VXUYH\VWKHWKLUGPRVWLPSRUWDQWSUREOHPIRUWKH6SDQLVKSRSXODWLRQIRUWKHUVWWLPHDIWHUWKHGHPR-
79 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

cratic transition. This bad reputation of the political class has also been favoured by the emergence of
QXPHURXVLQVWDQFHVRIFRUUXSWLRQIDYRULWLVPDQGZDVWHRISXEOLFVSHQGLQJDQLPDJHWKDWKDVEHHQ
GLVWRUWHGDQGPDJQLHGE\WKHPDVVPHGLDRULHQWHGWRDQHROLEHUDOGLVFRXUVHRUE\H[WUHPHULJKWSRVL-
WLRQV:KHQWKHHFRQRP\LVJURZLQJDQGWKHJHQHUDOSHUFHSWLRQLVWKDWLWLVJRLQJZHOOWKHVHDVSHFWV
FDQEHWROHUDWHGEXWZLWKWKHFULVLVWKH\FDQW

6RPHVHFWRUVZHUHREVHUYLQJZLWKDGPLUDWLRQRUHQY\WKHPDVVPRELOL]DWLRQVLQ$UDEFRXQWULHVWKH
changes in Iceland, the general strikes against social policies reductions in France and Greece.

7KHQHZWHFKQRORJLHV,7&VDQGYLUWXDOVRFLDOQHWZRUNVKDYHHYHQWXDOO\HQDEOHGWKHYLVXDOL]DWLRQRI
XQIDLUHYHQWVDQGVLWXDWLRQVDTXLFNHUDQGVRPHWLPHVDOVREHWWHUFRPPXQLFDWLRQVSHFLDOO\LQWKHFDVH
RIDLULQJWKHGLUW\ODXQGU\VXFKDVWKHXQFRYHULQJRIFRQGHQWLDOSDSHUVE\:LNLOHDNV7KH\DOVR
KDYHSURYLGHGDEHWWHUDFFHVVWRWKHNQRZOHGJHRIDOWHUQDWLYHVSURSRVDOVDQGFDOOVIRUPRELOLVDWLRQ
HYHQWKRXJKDOOWKHVHDUHPL[HGZLWKWKHLQWR[LFDWLRQRILQIRUPDWLRQ

7KH\KDYHDOVREHHQWKHWRROVWKDWKDYHHQDEOHGWKHGHYHORSPHQWRIXQLWDU\PRYHPHQWVSODWIRUPV
and the immediate precedents 15 M movement in Spain: Social Movements of the Madrid Social Fo-
rum (2005-11), 9GH9LYLHQGD +RXVLQJ0RYHPHQWV $QWL%RXORJQHVWXGHQWV0RYHPHQW
 <RXWKZLWKRXWIXWXUHZLWKRXWIHDU  0HVDVGH&RQYHUJHQFLD&LXGDGDQD (Citizen
Convergence Board, 2010), 'HPRFUDFLD5HDO<D'5< 5HDO'HPRFUDF\1RZ 

7KH0PRYHPHQWJRHVEH\RQGLWVUVWRUJDQL]HUVRIWKHth of May demonstration. There is a before


and after in the political and social movements since the 15th of May, 2011, in Spain at least. The m15M
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LQWKHKLVWRU\RIRUWKH$UDE6SULQJMXVWDV0D\ZDVLGHQWLHGZLWKWKHVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVRI
that year.

$PRQJWKHURRWVRIWKHP0ZHVKRXOGDOVRWDNHLQWRDFFRXQWVRPHJHQHUDWLRQDOFKDQJHVDQHZ
JHQHUDWLRQRI\RXQJSHRSOHWKHPRVWTXDOLHGDQGWHFKQRORJLFDOO\VNLOOHGRI6SDQLVKKLVWRU\EXWZLWKWKH
IHZHVWUHVRXUFHVWKHIHZHVWSURIHVVLRQDODQGIXWXUHSHUVSHFWLYHVDQGWKHIHZHVWSRVVLELOLWLHVWRFDUU\RXW
their independent life projects.

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WKH6SDQLVKSRSXODWLRQ:K\"LWZDVDOOHYLDWHGE\IDPLO\VXSSRUWVDYLQJVPXWXDOVXSSRUWVXEVLGLHVDQG
SXEOLFDLG XQHPSOR\PHQWVXEVLGLHV$JUHHPHQWVEHWZHHQ&RPSDQLHVDQG7UDGH8QLRQVIRU([SHGLHQWHV
GHUHJXODFLyQGHHPSOHR(5((PSOR\PHQW5HJXODWLRQ$JUHHPHQWVHDUO\UHWLUHPHQWV %XWZKHQWKH
situation remains a long time these resources are diploid and unemployment becomes structural, massive
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XQGHUSRYHUW\UDWHVKDVLQFUHDVHGIURPDLQWRRYHULQ GDWDIURP&DULWDVDOZD\VUH-
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DUHWKHKLJKHVWSRYHUW\DQGLQHTXDOLW\LQGH[HVRIWKHUHFHQW6SDQLVKGHPRFUDWLFSHULRGVLQFHWKHV7KH
UHFHQWUHVXOWVRIWKHUHVHDUFKHVFDUULHGRXWLQWKH2&'(FRXQWULHVUHYHDOWKHJUDGXDOLQFUHDVHRILQHTXDOLW\
GXULQJWKHODVW\HDUVLQPRVWRIWKHP
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 80

:HVKRXOGDOVRDVNRXUVHOYHVZK\GXULQJWKH\HDUVRIKLJKHFRQRPLFJURZWKDQGWKH6SDQLVKPLUDFOH
WKHUHODWLYHSRYHUW\LQGH[ZDVQHYHUXQGHU IURPWRWKH*'3DQGWKHHPSOR\PHQWGLGQRW
VWRSJURZLQJ %XWWKLVTXHVWLRQLVQRWWKHVXEMHFWRIWKLVDUWLFOH

Good ideas and virtues of the 15M Movement


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PRYHPHQWVZKLFKKDYHXVHGPHWKRGVDQGDFWLRQVWUDWHJLHVWKDWE\WKHLUIRUPRUFRQWHQWVZHFDQFRQ-
VLGHUDVDSUHFHGHQWRIWKHRQHVXVHGE\WKHSUHVHQWSURWHVWPRYHPHQWVWKDWZHGHQRPLQDWHFROOHFWLYHO\DV
LQGLJQDGRVLQGLJQH]YRXVPRYHPHQWLQGLJQDQWWKHSOXUDOLQWHUQDWLRQDOYHUVLRQVZKLFKLQFOXGHZLWK
all its differences, particularities and similarities from Occupy Wall Street to all the occupations of public
VTXDUHVWKURXJKRXWWKHZRUOG7KHLQWHUQDWLRQDOPRELOLVDWLRQRQWKHth of October, 2011 constituted their
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Spring, despite of being a clear precedent of the 15M and sharing some common characteristics, like the
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PHQWVHFXULW\IRUFHVDQGZKLFKLQPDQ\FDVHVDUHVWLOOEHDULQJDEUXWDOFULPLQDOUHSUHVVLRQGLIIHUHQWLDWHV
WKHPIURPWKHPRYHPHQWVLQWKHZHVWHUQFRXQWULHVRUWKRVHFRXQWULHVZLWKIRUPDOGHPRFUDFLHVZKHUH
WKH\KDYHIRFXVHGRQWKHJKWDJDLQVWWKHFULVLVDQGWKHFRPSODLQWVDERXWWKHFULVLVPDQDJHPHQWZLWKWKH
FKDUDFWHULVWLFVWKDWZLOOEHODWHUGHVFULEHGDORWRIWKHPFRPPRQWRWKHGLIIHUHQWLQGLJQDQW movements and
FRSLHGIURPWKH6SDQLVK0:HFDQDIUPWKRXJKWKDWDOOWKHVHPRYHPHQWVIURPWKH$UDEPRYHPHQWV
to the 15M, coincide not only in formal aspects but also in their vindication of a more extensive and better
democracy.

%HIRUHFRPSDULQJLWZLWKRWKHUVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVRIWKH6SDQLVKUHFHQWKLVWRU\ZHDUHJRLQJWRKDYHD
look at some of the good ideas and virtues of the m15M:

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DQGGHPRFUDWLFLGHRORJLHV7KHSRSXODWLRQLVWLUHGRIVHHLQJKRZWKHVRFLDODQGHFRQRPLFLQHTXDOLWLHV
XQHPSOR\PHQWHYLFWLRQVDUHLQFUHDVLQJZKLOHWKRVHZKRSURYRNHGWKHFULVLVDUHQRWSXQLVKHGDQGWKH
ZHDOWK\JHWULFKHU8QWLOWKHHPHUJHQFHRIWKH0WKHLQFUHDVHRIUHDFWLRQDU\LGHDVDQG[HQRSKREHDF-
WLRQVZDVHYLGHQW7KLVWUHQGZDVDWWKHSHDNH[WUHPHSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVLQGHSHQGHQW electoral platforms
RUDVVRFLDWLRQVSRVLWLRQVVKDUHGE\VRPHVHFWLRQVRIWKH3DUWLGR3RSXODUDQG&L8

7KH0KDVGUDZQDJUHDWSDUWRIDQWLV\VWHPJURXSVWRPRUHSDFLVWSRVLWLRQVVKRZLQJWKHHIIHF-
WLYHQHVVRIWKHMRLQHGDFWLRQRIDFWLYHDQGSDFLFFLYLOUHVLVWDQFH

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HQDEOLQJDUHFRQVWUXFWLRQRIWKHUVW0DFWLRQWKH6RORFFXSDWLRQFDPSVLWHLQWKHRXWVNLUWVDQG
suburbs.
81 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

4. As a unitary movement, the camp sites and the assemblies in Sol and the neighbourhood communi-
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IHPLQLVW HFRORJLVW QHLJKERXUV DQWLHYLFWLRQV 7KHVH DFWLRQV DQG SHUIRUPDQFHV KDYH VKRZQ WKHP
WKDWLWLVPRUHZKDWMRLQVWKHPWRJHWKHUWKDWZKDWPRYHVWKHPDSDUW

5. Joined action and political, social and generational pluralism fostering the joined action over ideo-
logical debates (Naredo and Villasante, 2011). The never-ending ideological debate so popular in the
OHIWZLQJHGHQYLURQPHQWVLVDSDUDO\]LQJKDQGLFDS7KHLGHRORJLFDOSOXUDOLW\LVHVVHQWLDOWRWKHOHIW

7KHGHPDQGIRUWKHUVWWLPHRID3DUWLFLSDWLYH'HPRFUDF\DVRQHRIWKHPDLQFODLPVRIWKHPRYH-
PHQW IURPWKHLQLWLDOFODLPV DQGZKDWLVPRVWLPSRUWDQWLWVLPSOHPHQWDWLRQWKURXJKUHDOSUDFWLFHV
VKRZLQJWKDWWKHLUFODLPV RWKHUIRUPVRIGRLQJSROLWLFV ZHUHGLUHFWO\UHODWHGZLWKKRZWKHVHSUDFWLFHV
are implemented. Organization in assemblies, direct participation and internal participative democracy
KDYHEHHQWKHLGHQWLW\VLJQVRIWKHQHZPRYHPHQWIURPLWVRULJLQV7KLVKDVEHHQRQHRIWKHPDMRU
DFKLHYHPHQWVRIWKH0PRYHPHQWDOWKRXJKLWDOVRKDVLWVSURVDQGFRQV RSHUDWLYHGLIFXOWLHVDQG
VORZGHFLVLRQWDNLQJ

7. The successful use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), even the development of
QHZPDVVVHOIFRPPXQLFDWLRQDFFRUGLQJWR&DVWHOOVWHUPLQRORJ\  

7KHFUHDWLRQRIDQHZVLJQODQJXDJH EDVHGRQWKHVLJQODQJXDJHVXVHGE\GHDIFRPPXQLWLHV ZKLFK


PDNHVGLDORJXHDQGSDUWLFLSDWLRQLQDVVHPEOLHVHDVLHUSURYLGLQJDPRUHSDFLFIRUPRISXEOLFH[SUHVVLRQ

7KHFDSDFLW\RIWKHPRYHPHQWWRRUJDQL]HELJPRELOLVDWLRQV IRUH[DPSOHWKHMDQG2ZLWK
KXQGUHGWKRXVDQGVRIGHPRQVWUDWRUV ZLWKIHZHFRQRPLFUHVRXUFHVDQGZLWKRXWWUDGHXQLRQVGHOHJDWHV
ZLWKWLPHRIIULJKWV,WKDVVXFFHHGHGLQEULQJLQJDVPDQ\LIQRWPRUHSHRSOHWRGHPRQVWUDWHLQWKH
VWUHHWVWKDQDQ\*HQHUDO6WULNHHYHQWKRXJKZKHQWKHVHDUHRUJDQL]HGZLWKWKHSDUWLFLSDWLRQRIWKRX-
VDQGVRIZRUNHUVUHSUHVHQWDWLYHVPHPEHUVRISROLWLFDOSDUWLHVFRXQFLOORUVHWFZLWKWLPHRIIULJKWV

10. The origins of the movement, DSDUWLGLVW HYHQDSROLWLFDODFFRUGLQJWRUVWVWDWHPHQW FDVWDJRRGLP-


DJHLQWKHPDVVPHGLD7KHPRYHPHQWDSSHDUVDVVRPHWKLQJQHZIUHVKDQGZKDWLVPRUHDWWUDFWLYH
XQH[SHFWHGDQGVSRQWDQHRXVLQWKHPLGGOHRIDQHOHFWLRQVFDPSDLJQSUHGLFWDEO\ERULQJDQGDW
Its appearance on the front covers of the main mass media has also its pros and cons, as in other move-
PHQWVZHZLOODQDO\]HODWHU DSROLWLFDOXQH[SHFWHGDQGVSRQWDQHRXVUHVSHFWLYHO\

7KHHPHUJHQFHRI0PRYHPHQWZRXOGPHDQDQHZGDZQRIWKHVSULQJZKHUHQHZLGHDVDOWHU-
QDWLYHVFUHDWLYLW\DQGDUWZRXOGEORRP$VVRPHRQHVDLGWKHUHZHUHPRUHLGHDVDQGGHEDWHVLQD
VLQJOHWHQWLQ6ROFDPSVLWHWKDQLQWKHZKROHHOHFWLRQFDPSDLJQ
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 82

Antecedents, differences and similarities with other movements


The citizenship movement of the 70s. Assembly organization, participation and positions on
institutions in the residents associations.

7KHFLWL]HQPRYHPHQWVRIWKH6SDQLVKGHPRFUDWLFWUDQVLWLRQ  ZHUHFKDUDFWHULVHGE\DQ


KRPRJHQHRXVVRFLDODQGDVVRFLDWLRQQHWZRUNLQHDFKWRZQRUWHUULWRULDOVSDFH YLOODJHQHLJKERXUKRRG
HWF RUJDQL]HGDURXQGDXQLWDU\IRUPDODVVRFLDWLRQLQHDFKQHLJKERXUKRRGFUHDWHGLQWKDWGHFDGHZKLFK
GHDOVZLWKWKHLQVWLWXWLRQV

,QPRVWFDVHVWKHFRKHVLYHDFWRURIWKHFLWL]HQVPRYHPHQWZDVDQHLJKERUVDVVRFLDWLRQ $VRFLDFLyQ
GH9HFLQRV$$99 ZKLFKZDVDZDUHRILWVSDUWLFLSDWLRQLQWKHPRYHPHQW:LWKLQWKHQHLJKERUVDVVRFLD-
WLRQLWZDVFRPPRQWRQGZRUNWHDPVDQG\RXWKZRPHQDQGFXOWXUDOJURXSV WKHDWHUPXVLF ZLWKDQ
RQJRLQJUHODWLRQVKLSZLWKWKHIHZRUJDQL]DWLRQVH[LVWLQJLQHDFKQHLJKERXUKRRGPDLQO\WKHDVVRFLDWLRQVRI
VWXGHQWVSDUHQWV ODWHUFDOOHG$03$6 VRPHLQGHSHQGHQWFXOWXUDORU\RXWKDVVRFLDWLRQVKRXVHZLYHVDQG
IDPLO\DVVRFLDWLRQV VRPHRIWKHROGKHDGRIWKHIDPLO\DVVRFLDWLRQVZHUHFKDQJHGLQWRQHLJKERXUVDV-
VRFLDWLRQV 7KHVHKDGDOVRJRRGDOWKRXJKVFDUFHUHODWLRQVKLSVZLWKDVVRFLDWLRQVLQRWKHUQHLJKERXUKRRGV
,QPDQ\FDVHVWKH$VVRFLDWLRQSURYLGHGWKHQHLJKERXUKRRGZLWKDQLGHQWLW\8QWLOWKHVWKH\ZHUHQHLJK-
ERXUKRRGVZLWKRXWKLVWRU\DVWKH\ZHUHFUHDWHGE\HPLJUDQWVIURPWKHYLOODJHV ZHXVHWKHGHQRPLQDWLRQ
most commonly used barrios neighbourhoods- for the territorial unit in general. Thus the term in these
VHQVHDOVRLQFOXGHVGLVWULFWVWRZQVYLOODJHVHWF 7KHDVVRFLDWLRQVFUHDWHGKLVWRU\LQHDFKQHLJKERXU-
KRRGRUJDQL]LQJFXOWXUDOVRFLDOVSRUWVHYHQWVFUHDWLQJQHZIHVWLYLWLHVDQGSDWURQVDQGLQWHUQDOHGXFDWLYH
DQGVROLGDULW\QHWZRUNV

7KHUHZDVDFOHDUGLYLVLRQEHWZHHQWKHDXWRFUDWLFSRZHU WKHSROLWLFDOFODVVRIWKDWWLPH DQGWKHFLWL-


]HQV7KHVRFLDODQGDVVRFLDWLYHQHWZRUNZDVLQWHUPLQJOHGDVPRVWDVVRFLDWLRQVZHUHFUHDWHGIURPDORFDO
VRFLDO QHWZRUN DQG ZHUH DW WKH VDPH WLPH VRFLDO PRYHPHQWV7KH QHLJKERXUV DVVRFLDWLRQV $$99 
ZHUHVHWXSWRLPSURYHWKHFRQGLWLRQVRIWKHVHQHZQHLJKERXUKRRGVZKLFKKDGVFDUFHDQGSRRUIDFLOLWLHV
DQGVHUYLFHV EDGXUEDQL]DWLRQODFNRISXEOLFWUDQVSRUWVFKRROVVRFLDOPHGLFDODQGFXOWXUDOFHQWUHV,WV
HPHUJHQFHZDVUHODWLYHO\VSRQWDQHRXVDQGDSDUWLGLVW (not associated to any political party), as many other
social movements that have succeeded. 6SRQWDQHRXV because neighbours joined to solve real problems and
DSDUWLGLVWEHFDXVHWKH\JDWKHUHGPLOLWDQWVIURPGLIIHUHQWSROLWLFDOSDUWLHV LOOHJDOXQWLO ZLWKRXWEHLQJ
XVHGE\DQ\RIWKHP5HODWLYHO\EHFDXVHLWZDVHYLGHQWWKDWPLOLWDQWVDQGDIOLDWHVRIWKHOHIWSROLWLFDOSDU-
WLHVKDGDQLQWHUHVWLQWKHFUHDWLRQRIWKRVHDVVRFLDWLRQV$OWKRXJKWKHUHZHUHIHZRIWKHPWKHLUSUHVHQFH
ZDVVLJQLFDWLYHDQGJURZLQJ7KH\NQHZWKDWDVLWHYHQWXDOO\KDSSHQHGLQDGLFWDWRULDOUHJLPHWKHVHDV-
VRFLDWLRQVZLOOHQGXSFRQIURQWLQJWKHSRZHUGXHWRWKHQDWXUHRIWKHLUUHLYLQGLFDWLRQVRUWKHLUUHSUHVVLRQ
SURKLELWHGLQVRPHFDVHVWROHUDWHGEXWFRQWUROOHGIRURWKHUVDVVHPEOLHVGLVPDQWOHG 7KHSROLFHUHSUHV-
VLRQZRXOGFDXVHLQGLJQDWLRQDPRQJWKHQHLJKERXUVDQGDQLQFUHDVHLQWKHQXPEHURIVXSSRUWHUVQRWRQO\
RIWKHDVVRFLDWLRQVEXWDOVRRIWKHVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVWKHPVHOYHVDQGWKHSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVJKWLQJDJDLQVWWKH
dictatorship. The transition from micro-changes (improvements in my neighbourhood) to macro-changes
DWDSROLWLFDOOHYHO WRDFKLHYHDGHPRFUDWLFV\VWHP ZRXOGEHERXQGWRFRPHQDWXUDOO\

7KH$$99VWULYHGWRKDYHWKHKLJKHVWQXPEHURIDVVRFLDWHVSRVVLEOHEXWWKHPRVWVLJQLFDWLYHDVSHFW
LQPRVWRIWKHPZDVWKHFDOOIRUDVVHPEOLHV,QWKHQHLJKERXUKRRGDVVHPEOLHVDQ\QHLJKERXUFRXOGSDU-
WLFLSDWHZLWKRXWGLVWLQFWLRQIURPWKHDVVRFLDWHV7KHVRFLDOPRYHPHQWZHQWEH\RQGWKHQDUURZIUDPHRI
83 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

WKHDVVRFLDWLRQ$QGWKHDVVRFLDWLRQVRSHUDWHGLQPRVWFDVHVZLWKLQWKHOLPLWVRIOHJDOLW\RUHYHQRXWVLGH
WKHODZFDOOLQJDVVHPEOLHVZLWKRXWSHUPLVVLRQRIWKHFLYLOJRYHUQPHQW 'RHVQWLWUHPLQGXVWRWKH0
DVVHPEOLHVKHOGLQWKHVWUHHWDQGWKHRIFLDOWHUPRIRFFXS\WKHVTXDUH"3UHVVRIFHRIWKH0FRP-
municated on the 05.22.2011)

The social movements of these years succeeded in identifying themselves as part of a global movement,
a citizenship social movement, and in stablishing a solid relationship, even in articulating those movements
ZLWKWKHWHFKQLFDOH[SHUWVWHDPVWKHOHIWSDUWLHVDQGWKHPDVVPHGLDDQDUWLFXODWLRQWKDWLVQRWDOZD\VHDV\
6RPHWKLQJVLPLODUWRZKDWKDVRFFXUUHGZLWKWKHDOWHUJOREDOL]DWLRQPRYHPHQWVDJDLQVWWKH,UDNZDUDQG
WKHPRYHPHQWVRIWKHLQGLJQDGRV8VLQJWKHWHUPLQRORJ\RI0DQXHO&DVWHOOV  ZHFDQUHVXPHLWV
FKDUDFWHULVWLFVLQWKHJUDSKLFEHOORZ

Second and third scenario: from the crisis of the citizen movements of the 80s to the new
generation of the association movements of the 90s

7KHUVWGHPRFUDWLFPXQLFLSDOHOHFWLRQV LQ LQDXJXUDWHDQLUUHYHUVLEOHSURFHVVRIVRFLDOFKDQJH


The neighbours associations lose their role as a main agent against institutions. The change in these is also
YLVLEOHDWDOOOHYHOV VWDWHORFDOQHZDXWRQRPLHV $WWKHVDPHWLPHWKHLQVWLWXWLRQVKDYHWDNHQRYHUSDUW
RIWKHPDQDJHPHQWRIWKHVRFLDOLGHQWLWLHVZKLFKKDYHEHFRPHPD\RUVFRXQFLORUVIXOOWLPHGHOHJDWHVRI
SROLWLFDOSDUWLHVRULQVWLWXWLRQV7KHGHFDGHRIWKHVLVLGHQWLHGZLWKWKHVHFKDQJHVZKLFKSURYRNHDQ
LUUHYHUVLEOHFULVLVLQWKHFLWL]HQVKLSPRYHPHQWVWKDWZHFDQVXPPDUL]HQRWLQMXVWRQHRUWZRRIWKHSRLQWV
already mentioned but at least in fourteen (see full description in Alberich, 1994, 2007a: 199-201): socio-
HFRQRPLFDQGVRFLDOVWUXFWXUHFKDQJHVGHVHUWLRQRIWKHPDQDJHPHQWDQGPRVWDFWLYHVHFWRUVRIWKHDVVR-
FLDWLRQVSROLWLFDOVHFWDULVPFRPSHWHQFHVRIWKHQHZ&LW\&RXQFLOVWKDWVHHWKHDVVRFLDWLRQVDVFRPSHWLWRUV
DQGGLVSHQVDEOHVWUXFWXUHVFULVLVLQWKHOHIWSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVIHDUIURPWKRVHHQWLWLHVWREHFRQWUROOHGDQG
GLVWUXVWWRZDUGVSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVODFNRIQHZSROLWLFDODQGJOREDOKRUL]RQVEHOLHYLQJWKDWIRUPDOGHPRF-
UDF\ZRXOGUHVROYHHYHU\WKLQJ FDXVHVRIWKHVRFDOOHGGLVFRQWHQWRIWKHV RUJDQL]DWLRQZHDNQHVVHVLQ
WKHDVVRFLDWLRQVODFNRIWUDLQLQJLQSDUWLFLSDWLRQWHFKQLTXHV

'XULQJWKHVWKHUHZDVDFKDQJHIURPDQLUUXSWLYHWRDE\LQYLWDWLRQSDUWLFLSDWLRQWKHQHZRUJDQL]D-
tive structures create restricted, burocratic channels to lead the eager need of participation of the citizens.
,QWKHVHVWUXFWXUHVFRSLHGIURPWKHSROLWLFDODGPLQLVWUDWLYHORJLFZLWKQXPHURXVFORVHGVHFWRULDOFRXQFLOV
RIDFRQVXOWLQJQDWXUHZLWKRXWFDSDFLW\RIDFWLRQOHVVRIGHFLVLRQWDNLQJLQHIFLHQWPRVWRIWKHFLWL]HQV
give up participation.

,QWKLVFRQWH[WRQO\VRPHQHLJKERXUVDVVXPHWKHQHZDGPLQLVWUDWLYHDQGEXURFUDF\UXOHVDQGNHHSWKHLU
DFWLYLVPLQRUJDQL]DWLRQVGXULQJWKHV7KHVHFWRULDOGLYLVLRQIRVWHUHGE\WKHQHZDGPLQLVWUDWLYHLQVWLWX-
WLRQVZKLFKGLGQRWXQGHUVWDQGRIJOREDODVVRFLDWLRQV RQHFRXQFLORUIRUHDFKVHFWRUXUEDQLVPHGXFDWLRQ
FXOWXUHVSRUWV\RXWK SURYRNHGDIUDJPHQWDWLRQLQDVVRFLDWLQJHQWLWLHV7KHQHLJKERXUVDVVRFLDWLRQV
lose their identity as the association of the neighbourhood and turn into just another association more.
7KHUHLVDSURJUHVVLYHLQFUHDVHLQWKHDVVRFLDWLYHIUDJPHQWDWLRQGXULQJWKHV0RUHRYHUWKHQHLJKERXUV
DVVRFLDWLRQVDUHLQFUHDVLQJO\VHHQDOPRVWDVDQRWKHULQVWLWXWLRQE\WKH\RXQJSHRSOHIURPWKHZRUNLQJGLV-
WULFWVERWKWKHPXQLFLSDOGLVWULFWERDUGVDQGWKHQHLJKERXUVDVVRFLDWLRQVUXQDQGPDQDJHFHQWUHVVHUYLFHV
GHDOZLWKFRPSODLQWVUHTXHVWV
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 84

,QHDFKQHLJKERXUKRRGDJUHDWHUQXPEHURIDVVRFLDWLRQVUHTXLULQJMXVWDVLQJOHDQGGLUHFWDFWLRQWR
DFKLHYHVSHFLFREMHFWLYHVLQWKHVKRUWWHUPDQGIRUDFRQFUHWHSODFHDUHFUHDWHGIROORZLQJWKHQHZPRGHO
RIYROXQWHHUV1*2VZKRVHPHPEHUVZDQWWRSHUIRUPYLVLEOHDQGGLUHFWDFWLRQVWRKHOSRWKHUSHRSOH
The distrust in the ideological debate and in politics is ever more evident.

+RZHYHUWKHVZLOOVHHRWKHUFKDQJHV6SDLQKDVJUDGXDOO\WXUQHGIURPDFRXQWU\UHFHLYLQJGHYHORS-
ing aids into a state that creates programs of international aid cooperation. This increases the development
RI WKH LQWHUQDWLRQDO FRRSHUDWLRQ DVVRFLDWLRQV SURPRWHG DOVR E\ VRPH FRQVHUYDWLYH VROLGDU\ JURXSV ZH
KDYHWRKHOSWKHWKLUGZRUOGQRWWRDQDO\VHWKHLQHTXDOLWLHVKHUHRUDVNRXUVHOYHVDERXWWKHUHDVRQZK\
WKH\DUHFDXVHGWKHUH7KHFRPELQDWLRQRIWKHVHIDFWRUV LPSURYHPHQWRILQWHUQDOHFRQRP\DZDUHQHVVRI
WKHLQWHUQDWLRQDOSRYHUW\ SURYRNHVVRPHPRELOLVDWLRQPRYHPHQWVVRPHWLPHVHYHQVSRQWDQHRXVDQG
explosive, not bound to any political party and gathering people from different ideologies in the solidar-
LW\RUJDQL]DWLRQV UHOLJLRXVDQGOHIW VXFKDVWKHPRYHPHQWZKLFKFODLPVIRUWKHIXOOPHQWRIWKH
8QLWHG1DWLRQVDJUHHPHQWERXQGLQJWKHGHYHORSLQJFRXQWULHVWRSURYLGHWKHDQGRIWKH*%3WRLQWHU-
QDWLRQDOFRRSHUDWLRQSURJUDPV7KLVZLOOEHODWHUNQRZQDVWKHDQG DGGLQJRWKHUFODLPVVXFKDV
the condemn of debt to the poorer countries and the improvement of social justice, although these remained
DOZD\VLQWKHEDFNJURXQG 'XULQJDQGSDFLFDQGGLUHFWDFWLRQVRIQRQYLROHQWFLYLOGLVREHGL-
HQFHLQFOXGLQJFDPSVLWHVDQGRFFXSDWLRQRISXEOLFVSDFHVFODLPHGVLPSOHDQGPLQLPXPUHTXLUHPHQWV
until they achieved a state commitment to increase gradually the budget provisions for the cooperation
programs. As in the 15M, the camp sites began in Madrid, in Paseo de la Castellana, and from there they
VSUHDGWRRWKHUWRZQVDQGFLWLHV

6LQFHWKHPRYHPHQWORVHVJUDGXDOO\LWVJOREDOPRELOLVLQJSRZHUDQGWXUQVLQWRQHZFRRSHUD-
WLRQDQGVRFLDODFWLRQRUJDQL]DWLRQVZLWKDQLQWHUQDWLRQDORUORFDOSURMHFWLRQ

To sum up, the associative tendencies of the 90s in Spain are generally bound to very different factors
such as (from Alberich, 2007b:81):

6PDOOKROGLQJDQGVXEVLGL]HGDVVRFLDWLRQVZKLFKKDYHDOUHDG\RYHUFRPHWKHLUPRVWVHFWDULDOWHQ-
GHQFLHV3HQHWUDWHGE\SROLWLFDOSDUWLHV WKH\KDYHDOZD\VEHHQ EXWZLWKOHVVSROLWLFDOPDQDJHPHQW
than in the former decades.

7KHFRPELQDWLRQRIROGDQGQHZUDGLFDODQGVRFLDOPRYHPHQWV RNXSDVDQWLIDVFLVWJD\VDQG/*7%
IUHHDQGFRPPXQLWDU\UDGLRV 

7KHVXSSO\RIQHZVHUYLFHVIURPWKHDVVRFLDWLRQVWRJHWKHUZLWKQHZPLQRULWDU\DQGDGPLQLVWUDWLYH
DVVRFLDWLRQVRIVHUYLFHVZKLFKOHDGVWRWKHHPHUJHQFHRIDQHZDVVRFLDWLRQEXVLQHVVPRGHO UHJ-
LVWHUHGDVDQDVVRFLDWLRQEXWZRUNLQJDVDWUDGLQJFRPSDQ\DFRRSHUDWLYHRUDVVHWFRPPXQLWLHV 7KH
public administration starts to outsource some services using social organizations.

&UHDWLRQRIQHZ0DQDJHPHQW%RDUGV$KLJKHUSURIHVVLRQDOL]DWLRQLQWKHDVVRFLDWLRQV,QFUHDVHLQWKH
QXPEHURIDIOLDWHVZLWKGLIIHUHQWPRWLYDWLRQV

&RQVWLWXWLRQRIQHZDVVRFLDWLRQVVHOIFDOOHG1RQ*RYHUQPHQWDO$VVRFLDWLRQV1*2VLQRUGHUWR
give an independent but more institutional image
85 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

6. Volunteering: After their successful participation in the organization of Barcelona 1992 Olympics,
WKHSXEOLFDGPLQLVWUDWLRQFUHDWHVQHZGHSDUWPHQWVWRUHFUXLWPHQWIRUFXOWXUDODQGVRFLDOSURMHFWV,WKDV
WREHVDLGWKDWYROXQWHHUSDUWLFLSDWLRQHYHQZKHQLWWXUQVLQWRDIDVKLRQRULQDZD\WRLQLWLDWHDSURIHV-
VLRQDOFDUHHULVDFRPSOH[DQGGLYHUVHVRFLDOSKHQRPHQRQZKLFKFDQQRWEHDFFHSWHGRUUHMHFWHGLQ
general terms.

3HQHWUDWLRQRIXQVROLGDU\YDOXHVLQVRPHROGDQGQHZPRYHPHQWV DQLOOXVHRI1RWLQ0\%DFN<DUG
1,0%<PRYHPHQWV ZKLFKEHFRPHDQWLVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVUHSUHVHQWLQJWKHQHZPLGGOHFODVVZKLFK
ZDQWWRPRYHDZD\IURPWKHVRFLDOO\H[FOXGHGDQGPDUJLQDOSRSXODWLRQLQWKHVRFLHW\RIWKHWKUHH
WKLUGV VRPH LQVWDQFHV DUH WKH FLWL]HQV SDWUROV SURWHVW DJDLQVW UHKRXVLQJ DQWLGUXJV FDPSDLJQV
DOWKRXJKZHFDQQRWPDNHDQ\JHQHUDOVWDWHPHQWVLQFHHDFKFDVHLVGLIIHUHQW

7KHORFDOLVWDWRPL]HGHYHQFRUSRUDWLYHFKDUDFWHURIDVVRFLDWLRQVZKLFKHYHQWXDOO\LVGLVDSSHDULQJ
LQVRPHPRYHPHQWVLQIDYRXURIQHZXQLWDU\FXUUHQWV

1HZDVVRFLDWLYHIHGHUDWLRQVDQGSODWIRUPVDQGQHZIRUPVRIFRPPXQLFDWLRQKDGDOUHDG\LQFUHDVHGWKH
PXWXDONQRZOHGJHDQGLPSURYHGWKHUHODWLRQVKLSVEHWZHHQDVVRFLDWLRQVDQGVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVLQWKHV
7KHQXPEHURI&RQJUHVVHVDQG0HHWLQJVRIFLWL]HQVFXOWXUDODLGFRRSHUDWLRQPRYHPHQWVPXOWLSOLHG
/LQNLQJWKHSDUWLFXODUWRWKHJOREDOLVVKRZQDVDVRFLDOYDOXHVLQFHWKHHQGRIWKHVDJDLQVWWKHLQGL-
YLGXDOLVWSDUWLFXODULVPKHJHPRQLFLQWKHV$OWKRXJKLWVKRXOGEHFODULHGWKDWWKHUHDUHWZRGLIIHUHQW
phenomena developing at the same time:

$JUHDWQXPEHURIPLFURDVVRFLDWLRQVDUHVWLOOEHLQJVHWXS7KHLQIRUPDWLRQJLYHQE\WKHJXUHVRIWKH
QDWLRQDOUHJLVWHURIFHVDQGWKH$XWRQRPRXV&RPPXQLWLHVVKRZVDSHUVLVWHQFHRIDVPDOOKROGLQJ
WHQGHQF\LQWKHDVVRFLDWLYLVP,QWKHUHZHUHDOUHDG\DVVRFLDWLRQVUHJLVWHUHGDFFRUGLQJWR
WKH/DZRI$VVRFLDWLRQVLQWKHLUQXPEHUKDGLQFUHDVHGWR/RFDODVVRFLDWLRQVZLWK
DUHDORUSUHWHQGHGDSROLWLFDOLQWHQWLRQWKDWLQWKHVGHFDGHDUHVHOIGHQRPLQDWHGDVZHH[SODLQHG
EHIRUH1*26QRQOXFUDWLYHDVVRFLDWLRQVRUYROXQWHHUVDVVRFLDWLRQZKHQLQIDFWDOODVVRFLDWLRQV
DUHE\WKHLURZQGHQLWLRQDQGOHJDOVWDWXVQRQJRYHUQPHQWDODQGQRQOXFUDWLYHDQGKDYHYROXQWHHUV

7KHUHLVLQFRQWUDVWDQLQFUHDVHLQWKHQXPEHURIDVVRFLDWLRQVEHFRPLQJDZDUHWKDWWKHVROXWLRQWRWKH
social problems cannot come only from the local action. The idea is spread that even the most particu-
ODUDQGORFDOSUREOHPVDUHGLUHFWO\FUHDWHGRULQXHQFHGE\WKHJOREDORQHV$WUVWWKHHFRORJLFYLVLRQ
RIDQHHGIRUORFDODFWLRQZLWKDJOREDOWKLQNLQJEHFRPHVJUDGXDOO\VWDEOLVKHG7KHQWKHQHHGRI
JOREDODFWLRQZLWKDORFDOWKLQNLQJDOVREHFRPHVHYLGHQW+XPDQULJKWVHQYLURQPHQWDOPRYHPHQWV
HPHUJH7KHQHZSURSRVDOVDQGDSSURDFKHVVHWGXULQJ5tR6XPPLWWKHUVWZRUOGFRQIHUHQFH
RQGHYHORSPHQWDQGHQYLURQPHQWDOLVVXHVDUHJRLQJWREHLQWURGXFHGDWDYHU\ORZSDFHDQGLWLVQRW
until the 2000 decade that sustainable development approach becomes predominant - although it
LVLQPDQ\FDVHVDIDOVHHWLTXHWWH,QWKHVDPHOLQHZHQGWKHPRYHPHQWRWKHUVROLGDU\PRYH-
ments and mobilisations for the condemn of the debt, the anti-Maastricht movement and the natural
PHUJLQJRIDOOWKHPZLWKWKHDQWLJOREDOL]DWLRQPRYHPHQWVDWWKHHQGRIWKHV$OOWKHVHFRQVWLWXWH
not only global resistance movements, but also alternative movements or movements calling an alter-
globalization
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 86

Since the end of the century a more global, and thus political, approach is adopted by many associations
and movements, due to the global nature of the main problems affecting the population directly: on the one
KDQGWKHHQHUJHWLFFULVLVDQGJOREDOFRQWDPLQDWLRQZLWKGDPDJHWKHHQYLURQPHQWDQGWKHOLIHTXDOLW\DQG
RQWKHRWKHUKDQGWKHLQWHUQDWLRQDOHFRQRPLFFKDQJHRULJLQDWHGE\WKHQHROLEHUDOJOREDOL]DWLRQZKLFKKDG
DVDFRQVHTXHQFHDQLQFUHDVHLQWKHLQWHUQDODQGH[WHUQDOLQHTXDOLWLHVIRUFLQJPDQ\HPLJUDQWVRXWRIWKHLU
countries.

'LYHUVLW\DQGSOXUDOLW\KDVEHHQDFRQVWDQWIHDWXUHLQWKHDVVRFLDWLYHPRYHPHQWV+RZHYHUWKHUHLVDOVR
DJUDGXDODZDUHQHVVRIEHORQJLQJWRDFRPPRQFXOWXUHRIDOWUXLVWYDOXHVDQGWKDWDFKLHYHPHQWVZLOORQO\
EHREWDLQHGZLWKDXQLWHGDFWLRQ

+RZHYHUZKHUHDVLQWKHPLGGOHRIWKHDIRUHPHQWLRQHGSURIRXQGFULVLVRIWKHVDPRELOLVDWLRQIRUD
referendum and anti-NATO movements emerged, during the 90s, the antecedents of the alter-globalization
PRYHPHQWVZHUHDPRQJRWKHUVWKH$QWL0DDVWULFKWPRYHPHQWZKRVHIXOOQDPHZDVSUHFLVHO\0RYHPHQW
against the Europe of Maastricht and the Economic Globalization. With an assambleary and participative
QDWXUHLWODVWHGORQJHUWKDQWKHDQWL27$1PRYHPHQWVLQFHLWRQO\KDGDVSHFLFREMHFWLYHDQGD[HG
FDGXFLW\WRDFKLHYHWKHFHOHEUDWLRQRIDUHIHUHQGXPDQGZLQLW$IWHUPDQDJLQJWRDFKLHYHWKHUHIHUHQ-
GXP ZKLFKWKH\ORVW WKHPRYHPHQWZDVGLVVROYHGLQWRVPDOOSODWIRUPVZKLFKJDYHFRQWLQXLW\WRWKHROG
reivindications of the retirement of the North American troops and the elimination of the military bases
ZLWKWKHVORJDQ27$1QR%DVHVIXHUD1$721R%DVHVRXW 7KHVHPRYHPHQWVORVWLQWHQVLW\ZKHQ
WKHHOLPLQDWLRQRIWKHPLOLWDU\EDVHVLQ6SDQLVKWHUULWRU\ZDVLQFOXGHGDVSDUWRIWKHJRYHUQPHQWDJHQGD
RQO\SDUWLDOO\IXOOOHG

Some associations and anti-NATO organizations participated in the creation of the Anti-Maastricht
PRYHPHQWZKLFKLQWURGXFHGDQHZVLJQLFDQWGHEDWHLQWKH6SDQLVKVRFLHW\

:KDWNLQGRI(XURSHDQFRPPXQLW\GRZHZDQWWREXLOG"7KH(XURSHRIWKHWUDGHUVOHGE\WKHFDSL-
WDO"7KH(XURSHRIIUHHPRYHPHQWIRUFDSLWDO QRZZHZRXOGVD\VSHFXODWRUV WKH(XURSHRIWKHJURZLQJ
GHUHJXODUL]DWLRQRIWKHPDUNHWVIROORZLQJWKHWUDLORIWKHQHROLEHUDOJOREDOL]DWLRQSURSRVDOVRIWKH0
7KDWFKHU55HDJDQWDQGHP"2UD(XURSHIRUWKHFLWL]HQV"7KLVGHEDWHZDVSUHVHQWLQDJUHDWQXPEHURI
assembleary meetings in different European countries.

%XWWKH(XURSHDQJRYHUQPHQWVQHJRWLDWHGWKHFUHDWLRQRIDQHZ(XURSHDQ8QLRQ XQWLOWKHQ(XUR-
pean Community) and signed their Maastricht Agreement on the 7th of February, 1992. The main political
SDUWLHVFRLQFLGHGLQGHIHQGLQJWKHDJUHHPHQWDVDQHFHVVDU\FRQGLWLRQWRWKHGHYHORSPHQWRIDQHZ(XUR-
SHDQ8QLRQDQGWKHDQWL0DDVWULFKWPRYHPHQWZDVSUHVHQWHGWRWKHH\HVRIWKHSXEOLFRSLQLRQDVDQDQWL
(XURSHDQPRYHPHQW VRPHWKLQJVLPLODUZRXOGRFFXUODWHUZLWKWKHSURMHFWRIWKH(XURSHDQ&RQVWLWXWLRQLQ
Spain, although not in other countries such as France).

+RZHYHUZHKDYHVHHQUHFHQWO\ DGHFDGHDQGDKDOIODWHU KRZDJUHDWHUSDUWRIWKHFULWLFLVPPDGHE\


WKHVHDQWLPRYHPHQWVFRLQFLGHZLWKZKDWWKHH[SHUWVFDOOQRZWKHGHIHFWVRIWKH(XURSHDQDJUHHPHQWV
signed in Maastricht and in other summits: increasing de-regulation of the markets, freedom for the inter-
QDWLRQDOQDQFLDOVSHFXODWLRQ ZLWKRXWWD[HV LQGHSHQGHQWSRZHURIWKH(XURSHDQ&HQWUDO%DQN %&( 
ZKLFKDLPVMXVWDWWKHFRQWURORIWKHLQDWLRQ LQFRQWUDVWZLWKWKH)HGHUDO5HVHUYH%DQNZKLFKDOVRDLPV
DWWKHUHGXFWLRQRIXQHPSOR\PHQW WKHFUHDWLRQRIDQHZPRQHWDU\XQLRQZLWKRXWDFRPPRQVFDOSROLF\
87 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

RUHFRQRP\PDQDJHPHQWDXWKRULW\ZKLFKDOORZVGLVSDUHDQGRSSRVLQJVFDOSROLFLHVFRPSHWLQJEHWZHHQ
WKHPWD[KDYHQVZLWKRXWJUDQWLQJDQ\PLQLPXPFRPPRQVRFLDOULJKWVDQG:HOIDUH6WDWHFRQGLWLRQVIRU
WKHZKROH8QLRQ

)LQDOO\DJUHDWQXPEHURIPHHWLQJVDQGQHZVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVFULWLFDORIWKHSUHYDLOLQJGHYHORSPHQW
PRGHOWRRNSODFHLQWKLVGHFDGH)RULQVWDQFHWKHUVWXQLWDU\,QWHUQDWLRQDO&RQJUHVVRI6RFLDO0RYHPHQWV
&,06ODWHU&,06QHWZRUN ZDVFHOHEUDWHGRUJDQL]HGE\6SDQLVKDVVRFLDWLYHHQWLWLHVZLWKWKH
participations of the main Trade Unions, cooperative unions, cultural and families federations, etc.. These
constituted an antecedent, in its form and content, of the alter-globalization movements and other social
IRUXPV,WLVLPSRVVLEOHWROLVWLQWKLVSDSHUDOOWKHPHHWLQJVDQGQHZPRYHPHQWVWKDWHPHUJHGZLWKGLIIHU-
HQWLGHDVEXWZLWKDVLPLODUIRUPDODSSURDFK SDUWLFLSDWLYHGHPRFUDF\RSSRVLWLRQDJDLQVWWKHSUHYDLOLQJ
JOREDOL]DWLRQPRGH ,ZLOORQO\PHQWLRQWZRVLJQLFDWLYHH[DPSOHVWKH,QWHUQDWLRQDO=DSDWLVWD0RYH-
ment (starting from the proposals of the Mexican movement led by VXEFRPDQGDQWH0DUFRVZKLFKHYROYHG
IURPWKH*XHUULOODWRPRUHSDFLFDOWHUQDWLYHV DQGWKHPHHWLQJKHOGLQ0DGULGLQZLWKWKHVLJQLFD-
WLYHQDPH$OWHUQDWLYH)RUXPWKH2WKHU9RLFHVRIWKH3ODQHW$ZRUOGPHHWLQJRIVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVDQG
NGOs on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the IMF, WB and GATT.

Fourth scenario. From 2000 until now. Alter world movements and social forums

$WWKHEHJLQQLQJRIWKLVFHQWXU\VRPHRIWKHFKDUDFWHULVWLFVRIWKHIRUPHUGHFDGHDUHUHSURGXFHGZLWK
JUHDWHULQWHQVLW\RYHUSURIHVVLRQDOL]DWLRQDQGRYHUPDQDJHPHQWRIVRPHQRQOXFUDWLYHHQWLWLHVZLWKD
KLJKHIFLHQWPDQDJHPHQWEXWZLWKDIHZQXPEHURIDIOLDWHVDQGYROXQWHHUVODFNRISDUWLFLSDWLRQDQG
renovation of the management boards of some traditional associations (part of the AA.VV.),a lack of trans-
SDUHQF\DQGSDUWLFLSDWLRQWKDWHPHUJHVLQWKHZRUVWFDVHVLQWKHIRUPRIIDYRULWLVPDQGQHSRWLVPLQVRPH
FRQWUDFWVDQGHYHQFRUUXSWLRQVFDQGDOV ,QWHUYLGD$QHVYDG$UFDGH=RpLQ 7KHVHFDVHV
though minoritary and more or less restricted to foundations, bring certain discredit upon the associative
sector. Luckily enough most entities react on time, specially the bigger associations and the federations,
improving their internal control procedures, implementing ethic statement policies and management trans-
SDUHQF\1RQHWKHOHVVVRPHRIWKHSUREOHPVSUHYDLOSUHFDULRXVHPSOR\PHQWZLWKFRQWUDFWVGHSHQGHQWRQ
SXEOLFVXEVLGLHVDPDQDJHPHQWEDVHGRQSDWHUQDOLVPKLHUDUFKL]DWLRQ7KHLQFUHDVHRISULYDWHQDQF-
LQJ ZLWKWKHGHYHORSPHQWRIWKH&RUSRUDWLYH6RFLDO5HVSRQVLELOLW\ DQGWKHXVHRIDVVRFLDWLRQVIRUWKH
SULYDWL]DWLRQRISXEOLFVHUYLFHVKDYHFRQWULEXWHGWRPDNHVRPHSUREOHPVZRUVH DOWKRXJKWKH\KDYHDOVR
LQFUHDVHGWKHQDQFLDOUHVRXUFHV DQGWRVSUHDGWKHLGHDWKDWWKH7KLUG6HFWRULVMXVWDQRWKHUZD\WRPDNH
a living and that they have abandoned the ideals of a social change.

4XLWHDQRSSRVLWHFDVHLVWKDWRIWKHUHLYLQGLFDWLYHVRFLRSROLWLFDOPRYHPHQWVZKLFKKDYHHPHUJHGDURXQG
WKHQHZDOWHUZRUOGPRYHPHQWVDQGWKHVRFLDOIRUXPV

7KHQH[XVEHWZHHQWKHPXOWLSOHJURXSVZLWKWKHVORJDQ2WUR0XQGR(V3RVLEOH$QRWKHU:RUOGLV
Possible, and the Trade Unions, main NGOs and political parties of the traditional left, has been repre-
sented by the VRFLDOIRUXPVVSHFLDOO\E\WKH6RFLDO)RUXPVRI3RUWR$OHJUHLQDQG7KHVHQHZ
forums have been developed from annual meetings into long term organizations, operating at different
OHYHOV QDWLRQDOORFDO DQGZLWKGLIIHUHQWIRUPVVRPHRIWKHPDUHDOPRVWH[FOXVLYHO\DFRPELQDWLRQRI
the acronyms of the organizations recognized by the institutions and others have succeeded in creating a
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 88

7KHPHHWLQJVRIWKHVRFLDOIRUXPVDUHQRWSURWHVWPRELOLVDWLRQVDUHVSRQVHWRWKHRIFLDOPHHWLQJVRU
counter-summits (as it occurred before), they are constituted by themselves as a nexus for the setting of
local and global alternatives. One of these World Alternative Meetings is the Forum of Local and Regional
Authorities in Porto Alegre, that since 2001 holds annual meetings at the same time that the Social Forum
DQGVLPLODUO\LQGLIIHUHQWFLWLHV7KLVLVDPHHWLQJSRLQWEHWZHHQORFDOUHSUHVHQWDWLYHVWKDWLQWHUFKDQJH
H[SHULHQFHVWRJHQHUDWHSURFHVVHVRIVRFLDOLQFOXVLRQZKRWKLQNWKDWPHWURSROLVDQGFLW\QHWZRUNVFDQ
FRXQWHUWKH6WDWHVDQGWKHZRUOGRUJDQL]DWLRQV

The success of meetings such as the counter-summit of Seattle (1999), Prague or Geneve (2001) has
IDYRXUHGWKHUHSHWLWLRQRIFHUWDLQFRPPRQFKDUDFWHULVWLFVDPRQJWKHSDUWLFLSDWLQJDOWHUZRUOGJURXSV7KHLU
reivindications and operating procedures clearly remind us to those used by the 15M and other indignates
PRYHPHQWV0DQ\RIWKHLQQRYDWLRQVDQGQHZLGHDVDWWULEXWHGWRWKH0ZHUHDOUHDG\SUHVHQWLQWKHVH
JURXSV7KXVDOUHDG\LQZHPHQWLRQHGWKHIROORZLQJFRPPRQIHDWXUHV $OEHULFKD 

$PRUHHTXDOLWDULDQDQGRSHQLGHRORJ\DGPLWWLQJGLIIHUHQFHDVDQHQULFKLQJIHDWXUHDVIDUDVWKHUH
LVDFRPPRQDJUHHPHQWRQWKHPDLQREMHFWLYHV$QHZHWKLFIRUWKHJURXSVLQPRYHPHQW is created.

1HZIRUPVRILQWHUQDORUJDQL]DWLRQPRUHH[LEOHQRQKLHUDUFKLFDORSHQDQGDVVHPEOHDU\VSDFHVLQ
OLQHZLWKWKHLGHRORJLFDODSSURDFKDGRSWHG

1HWZRUNDQGKRUL]RQWDOZRUN7KHSRVLWLRQVFKDQJHLQDURWDV\VWHP5HLYLQGLFDWLRQRILQWHUQDODQG
external participative democracy

)RUPORFDODFWLRQJOREDOWKLQNLQJDQGWKHDFWLRQDWDPLFUROHYHOWRWKHJOREDODFWLRQZLWKDORFDOWKLQNLQJ

&LYLOUHVLVWDQFHGLUHFWQRQYLROHQW$FWLRQ 

6. To pay more attention to the analysis of the reality. Critical acceptance of the technological innova-
WLRQVSURPRWLQJDJRRGXVHRIWKHQHZWHFKQRORJLHV VSHFLDOO\LQWHUQHWPRELOHSKRQHV

3UDJPDWLFDFWLRQ6HDUFKIRUDQDOOLDQFHEHWZHHQGLIIHUHQWW\SHVRIRUJDQL]DWLRQV7KXVPRYHPHQWV
FRQVLGHUHGDVUDGLFDOKDYHFRLQFLGHGLQWKHXQLWDU\PRYHPHQWVDQGKDYHVHWPXWXDOVXSSRUWQHWZRUNV
ZLWKPRUHLQVWLWXWLRQDOL]HGDQGSURIHVVLRQDOL]HGRUJDQL]DWLRQVRYHUFRPLQJWKHPXWXDOGLVWUXVW,Q
PDQ\FDVHVWKHUROHVDUHGLVWULEXWHGDVIROORZVWKHELJ1*2VFDUU\RXWUHOLDEOHVWXGLHVDQGSURSRVDOV
WRWKHSXEOLFDGPLQLVWUDWLRQZKLFKZLOOSURYLGHDUJXPHQWVIRUWKHDFWLYLVWPRYHPHQWVZLWKZKLFKWKH\
ZLOOFRLQFLGHLQVRPHGHPRQVWUDWLRQV5DGLFDOFLWL]HQVPRYHPHQWV KDYHSXEOLFO\FRQYHUJHGLQ
the mobilisations, changing and overcoming to a great extent their bad social image.

6LPLODUO\WKHUHDUHVRPHZHDNQHVVHVLQWKHDOWHUJOREDOL]DWLRQPRYHPHQWVWKDWDUHUHSURGXFHGE\WKH
current indignates movements:

7KHPDQLSXODWLRQRUWKHSHUPDQHQWDWWHPSWWRPDQLSXODWHLQIRUPDWLRQE\WKHPDVVPHGLD PDVVIRU-
PDWLRQPHGLDDFFRUGLQJWR$JXVWtQ*DUFtD&DOYR ZKLFKDPSOLI\FHUWDLQPRYHPHQWVDQGVLWXDWLRQV
WKHYLROHQFHWKHSDUDGR[LFDOWKHDQHFGRWHVDQGZKDWVQHZDQGRULJLQDODFFRUGLQJWRIDVKLRQWUHQGV
and leaves out others.
89 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

7KHODFNRIRZQPDVVPHGLD RUFORVHWRWKHPRYHPHQWV ZLWKVRFLDOLPSDFWDSDUWIURPWKHXVHRI


Internet.

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7KHORQJWHUPRUJDQL]DWLRQZHDNQHVVHV

)LQDOO\PRYHPHQWVKDYHPDGHDELJSURJUHVVLQWKHGHQRXQFHDQGSURWHVWDVSHFWVEXWQRWLQWKHIRU-
mulation of global, alternative and concrete proposals (such as the Tobin Tax proposal) (Alberich,
2007a:208).

Most of these features, either positive or not, are present in the current movements. For instance the easy
GLVSRVLWLRQWRWKHFULWLTXHWRGLVDJUHHZLWKWKHFXUUHQWVLWXDWLRQEXWWKHGLIFXOW\WRVHHNDOWHUQDWLYHVDQG
EXLOGDQHZFUHGLEOHSURMHFW7KLVZDVDOUHDG\QRWLFHGDWWKHEHJLQQLQJRIWKHPRYHPHQW5DPyQ&RWDUHOR
18th of May: The negative side of this program is clear (NOT to the existing situation) but the positive
VLGHWKHDOWHUQDWLYHVWRVXEVWLWXWHZKDWLVRXWGDWHGLVQRW,WLVQHFHVVDU\WRHODERUDWHQHZSURSRVDOVDQGD
devise to measure their possible social support. It is not easy to elaborate a program, but it is the only thing
that can give cohesion to the movement (Cotarelo, 2011:47).

The 15M and the differences with former movements.

2QHRIWKHGLIIHUHQFHVUHVSHFWIRUPHUPRYHPHQWVLVWKDWWKH0LVERUQZLWKWKHLQWHQWLRQWREHDVLQJOH
XQLWDU\PRYHPHQWZLWKFDSDFLW\RIDFWLRQ7KHDOWHUZRUOGPRYHPHQWVKDGEHHQWKHVXPRIPRYHPHQWV
DQGHQWLWLHVWKDWPDLQWDLQHGWKHLURZQQDPHVDQGFKDUDFWHULVWLFVZLWKLQWKHPRYHPHQW6RPHWKLQJVLPLODU
RFFXUUHGZLWKWKHSODWIRUPVDJDLQVW,UDNZDUDQGRWKHUVRFLDOIRUXPVZKLFKZRUNHGDVWKHPHHWLQJSRLQWRI
GLIIHUHQWRUJDQL]DWLRQVEXWDGPLWWLQJLQGLYLGXDOSDUWLFLSDQWVVLQFHZLWKWKHWLPHLWZDVGHFLGHGWRH[SDQG
these platforms, including collective and individual participants.

The 15M is not simply a sum of Spanish organizations such as Democracia Real, Juventud sin Fu-
turo, No le votes, etc (movements that constituted at the same time unitary platforms and called for the
15thRI0D\GHPRQVWUDWLRQV 7KH0VLQFHWKHVDPHGD\RILWVRIFLDOELUWKZLWKWKHUVWPDVVLYHDV-
semblies and the camp sites of May 17thLVFUHDWHGDVDXQLWDU\PRYHPHQWLQZKLFKHDFKLQGLYLGXDOPXVW
SDUWLFLSDWHLQLWVRZQQDPHDQGRQO\LQKLVKHURZQUHSUHVHQWDWLRQ RQHSHUVRQRQHYRWHDQGLISRVVLEOHQR
YRWLQJDWDOO 7KLVRSHUDWLRQSURFHGXUHVZHUHSUHVHQWEHIRUHRQO\LQVRPHVPDOOHUHQWLWLHVVXFKDVVRPH
social forums (for instance the )RUR6RFLDOGHOD6LHUUDGH*XDGDUUDPD) or in the recently created 0HVDV
GH&RQYHUJHQFLD&LXGDGDQD (in 2010).

Also from the beginning it is clear the intention to blend in the leading organizations calling for the mo-
ELOL]DWLRQZLWKWKH0PRYHPHQWLWVHOIDYRLGLQJWKHYLVXDOL]DWLRQVRIDQ\V\PEROV DJVRUJDQL]DWLRQ
QDPHVVLJQHUV DOWKRXJKWKHRUJDQL]DWLRQVDUHQRWUHTXLUHGWRGLVVROYH7KLVLQYLVLELOL]DWLRQLVFULWL]HG
E\VRPHSDUWLFLSDQWVZKLFKUHMHFWVWDWHPHQWVVXFKDVZHDUHDSROLWLFDODQGRWKHUVWDWHPHQWVLPSO\LQJ
that WKLVLVVRPHWKLQJQHZWKDWKDVEHHQERUQRQWKHWKRI0D\ IRUPHUPRYHPHQWVDUHXVHOHVV . Some of
them publicly criticize the intention to forget or delete the history of a great number of alternative social
RUPRYHPHQWVRIUHVLVWDQFHDJDLQVWWKHV\VWHP7KHDQVZHUVJLYHQOLWWOHE\OLWWOHZHUHFODULI\LQJWKHSUR-
cess: the 15M is DSDUWLGLVW (not associated to any political party), but it is not apolitical, and it is something
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 90

QHZEXWLWGRHVQRWEHJLQIURPVFUDWFKZHKDYHSUHYLRXVH[SHULHQFHVDQGZHPXVWWDNHDGYDQWDJHRI
WKHP7KHSDUWLFLSDWLRQV\PEROLQGLYLGXDOVZLWKWKHLURZQDFURQ\PVRIHDFKWRZQYLOODJHQHLJKERXU-
KRRGVDUHJUDGXDOO\DGPLWWHGRYHUFRPLQJROGTXDUUHOVDQGVWHUHRW\SHV%XWDOZD\VZLWKWKHSUHYDLOLQJRI
WKHLQGLYLGXDOSDUWLFLSDWLRQ,WLVLQWHQGHGWREXLOGQHZEULGJHVEHWZHHQWKHSHRSOHZKRKDGSUHYLRXVDQG
VRPHWLPHIUXVWUDWLQJH[SHULHQFHVDQGWKHLOOXVLRQRI\RXQJHUSHRSOH

$QRWKHUGLIIHUHQFHZLWKWKHDOWHUZRUOGPRYHPHQWVLVWKDWWKHVHPDQDJHGWRPRELOLVHWKRXVDQGVRI
people and had the public sympathy during a lot of years. But the violent incidents in Italy, performed by
the block black and police force repression against the Social Forum of Geneve, 2001 (one victim killed
E\JXQVKRWV WKHYLROHQWSROLFHUHSUHVVLRQLQ%DUFHORQDDQGWKHYLROHQWUHVSRQVHRIVRPHGHPRQVWUDWRUV
LGHQWLHGZLWKDQWLV\VWHPJURXSVZKLFKUHVXOWHGWREHLQOWUDWHGE\WKHORFDOSROLFHDJHQWVWKDWDFWHG
DVDJLWDWRUV DVLWZDVODWHUSURYHG HQGHGZLWKWKHLPDJHRISDFLFPRELOL]DWLRQVRIWKH6RFLDO)RUXPV
DQGOHGWRWKHLGHQWLFDWLRQRIWKHDQWLJOREDOL]DWLRQPRYHPHQWVDVYLROHQWDQGWKHJUDGXDOORVWRISXEOLF
VXSSRUW1RZWKH0KDVPDQDJHGWRPRELOL]HQRWMXVWWKRXVDQGVEXWKXQGUHGVRIWKRXVDQGVRISHRSOH
LQWRWKHVWUHHWVLQDSDFLFZD\,QVSLWHRILVRODWHGLQFLGHQWVDQGSURYRFDWLRQV7KHVORJDQSDFLFDOO\ZH
DUHVWURQJHUKDVFDXJKWRQ$FFRUGLQJWRVRPHVXUYH\VDQRIWKH6SDQLVKSRSXODWLRQV\PSDWKLVH
ZLWKWKHPRYHPHQWDQGLWKDVEHHQVRXQWLOWKHHQGRI LQVSLWHRIWKHGLVFUHGLWFDPSDLJQVRIXOWUD
conservative mass media that have labeled them as violent).

As other former movements the 15M emerges as a response to a negative situation (in this case the cri-
VLV EXWLWJRHVDVWHSIXUWKHUWRZDUGVSRVLWLYHDFWLRQLWLVQRWRQO\DQDQWLFULVLVPRYHPHQW%HFDXVHRQH
cannot be only against the crisis. We could say not to the NATO, not to Maastricht (not to the signing
RUMRLQLQJWKHRUJDQL]DWLRQ RUQRWWRWKH,UDNZDU QRWWRWKH6SDQLVKSDUWLFLSDWLRQLQWKH,UDNZDU RU\HV
WRWKHGRQDWLRQRIWKHRIWKH*%3WRFRRSHUDWLRQDLGV%XWWKHUHLVQRVHQVHLQVD\LQJMXVWQRWWRWKH
crisis. The socioeconomic crisis is a complex and diffuse phenomenon and the systemic and cascade
QDWXUHRIWKLVFULVLVPDNHVLWVDQDO\VLVDQGWKHFRQFUHWLRQRIDOWHUQDWLYHVROXWLRQVPRUHGLIFXOW

Some consequences and future scenarios


The 15M movement is set up and organized as a social and political movement since it recognizes itself
as a transforming agent. It must be taken into account that:

,WKDVEHHQDEOHWRHVWDEOLVKJXLGHOLQHVLQWKHSROLWLFDJHQGDVGHEDWHVDERXWWKHFKDQJHRIWKHHOHFWRUDO
V\VWHPVRSHQOLVWVLQFRPSDWLELOLW\RIMREV

,WKDVDOVRPDQDJHGWRLPSURYHWKHLQWHUQDOGHPRFUDF\RISROLWLFDOSDUWLHVDQGWUDGHXQLRQVIRUFLQJ
them to include internal referendums, primary elections, to increase their democracy and reduce their
party machine.

2QWKHRWKHUKDQGLWFODLPVIRUDUHPRELOL]DWLRQLQWKHQDWLRQDOSROLF\PRUHDFWLRQDQGOHVVRIIWKH
record negotiations and SDFWLVP

7KHFXUUHQWSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVZLOOFRQWLQXHLQRXUFRXQWULHVEXWQRERG\FDQSUHGLFWKHLUPD[LPXPDQG
PLQLPXPHOHFWRUDOTXRWDLQWKHVKRUWWHUPRULIQHZDOWHUQDWLYHSDUWLHVZLOOFDSWXUHDJUHDWSDUWRIWKH
91 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

votes in the future (see changes that took place in Italy in the 90s. We have had in Spain a bipartidist
DQGVWDEOHHOHFWRUDOPDSXQWLOQRZ 

The Future

7KHP0ZLOOVXUHO\SURGXFHDORWRIWKLQJVDVDQ\RWKHUUHYROXWLRQDU\PRYHPHQWRUSURFHVV$
JUHDWHUSDUWRIWKHDFWLYLVWVDUHQRWJRLQJWRVXSSRUWWKHFUHDWLRQRIDQHZSROLWLFDOSDUW\RUDQHOHFWRUDO
platform, although some may attempt it.

)URPWKHLQWHUQDOGHEDWHVDQGGRFXPHQWVLVVXHGE\WKHPRYHPHQWZHFRXOGGHGXFHWKDWPRVWDFWLY-
LVWVZDQWWRFRQVWLWXWHWKH0DVDVRFLRSROLWLFDQGHFRQRPLFSUHVVXUHJURXSSHUPDQHQWO\DFWLYH
%DVLFDOO\WKH\ZDQWWRFRQWLQXHDVQRZZLWKRXWUHMHFWLQJVRPHFKDQJHVDQGVXSSRUWLQJQHZLQLWLDWLYHV
IRULQVWDQFHQHZDVVRFLDWLRQVWKDWZLOOHPHUJHIURPWKH0VRFLDOQHWZRUNV 

7KH0KDVFU\VWDOOL]HGLQQHZZD\VRIEHLQJDQGDFWLQJLQSROLWLFVLQVRFLHW\LWKDVFKDQJHGWKH
WKRXVDQGVRISHRSOHVZD\RIWKLQNLQJLWKDVSURGXFHGDQHZVRFLDOFOLPDWH )HUQiQGH]6DYDWHU
 %XW+RZLVDVRFLDOFOLPDWHFUHDWHG"

Challenges

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SHDUVLQFHWKHUHDUHDORWRISHRSOHLQWHUHVWHGLQLWVFRQWLQXDWLRQ%XWZHVKRXOGEHDULQPLQGWKDW

$VVHPEOLHVDQGSHUPDQHQWGHEDWHDUHWLUHVRPH7KHVHKDYHGLVFRXUDJHGDORWRISDUWLFLSDQWV,WLVQHF-
HVVDU\WRVHHNPRUHHIFLHQWIRUPXODVRIZRUNDQGDFWLRQ7KLVFDQOHDGWRLQWHUQDOVSOLWVDQGUXSWXUHV

7KHPRYHPHQWKDVWRFUHDWHVHOIFRPPXQLFDWLRQPDVVPHGLD &DVWHOO LQRUGHUWRDFKLHYH


a participative and democratic self-organization, essentially horizontal and consolidated as a unitary
platform.

7KHVSHDNHUVRIWKHPRYHPHQWVKRXOGKDYHFRQWLQXLW\DOWKRXJKWKH\KDYHWREHSOXUDODQGHOHFWHGLQD
URWDV\VWHPLQRUGHUWRNHHSDXHQWUHODWLRQVKLSZLWKWKHPDVVPHGLDIURPGLIIHUHQWWHQGHQFLHV

7KHEXLOGLQJRIDQHZSRVLWLYHUHODWLRQVKLSZLWKRWKHUVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVDVVRFLDWLRQVDQGWUDGHXQLRQV
The 15M has gradually changed from a social movement integrating all the activists, to be another
VRFLDOPRYHPHQW7KLVGHPDQGVPRGHUDWLRQDQGWRNHHSUHODWLRQVZLWKRWKHUVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVDWWKH
same level. The 15M movement has already supported other mobilizations such as the green tide
WHDFKHUVDQGVWXGHQWVSURWHVWVDJDLQVWVZHHSLQJEXGJHWFXWVLQHGXFDWLRQ ZKLFKUHSUHVHQWVDVWHS
IRUZDUGWRZDUGVWKLVGLUHFWLRQ
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 92

References
15M Gabinete de prensa: 2011, Propuestas Acampada Sol 22.05.2011. En ,QGLJQDGRV0. Seleccin de materiales recopilados por
Fernando Cabal. Espaa, Mandala Ediciones.
Alberich, Toms: 1994, Poltica Local, Participacin y Asociacionismo. Tesis Doctoral. Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
BD&RQWUDGLFFLRQHV\HYROXFLyQGHPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVHQ(VSDxD(Q'RFXPHQWDFLyQ6RFLDOQ0DGULG&iULWDV(VSDxROD
Ed.
BE$VRFLDFLRQHV\0RYLPLHQWRV6RFLDOHVHQ(VSDxDFXDWURGpFDGDVGHFDPELRV(Q-yYHQHVJOREDOL]DFLyQ\PRYLPLHQWRV
DOWHUPXQGLVWDVPRQRJUiFRGH5HYLVWDGH(VWXGLRVGH-XYHQWXGQ0DGULG,1-89(
Castells, Manuel: 1986, /DFLXGDG\ODVPDVDV, Alianza Universidad, Madrid.
B&RPXQLFDFLyQ\3RGHU. Madrid, Alianza Editorial.
&RWDUHOR5DPyQ(VWRHVVRORHOFRPLHQ]RGHPD\R(Q,QGLJQDGRV0. Seleccin de materiales recopilados por
Fernando Cabal. Espaa, Mandala Ediciones.
Bauman, Zygmunt: 2006, &RPXQLGDG(QEXVFDGHVHJXULGDGHQXQPXQGRKRVWLO. Madrid, Siglo XXI de Espaa Editores.
)HUQiQGH]6DYDWHU$PDGRUHQKWWSEORJVSXEOLFRHVIXHUDGHOXJDU&%)FRPRVHRUJDQL]DXQFOLPD
Tezanos, Jos Felix: 2011, conferencia en la Universidad Popular de Jan (25.10.11, no publicado).
93 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

Continuities and Discontinuities in Recent Social


Mobilizations. From New Social Movements
to the Alter-Global Mobilizations and the 15M

BENJAMN TEJERINA and IGNACIA PERUGORRA


UPV-EHU and Rutgers University

Abstract
Our paper seeks to analyze the novel and long-term characteristics of the recent mobi-
OL]DWLRQVLQ6SDLQ2XUPDLQREMHFWLYHLVWRLGHQWLI\WKHGHQLQJWUDLWVRIFROOHFWLYHDF-
WLRQVFXUUHQWO\WDNLQJSODFHDVDFRQVHTXHQFHRIWKHPXOWLGLPHQVLRQDOFULVLVXQOHDVKHG
LQ:HZLOOIRFXVRQWKUHHPDLQDQDO\WLFDOD[HVDJHQWVLGHQWLW\DQGVSDFHWU\-
ing to establish their historicity, that is, their presence or absence in both former social
movements and current mobilizations.
The spatial dimension refers to the local versus global and co-presential versus virtual
FKDUDFWHULVWLFVRIFROOHFWLYHDFWLRQ7KLVDQDO\VLVLPSOLHVDIRFXVRQWKHPRELOL]DWLRQV
demands, the repertoire of actions, and the display of emotions. Emotions are also inter-
WZLQHGZLWKWKHSURFHVVRIFROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\FRQVWUXFWLRQDQGWKHFRQLFWXDOUHODWLRQ-
VKLSZLWKDJHQWVDQGLQVWLWXWLRQVLGHQWLHGDVUHVSRQVLEOHIRUWKHFULVLV)LQDOO\ZHZLOO
give special attention to activists and social movement organizations, decision-making
processes and adaptability and resilience of organizational forms.
2XUGDWDZLOOFRPHIURPQHZVSDSHUDUWLFOHVWKH,QWHUQHWLQWHUYLHZVWRSDUWLFLSDQWVDQG
graphic material collected during ethnographic observations in camps (DFDPSDGDV) and
DVVHPEOLHV'DWDZDVJDWKHUHGIROORZLQJWKHSULQFLSOHVRIWKHRUHWLFDOVDPSOLQJ2XU
analysis of these data is in exploratory phase, and is constructed in order to develop a
preliminary analytical understanding of the phenomenon.

Keywords
social movements, 15M, identity, space.

Introduction
The global scenario of social mobilization is rapidly mutating. Periods of relative continuity and stabil-
ity are being altered in an abrupt fashion by moments of effervescence that seem to be marking a point of
IUDFWXUHZLWKWKHSDVW7KHVHUHFHQWFKDQJHVLQWKHG\QDPLFVRIFRQWHQWLRXVSROLWLFVDUHSDUWO\FDSWXUHGE\
WKHFRQFHSWRIF\FOHRISURWHVW 7DUURZ 

7KH\HDUZDVSDUWLFXODUO\IUXLWIXOLQWKHYLVXDOL]DWLRQRIDVHULHVRIPRELOL]DWLRQVWKDWPHDQWWR
H[SUHVVDGRXEOHGLVFRQWHQW)LUVWZLWKWKHFROODWHUDOHIIHFWVRIWKHHFRQRPLFFULVLVWKDWLVWKHLQFUHDVLQJ
OHYHOVRIXQHPSOR\PHQWDQGWKHH[SDQVLRQRIVRFLDOLQHTXDOLWLHV$QGVHFRQGZLWKWKHPDQDJHPHQWRI
VRFLDOOLIHWKDWZDVEHLQJSHUIRUPHGE\SROLWLFDOpOLWHV7KHVHpOLWHVZHUHSHUFHLYHGDVERWKUHOXFWDQWWR
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 94

deepening or expanding democratic procedures, as fossilized by the rising bureaucratization of political


OLIHDQGDVFULSSOHGDQGFRUUXSWE\ZRUOGPDUNHWV

Given its multiple sources and diverse manifestations, the task of assessing and diagnosing the current
state of affairs is especially arduous. The realities of countries in Northern Africa such as Egypt, Tunisia,
/\ELD0RUURFFR$UJHORULQWKH0LGGOH(DVWVXFKDV,VUDHODQG6\ULDVKRZLPSRUWDQWQXDQFHVDPRQJ
WKHPVHOYHVDQGSURIRXQGGLIIHUHQFHVZLWKWKDWRIFRXQWULHVLQ6RXWKHUQ(XURSHVXFKDV3RUWXJDO)UDQFH
,WDO\RU6SDLQ7KH6SDQLVKFDVHLVSDUWLFXODUO\VLJQLFDQWGXHWRERWKWKHGUDVWLFFRQVHTXHQFHVRIWKHHFR-
nomic crisis on social life and the labor market, and to the progressive erosion of the maneuver capacity
of governments and politicians. Moreover, the 15M movement has served as beacon for mobilizations in
RWKHU(XURSHDQDQG$PHULFDQFRXQWULHV7KHVHUHDVRQVDORQHZRXOGHQFRXUDJHVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVFKRODUV
to pay special attention to the characteristics and peculiarities of 15M.

,IZHKRZHYHUEURDGHQRXUIRFXVWRWKHHYROXWLRQRI6SDQLVKVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVLQWKHODVWIHZGHFDGHV
ZHQGDGGLWLRQDOHOHPHQWVWKDWJLYHDSDWLQDRIH[FHSWLRQDOVFLHQWLFDWWUDFWLYHQHVVWRWKH0$PRQJ
WKHVHWUDLWVDUH6SDLQVWUDQVLWLRQIURPDGLFWDWRULDOWRDGHPRFUDWLFUHJLPHWKHHQVXLQJSULYDWL]DWLRQRI
VRFLDOOLIHDQGSROLWLFDOGHPRELOL]DWLRQRIWKH6SDQLVKFLWL]HQU\WKHUHFRQFLOLDWLRQEHWZHHQWKH/HIWDQGWKH
5LJKWLQD IDLOHG DWWHPSWWRFORVHKLVWRULFDOKHDUWIHOWZRXQGVWKHSURFHVVRILQVWLWXWLRQDOGHFHQWUDOL]D-
WLRQGHULYHGIURPWKHULVLQJWHQVLRQVEHWZHHQ0DGULGDQGWKHQDWLRQDOLVWSHULSKHU\ %DVTXH&RXQWU\DQG
&DWDORQLDPDLQO\ WKHSUDFWLFHRIDUPHGVWUXJJOHRUWHUURULVPIRUSROLWLFDOSXUSRVHVDQGWKHDFWLYDWLRQRI
DVRFLDOEDVHDQGDSROLWLFDODUPWRVXSSRUWFRPSOHPHQWDQGOHJLWLPL]HWKDWXQGHUJURXQGDFWLYLW\DQG
QDOO\WKHHPHUJHQFHRIDQDOWHUJOREDOPRYHPHQWWKDWDVLQRWKHUFRXQWULHVFKDQJHGWKHUXOHVRIWKHVR-
FLDOPRYHPHQWGRPHVWLFJDPH:HZLOODQDO\]HWKLVFRPSOH[DQGIDVFLQDWLQJHYROXWLRQLQWKHUVWVHFWLRQ
of our paper.

%HIRUHGHOYLQJLQWRWKHDQDO\VLVRIWKH0ZHZLOORIIHUDGHVFULSWLRQRIWKHVRFLRKLVWRULFDOFRQWH[W
DQGWKHF\FOHRISURWHVWDPLGVWZKLFKLWHPHUJHG$VZHZLOOVKRZWKLVFRQWH[WSUHVHQWVQRWDEOHVSHFLFL-
WLHV2XUVWXG\RIWKH0ZLOOFRQFHQWUDWHLQWZRGLPHQVLRQV)LUVWWKHFRJQLWLYHDQGHPRWLRQDOSURFHVVHV
IHHGLQJWKHFRQVWUXFWLRQRIDVRFLDOPRYHPHQWLGHQWLW\WKHHVWDEOLVKPHQWRILGHQWLW\ERXQGDULHVEHWZHHQ
DZHDQGDWKHPDJDLQVWZKLFKFROOHFWLYHDFWLRQKDVEHHQGLUHFWHGDQGWKHV\PEROLFDQGXWRSLDQHOH-
PHQWVFRQGHQVHGLQ0VORJDQVDQGPRWWRV6HFRQGZHZLOOIRFXVRQWKHVSDWLDOGLPHQVLRQRI0PR-
ELOL]DWLRQVDQGPRUHVSHFLFDOO\LQWKHWHQVLRQEHWZHHQDWHUULWRULDOL]HGZD\RIGRLQJSROLWLFVIURPWKH
bottom-up through the (re-)occupation of the public space, and a disembodied political praxis mediated
E\WKHSRVVLELOLWLHVDQGFRQVWUDLQWVRIIHUHGE\WKH,QWHUQHWDQGRQOLQHVRFLDOQHWZRUNV

Recent Evolution of Social Movements in Spain


7KHODVWIHZGHFDGHVKDYHVHHQVLJQLFDQWWUDQVIRUPDWLRQVLQWKHVKDSHFRQWHQWDQGFRXUVHRIJOREDO
mobilizations. In this regard, Spain has not been an exception. The democratization of political institu-
tions, the fall of the Soviet block, the ensuing socioeconomic crises, the process of globalization, and the
GLVVHPLQDWLRQRIQHZWHFKQRORJLHVKDYHJHQHUDWHGSURIRXQGUHFRQJXUDWLRQVLQWKHVRFLDOPRYHPHQWHOG
In trying to grasp these transformations, international scholars have distinguished three types of social
PRYHPHQWVWKHODERUPRYHPHQWQHZVRFLDOPRYHPHQWV HJIHPLQLVWHQYLURQPHQWDOLVWDQGSDFLVWPRYH-
ments), and the alter-global mobilizations (Calle 2005).
95 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

,IZHIRFXVRQWKHVHPRYHPHQWVVFRSHZHREVHUYHDVKLIWIURPDORFDOOHYHORIDFWLRQFLUFXPVFULEHG
E\WKHQDWLRQVWDWHWRDK\EULGORFDOJOREDOHOGRIRSHUDWLRQ:HDOVRVHHDSDVVDJHIURPXQLGLPHQVLRQDO
identities to plural and multi-dimensional ones, no longer interpreted as mutually exclusive but as comple-
PHQWDU\ 7HMHULQDHWDO ,QDGGLWLRQVHYHUDOVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVKDYHFDOOHGWKHFLWL]HQU\
DVDZKROHDQGQRORQJHUDSDUWLFXODUFDWHJRULFDOJURXSWREHFRPHWKHDJHQWDQGPRWRURIVRFLDOFKDQJH

6ROLGKLHUDUFKLFDORUJDQL]DWLRQVZLWKFOHDUO\GHPDUFDWHGUXOHVRIEHORQJLQJKDYHDOVREHHQUHSODFHG
E\QHWZRUNVZLWKOD[HQWU\UHTXLUHPHQWVDQGQRGHVZLWKPXOWLSOHDQGRIWHQRYHUODSSLQJDIOLDWLRQV$G-
GLWLRQDOO\WKHIURQWLHUVHVWDEOLVKHGEHWZHHQVRFLDOPRYHPHQWRUJDQL]DWLRQVDUHQRORQJHUXQGHUVWRRGDV
LQVXSHUDEOHDQWDJRQLVPVEXWDVOLQHVGHPDUFDWLQJKLJKO\VSHFLDOL]HGHOGVRIDFWLRQ7KHVHERUGHUVDUH
QRQHWKHOHVVSHUPHDEOHDQGWKH\DUHWUHVSDVVHGZKHQHYHUWKHGLDJQRVWLFDQGSURJQRVWLFDQDO\VLVHODERUDWHG
by militants deems it necessary.

Public discourse is, in turn, no longer inspired by a stiff and self-contained system of ideas focusing on
PDWHULDOZHOIDUHEXWE\DQRSHQDQGRZLQJDPDOJDPRILGHRORJLFDOSRVWXODWHVLQFUHDVLQJO\FHQWHUHGRQ
the deepening of democracy in daily life and everyday practices (Tejerina 2010a). Revolutionary goals in-
scribed in trans-historical narratives have been replaced by reformist and, lately, rebellious, reactive, short-
WHUPDQGJHRJUDSKLFDOO\ERXQGVWUDWHJLHVDQGDFWLRQV1RW,Q0\%DFN<DUG 1,0%< VRFLDOPRYH-
ments are perhaps the clearest example of the latter.

6WUDWHJLHVDQGWDFWLFVKDYHEHHQWRQHGGRZQDQGOLPLWHGWRDQDUUD\RIIRFDOWKRXJKKLJKO\VSHFWDFXODU
interventions characterized by episodic actions of civil disobedience and the short-term occupation of the
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DQGVRFLDOPHGLDVXFKDV)DFHERRNDQG7ZLWWHU WKHUHSHUWRLUHRIFROOHFWLYHDFWLRQKDVQRWREVHUYHGPDMRU
LQQRYDWLRQV0DVVLYHGHPRQVWUDWLRQVDUHQRZFRPSOHPHQWHGE\GLJLWDOO\GULYHQDQGWKXVOHVVYLVLEOHVRIW
actions, but the format of pedagogical, denunciatory or pressure-exerting actions has been inherited from
previous militant generations.

7KHSUROHRIDFWLYLVWVKDVDOVRVXIIHUHGLPSRUWDQWWUDQVIRUPDWLRQVRYHUWKHODVWIHZGHFDGHVWKH\FXU-
rently have higher levels of formal education, come from middle class households, have a tardier entrance
WRSROLWLFDOPLOLWDQF\DQGFRPSOHPHQWWKLVW\SHRIHQJDJHPHQWZLWKYDULRXVRWKHUV,QDGGLWLRQ\RXQJHU
PLOLWDQWVLQWKHODVWIHZ\HDUVKDYHWHQGHGWRJLYHDSROLWLFDOVHQVHWRWKHLUYLWDOSURMHFWV&RQYHUVHO\SDVW
DFWLYLVWVXVHGWRJLYHDYLWDOPHDQLQJWRWKHLUSROLWLFDOHQJDJHPHQWSROLWLFVZDVDWWKHQXFOHXVRIWKHLUOLYHV
7KLVLQYHUVLRQEHWZHHQOLIHDQGSROLWLFVFRXOGEHVLJQDOLQJDFKDQJHLQWKHSURFHVVHVRISROLWLFDOVRFLDO-
L]DWLRQDQGLQWKHSULULRULWHVEHWZHHQSULYDWHOLIHDQGSXEOLFDFWLRQ

Additionally, the generational relief of militants has been marked by a steep decline in their gross num-
bers. This is probably explained by the shrinking of organizational structures and spaces of interaction that
XVHGWRIDFLOLWDWHWKHUHFUXLWPHQWRIV\PSDWKLVHUV.H\SHULRGVRIVRFLDOFRQLFWDQGHIIHUYHUVFHQFHVXFK
DVWKH,UDNZDUWKH3UHVWLJHHFRORJLFDOFULVLVDQGWKHWHUURULVWDWWDFNVRI0DUFKLQ0DGULGDSSHDU
as punctual oases cropping up in long-term mobilizational deserts. This discontinuity could be partially
accounted for by the gradual institutionalization of social protest and the proggressive normalization of
political life.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 96

Context of Emergence of 15M


%\6SDLQZDVEORVVRPLQJLWKDGDSXEOLFDFFRXQWVXUSOXVRIPRUHWKDQSHUFHQWRIWKH*'3
DQGWKHHFRQRP\ZDVJURZLQJE\SHUFHQW-XVWRQH\HDUODWHUWKHVXUSOXVKDGEHFRPHGHFLWJURZWK
KDGIDOOHQWROHVVWKDQSHUFHQWDQGWKH6SDQLVKHFRQRP\ZDVRIFLDOO\HQWHULQJUHFHVVLRQ$OWKRXJKWKH
HFRQRPLFGHFOLQHZDVUHODWHGWRDZRUOGZLGHQDQFLDOFULVLVLWDOVRUHVSRQGHGWRFOHDUO\LGHQWLDEOHGR-
mestic facts: the bursting of a decade-long real estate bubble, and the implosion of the associated lending
PDUNHW)ROORZLQJWKHOHDGRIRWKHUGHYHORSHGFRXQWULHVWKHJRYHUQPHQWUDSLGO\FUHDWHGDELOOLRQHXUR
bail-out fund and began to rescue vulnerable banks. In addition, it urged the merger of savings banks that
KDGOHQWKHDYLO\GXULQJWKHSURSHUW\ERRPLQOHVVWKDQRQH\HDUWKHQXPEHURIWKHVHEDQNVZDVFXWGRZQ
WRIURP,QDQDWWHPSWWRZHDWKHUWKHVRFLRHFRQRPLFHIIHFWVRIWKHQDQFLDOVWRUPWKHJRYHUQPHQW
also adopted an economic stimulus plan. The pack included an 8 billion-euro investment in infrastructure,
WKHH[WHQVLRQRIMREOHVVVXEVLGLHVWRWKHORQJWHUPXQHPSOR\HGDQGDHXUR%DE\&KHFNIRUHDFK
QHZERUQFKLOG

The recession ravaged most Spaniards, but had a particularly severe impact on the young. Unemploy-
PHQWUDWHVVRDUHGWRPRUHWKDQSHUFHQWIRUWR\HDUROGVDERXWWZLFHWKHDOUHDG\DODUPLQJQD-
WLRQDODYHUDJHDQGWKHKLJKHVWIRU\RXQJHUSRSXODWLRQVLQWKH(XURSHDQ8QLRQ7KRVHZLWKMREVZHUH
KRZHYHUQRWPXFKEHWWHURIIGHVSLWHKDYLQJRQHRUPRUHXQLYHUVLW\GHJUHHVPDQ\RIWKHPZHUHFDXJKW
LQDV\VWHPRIWHPSRUDU\FRQWUDFWVDQGSRRUO\SDLGORZVWDWXVMREVFRPSOHWHO\XQUHODWHGWRZKDWWKH\
ZHUHWUDLQHGIRU$VVXFKWKH6SDQLVK\RXQJZDVIRUFHGWRUHVLJQWRDNH\WUDLWRIDGXOWKRRGLQODWH
DOPRVWSHUFHQWRIWKHWR\HDUROGVVWLOOOLYHGZLWKWKHLUSDUHQWV7KLVGHOD\HGLQGHSHQGHQFHZDV
LQDGGLWLRQSXWWLQJIXUWKHUSUHVVXUHRQWLJKWIDPLO\EXGJHWVDQGRYHUEXUGHQHGVXSSRUWQHWZRUNV

$IWHU LQLWLDOO\ GHQ\LQJ WKH 6SDQLVK HFRQRP\ ZDV LQ WURXEOH LQ 0D\  SUHVLGHQW =DSDWHUR DQ-
QRXQFHGDVOHZRIDGMXVWPHQWSROLFLHV7KHSDFNLQFOXGHGZDJHFXWVIRUFLYLOVHUYDQWVWKHHQGRIWKH
%DE\&KHFNDQGWKHIUHH]LQJRISHQVLRQLQFUHDVHV$VWDONVDERXW*UHHFHVSRWHQWLDOHFRQRPLFEDLORXW
EHJDQWRLQWHQVLI\DWWHQWLRQWXUQHGRQ6SDLQDPLGZRUULHVRYHULWVSXEOLFGHFLW SHUFHQWRILWV*'3 
$VDUHVXOWWKHJRYHUQPHQWFRQWLQXHGWRSDVVDXVWHULW\PHDVXUHVFRPELQLQJWKHPZLWKDFRQVLGHUDEOH
ULVHLQWKH9DOXH$GGHG7D[,QDGGLWLRQDODERUPDUNHWUHIRUPZDVDSSURYHGLQ6HSWHPEHUSUHVHQWHG
DVDQHFHVVDU\PHDQVWRZDUGVUHGXFLQJMREOHVVQHVVWKHUHIRUPDFWXDOO\PDGHLWHDVLHUDQGFKHDSHUIRU
HPSOR\HUVWRKLUHDQGUHZRUNHUV,QODWH6HSWHPEHUWUDGHXQLRQVFDOOHGIRUWKHUVWJHQHUDOVWULNHLQDGH-
FDGHWRSURWHVWDJDLQVWWKHPHDVXUHGHVSLWHWKHEOHDNVWDWHRIDIIDLUVWKHPRELOL]DWLRQVLPSDFWZDVDOPRVW
negligible. In January 2011, the government passed a pension reform raising the retirement age from 65
WRWKXVKLQGHULQJWKHUHSOHQHVKLQJRIODERUSRVWV7KLVWLPHVXUSULVLQJO\WKHXQLRQVZHUHRQERDUG

In March 2011 university students called for a general strike. Thousands of students marched through-
out the country in protest against the unemployment rate, labor precariousness, the rise in tuition fees, the
%RORJQD3ODQDQGEXGJHWFXWVLQHGXFDWLRQ$IHZGD\VODWHUWKHSODWIRUP<RXWK:LWKRXW)XWXUH -XYHQ-
tud Sin Futuro) organized a demonstration against the economic crisis and the bipartisan PPSOE parti-
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VLQPLHGR 7KHORQJVWDQGLQJUHSXGLDWLRQRIWKHJRYHUQPHQWVVRFLRHFRQRPLFDQGHGXFDWLRQDOSROLFLHV
ZDVVRRQWREHFRPELQHGZLWKDQRYHOIDFWRUWKHUDJHWULJJHUHGE\DPHDVXUHWKDWLQWHQGHGWRVXIIRFDWH
WKHIUHHFXOWXUHRIWKH,QWHUQHW,QHDUO\)HEUXDU\WKH,QWHUQHWEDVHGLQLWLDWLYHGRQRWYRWHIRUWKHP
(QROHVYRWHV FDOOHGWRZLWKGUDZYRWHVIURPWKHSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVWKDWKDGDSSURYHGWKHVRFDOOHG6LQGH
97 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

/DZ 33362(DQG&L8 LQWKHIROORZLQJPXQLFLSDODQGUHJLRQDOHOHFWLRQV7KLVDQWLSLUDF\ELOODLPHG


DWVKXWWLQJGRZQSUHYLRXVO\OHJDOZHEVLWHVWKDWHQDEOHGWKHIUHHGRZQORDGRIPXVLFDQGOP



Figure 1. Youth Without Future Demonstration on April 6, 2011.
Note: The placard reads: Homeless Jobless Pensionless; Fearless Youth; Recovering Our Future!;
This is just the Beginning. The photograph is available online.

%XW6SDLQVLQWHUQDOUHVWOHVVQHVVGLGQRWDFWDORQHLWZDVERRVWHGE\DFKDLQRILQWHUQDWLRQDOIDFWRUV
$PRQJWKHPZHUHWKH$UDE6SULQJPRELOL]DWLRQVIRUSROLWLFDOUHIRUPVDQGFLYLOOLEHUWLHV,FHODQGVVLOHQW
revolution against neoliberal adjustment policies, and the mobilizations of the Portuguese Generation in
Trouble or Desperate Generation (*HUDomRj5DVFD), again, the young. The disclosure of WikiLeaks
GRFXPHQWVVKRZLQJ6SDQLVKJRYHUQPHQWRIFLDOVWREHOHVVWKDQIRUWKULJKWDQG6WpSKDQH+HVVHOVERRN
Time for Outrage! (,QGLJQH]YRXV DOVRFROODERUDWHGLQLQDPLQJ6SDQLVKSDVVLRQV7KHUHZDVQWDVLQJOH
RUQDOVWUDZEUHDNLQJWKHFDPHOVEDFN7KLVFRQMXQFWXUHRIXQFRRUGLQDWHGGRPHVWLFDQGLQWHUQDWLRQDO
HYHQWVZRUNHGLQDV\QHUJLFIDVKLRQSURPSWLQJDFROOHFWLYHRXWEXUVWRILQGLJQDWLRQ,QWKLVFRPEXVWLEOH
FRQWH[WWKHFDOOLVVXHGE\WKHGLJLWDOSODWIRUP5HDO'HPRFUDF\1RZ '5<'HPRFUDFLD5HDO<D) to take
WKHVWUHHWVZDVMXVWWKHVSDUNWKDWLJQLWHGWKHVRFDOOHGLQGLJQDGRV mobilizations.

8VLQJ7ZLWWHUDQG)DFHERRN'5<FDOOHGWKHXQHPSOR\HGWKHSRRUO\SDLGWKHVXEFRQWUDFWRUVWKHSUH-
FDULRXVWKH\RXQJSHRSOHWRWDNHWKH6SDQLVKVWUHHWVRQ0D\WKHZHHNSULRUWRUHJLRQDODQGPXQLFL-
SDOHOHFWLRQV7KHSURWHVWZDVFDOOHGXQGHUWKHPRWWRZHDUHQRWFRPPRGLWLHVLQWKHKDQGVRISROLWLFLDQV
DQGEDQNHUV. Despite being silenced by the corporate media channels, hundreds of thousands of people
WRRNWRWKHVWUHHWVLQIW\6SDQLVKFLWLHVVPDOOVXSSRUWLQJGHPRQVWUDWLRQVZHUHDOVRRUJDQLVHGLQ'XEOLQ
$PVWHUGDP,VWDQEXO%RORJQD3DULV/RQGRQDQG/LVERQ&RKHUHQWO\ZLWKWKHWKH\GRQWUHSUHVHQWXV
(QRQRVUHSUHVHQWDQ VORJDQWKHGHPRQVWUDWLRQVZHUHFKDUDFWHUL]HGE\WKHDEVHQFHRIDJVDQGSROLWLFDO
or trade union acronyms.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 98


Figure 2. Real Democracy Now! Demonstration on May 15, 2011.
Note: The placard reads: Read Democracy Now! We are not commodities in the hands
of politicians and bankers. The photograph is available online.

7ULJJHUHGE\WKHSROLWLFDODQGSROLFHPLVPDQDJHPHQWRIWKH0PRELOL]DWLRQLQWKHIROORZLQJHYH-
QLQJVWKHFDOOLQJIRU5HDO'HPRFUDF\1RZTXLFNO\JDYHZD\WRDQ2FFXS\WKH6TXDUH 7RPDOD
SOD]D) movement. Despite the explicit restrictions made by the electoral bodies and the constant threat
of evictions, the DFDPSDGDVKHOGWKHVTXDUHVLQVHYHUDO6SDQLVKFLWLHVXQWLOPLG-XO\WKHVHRFFXSDWLRQV
FRQVWLWXWHGWKHPRYHPHQWVPRVWHYLGHQWDFWRIFLYLOGLVREHGLHQFH&DPSHUVUDSLGO\HTXLSSHGWKHPVHOYHV
ZLWKRUJDQL]LQJFRPPLVVLRQVWKHPDWLFZRUNLQJJURXSVDQGDVVHPEOLHV7KHFRPPLVVLRQVGHDOWZLWKWKH
day-to-day functioning of the DFDPSDGDV WKH\ FRQFHQWUDWHG RQ LVVXHV VXFK DV FOHDQLQJ LQIUDVWUXFWXUH
LQUPDU\ QXWULWLRQ UHVSHFW DFWLRQ SHUIRUPDQFHV DQG FLYLO GLVREHGLHQFH DFWLYLWLHV  H[WHQVLRQ DUW DQG
SODFDUGSDLQWLQJ DQGFRPPXQLFDWLRQ7KHZRUNLQJJURXSVLQVWHDGIRFXVHGRQWKHPHVVXFKDVHFRQRP\
sustainability, short-term and long-term politics, international liasons, etc.

Finally, the DFDPSDGDVKHOGWKHLURZQDVVHPEOLHVDQGDOVRJHQHUDODVVHPEOLHVIRUQRQFDPSLQJSDU-


ticipants. When the camps could no longer be held in mid-June, they gave rise and passed the torch to
GHFHQWUDOLVHGDVVHPEOLHVLQVPDOOYLOODJHVDQGQHLJKERXUKRRGVRIODUJHFLWLHV7KLVPRYHPHQWWRZDUGVWKH
ORFDOZDVFKDUDFWHUL]HGE\DVWHHSGHFUHDVHLQWKHQXPEHURISDUWLFLSDQWVDQGSDUDGR[LFDOO\LWZDVDF-
FRPSDQLHGE\DQLQWHUQDWLRQDOL]DWLRQRIWKHSURWHVW7KH00RYHPHQWDVLWFDPHWREHNQRZQRUWKDW
of the Spanish LQGLJQDGRVDVWKH\ZHUHWULYLDOO\ODEHOOHGE\WKHPDVVPHGLDZDVUDSLGO\FRS\FDWWHGLQ
WRZQVDQGFLWLHVDOORYHUWKHJOREH2Q2FWREHUPRUHWKDQFLWLHVLQFRXQWULHVWRRNWRWKH
VWUHHWVDQGVTXDUHVLQDJOREDOQRQYLROHQWSURWHVWJXLGHGE\WKHPRWWRXQLWHGIRUJOREDOFKDQJH
99 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS




















Figure 3. Banners Utilized in the Occupy Demonstrations that Took Place all over the World on October 15, 2011.
Note: The placard on the left reads: Lets stop the cuts. Lets rescue persons NOW!!! United for global change.
Take the street. The placard on the right reads: #WorldRevolution. We need an ethical revolution,
a change of course. This system treats human beings as numbers and not as persons. Together we can change it.

'HVSLWHWKHVHPDVVLYHSRSXODUPRELOL]DWLRQV0DULDQR5DMR\VULJKWZLQJ3HRSOHV3DUW\ 333DUWLGR
3RSXODU ZRQDODQGVOLGHYLFWRU\LQERWKWKH0D\ PXQLFLSDODQGUHJLRQDO DQG1RYHPEHU JHQHUDO 
HOHFWLRQV$VYRWHUVSXQLVKHGWKHRXWJRLQJ6RFLDOLVWJRYHUQPHQWIRUWKHZRUVWHFRQRPLFFULVLVLQJHQHUD-
WLRQVDQGWKH(XURSHDQ8QLRQVKLJKHVWMREOHVVUDWH5DMR\GHFODUHGWKDWWKHSXEOLFGHFLWIRUZRXOG
FRPHLQDWSHUFHQWRI*'3DQGWKDWWKHJRYHUQPHQWZRXOGEHIRUFHGWRSDVVQHZDXVWHULW\PHDVXUHV2Q
'HFHPEHUWKHSUHVLGHQWDQQRXQFHGDFXWLQWKHIROORZLQJ\HDUVSXEOLFVSHQGLQJE\ELOOLRQHXURV

Forging a 15M Identity


3UHYLRXVVWXGLHV )UHLGLQDQG3HUXJRUUtD KDYHSRLQWHGDWWKHGLIFXOWLHVLQYROYHGLQIRUJLQJFRO-
lective identities amidst social movements composed of publics (Mische 2005), that is, of interstitial
DFWLYLVWIRUXPVZKHUHSDUWLFLSDQWVEXLOGUHODWLRQVDQGSXUVXHMRLQWDFWLRQVWKURXJKWKHHTXDOL]DWLRQDQG
synchronization of multiple identities1)LJXUHVKRZVDFRQFHSWXDOPDSRI$FDPSDGD6RO ellaborated
E\WKHKDFNHUDQG0PHPEHU0DUJD3DGLOOD$OWKRXJKWKHPDSLVLQWHQGHGWRGHSLFW6ROVDFDPSDGD,
ZHZLOOXVHLWWRGHOYHLQWRWKHSURFHVVRIFROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\FRQVWUXFWLRQWKDWLVEHLQJSHUIRUPHGZLWKLQWKH
15M. As Padilla puts it, 7KLVFRQFHSWXDOPDS  LVRQO\DKHOSWRGHSLFWZKDWFDQQRWEHUHSUHVHQWHG,WLV
DKXPEOHXQQLVKHGPDSSUHFDULRXVDWLWVFRUH$QGQHHGHGDOOWKHVDPH

 :HXVHFROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\DQGVRFLDOPRYHPHQWLGHQWLW\DVH[FKDQJHDEOHWHUPVWKHODWWHULVGHQHGDVWKHFROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\EDVHGRQVKDUHGPHP-
bership in a movement (Polletta and Jaspers 2001:289).
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 100





Figure 4. Conceptual Map of Acampada Sol, elaborated by Marga Padilla.

:HXQGHUVWDQGFROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\DVDQLQWHUDFWLYHDQGVKDUHGGHQLWLRQSURGXFHGE\DQXPEHURILQ-
GLYLGXDOV FRQFHUQLQJWKHRULHQWDWLRQVRIWKHLUDFWLRQDQGWKHHOGRIRSSRUWXQLWLHVDQGFRQVWUDLQWVLQ
ZKLFKVXFKDFWLRQLVWRWDNHSODFH 0HOXFFL 7KDWXQGHUVWDQGLQJXVXDOO\LQYROYHVDGHQLWLRQ
of the problematic situation and an attribution of blame (diagnostic framing), the articulation of a solution
to the problem and devising strategies to achieve that end (prognostic framing), and a call to arms or a
fundamental rationale to engage in collective actions tending to remediate the situation (motivational fram-
LQJ  %HQIRUGDQG6QRZ 
101 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

$VPHQWLRQHGHDUOLHUWKH0GHPRQVWUDWLRQZDVWKHVSDUNWKDWLJQLWHGWKHDFDPSDGDVDQGHQVXLQJ
PRELOL]DWLRQV$OWKRXJK '5< GHFRXSOHG IURP WKH DFDPSDGD DFFRUGLQJ WR 3DGLOODV FRQFHSWXDO PDS
WKHUHLVFRQWLQXLW\LQWKHPHVVDJH7KHSODFDUGVGHVLJQHGE\'5<IRUWKH0PDUFKKHOSXVXQGHUVWDQG
ZKDWWKDWPHVVDJHZDVDERXWSROLWLFDOFRUUXSWLRQFDSLWDOLVWJUHHGYLWDO QRWRQO\ODERU SUHFDULRXVQHVV
DQGVSHFLDOWUHDWVDZDUGHGE\WKH6SDQLVKJRYHUQPHQWWREDQNVDQGELJIRUWXQHVZKLOHFRPPRQSHRSOH
VXIIHUDGMXVWPHQWPHDVXUHVDQGWKHFXUWDLOPHQWRIWKHLUVRFLDOULJKWV7KLVGLDJQRVWLFIUDPLQJH[HPSOLHV
ZKDW*DPVRQ  GHQRPLQDWHVDQLQMXVWLFHIUDPHWKDWLVDQLQWHUSUHWLYHVFKHPHWKDWFKDUDFWHUL]HV
WKHDFWLRQVRIDQDXWKRULW\V\VWHPDVXQMXVWDQGOHJLWLPDWHVLWVGLVREHGLHQFH 6QRZHWDO $VVWDWHG
LQWKH0PDQLIHVWR+RZWR&RRND1RQ9LROHQW5HYROXWLRQ:HGRQWXQGHUVWDQGZK\ZHQHHGWRSD\
WKHELOOVRIDFULVLVZKRVHDXWKRUVFRQWLQXHWRHQMR\UHFRUGEHQHWV:HDUHIHGXSRILQMXVWLFHV,QZRUGV
of a 15M member, 7KH0KDVWXUQHGLQWRDFROOHFWLYHVXSHUKHURHWKDWJRHVZKHUHYHUWKHUHLVDQLQMXV
WLFH ,QWHUYLHZWR=XOR 7KLVIUDPLQJRILQMXVWLFHSURYLGHGDFRPPRQODQJXDJHLQZKLFKDFWLYLVWVIURP
GLIIHUHQWPRYHPHQWVDQGSHUVRQVZLWKQRSUHYLRXVSROLWLFDOSDUWLFLSDWLRQFRXOGFRPPXQLFDWHDQGQG
common ground.


Figure 5. Real Democracy Now! Placards for the May 15, 2011 Demonstration..
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 102

'5<HQFRXUDJHGSHRSOHWRSXWDQHQGWRF\QLFLVPDQGDSDWK\,WFDOOHG6SDQLDUGVWRIHHODQGWRDFWLWV
slogans read take the street (WRPDODFDOOH), and be outraged (,QGtJQDWH %RUURZLQJIURP6WH-
SKDQH+HVVHOVYLUDOPDQXVFULSW'5<XWLOL]HGWKHHPRWLRQRIRXWUDJHRULQGLJQDWLRQDVDVWHSSLQJVWRQH
IRUWKHFRQVWUXFWLRQRIWKHPRYHPHQWVFROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\7KHIRUPDWLRQRIDFROOHFWLYHDFWRUQRWRQO\
involves cognitive agreements and negotiations such as those entailed in the framing tasks mentioned
above but also demands affective or emotional investments. Passion and emotions, as much as ideology
DQGLQWHUHVWVSXVKSHRSOHWRPRELOL]HDQGDFWWRJHWKHU *RRGZLQ-DVSHUDQG3ROOHWWD 6HYHUDO0
PHPEHUVFRQFXUZLWK=\JPXQW%DXPDQVFRQWURYHUVLDOVWDWHPHQW7KH0LVDQHPRWLRQDOPRYHPHQW
,QWHUYLHZWR-DYLHUGHOD&XHYD 

$IULHQGRIPLQHVDLGGXULQJWKHUVWGD\VRIWKHDFDPSDGD7KHUHLVQRF\QLFLVPKHUH(YHU\ERG\EHOLHYHVLQZKDWVKH
LVGRLQJ>@0D\EHWKDWVZKDW=LJPXQW%DXPDQPHDQWZKHQKHVDLGWKH0ZDVDERYHDOOHPRWLRQ>@:HDUH
DOLYHDQGZHDUHWRJHWKHU7KHUHLVDFKDQJHRIDWPRVSKHUH>FOLPD@DQGWKDWKDVDYHU\VWURQJHPRWLRQDOLQWHQVLW\$QG
\RXFDQVHQVHWKDWLQWKHERGLHVLQWKHIDFHV%XW,ZRXOGQWVD\WKDWLWLVMXVWDQHPRWLRQDOPRYHPHQWDQGWKDWWKHUHLV
QRWKLQNLQJLQYROYHG7KHUHLVWKRXJKWLQHPRWLRQVDQGZHDUHWKLQNLQJDORW ,QWHUYLHZWR$PDGRU)HUQiQGH]6DYDWHU 

7KH0LVDQHPRWLRQDOPRYHPHQWEXWGHVSLWHWKHPHGLDVWULYLDOODEHOOLQJWKLVTXRWHVKRZVWKDW
RXWUDJHZDVQRWWKHVROHHPRWLRQSXVKLQJLWIRUZDUG2QFHWKHXSULVLQJZDVLQPRWLRQDQGSHRSOHZHUH
WDNLQJWKHVWUHHWVDQGRFFXS\LQJVTXDUHVLQGLJQDWLRQZRXOGEHUHSODFHGRUDWOHDVWFRPSOHPHQWHGE\FRO-
lective enthusiasm and joy. As a 15M member put it, 7KHIHHOLQJGXULQJWKH0GHPRQVWUDWLRQZDVRI
KDSSLQHVV ,QWHUYLHZWR/HLOD1DFKDZDWL 2U>WKH0@LVDFU\FRPLQJIURPDVRFLHW\WKDWLVWLUHGIHG
XS,WVEHHQDFU\EXWDVPLOLQJRQH ,QWHUYLHZWR-XOLR$OEDUUiQ 

Despite this strong emotional component, the 15M did not emerge to accomplish a cathartic mission.
Social movements spring up to alleviate or alter situations that activists identify as problematic. Their
GLUHFWDFWLRQWKHUHIRUHGHSHQGVRQWKHLGHQWLFDWLRQRIWKHVRXUFHVRIWKHSUREOHPDQGUHOLHVRQERXQG-
DU\DQGDGYHUVDULDOIUDPLQJ %HQIRUGDQG6QRZ 0DUJD3DGLOODVFRQFHSWXDOPDSDOORZVXVWR
UHFRQVWUXFWWKHLGHQWLW\ZRUNWKURXJKZKLFK0SDUWLFLSDQWVKDYHFUDIWHGDZHDQGDWKHP *DPVRQ
$PLQ]DGHDQG0F$GDP'LDQL 7KHWKHPKDVLQFOXGHGWKRVHDQWDJRQLVWVLGHQWLHG
DVUHVSRQVLEOHIRUWKHVLWXDWLRQRILQMXVWLFHPDLQO\WKLHYLQJDQGVZLQGOHUEDQNHUV EDQTXHURVHVWDIDGRUHV
\ODGURQHV DQGFRUUXSWSROLWLFLDQV0PHPEHUVDUHXQLWHGE\WKHLUGLVFRPIRUWWRZDUGVWKHVHDFWRUV
WKHVHDUHWKHHQHPLHVDJDLQVWZKRPWKHLUFROOHFWLYHDFWLRQKDVEHHQGLUHFWHG

:HFDQYRWHEXWZHGRQWKDYHDYRLFHDQGZHDUHIUXVWUDWHGE\WKHSROLWLFLDQVODFNRIZLOOWRGHYHORSPHFKDQLVPVRI
GLUHFWSDUWLFLSDWLRQLQGHFLVLRQPDNLQJSURFHVVHV0HFKDQLVPVWKDWZRXOGSXWDQHQGWRFRUUXSWLRQDQGWRWKHODFNRI
WUDQVSDUHQF\LQSROLWLFVDQGSXEOLFLQVWLWXWLRQVDQGWKDWZRXOGSODFHWKHFLWL]HQEHIRUHWKHPDUNHWVDQGRWKHUSULYDWH
LQWHUHVWV 0PDQLIHVWR+RZWR&RRND1RQ9LROHQW5HYROXWLRQ 

7KHZHLQWXUQKDVEHHQV\QWKHVL]HGLQWKHWHUPSHUVRQVQRWSHRSOHWKLVLVNH\WRXQGHUVWDQGLQJ
WKHSURFHVVRIFROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\FRQVWUXFWLRQZLWKLQWKH00RVW0PHPEHUVGRQRWSRUWUD\WKHP-
VHOYHVDVDFWLYLVWVRUPLOLWDQWV,QWKHLUYLHZSRLQWWKHVHWHUPVDUHDVVRFLDWHGWRDQROGZD\RIGRLQJSROL
WLFV (ODYLHMDSROtWLFD EDVHGRQLGHRORJLFDORUSDUWLVDQDIOLDWLRQV0PHPEHUVUHMHFWWKHVHDFURQ\PV
DQGDJVEHFDXVHWKH\GLYLGH ,QWHUYLHZWR0LJXHO$UDQD ,QWXUQWKH\WKLQNRIWKHPVHOYHVDVPHPEHUV
of a community of persons.
103 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

$PRYHPHQWZKRVHSURWDJRQLVWVZHUHQRWPLOLWDQWVWKDWGRHVQWKDYHDFRGLHGYRFDEXODU\RISURWHVWWKDWZDVYHU\
LQFOXVLYHWKDWZDVQWMXVWWDONLQJDERXWWKH/HIWWKDWGLGQWVSHDNDERXWUHYROXWLRQLQDFODVVLFDOVHQVH>@WKDWWULHV
WRKDYHHYHU\ERG\DQ\ERG\GRSROLWLFV6RPHPLOLWDQWIULHQGVXVHGWRWHOOPHWKH\DUHWDONLQJDERXWSHUVRQVDQG
WKDWLVQRWDSROLWLFDOFRQFHSW3HUVRQV,RQWKHFRQWUDU\VDZWKHSRZHUDVVRFLDWHGWRWDONLQJDERXWSHUVRQVZHDUH
DOOSHUVRQVDQGWDONLQJDERXWSHUVRQVDQGSHUVRQVSUREOHPVZHFDQEHWRJHWKHUDQGVWDUWWDONLQJ ,QWHUYLHZWR
Amador Fernndez-Savater).

$VZLWKLQMXVWLFHIUDPHVWDONLQJDERXWSHUVRQVDOORZHGERWKSHRSOHZLWKQRSUHYLRXVSROLWLFDOSDU-
WLFLSDWLRQDQGZLWKGLIIHUHQWPLOLWDQWWUDMHFWRULHVWRIHHOSDUWRIDVDPHFROOHFWLYH7KLVWHUPV\QFKURQL]HG
GLIIHUHQW DQG SUREDEO\ RSSRVLQJ SROLWLFDO LGHRORJLHV LW DOVR EOXUUHG RWKHU SRWHQWLDOO\ DOLHQDWLQJ D[HV RI
GLVVHQWJHQGHUFODVVUHOLJLRXVDQGQDWLRQDOLGHQWLWLHVDPRQJRWKHUV7KHZHDUHWKHSHUFHQWVORJDQ
issued by Occupy Wall Street activists synthesized this principle of inclusiveness in a brilliant fashion.
So did the united by common sense (XQLGRVSRUHOVHQWLGRFRP~Q) motto that could be seen in banners
all across Spain..

:HDUHEULQJLQJXSWKHIDFWWKDWZHDUHWKHSHUFHQWWKDWZKDWXQLWHVXVDUHSUREOHPVDQGZD\VRIWKLQNLQJWKDW
DUHFRPPRQWRPDQ\SHRSOHLQDYHU\WUDQVYHUVDOZD\>@$OOWKHVHWKLQJVFDQEHFRPPRQWRPDQ\GLIIHUHQWSHRSOH
SHRSOHZKRGRQRWKDYHDFOHDULGHQWLW\:HQHHGWRVWDUWWKLQNLQJRYHUWKHEDVLVRIFRPPRQSUREOHPVLQOLHXRILGHQWL
WLHV>0V@,QFOXVLYHQHVVKDVWRGRZLWKWKLVLWLVDPRYHPHQWWKDWLVEDVHGRQSUREOHPVDQGQRWRQLGHQWLWLHV:H
ZDQWWREHJLQZLWKFRQFUHWHSUREOHPVQRWZLWKLGHRORJLHV:HZLOODUULYHWRWKDWRUQRWHYHQWXDOO\&RQFUHWHSUREOHPV
KDYLQJWRGRZLWKUHDOOLIHZLWKHYHU\ERG\VOLIHWKLVZD\WKHPRYHPHQWZLOOEHFRPHUHDOZLOOKDYHWRGRZLWKWKHOLYHV
ZHOHDGDQGQRWZLWKOXFXEUDWLRQVDERXWWKHZRUOGWKDWWKHQGRQRWEHDUDQ\UHODWLRQWRSUDFWLFHVWROLIH ,QWHUYLHZ
to Amador Fernndez-Savater)

Having problems instead of ideologies or identities as a point of departure marked a path of in-
FOXVLYHQHVVIRUWKH0VLQFHLWVLQFHSWLRQ%XWWKHVHWUDQVYHUVDOSUREOHPVZHUHQWOLPLWHGWRWKHFULVLV
WUDLQDQGZHUHQWMXVWFROOHFWLYHWKH\DOVRKDGLQGLYLGXDOPDQLIHVWDWLRQVDQGERWKOHYHOVVHHPWREHLQWHU-
WZLQHGLQWKHSHUVSHFWLYHRI0PHPEHUV0DUJD3DGLOODVFRQFHSWXDOPDSIDQVRXWWKHVHFROOHFWLYHDQG
individual experiences that KDYHWRGRZLWK the emergence of Acampada Sol and the 15M.

$WWKHFROOHFWLYHOHYHOZHQGWUDGLWLRQDOVRFLDOPRYHPHQWV HJODERURUJDQL]DWLRQV QHZVRFLDOPRYH-


PHQWV HJIHPLQLVPLQGLJHQRXVPRYHPHQWVVTXDWWHUPRYHPHQW DQGXVLQJDQLQWHUYLHZHHVWHUPLQRO-
RJ\VRFLDOPRYHPHQWVWKDWDUHQRWPRYHPHQWV HJ9GH9LYLHQGD$QRQ\PRXVGRQRWYRWHIRUWKHP
<RXWKZLWKRXW)XWXUH RIGLYHUVHNLQGV:HFDQDOVRREVHUYHHYHQWV HJ0D\DQG$UJHQWLQD 
and even books or manifestos (eg. Indignez-vous!, Reacciona). This WKLQJVWKDWKDSSHQHGEHIRUH-section
RI3DGLOODVPDSFDQEHLQWHUSUHWHGDVDVRFLDOPRYHPHQWJHQHDORJ\FRPSRVHGRIERWKLQWHUQDWLRQDODQG
domestic progenitors, of remote, more recent and even contemporary ancestry. It is, according to Polletta
(1998), a narrative of becoming.

$WWKHLQGLYLGXDOOHYHOLQWXUQWKHZHFUDIWHGE\0PHPEHUVLVLQWHJUDWHGE\SHUVRQVZKRIHHOGLV
FRPIRUWZLWKWKHLUSHUVRQDOOLYHV for GRLQJZKDWWKH\GRQWZDQWWRGRDELGLQJE\UXOHVWKH\GRQWZDQW
WRIROORZDQGZRUNLQJDWMREVWKH\GLVOLNH$VZLWKSUHYLRXVRUGHDOVFROOHFWLYHLQYROYHPHQWKDVSURYLGHG
DPLWLJDWLRQWRWKLVLQGLYLGXDOGLVWUHVV$FFRUGLQJWR3DGLOODVFRQFHSWXDOPDS$FDPSDGD6ROLVPDGHRI
SHRSOHZKRZDQWWREHDQGOLYHWRJHWKHU,QZRUGVRIDQLQWHUYLHZHH:LWK0ZHKDYHUHFRYHUHGWKDW
SDUWRISHUVRQZKRLVZLOOLQJWRVKDUHDSDUWZHKDGORQJIRUJRWWHQ ,QWHUYLHZWR&DUROLQD*DUFtD 7KLV
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 104

VKDULQJRUEHLQJWRJHWKHULVDWWKHFRUHRIWKHSURJQRVWLFIUDPLQJSHUIRUPHGE\0PHPEHUVLWLV
VHHQDVDUVWVWHSLQWKHEXPS\DQGVLQXRXVURDGWRZDUGVQGLQJDVROXWLRQWRWKHPXOWLGLPHQVLRQDOFULVLV
%HQIRUGDQG6QRZ ,WLVWRRSDUWRIWKHPRWLYDWLRQGUDZLQJ0SDUWLFLSDQWVWRJHWLQYROYHG
LQDQGVXVWDLQWKHLUHQJDJHPHQWZLWKWKLVW\SHRIPRYHPHQWEHLQJWRJHWKHUKDVJLYHQWKHPDVHQVHRI
HPSRZHUPHQWHIFDF\DQGMR\ )UHLGLQDQG3HUXJRUUtD 

>:LWKWKH0@:HKDYHPRYHGIURPSRZHUOHVVQHVVWRSRZHUIURPLVRODWLRQDQGFRPSHWLWLRQWREHLQJWRJHWKHUWR
GLVFRYHULQJWKHRWKHUDVDQDFFRPSOLFHDQGQRORQJHUDVDQREVWDFOHIURPF\QLFLVPWRZHFDQFKDQJHWKLQJVDQGZH
FDQEHSURWDJRQLVWVRIWKDWFKDQJH7KDWJHQHUDWHVDYHU\VWURQJHPRWLRQ ,QWHUYLHZWR$PDGRU)HUQiQGH]6DYDWHU

0PHPEHUVGRQRWMXVWZDQWWREHWRJHWKHUWKLVLVQRWDSOD\GDWH7KH\VHHWKHPVHOYHVDVVHOI
FRQYHQHG persons that RFFXS\WKHVTXDUH WRGRUHDOGHPRFUDF\QRZ%XWZKDWGRHVUHDOGHPRFUDF\
UHDOO\PHDQ",Q3DGLOODVSHUVSHFWLYHGHPRFUDF\LVDVVRFLDWHGWRXVLQJZRUGVQRWYLROHQFH, and to a
IULHQGO\DWPRVSKHUH promoted by the act of OLVWHQLQJDQGUHVSHFW. It is also tied to HQJDJLQJZLWKFRP
PRQPDWWHUVZLWKSUREOHPVWKDWDIIHFWVRFLHW\DVDZKROH5HDOGHPRFUDF\LVDFKLHYHGZLWKFROOHFWLYH
LQWHOOLJHQFH, described as KHWHURJHQHRXV DQG LQFOXVLYH, LQWHUJHQHUDWLRQDO, and XQUHSUHVHQWDEOH
-that is, avoiding DFURQ\PVDQGDJVEHFDXVHWKH\GLYLGH-. As mentioned before, one of the outcomes of
this from-the-bottom-up democratic praxis is collective enthusiasm. So is JURZLQJVXSSRUW in other cities
DQGFRXQWULHVZKLFKLQWXUQJLYHVVWUHQJWKWR Acampada Sol.

15Ms Social Space, Beyond Alter-Global Mobilizations


The participation of groups, collectives and organisations in multiple levels of action and more than one
ORFDOHUVWHPHUJHGDVDFDUGLQDOWHQVLRQZLWKLQWKHDOWHUJOREDOPRYHPHQWDVLPLODUWHQVLRQLVSUHVHQWLQ
WKH02QWKHRQHKDQGSDUWLFLSDWLRQLQJOREDODFWLRQVKDVDOORZHGDOWHUJOREDOPLOLWDQWVWRH[SHULHQFH
VRPHWLPHVYLUWXDOO\VRPHWLPHVSUHVHQWLDOO\ PRPHQWVWKDWZHUHH[FHSWLRQDODQGVSHFWDFXODUDQGWR
HVWDEOLVKLQVSLULQJFRPSDULVRQVEHWZHHQWKHP2QWKHRWKHUSDUWLFLSDWLRQLQORFDODFWLRQVKDVJLYHQWKHPD
stronger sense of coherence and unanimity. The local ambit is immediate, accessible, visible, and therefore
DSSUHKHQVLEOHLWLVWKHVSDFHLQZKLFKGHPDQGVDUHGLVSOD\HGDQGZKHUHWKHZHJHWVFU\VWDOOL]HGWKURXJK
face-to-face encounters and relationships.

,QWU\LQJWRUHVROYHWKLVWHQVLRQEHWZHHQWKHJOREDODQGWKHORFDOWKHDOWHUJOREDOPRYHPHQWKDV
RSWHGIRUSXUVXLQJJORFDODFWLRQV$VDFRQVHTXHQFHLWKDVEHHQLQSHUPDQHQWRVFLOODWLRQEHWZHHQWKH
[HG KHUHDQGQRZ DQGWKHPRELOH WKHUHDQGEHIRUHDIWHU 7KLVRSWLRQKDVGHQHGWKHDOWHUJOREDOPRYH-
PHQWDQGJLYHQLWVSHFLFLW\ZKHQFRPSDUHGWRSUHYLRXVSURFHVVHVRIPRELOL]DWLRQ0DQ\0PLOLWDQWV
SDUWLFXODUO\ WKH \RXQJHVW RQHV KDYH VKRZQ D JOREDO RU LQWHUQDWLRQDO YRFDWLRQ WKH\ DUH DZDUH RI WKH
importance of raising support in other countries, have participated in global actions such as the October
GHPRQVWUDWLRQDQGDUHLQFRQVWDQWFRQWDFWZLWKWKHLUIRUHLJQFRXQWHUSDUWVWKURXJKLQWHUQDWLRQDO
commissions. They stress the LPSRUWDQFHRIWKLQNLQJDQGDFWLQJJOREDOO\ ,QWHUYLHZWR0LJXHO$UDQD 
+RZHYHUWKHPRYHPHQWDVDZKROHVHHPVWRKDYHVWUHQJWKHQHGWKHEHWIRUWKHORFDOLQGHWULPHQWRIWKH
global after its move to the neighborhoods. The construction of this local space as a place of physical
SUR[LPLW\KDVSURYLGHGDQRSHQHOGIRUWKHLQWHUDFWLRQH[FKDQJHDQGFUHDWLRQRIRUJDQL]DWLRQDOWRROVDQG
symbolic challenges.
105 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

7KHVSDFHRIVRFLDOPRELOL]DWLRQLVWKHUHIRUHDWRQHWLPHVRFLDODQGV\PEROLF,WLVDSUDFWLFDOHOGD
VSDFHIRUVRFLDOH[SHULPHQWDWLRQLQZKLFKSURSRVDOVDUHGLVFXVVHGQHJRWLDWHGDQGUHKHDUVHG,QWKHFDVHRI
0LWLVWKHORFDOHZKHUHUHDOGHPRFUDF\LVGRQH$V3DGLOODVFRQFHSWXDOPDSVKRZVUHDOGHPRFUDF\
LVDFFRPSOLVKHGLQWZRGLIIHUHQWZD\VSUHVHQWLDOO\, in DFDPSDGDVDVVHPEOLHVWKHPDWLFZRUNLQJJURXSV
and commissions, and in a disembodied and deterritoriazed fashion through the use of online media (see
DOVR)LJXUH 7KH0PDQLIHVWR+RZWR&RRND1RQ9LROHQW5HYROXWLRQ  DOOXGHVWRWKLVGRXEOH
embeddedness of collective action:

:HUHFRYHUHGDQGXWLOL]HWKHSXEOLFVSDFHZHRFFXSLHGWKHVTXDUHVDQGWKHVWUHHWVRIRXUFLWLHVWRPHHWDQGZRUNLQ
DFROOHFWLYHRSHQDQGYLVLEOHZD\:HLQIRUPDQGLQYLWHHYHU\FLWL]HQWRSDUWLFLSDWH:HGHEDWHDERXWSUREOHPVORRN
IRUVROXWLRQVDQGRUJDQL]HDFWLRQVDQGPRELOL]DWLRQV2XUGLJLWDOQHWZRUNVDQGWRROVDUHRSHQDOOWKHLQIRUPDWLRQLV
DYDLODEOHRQWKH,QWHUQHWLQWKHVWUHHWVDQGLQWKHVTXDUHV

7KH0WKXVFRPELQHVRQOLQHDFWLYLVPZLWKPRUHWUDGLWLRQDOIRUPVRIPLOLWDQF\2QWKHRQHKDQG
LWHPEUDFHVWKHGLJLWDODJHVRFLDELOLW\ZKHUHHYHU\ERG\LVJHWWLQJWRJHWKHULQVRFLDOPHGLDDQGZKHUH
JURXSVFDQRSHUDWHZLWKDPXOWLQDWLRQDOVVFRSHDQGDELUWKGD\SDUW\VLQIRUPDOLW\ 6KLUN\ DQG
FDQ RUJDQL]H ZLWKRXW RUJDQL]DWLRQV LQ RUGHU WR FKDQJH WKH ZRUOG ZLWKRXW WDNLQJ SRZHU +ROORZD\
2002). This form of activism is inspired by the idea that grassroots organizing no longer needs an organizer,
DPHGLDWRULWIROORZVWKHGRLW\RXUVHOIZLWKRWKHUVVSLULW2QWKHRWKHUWKH0LVEDVHGRQWUDGLWLRQDO
repertoires: DFDPSDGDV, assemblies and demonstrations are characterized by the physicality of bodies be-
LQJSUHVHQWLQDVSDWLDOPHHWLQJSODFH *ODGZHOO 0PHPEHUVFUHDWHJURXSFRPPRQDOLW\WKURXJK
IDFHWRIDFHVWURQJWLHRILQHDFWLYLVPEXWDOVRWKURXJKRQOLQHZHDNWLHDVVRFLDWLRQ7KHWZRDQNV
VWUHQJWKHQRQHDQRWKHUDGGLQJVSHHGDQHZGLPHQVLRQ 0HUULHOG 7KLVPXWXDOUHLQIRUFHPHQWLV
SUREDEO\IDFLOLWDWHGE\WKHDIQLW\RIPHWKRGVDVVHPEOLHVDQGRQOLQHQHWZRUNVDUHERWKFKDUDFWHUL]HGE\
direct participation, horizontality, and open deliberation.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 106



Figure 6. Puerta del Sol, Madrid: A Space for Indignation, Infography published by El Pas, on May 20, 2011.

0HUULHOG  KDVDGYDQFHGWKHQRWLRQRIHQFRXQWHUWRUHIHUWRWKLVQHZGXDOW\SHRISROLWLFDOHQ-


JDJHPHQW7KHSROLWLFVRIWKHHQFRXQWHULVDSURFHVVZLWKRXWDVXEMHFWVSUHDGLQJOLNHZLOGUHLQZKLFK
FURZGVEHFRPHVSHHG\HQVHPEOHVRIERGLHVFUHDWHGYLDVSRQWDQHRXVRQOLQHDQGRILQHRUGHULQJ,QWKH
EHJLQQLQJVRIWKHPRELOL]DWLRQVDORWRIWKHDFWLYLVPDQGRUJDQL]LQJZDVGRQHGHWHUULWRULDOO\WKURXJK
7ZLWWHUDQG)DFHERRN+RZHYHUSURWHVWVHQFRXQWHUVXQIROGHGLQWKHKHDUWRI6SDQLVKFLWLHVUVWLQWKH
DFDPSDGDVDQGODWHURQLQWRZQDQGQHLJKERUKRRGVTXDUHVDQGRFFXSLHGVRFLDOFHQWHUVZKHUHPLOLWDQWV
KROGWKHLUDVVHPEO\PHHWLQJV'HVSLWHWKHLQFRUSRUDWLRQRIGLJLWDOFKDQQHOVHQFRXQWHUSROLWLFVLVDQGZLOO
107 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

continue to be, based on an encounter VRPHZKHUH, for physical space is still a major battleground for politi-
FDOVWUXJJOH 0HUULHOG 0PHPEHUVVHHPWREHDZDUHRIWKHLPSRUWDQFHRIWKHVSDWLDOGLPHQVLRQ
RIWKHLUSUD[LVWKLVLVHYLGHQFHGE\WKHFDUWRJUDSKLFFRQVFLRXVQHVV $QGHUVRQ WKH\KDYHGLVSOD\HG
LQWKHDOPRVWFRPSXOVRU\GHVLJQUHGHVLJQDQGUHIUHVKPHQW LQWKHFRPSXWHUVFLHQFHVHQVH RIWZRGLIIHUHQW
types of maps: of the internal organization of DFDPSDGDV (see Figure 7), and of the difussion of camps all
DURXQGWKHJOREH VHH)LJXUH 7KHVHPDSVKDYHDFRPSDVVWRWKHZRUOGHOHPHQWEXWDOVRIXQFWLRQDV
ORJRPDSVWKDWLVLQVWDQWO\UHFRJQL]DEOHHYHU\ZKHUHYLVLEOHHPEOHPVWKDWSHQHWUDWHGHHSLQWRWKHSRSX-
ODULPDJLQDWLRQDQGDUHDYDLODEOHIRUWUDQVIHUWRSROLWLFDOEDQQHUVZHESDJHVHWF $QGHUVRQ 




Figure 7. Maps of Acampada Sol and Acampada Plaa Catalunya. Note: On the left, a map of Acampada Sol, and on
the right, a hand-made map of Acampada Plaa Catalunya. The photographs are available online.

7KHVSDFHRIVRFLDOPRELOL]DWLRQLVDOVRDV\PEROLFHOGZKHUHWKHXQGHUVWDQGLQJRIWKHSXEOLFDQG
private spheres is transformed and recreated. In a normative sense, the poli tics of the encounter can me-
GLDWHEHWZHHQWKHKLVWRULFDODQGOLYHGH[SHULHQFH$VSHRSOHQGRQHDQRWKHUWKH\VWDUWWRSLHFHWRJHWKHU
FRPPRQQRWLRQVDQGFRPPRQSUREOHPVWKH\XQLYHUVDOL]HZKDWRQWKHIDFHRILWVHHPVRQO\SULYDWHVSH-
FLF7KHVHQVHRIDIQLW\WKDWHPHUJHVIURPWKLVEHLQJWRJHWKHULQZRUGVRIRQHLQWHUYLHZHHEHFRPHV
the cement that bonds -perhaps only for a moment, but a moment that lingers-, people across barriers and
IURQWLHUV 0HUULHG 7KHHPHUJHQWDIQLW\JURXS %RRNFKLQDVTXRWHGLQ0HUULHG LVFKDU-
acterized by deeply empathetic human relationships-relationships nourished by common revolutionary
practice and ideas.

The aim of 15M DFDPSDGDVDQGGHPRQVWUDWLRQVZDVHVVHQWLDOO\V\PEROLFWKH\ZHUHUHKHDUVDOVIRU


UHYROXWLRQEXWQRWLQDVWUDWHJLFRUWDFWLFDOVHQVHWKH\ZHUHUDWKHUUHKHDUVDOVRIUHYROXWLRQDU\ RUSHUKDSV
UHEHOOLRXV DZDUHQHVV 0HUULHG 0PHPEHUVZHUHUHMHFWLQJDOOWKDWWKH\KDELWXDOO\DQGGHVSLWH
themselves, accept, and beginning to form a cosmovision that gave sense to the crisis and their gener-
DOL]HG PDOFRQWHQW7KH\ ZHUH LGHQWLI\LQJ PHFKDQLVPV RI LQFOXVLRQH[FOXVLRQ HJ ODFN RI HPSOR\PHQW
FRQGLWLRQVRIH[SORLWDWLRQGRPLQDWLRQDQGLQHTXDOLW\ PHFKDQLVPVRILPSRVLWLRQUHSUHVVLRQ HJFRQFHQ-
WUDWLRQRISRZHUSULYDWLVDWLRQSROLFLHVXQFHUWDLQW\DQGODFNRIFRQWURORYHULPSRUWDQWDVSHFWVRIRQHVRZQ
OLIHDQGUHSUHVVLRQRIDOWHUQDWLYHOLIHVW\OHV DQGWKHSUDFWLFHVDJHQWVDQGLQVWLWXWLRQVWKDWZHUHVKDSLQJWKH
FRQLFWDWVWDNH HJWKHXQHPSOR\HGPXOWLQDWLRQDOVDQGQDQFLDOJURXSVPXOWLODWHUDORUJDQLVPVVWDWHV
DQGQDWLRQDOLQVWLWXWLRQV  7HMHULQDE ,QWKHVHHQFRXQWHUV0SDUWLFLSDQWVZHUHDOVRGLVFRYHULQJ
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 108

WKHLURZQFUHDWLYLW\DQGSRZHUWRFKDQJHWKHSUREOHPDWLFVWDWHRIDIIDLUV7KH\ZHUHH[SUHVVLQJSROLWLFDO
ambitions before having formalized them, and before having created the necessary tools -like structures or
organizations- to make them real.

Figure 8. World Map of $FDPSDGDV, and Photograph of the World Map as Seen in Acampada Granada.
Note: The photo on the right is available in
KWWSZZZLFNUFRPSKRWRVJRUHIDFLRLQVHW

Conclusions
TThe 15M movement counts on different organizational precursors in the process of social mobiliza-
WLRQ <RXWK :LWKRXW )XWXUH  DQG LQ WKH DUWLFXODWLRQ RI IRUPV RI RQOLQH GRQRWYRWHIRUWKHP  RU K\EULG
RQOLQHRILQH SURWHVWV 0DOHVWDURUJ $VZHKDYHSRLQWHGRXWLQWKLVSUHVHQWDWLRQWKHPRYHPHQWKDVLWV
LPPHGLDWHRULJLQLQWKHGRXEOHGLVFRQWHQWIHOWE\QXPHURXV6SDQLVKVHFWRUVZLWKWKHVRFLRHFRQRPLFFULVLV
DQGZLWKWKHSROLWLFDOPDQDJHPHQWRIFROOHFWLYHOLIHE\WKHPDMRUSROLWLFDOSDUWLHV+RZHYHUWKHUHDVRQWKDW
WULJJHUHGWKHSURFHVVRIRFFXSDWLRQRI3XHUWDGHO6RODQGODWHURQRIQXPHURXVVTXDUHVLQGLIIHUHQW6SDQLVK
cities, has its origin in the political and police mismanagement of the 15M mobilization.

The plural composition of the LQGLJQDGRVUHHFWVWKHUHMHFWLRQRIWKHPRVWQHJDWLYHFRQVHTXHQFHV


RIWKHSURFHVVRIJOREDOL]DWLRQWKHLQFUHDVHGOHYHOVRIVRFLDOLQHTXDOLW\DQGWKHSUHFDULRXVQHVVRIWKHOLIH
conditions of broad social sectors, especially, but not exclusively, the young. In addition, the 15M move-
PHQWWUDQVIHUVWRWKHSXEOLFVSKHUHDORQJWHUPGLVFRQWHQWZLWKWKHIXQFWLRQLQJRIWKH6SDQLVKGHPRFUDF\
and persistent demands for deeper democratization and transparency in the administration of public affairs.
,QWKHSHUFHSWLRQRI0PHPEHUVWKLVVLWXDWLRQDQGWKLVDXWKRULW\V\VWHPDUHGHQHGDVXQMXVWDQGLWLV
SUHFLVHO\WKLVLQMXVWLFHIUDPHZKDWKDVOHJLWLPDWHGLWVGLVREHGLHQFH

6HYHUDOPHPEHUVKDYHDJUHHGZLWKWKHVWDWHPHQWWKDWWKH0LVDQHPRWLRQDOPRYHPHQW7KHHPRWLRQ
109 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

of outrage, or indignation, constituted a central stepping stone for the construction of a collective identity in
WKHEHJLQQLQJVRIWKHPRYHPHQW+RZHYHURQFHWKHXSULVLQJZDVLQPRWLRQLQGLJQDWLRQZDVUHSODFHGRU
at least complemented, by collective enthusiasm and joy derived from the experience of EHLQJWRJHWKHU.
$VRQHLQWHUYLHZHHSXWLW>WKH0@LVDFU\FRPLQJIURPDVRFLHW\WKDWLVWLUHGIHGXS,WVEHHQDFU\EXW
DVPLOLQJRQH.

Although 15M members have tried to build on common problems in lieu of available identities,
they have nonetheless performed prognostic, diagnostic and motivational framing tasks that have begun
WRFUDIWDQGVKDSHWKHLURZQQRYHOFROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\7KHLUERXQGDU\DQGDGYHUVDULDOIUDPLQJKDVGHPDU-
FDWHGDWKHPDJDLQVWZKLFKFROOHFWLYHDFWLRQKDVEHHQGLUHFWHGPDLQO\WKLHYLQJDQGVZLQGOHUEDQNHUV
DQGFRUUXSWSROLWLFLDQV,WKDVDOVRIRUJHGDZHFRPSRVHGRISHUVRQVQRWSHRSOHQRWPLOLWDQWVXQLWHG
E\WKHLUGLVFRPIRUWWRZDUGVWKHVHDFWRUVEXWDOVRWRZDUGVWKHODEHOVDQGPHWKRGVFRPLQJIURPROG
time politics (ODYLHMDSROtWLFD 7DONLQJDERXWSHUVRQVDOORZHGERWKSHRSOHZLWKQRSUHYLRXVSROLWLFDO
SDUWLFLSDWLRQDQGZLWKGLIIHUHQWPLOLWDQWWUDMHFWRULHVWRIHHOSDUWRIWKH0LWV\QFKURQL]HGGLIIHUHQWDQG
probably opposing political ideologies and blurred other potentially alienating axes of dissent.

0PHPEHUVKDYHDOVRFUDIWHGDQDUUDWLYHRIEHFRPLQJWKDWZHKDVDSUHVHQWDQGDIXWXUHEXWDOVR
has a traceable past. Participants have elaborated a social movement genealogy composed of both interna-
tional and domestic progenitors, of recent and also far-removed ascent. This family tree brings together
WUDGLWLRQDODQGQHZVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVDQGHYHQVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVWKDWDUHQRWPRYHPHQWVWRXVHDQ
LQWHUYLHZHHVH[SUHVVLRQWKDWEHORQJWRWKHSURJUHVVLYHHOG0PHPEHUVKDYHDOVRSURYLGHGWKHLU
QDUUDWLYHRIEHFRPLQJZLWKDQLQGLYLGXDOGLPHQVLRQ0PHPEHUVDUHSHUVRQVZKRXVHGWRIHHODGLV-
FRPIRUWZLWKWKHLULQGLYLGXDOOLYHVDQGZKRQRZZDQWWREHDQGOLYHWRJHWKHULQDIULHQGO\DWPRVSKHUH

%HLQJWRJHWKHUVKDULQJKDVDOORZHGWKHPWRXQLYHUVDOL]HWKHLUSHUVRQDOH[SHULHQFHVXQGHUVWDQG-
LQJVDQGHPRWLRQVDQGKDVJLYHQWKHPDVHQVHRIMR\HPSRZHUPHQWDQGHIFDF\,WLVWKXVDWWKHFRUHRI
WKHSURJQRVWLFIUDPLQJSHUIRUPHGE\0PHPEHUVDQGRIWKHPRWLYDWLRQGUDZLQJWKHPWRJHWLQYROYHG
and sustain their participation. This politics of the encounter has been facilitated and boosted by a mu-
WXDOO\UHLQIRUFLQJRILQHVWURQJWLHDFWLYLVPDQGRQOLQHZHDNWLHDVVRFLDWLRQERWKEDVHGRQDQRSHQ
KRUL]RQWDO DQG SDUWLFLSDWRU\ SKLORVRSK\ ,Q ZRUGV RI 0HUULHOG   VTXDUHV DQG GLJLWDO PHGLD KDYH
provided a scenario for an illicit rendezvous of human bonding and solidarity, a material, virtual, and emo-
WLRQDOWRSRJUDSK\LQZKLFKVRPHWKLQJGLVUXSWVDQGLQWHUYHQHVLQWKHSUHYLRXVSDUDO\VLV%XW0PHPEHUV
GRQRWMXVWZDQWWREHWRJHWKHUWKH\JDWKHUWRGRUHDOGHPRFUDF\5HDOGHPRFUDF\LVLQWHUSUHWHGDVDQ
engagement in common matters, an involvement thought of as inclusive, non-violent, and necessarily
GLUHFWRUXQUHSUHVHQWDEOH7KLVODVWHOHPHQWLVSUREDEO\GULYLQJWKHPRYHWRZDUGVWKHORFDOLQGHWULPHQW
of the global.

15M participants may have expressed political ambitions before creating the necessary means to make
WKHPUHDO,QWKHODVWIHZPRQWKVWKH\KDYHGLVFRYHUHGWKHLURZQFUHDWLYLW\DQGSRZHUDQGDOVRWKHLURZQ
limitations to generate the global and local change they demand. They have also begun to craft a cosmovi-
VLRQWKDWJDYHVHQVHWRWKHFULVLVWKHLUJHQHUDOL]HGPDOFRQWHQWDQGWKHLURZQSXUSRVHVDFWLRQVDQGRUJD-
QL]DWLRQ0PHPEHUVDSSHDUWREHFRQVFLRXVWKDWD WKURXJKWKHLUDFWLRQWKH\ZDQWWREXLOGWKHZLGHVW
SRVVLEOHPRYHPHQWE WKDWWKH\SHUVRQDOO\PRELOL]HWRRSSRVHHFRQRPLFGRPLQDWLRQWRDIUPPRUDOSULQ-
FLSOHVRIHTXDOLW\DQGMXVWLFHDQGWRWUDQVIRUPWKHSROLWLFDOVWUXFWXUHVDQGGHPRFUDF\F WKDWWKHLULQWHUHVW
LQXQLWLQJZLWKRWKHUVUHVWVRQWKHSRVVLELOLW\RIDOWHULQJDQXQZDQWHGVRFLDOUHDOLW\JHQHUDWLQJVROLGDULW\
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 110

FRQVWUXFWLQJ FRPPRQ LQWHUHVWV DQG VKDULQJ GHPDQGV G  WKDW WKH PRELOL]DWLRQ LV HIIHFWLYH EHFDXVH LW LV
FRQWULEXWLQJWRUDLVHDZDUHQHVVRIWKHULVNVRIJOREDOL]DWLRQDQGWRFKDQJHWKHSHUFHSWLRQVKHOGRILWDQGH 
WKDWWKHPRVWSUREOHPDWLFDVSHFWVRIRUJDQL]LQJWKLVW\SHRIPRYHPHQWDUHSUHFLVHO\ZKDWPDNHLWPRVWDW-
tractive: diversity and plurality of its components, its horizontal and democratic character, and the fact that
LWGHDOVZLWKFRPPRQSUREOHPVWKDWLVZLWKTXHVWLRQVWKDWWUDQVFHQGVRFLDOIURQWLHUV

Abbreviations
362(6SDQLVK6RFLDOLVW:RUNHUV3DUW\ 3DUWLGR6RFLDOLVWD2EUHURGH(VSDxD FHQWHUOHIWZLQJSROLWLFDO
party in Spain.
333HRSOHV3DUW\ 3DUWLGR3RSXODU ULJKWZLQJSROLWLFDOSDUW\LQ6SDLQ
&L8&RQYHUJHQFHDQG8QLRQ &RQYHUJqQFLDL8QLy FHQWHUULJKWZLQJHOHFWRUDOFRDOLWLRQLQ&DWDORQLD
6SDLQ,WLVWHFKQLFDOO\DIHGHUDWLRQRIWZRFRQVWLWXHQWSDUWLHVWKHODUJHU'HPRFUDWLF&RQYHUJHQFHRI
Catalonia (CDC) and its smaller counterpart, the Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC). It is currently
OHGE\$UWXU0DVZKRLVWKHFXUUHQW3UHVLGHQWRIWKH&DWDODQ*RYHUQPHQW
'5<5HDO'HPRFUDF\1RZ 'HPRFUDFLD5HDO<D 

Data Sources
,QWHUYLHZVWR-XOLR$OEDUUiQ0LJXHO$UDQD-DYLHUGHOD&XHYD$PDGRU)HUQiQGH]6DYDWHU&DUROLQD*DUFtD/HLOD1DFKDZDWLDQG=XOR
conducted by Stphane M. Grueso, Patricia Horrillo and Pablo Soto during 2011 and 2012 for the project 15M.cc, available in http://15M.cc.
&RQFHSWXDOPDSDFDPSDGDVROYHODERUDWHGE\0DUJD3DGLOODDYDLODEOHLQKWWSZZZPFFPHWRGRORJLDGHWUDEDMRKWPO
0DQLIHVWR&yPRFRFLQDUXQDUHYROXFLyQQRYLROHQWD +RZWR&RRND1RQ9LROHQW5HYROXWLRQ DYDLODEOHDWKWWSWDNHWKHVTXDUHQHW
es/2011/08/18/como-cocinar-una-revolucion-no-violenta/, accessed on 01/20/2012.
7H[WXDODQGJUDSKLFPDWHULDODYDLODEOHLQWKHIROORZLQJZHEVLWHV
KWWSWDNHWKHVTXDUHQHW
http://tomalaplaza.net/
http://madrid.tomalaplaza.net/
KWWSDFDPSDGDEFQZRUGSUHVVFRP
http://15october.net/

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$PLQ]DGH5DQG0F$GDP'(PRWLRQVDQG&RQWHQWLRXV3ROLWLFVLQ$PLQ]DGH5*ROGVWRQH-0F$GDP'3HUU\(6HZHOO
:7DUURZ6DQG7LOO\&K (GV 6LOHQFHDQG9RLFHLQWKH6WXG\RI&RQWHQWLRXV3ROLWLFV &DPEULGJH8QLYHUVLW\3UHVV&DPEULGJH 
Anderson, B.: 2006, Imagined Communities (Verso, London).
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)UHLGLQ%DQG3HUXJRUUtD,8Q(QIRTXH0XOWL1DUUDWLYRSDUDHO(VWXGLRGHO0RYLPLHQWR$VDPEOHDULRHQ$UJHQWLQDLQ6DXWX
111 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

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*ODGZHOO0:K\WKHUHYROXWLRQZLOOQRWEHWZHHWHGLQ1HZ<RUNHU2FWREHU
*RRGZLQ--DVSHU-DQG3ROOHWWD):K\(PRWLRQV0DWWHULQ*RRGZLQ--DVSHU-DQG3ROOHWWD) (GV 3DVVLRQDWH3ROLWLFV
Emotions and Social Movements, (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago).
+ROORZD\-&KDQJHWKH:RUOG:LWKRXW7DNLQJ3RZHU7KH0HDQLQJRI5HYROXWLRQ7RGD\ 3OXWR3UHVV/RQGRQ 
Melucci, A.: 1995, The Process of Collective Identity, in Johnston, H. and Klandermans, B. (Eds.), Social Movements and Culture,
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0HUULHOG$&URZG3ROLWLFVRU+HUHFRPHV(YHU\EXGG\LQ1HZ/HIW5HYLHZ
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3ROOHWWD),W:DV/LNH$)HYHU1DUUDWLYHDQG,GHQWLW\LQ6RFLDO3URWHVW6RFLDO3UREOHPV  
3ROOHWWD)DQG-DVSHUV-&ROOHFWLYH,GHQWLW\LQ&RQWHQWLRXV3ROLWLFVLQ$QQXDO5HYLHZRI6RFLRORJ\
6KLUN\&+HUH&RPHV(YHU\ERG\7KH3RZHURI2UJDQL]LQJZLWKRXW2UJDQL]DWLRQV 3HQJXLQ%RRNV1HZ<RUN 
6QRZ'%XUNH5RFKIRUG(:RUGHQ6DQG%HQIRUG5)UDPH$OLJQPHQW3URFHVVHV0LFURPRELOL]DWLRQDQG0RYHPHQW
3DUWLFLSDWLRQLQ0F$GDP'DQG6QRZ' (GV 6RFLDO0RYHPHQWV5HDGLQJRQ7KHLU(PHUJHQFH0RELOL]DWLRQDQG'\QDPLFV
(Roxbury Press, Los Angeles).
7DUURZ63RZHULQ0RYHPHQW &DPEULGJH8QLYHUVLW\3UHVV&DPEULGJH 
Tejerina, B.: 2010a, La sociedad imaginada. Movimientos sociales y cambio cultural en Espaa, (Trotta, Madrid).
Tejerina, B.: 2010b, The logic of the Alterglobal Movement, in SinghaRoy, D. K. (Ed.), Dissenting Voices and Transformative Actions:
6RFLDO0RYHPHQWVLQD*OREDOL]LQJ:RUOG 0DQRKDU1HZ'HOKL SS
7HMHULQD%0DUWtQH]GH$OEpQL],&DYLD%*6HJXHO$DQG$,]DROD2PRYLPHQWRSRU-XVWLoD*OREDOQD(VSDQKDDWLYLVWDV
LGHQWLGDGHHFDUWRJUDDSROtWLFDGDDOWHUJOREDOL]DoDR6RFLHGDGHH(VWDGRSS
7HMHULQD%0DUWtQH]GH$OEpQL],&DYLD%*6HJXHO$DQG$,]DROD6SDJQD,GHQWLWjHFDUWRJUDDSROLWLFDGHOPRYLPHQWR
in Farro, A. L. and Rebughini, P. (Eds.), Europa alterglobal: Componenti e culture del movimento dei movimenti in Europa, (Franco
Angeli, Milan), pp. 149-175.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 112

The Assemblies of 15Th May Movement in Cceres: An


Example of Democracy School, a Road to Dialogic Society

BORJA RIVERO JIMNEZ


University of Extremadura

Abstract
This paper attempts to give a vision of democracy from dialogical perspective. From
WKHVQHZWUHQGV SDUWLFLSDWLYHGHOLEHUDWLYHRUUDGLFDOGHPRFUDF\ KDYHDWWHPSWWR
RIIHUDUHQHZDODQGWRFUHDWHDGHPRFUDF\WKDWLQFUHDVLQJO\VHHPOHVVUHSUHVHQWDWLYHRI
WKHFLWLQ]HQVKLS,QDVRFLDOFRQWH[WZKHUHSHRSOHWHQGWRDGDSWWRWKHGLIIHUHQWDVSHFWV
RIUHDOLW\ ORYHIDPLO\RUHGXFDWLRQ WKURXJKGLDORJXHZHZRXOGOLNHWRVD\WKDWWKH
GLDORJLFWUHQGWKLVWLPHDSSOLHGWRSROLWLFVLVUHHFWHGLQWKHIRUPRIWKHOLQNVHVWDE-
lished in the 15th0D\DVVHPEOLHV7KLVVWXG\DLPVDWSURYLGLQJDQRYHUYLHZRIVRPH
important features of the 15th0D\DVVHPEOLHVLQ&iFHUHVDQGDVZHOOHPSKDVL]LQJWKH
dialogical component that supported their proposals and discussions.

.H\ZRUGV
15th May Movement, assemblies, citizenship education, democratic renovation, dia-
logic democracy.

Introduction
On 15th May 2011, thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate under the slogan We are not
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ZLWKLQDFRQWH[WRIHFRQRPLFSROLWLFDODQGVRFLDOQDWLRQDODQGJOREDOUHVSRQVHLQDVHULHVRISURWHVWVPRVW
RIWKHPRQPHGLWHUUDQHDQDUHD7KHPDLQUHDVRQSHRSOHKLWWKHVWUHHWVLVUHHFWHGLQWKHVWDWHPHQWWKDWKDV
EHHQKHDUGDWDQ\SRLQWZKHUHDJURXSRITXLQFHPD\LVWDVPHWWRWDONGRQRWUHSUHVHQWXV7KLVVORJDQ
SRLQWVWRSROLWLFLDQVDQGWKHLUZD\RIGRLQJSROLWLFVDVRQHRIWKHPDLQSUREOHPVDIIHFWLQJ6SDQLVKVRFLHW\
WRGD\7KLVVRFLHW\LVQRWUHSUHVHQWHGE\SROLWLFLDQVZKRGRQWWDNHLQWRDFFRXQWWKHYLHZVRISHRSOHPDLQO\
EHFDXVH SXEOLF RSLQLRQ WKH GHEDWH RQ WKH UHV SXEOLFD DPRQJ FLWL]HQV LV DOPRVW QRQH[LVWHQW %DXPDQ
 DIUPVWKDW

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GLVFHUQLQJLQWKHSULYDWHZRUULHVWRSLFVRISXEOLFZRUU\

)URPWKHEHJLQQLQJWKLVPRYHPHQWIRFXVHGRQUHFRYHULQJSXEOLFVSDFHVVXFKDVVTXDUHVDQGSDUNV
WRRFFXS\WKHPRWKHUZLVH7KHVHVTXDUHVPRYHIURPEHLQJSODFHVRIHQWHUWDLQPHQWWREHFRPHSODFHVRI
SROLWLFDOFRQWHQWZKHUHHYHU\RQHFDQGLVFXVVWKDWDSSURDFKDVDQHTXDORQWKHGLIIHUHQWWRSLFVFRYHUHG
Bauman (ibid: 11) notes that one of the possibilities of change for our democratic society and improvement
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113 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

DVSDFHWKDWLVQHLWKHUSXEOLFQRUSULYDWHEXWPRUHH[DFWO\SXEOLFO\DQGGHSULYHGVLPXOWDQHRXVO\7KHVSDFHLQZKLFK
WKHSULYDWHSUREOHPVPHHWLQDVLJQLFDQWZD\ WRORRNIRUOHYHUVWKDWMRLQWO\DSSOLHGWXUQRXWWREHVXIFLHQWO\
SRZHUIXODVWRUDLVHWKHLQGLYLGXDOVRIKLVLQGLYLGXDOPLVHULHV ZKHUHWKH\FDQEHERUQDQGUHFHLYHIRUPLGHDOVXFK
DVWKHFRPPRQJRRGWKHFRPSDQ\MRXVWVRUWKHFRPPRQYDOXHV

7KLVRFFXSDWLRQRIWKHVTXDUHVLVWZRIROGRQDKDQGLWEHFDPHDQDFWRIFLYLOGLVREHGLHQFH YHU\QRWLFH-
DEOHGXULQJWKHUHHFWLRQVGD\ DGHIHQVHDJDLQVWWKHLQFUHDVLQJO\REYLRXVODFNRIFLWL]HQVKLSSDUWLFLSD-
WLRQLQSXEOLFGHEDWHRQWKHRWKHUEHFRPHVDNLQGRIDJRUDDEULGJHWKDWFRQQHFWVSULYDWHWURXEOHVWKDW
PDQ\ZHUHVXIIHULQJDQGPDNHVWKHPSXEOLFZLWKWKHUHVWRIWKHSRSXODWLRQSUHVHQWLQJWKHPIRUSXEOLF
GLVFXVVLRQ,Q&iFHUHVFDQSRLQWWRWKH3OD]D0D\RUDVWKHPRVWLPSRUWDQWSODFHRIth May movement,
DVLWVPDLQDJRUD7KHUHWKH\FRQGXFWHGWKHUVWFRQFHQWUDWLRQVRISURWHVWVDQGODWHUVHWWOHGWKHFDPS,Q
addition, all assemblies have been developed there.

Works main issue


7KHSXUSRVHRIWKLVVWXG\LVDQDQDO\VLVRIDVVHPEOLHVWKDWWRRNSODFHLQ&iFHUHVGHDOLQJZLWKWKHth
0D\PRYHPHQWDVWKHVHDUHWKHKLJKHVWGHFLVLRQPDNLQJDQGH[SUHVVLRQRIWKLVQHZVRFLDOPRYHPHQW
ZLWKWKHQDOREMHFWLYHRIJHWWLQJFORVHUWRWKHUHDOLW\RIWKLVSKHQRPHQRQDQGWDNHQLQWRDFFRXQWRIGLIIHU-
ent theories, trying to provide the insight observed.

Kind of work/methodology
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and further analysis through data dump cards observed, and videotapes about assemblies of the 15th May
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participant group in these assemblies in order to compare data an assess the opinion of the study for acting
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KRXUV,QDGGLWLRQZHKDYHSDUWLFLSDWHGLQPRVWDVVHPEOLHVRUJDQL]HGNHHSLQJWUDFNRIZKDWLVREVHUYHG
LQDQRWHERRN:HEHOLHYHWKDWDTXDOLWDWLYHHWKQRJUDSKLFUHVHDUFKLVWKHEHVWFKRLFHIRURXUZRUNEHFDXVH
it directly involves research and acting leaders. We chose ethnography as methodology and results of the
LQYHVWLJDWLRQ,IWKHZRUGVPDNHWKHVSHHFKRIth May movement and one of its objectives is to regener-
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LWLVWKHPHWKRGRORJLFDOWRROZHXVHGWRDQDO\]HWKHUHDOLW\RIWKLVVRFLDOJURXSDQGDOVRWKHQDOSURGXFW
WKDWJLYHVXVWKLVDQDO\VLV7KHGDWDRQZKLFKHWKQRJUDSK\LVEDVHGDUHGUDZQIURPVRFLDOLQWHUDFWLRQVZLWK
members of that social group through dialogue.

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WKHLQIRUPDWLRQH[WUDFWHGIURPWKHSDUWLFLSDWLRQDQGYLHZLQJYLGHRV,QWKHFDUGWKHUHDUHWZRFROXPQVRQH
ZLWKQRWHVWDNHQIURPWKHYLGHRVDQGWKHVHFRQGWRUHFRUGFRPPHQWVRQRWKHUDVSHFWVRIZRUN+HUHZH
H[SODLQEULH\WKHGLIIHUHQWVHFWLRQVWKDWZHXVHGWRUHFRUGLQIRUPDWLRQ

9LGHRLGHQWLFDWLRQQDPH(DFKYLGHRKDVDQLGHQWLFDWLRQQDPHZLWKPRQWKDQGGD\ZLWKDVVHPEOLHV
date. For example, the 18th0D\DVVHPEO\KDVWKHLGHQWLFDWLRQQDPH
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 114

9LGHRLGHQWLFDWLRQGDWD

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9LGHROHQJWK7KHGXUDWLRQRIUHFRUGHGDVVHPEO\YLGHR6RPHDVVHPEOLHVDUHQWIXOO\UHFRUGHG

Participants number: The participants number is very interesting to analyze the different stages and also
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H[DPSOHWKHJHQHUDOVXEMHFWWRZKLFKWKH\UHODWHRUDWWKHWLPHLQZKLFKWKH\KDSSHQ

Descriptive data:

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6RFLRORJLFDOSUROHV2QWKHRQHKDQGLQWKLVVHFWLRQZHKDYHFROOHFWHGWKHGLIIHUHQWNLQGVRIOHDGHUVKLS
WKDWZHREVHUYHGLQWKHDVVHPEOLHVWKHQDWXUHDQGW\SHRIWKLVSHRSOH2QWKHRWKHUKDQGZHFROOHFWHG
the citizenship type.

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to participate in the assemblies.

Assemblies structure and dynamics:

Moderation and registration: Which people take care of moderate and take note of the facts, their age
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,QWHUYHQWLRQGXUDWLRQDQGUHOHYDQFH:HZDQWHGWRSRLQWRXWKRZWKHUHDUHLQWHUYHQWLRQVWKHOHQJKWRI
this and if in fact they are related or unrelated to the topic at that time being treated.

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WDNHLWLQWRDFFRXQWZKHQPDNLQJWKHLUVWDWHPHQWV

3URSRVDOV:HKDYHDQDO\]HGDQGUHFRUGHGWKHYDULRXVSURSRVDOVFRQWDLQHGKRZWKH\GRKRZLVLWW\-
pology and if there are recurring themes.

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degree of execution they have.

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115 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

Content and symbols of the assemblies:

Not verbal language. In this space, there are gathered different aspects of the not verbal language: if it is
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not, if groups appear, if solitary persons exist.

Capture of agreements. The typology of the different agreements, if there are agreements appellants
ZKLFKDUHRIWHQURXWLQHO\JHW

Debates and speeches. Which are the main supportive elements of the debates, if these elements belong
to the popular culture, to the political theory or if they are simply occurrences or stereotypes it brings
over of the topics that treat each other. What contradictions and coherences appear in the debates.

The individual thing, the collective thing. If the individual interests appear over the group or if it gives
priority to the common interest.

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group of people or person turns out to be made responsible for the problems.

Analysis and discussion


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7KHUHDUHIURPRXUSRLQWRIYLHZWKUHHVWDJHVIRUZKLFKWKHPRYHPHQWKDVKDSSHQHGVLQFHLWDSSHDUHG7KH
UVWRQHRIWKHVWDJHVZRXOGEHJLQZLWKWKHPDQLIHVWDWLRQRI5th0D\DQGLWZRXOGFRQFOXGHZLWKWKHFKRLFHV
of 22th0D\:HPLJKWQDPHKHUDVVWDJHRIH[SORVLRQ'XULQJWKLVUVWVWDJHWKH\EHJLQWRWDNHWKHUVW
VKRUWWHUPGHFLVLRQVOLNHIRUH[DPSOHWRHQFDPSLQLQGHQLWHWLPHLQ3OD]D0D\RU7KHDVVHPEOLHVRIWKLV
VWDJHZLOOEHYHU\QXPHURXVLQKRZPXFKWRDVVLVWDQWVLWUHFRXQWVEXWWKHSHUVRQVZKRWKHUHFRPHVWLOOGRQRW
KDYHDQDFWLYHWUHQGDWWKHPRPHQWRIWDNLQJSDUWLQWKHGHEDWHV,WLVDVWDJHZKHUHFHUWDLQLPSRUWDQFHUHFHLYHV
WKHOHDGHUVKLSWKDWWKHUHH[HUFLVHRQWKHJURXSWKRVHSHUVRQVZKRRUJDQL]HGWKHUVWRQHRIWKHPDQLIHVWDWLRQV
During this stage, there is a great abundance of people (up to 1000 in some acts like the organized one the day
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media coverage that they all begin to have the encamped ones in Spain (Taibo, 2011). We believe that during
this stage it takes priority over a clear feeling of necessary immediate change in the collective conscience,
LWSUREDEO\PRYHGE\WKHIHHOLQJVIRXQGLQWKHVTXDUHVLQDPRPHQWRIH[SORVLRQRIIHHOLQJV7KHVHFRQG
VWDJHZKLFKZHZLOOQDPHDVVWDJHRIVXPPLWIURPWKHFKRLFHVLVDVWDJHRISXEOLFVPLQRUDEXQGDQFH
EHWZHHQDQGSHUVRQV EXWLQWKDWWKHUHLVLQFUHDVHGWKHSDUWLFLSDWLRQRIDQRWDEOHZD\IDFLOLWDWHGSURE-
DEO\E\WKLVSXEOLFVGHFUHDVH7KLVVWDJHZRXOGGHYHORSIURP2th May, until 8th June, day in the one that gets
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DQGDUHJXODWLRQDWWKHPRPHQWRIGHYHORSLQJWKHDVVHPEOLHV$PDQLIHVWLVDOVRZULWWHQE\YHSRLQWVZKLFK
ZLOOEHWKHSULQFLSDODLPVRIWKH5th0D\PRYHPHQWLQDEHJLQQLQJWKRXJKODWHUWKH\ZRXOGPHHWH[WHQGHG
One starts leaving of side the initial spontaneity and the assemblies begin to be summoned in a more formal
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WLRQRIWKHSHUVRQVLVPDMRUDQGPRUHXLGDQGWKHGHEDWHVVWRSEHLQJPRQRORJXHVWKRXJKWKH\DOVREHJLQ
WRGHYHORSDF\VWLQWRSLFVWKDWZLOOEHYHU\DSSHOODQWVDQGSRODUL]HGHQRXJKIRUH[DPSOHWKHGLVFXVVLRQDQG
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 116

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mobilizations and to develop actions of recovery in relation to the offers of change arisen. Finally, a third
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8th-XO\DQGLWZRXOGFRLQFLGHZLWKWKHVXPPHUDUULYDODQGWKHH[RGXVRIYHU\PXFKVWXGHQWVRXWRIWKHFLW\
until 15th2FWREHUGD\RIWKHZRUOGPDQLIHVWDWLRQ*OREDO8QLWHGIRU&KDQJHVXPPRQHGIURP6SDLQ7KH
abundance to the assemblies meets diminished in number up to the half (30 or 40 persons maximum). The
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ORZLQJWKHVXPPHUDQGWKHPRUHRUJDQL]DWLRQDODVSHFWVRIWKHPRYHPHQW2QHEHJLQVWRGHYHORSDRZFKDUW
LQRUGHUWRSURYLGHZLWKDPRUHFRQVLVWHQWVWUXFWXUHDQGRQHSURSRVHVWKHFUHDWLRQRIDUHJLRQDOFRRUGLQDWRURI
assemblies of 15th0D\PRYHPHQWLQ([WUHPDGXUD7KLVVWDJHPDUNVDQHQGRIGLVWDQFHDVZHWKRXJKWIURP
KHUHWKHIRXQGDWLRQVDUHODLGWRVWDUWFRYHULQJDQHZZD\LQDFRQWH[WEH\RQGWKHORFDODQGQDWLRQDOERUGHUV
VLQFH2FFXS\:DOO6WUHHWGHPRQVWUDWHVWKHSHUVRQVPDVVLYHDEXQGDQFHLQGLYHUVHSDUWVRIWKHZRUOGWRWKH
VXPPRQVZLWKDPDMRUDFWRISUHVHQFHDQGDSRSXODUVXSSRUWLQ7KH8QLWHG6WDWHVDFURVVWKHPRYHPHQW

$WWHQGLQJWRKLVWHPSRUDOLW\ZHFDQGHQHWKUHHW\SHVRIDVVHPEOLHV7KH[HGDVVHPEO\RUGLQDU\FDOO
ZLWKDSHULRGLFLW\RIGD\V WKHDQGRIHYHU\PRQWK 7KHUHLWGHDOZLWKWKHGLIIHUHQWWRSLFVWKDWDULVH
IURPWKHPHHWLQJFRRUGLQDWLRQRIJURXSVDQGWKRVHWKDWDQ\SHUVRQZDQWVWRFRQWULEXWH7KHH[WUDRUGLQDU\
DVVHPEO\ZLWKRXWPDUNHGSHULRGLFLW\,WLVUHDOL]HGRXWRIWKHUHJXODUGDWHVRIWKHRUGLQDU\DVVHPEOLHV,WLV
VXPPRQHGE\WKH&RPPLVVLRQRI&RRUGLQDWLRQRUIURPWKHDVVHPEO\LQRUGHUWRWUHDWVRPHWRSLFQHFHVVDU\
IRUWKHJRRGIXQFWLRQLQJ)LQDOO\WKHXUJHQWDVVHPEO\ZKLFKLVVXPPRQHGE\WKHQHHGWRWDNHDQLPPHGLDWH
FROOHFWLYHGHFLVLRQEHIRUHDKDSSHQHGIDFWRUIRUKDSSHQLQJDVIRUH[DPSOHLWZDVWKHFDVHIRUWKHOLIWLQJRIWKH
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types of assemblies: informative, deliberative and of groups or commissions. In the informative assemblies,
it give any information about issues that are of interest to those attending. It is not taken decisions, rather they
FRPHWRGRWKHIXQFWLRQRIVSDFHRIUHHFWLRQ

$QH[DPSOHRIWKLVW\SHRIDVVHPEOLHVDUHWKRVHWKDWZHUHFHOHEUDWHGLQDEHJLQQLQJDVWKDWRIth May to
read the constitution and to report on near actions or that of 7th-XQHEULQJVRYHURIZKDWWKHVRFDOOHG3DFWR
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GLIIHUHQWWRSLFVLQRUGHUWRWDNHSRVLWLRQVZLWKUHJDUGWRWKHVHRUWRFDUU\RXWDFWLRQV,QWKLVW\SRORJ\WKHUH
PLJKWEHWWHGWKHJUHDWPDMRULW\RIWKHDVVHPEOLHVWKDWZHWU\WRDQDO\]HDFURVVWKLVZRUN)LQDOO\ZHZRXOG
think the assemblies of groups and commissions, they try to give response to the different topics that concern
HYHU\JURXSDQGWKDWVHUYHWRIRUPXODWHRIIHUVWKDWZLOOEHODWHUGHEDWHGLQWKHJHQHUDODVVHPEO\E\WKHUHVWRI
WKHJURXS7KHFRQWHQWRIWKHDVVHPEOLHVKDVEHHQFKDQJLQJWKURXJKRXWWKHVHYHPRQWKVWKDWZHKDYHRE-
VHUYHG,QDEHJLQQLQJWKHWRSLFVIURPWKRVHZKRZHUHVSHDNLQJHDFKRWKHUZHUHFRPLQJPDUNHGE\ZKDWWKH
RUJDQL]LQJSHUVRQVRIWKHUVWPDQLIHVWDWLRQEHORQJLQJWRWKHSODWIRUP'HPRFUDFLD5HDO<DWKH\EHOLHYHG
more opportune, or for those civil offers that, shyly, began to appear. An agenda did not exist and the topics
ZHUHQRWFOHDUO\PDUNHGDQ\WKLQJWKDWZDVGRLQJWKDWWKHG\QDPLFVRIWKHDVVHPEOLHVVDZREVWUXFWHGDS-
SHDULQJRIWHQVSHHFKHVLWEULQJVRYHURIWKHVH[RIDQJHOVWRSLFVWKDWFRXOGVHHPWREHLQWHUHVWLQJIRUWKRVH
SHUVRQVZKRZHUHGHEDWLQJWKHPWKH\ZHUHQRWIRFXVHGRQWKHOLQHRIWKHFHQWUDOWRSLFWKDWZDVRFFXS\LQJ
in these moments the debate and that it could lead to the desperation and boredom of any of the persons as-
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DQGDVDUHVXOWRIWKHH[FHVVLYHWLPHWKHUVWDVVHPEOLHVFRXOGPDQDJHWRRFFXS\LQRUGHUWRSURYLGHZLWK
DIRUPDOVWUXFWXUHWKHVDPHRQHVLWPDQDJHGWRUHPLQGDPDQXDORIDVVHPEO\,QWKLVPDQXDORUGHULWZDV
117 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

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PRGHUDWLQJSHUVRQDSSHDUVWKHUHDVWKRVHRIWKHSHRSOHZKRWDNHWKHPLQXWHV7KHDJHQGDDOVRDSSHDUVIRUWKH
DVVHPEOLHVZKLFKLWZLOOPDNHFRQFUHWHZKLFKDUHWKHGLIIHUHQWWRSLFVWKDWZLOOEHGHEDWHGLQWKHDVVHPEOLHV
LQRUGHUWRSXEOLFL]HWKHPWRWKHZKROHFLWL]HQVKLSZKLFKZDQWVWRWDNHSDUWDQGDOVRWRFHQWHUWKHQRUPDO
GHYHORSPHQWRIWKHVDPHRQHV$PRQJWKHWKLUWHHQDVVHPEOLHVZHKDYHORRNHGWKURXJKYLGHRVZHDEOHWR
GHWHFWXSWRIRUW\VHYHQLWHPVRQWKHDJHQGDRIWKHGD\7KHPDMRULW\RIWKHWRSLFVDUHIRFXVHGRQWKHRZQRU-
JDQL]DWLRQRURQWKHFDSWXUHRIGHFLVLRQVLWEULQJVRYHURIQHDUDFWLRQV,QVLGHWKHVHWRSLFVZHFDQLQGLFDWHWKH
debates it brings over of the positioning before certain aspects from 15th0D\PRYHPHQWDVZKDWWRGRZLWK
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$OVRWRSLFVKDYHWUHDWHGHDFKRWKHULWEULQJVRYHURIWKHRSSRUWXQHWKLQJRUQRWRIFUHDWLQJDQHZZRUNJURXS
WKHFUHDWLRQRIDRZFKDUWWRSURYLGHZLWKDVWURQJHUVWUXFWXUHRUWKHGHQLWLYHUDLVLQJRIWKHHQFDPSHGRQHLQ
3OD]D0D\RU$OVRDSSHDUSXUHO\LQIRUPDWLRQDOWRSLFVVXFKDVWKHVWRU\E\RQHRIWKHSDUWLFLSDQWVZRUNHGLQ
the different meetings at the level of national, or only organizational as the modals to the creation of a regional
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WKDWZHEHOLHYHKLPPHHWVJUHDWPRUHIRUWKHFDSDFLW\RILGHQWLW\RQWKHVDPHRQHWKDWDWWUDFWVWKLVSDUWLFLSD-
tive form of creation. It is not this regulation designed by a group of persons in order that to him a major
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It is the 15th0D\PRYHPHQWDVRFLDOW\SLFDOPRYHPHQWIRUKLVOHDGHUVODFN%XWDVLQDQ\VRFLDOJURXS
LWLVXQGHQLDEOHWKDWDSSHDUVWKRXJKWKHVHDFWLQWKHPDLQLQDGHPRFUDWLFZD\:HFDQVHHOLNHDORQJWKHDV-
semblies, and during his evolution, these leaders have been appearing and disappearing: there is no a person
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depending on the moment. In the beginning, the leaders form a part of the group of persons that it organized
the manifestation of 15th0D\EHORQJLQJWRWKHSODWIRUP'HPRFUDFLD5HDO<D:HPLJKWQDPHRUFDWDORJXH
WKHPDVRFFDVLRQDOOHDGHUVWKHP,QDPRPHQWRIH[SORVLRQRIWKHPRYHPHQWLQZKLFKHYHQ$VVHPEO\DQG
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 118

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offers of consensus that basically gather everything controversial and look for an agreement that does not
leave dissatisfaction anybody. These people are recognized by the rest of participants, since some phrases ex-
tracted from the videos demonstrate it as Toms, for the consensuses Toms (assembly of 2th June) or If it
ZDVQRWIRU7RPiVZHDUHGLVFXVVLQJXQWLODP DVVHPEO\RIth October). Similar to this kind of leader it
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contributions are valued and estimated by the rest of the group. They are even asked to take charge organizing
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DQRWKHUVTXDUH DQGFDSWXUHRILQIRUPDWLRQRQth June. Another example of this type of leadership is the fact
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try, gave his proposals and speeches more attention and approval by the participants.

Marshall Ganz (2009), one of the most recognized and valued theoretical leadership in the last decade,
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to come to the concrete aims that the group has marked. It eliminates hereby the former conception of
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119 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

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to organize the mobilization of 15th0D\,WLVQRWXQWLOPLGGOHRI-XQHLWZDVDOUHDG\GHYHORSHGQHDUWZHQW\
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rotary post or function of moderation: they are, in relation to the number of participants in the assemblies,
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as the family or friends, but the outbreak of 15th May also meant an explosion out of the humiliated ones
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of every time for major precarious of the company.

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individually they could be discussed, neither it had still hit the headlines of the public thing they had not
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ing step (it is necessary to take our recoveries to the party that gains in assembly of 19th0D\ WKH\ZHUH
OHDUQLQJWKDWWKH\ZHUHPHDQLQJVRPHRIWKHP LWRIWKH6,&$9ZKDWLV"DVVHPEO\RIth May, one of the
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JURXSVWKDWEHVLGHGLVFXVVLQJGLIIHUHQWRIIHUV DVWKHZLWKGUDZDOVLQXUQVLQWKHRQth May morning and in
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to have form so much national as place. And these debates and this organization took a common element as
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our social relations across the dialog. Before, in the families, the main armchair of the house and the control
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 120

Nevertheless, in the last times, this decision begins to be negotiated by the rest of the family across the dialog.
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draft comes to underline the importance that takes the dialog in our company at the moment of taking agree-
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this draft dialogic is the fact that one expresses across the 15th0D\PRYHPHQWZKLFKWKHUHFRPHVWRTXHVWLRQ
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governments and political groups that, though, they are legitimized by voting every four years, enter neither
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RSSRVLWHWRZKDWth May movement are positioned, not in opposition to the democracy. And this movement
in turn, it presents the characteristic of looking for the dialog in his relations, of coming to agreements and
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tried to turn into public spaces of debate and civil interaction. Habermas sets out one of the main constituent
parts of the human experience is the communicative action, that bases on last instance on the central experi-
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the discussion and the dissent as the social assembled actors they can come to that one that joins them, since
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the communicative competition creates consensus through the dissent. Habermas (2001) raises a discursive
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spirit. We are not talking about a group of people that it meets to discuss it brings over of political expositions
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from there developing different actions that lead to the improvement of the company. These speeches look for
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in the 15th0D\PRYHPHQW,IDWWKHEHJLQQLQJWKHGHEDWHVDSSHDUHGDVIRUPRIH[SUHVVLRQDQGRIUHHFWLRQ
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121 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

the transverse axis that crosses the process, so though it splits of the discussion of a series of problems, the
majority of the offers of solution of the same ones are directed to a major democratization of all the aspects
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different sources of information that the participants have, and promote, on the other hand, the possibility
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LWFRPSOHWHO\7KHUVWSROORIRSLQLRQLVUHDOL]HGWRVHHZKLFKLVWKHVXSSRUWWKDWKDVWKHDERYHPHQWLRQHG
RIIHUZKLFKSUHFHGHVDQDUJXPHQWDWLRQRIWKRVHSHUVRQVZKRGRQRWDJUHHZLWKWKHDERYHPHQWLRQHGWKLQJ
:LWKWKHVHDUJXPHQWDWLRQVWKHRIIHUVDUHUHHODERUDWHGDQGDUHV\QWKHVL]HGFRPLQJQDOO\WRDYRWLQJ,W
is in the capture of agreements that from 15th May movement in Caceres and for extension, on the national
OHYHOZKHUHKLVPRUHLPSRUWDQWSDUWLFXODULW\DSSHDUV7KHDVVHPEO\LVPWKDWWDNHVWKLVPRYHPHQWDVDIRUP
RIRUJDQL]DWLRQGULQNVEHWZHHQRWKHUVIURPWKHDQDUFKLVWLFODERUPRYHPHQWV 5RPDQRV ,WLVXQ-
GRXEWHGWRDGPLWWKDWWKLVRQHLVQRWDQHZIRUPXODLQYHQWHGE\WKLVVRFLDOPRYHPHQW

What if it is necessary to stand out and the really important of this type of capture of agreements is the diver-
VLW\RIRSLQLRQVDQGLGHRORJLHVWKDWIDFH,ILQWKHDVVHPEOLHVRIWKHDQDUFKLVWLFPRYHPHQWVZHFDQDIUPWKDWWKH
LGHRORJ\WKDWZDVDVVHPEOLQJDOOZLWKDOOWKHGLIIHUHQFHVWKDWFRXOGVWLOOGLVWLQJXLVKZDVWKHDQDUFKLVWLQWKHDV-
semblies of the 15th0D\PRYHPHQWWKHUHWDNHSDUWSHRSOHZKRKDYHDQLGHRORJ\WKDWFURVVHVWKHZKROHVSHFWUXP
of possibilities, enclosed the absence of her. Hereby, the capture of agreements on the basis of consensuses that
RQHSURGXFHVLVPXFKULFKHUDVIRUGHEDWHDQGHVSHFLDOO\ZHEHOLHYHWKDWLWLVYHU\GLIIHUHQWDVIRUGHPRFUDWLFFRQ-
WHQW7KRXJKDERXWWKHUVWRQHV WKRVHRIDQDUFKLVWLFXQLRQV ZRXOGKDYHWREHGHFLGHGRQDVSHFWVWKDWFRQFHUQ
RQO\DOLQHRIWKRXJKW ZHGRQRWEHOLHYHWKDWWKLVRQHLVQRWULFKLQVKDGHV LQWKHDVVHPEOLHVRIth May move-
PHQWWKHUHGHYHORSVDGHPRFUDWLFH[HUFLVHWKDWLWKDVWRVHHHYHQZLWKWKHYLVLRQWKDWLQDEHJLQQLQJFDQWXUQRXW
WREHVOLJKWO\UHFRQFLODEOHEXWWKDWDFURVVWKHWUDQVIHURIFHUWDLQLQGLYLGXDOWUHQGVFDQFRPHWRDFRPPRQFRQX-
HQFHRIWKRXJKWDQGDFWLRQ,QWKHFDSWXUHRIDJUHHPHQWVYLWDOFREUDLPSRUWDQFHWKHLGHDRIZKDWZHKDYHFRPHWR
FDOOOHDGHUVRIWKHFRQVHQVXVSHRSOHZKRWKURXJKWKHLUFDSDFLW\RIV\QWKHVLVDQGVFRXWDUHDEOHWRPDNLQJFRPH
together the different ideas that treat each other in the debate. We can observe as one of these people, in different
assemblies, he is kept silent after expressing his opinion and in attitude of scout, as compiling the different voices
WKDWH[SUHVV$IWHUWKLVLWWKURZVDQRIIHURIFRQVHQVXVWKDWJDWKHUVWKHGLIIHUHQWVKDGHVWKDWKDYHEHHQOLVWHQHG
PRGLI\LQJWKHLQLWLDORIIHU7KLVZD\ZHFDQUHODWHWKHVHFDSWXUHVRIDJUHHPHQWWRGLDORJLFVRFLDOWKHRULHV$XEHUW
HWDO  LQGLFDWHVLQFHLQFUHDVLQJO\ZHWHQGWRQGFRQVHQVXVHVLQRXUUHODWLRQVDFURVVWKHGLDORJLQDOO
WKHDUHDVRIRXUOLIHIURPRXUUHODWLRQVLQGD\DIWHUGD\ ZLWKWKHIDPLO\WKHIULHQGVKLSRUWKHSDLU XSWRPRUH
institutional levels (as the international politics or the labor relations). The same authoresses and authors highlight
like from the social sciences, across the theories of Beck (1998), Giddens (1995), Habermas (2001) or Flecha.
HWDO  WKHUHLVGLVFXVVHGLQFUHDVLQJO\WKDWWKHIRUPHUDXWKRULWDULDQUHODWLRQVRISRZHUGRQRWVHUYHLQVLGHD
VRFLDOFRQWH[WLQZKLFKWKHGLDORJDWWKHPRPHQWRIWKHFDSWXUHRIGHFLVLRQVLVHYHU\WLPHPDMRUWHQGLQJWRSRVL-
WLRQVDQGFRPPXQLFDWLYHUHODWLRQVZKHUHWKHODQJXDJHUHFHLYHVDIXQGDPHQWDOLPSRUWDQFH
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 122

Conclusions
'HVSLWHQRWKDYLQJFRPSOHWHGWKHUHVHDUFKZRUNZHFDQDQWLFLSDWHVRPHRIWKHFRQFOXVLRQVZKLFKZH
reached after the analysis of the data. The 15th0D\PRYHPHQWLQ&iFHUHV DQGZHEHOLHYHWKDWIRUH[WHQ-
sion, on the national level) comes to raise a series of needs and changes that the citizenship believes neces-
sary to have a better coexistence and to solve certain problems of the current importance. These offers of
FKDQJHFRPHJLYHQIURPWKHMRLQWGLDORJRIWKHFLWL]HQVKLSLQWKHSXEOLFVTXDUHVZKLFKIURPth May have
OOHGZLWKDPDMRUSROLWLFDOFRQWHQW7KHVHPDQLIHVWDWLRQVDQGSXEOLFGHEDWHVIRUPDSDUWRIDQHZIRUPRI
VRFLDOUHODWLRQVEHWZHHQWKHLQGLYLGXDOVDQGWKHUHH[LVWVLQWKHPDQLQWHQWLRQRIGHPRFUDWLFLPSURYHPHQW
DQGDQLPSRUWDQWVWHSWRZDUGVDFRPSDQ\LQFUHDVLQJO\GLDORJLF

The assemblies of 15th0D\PRYHPHQWWXUQWKLVZD\LQWRVSDFHVZKHUHWKHFLWL]HQVKLSEHVLGHH[SUHVV-


ing, learns and develops these forms of interaction, it comes to consensuses and realizes offers of change.
:HFDQDIUPWKDWWKHVHDVVHPEOLHVDUHDOVRHGXFDWLRQDOVSDFHVZKHUHWKHPHHWLQJRIWKHSHUVRQVDQGWKH
SXEOLFGHEDWHKHOSVWRXQGHUVWDQGLQWXUQWKDWWKHFRQVHQVXVEHWZHHQWKHGLIIHUHQWSRVLWLRQVDQG\RXGHVLJQ
RQO\LWLVSRVVLEOHLIDOOWKHSHUVRQVZKRRIWKHPWDNHSDUWFDQH[SUHVVLQDIUHHDQGHTXDOVSDFH,IWKHDX-
WKRULWDULDQUHODWLRQVRISRZHUWKDWZHUHJLYHQGXULQJWKHIRUPHULQGXVWULDOFRPSDQ\DUHEHOLHYHGE\XVWKDW
WKH\DUHDOUHDG\REVROHWHWKDWWKH\GRQRWKHOSWRWKHLPSURYHPHQWRISHRSOHVOLIHDQGWKDWWKH\FDQQRW
FRQWLQXHH[LVWLQJLQDFRPSDQ\LQFUHDVLQJO\SOXUDODQGFRPSOH[ZHPXVWRSHQRXUVHOYHVWRZDUGVWKLVW\SH
RIGLDORJLFUHODWLRQVZKHUHWKHSRZHURIWKHDUJXPHQWVLVRYHUWKHDUJXPHQWVRIWKHSRZHU

References
Aubert, A., Flecha, A., Garca, C, Flecha, R., Racionero, S.: 2010, Aprendizaje dialgico en la sociedad de la informacin. (Hipatia: Barcelona.)
Bauman, Z.: 1999, En busca de la poltica, (Fondo de Cultura Econmico Argentino, Buenos Aires)
Beck, U.: 1998, La sociedad del riesgo: hacia una nueva modernidad, (Paids: Barcelona)
'tD]6DOD]DU50\04XpIXWXURSROtWLFRSRGHPRVFRQVWUXLU"(O9LHMR7RSR0DJD]LQH
Elboj, C., Puigdellvol, I., Soler, M. y Valls, R.: 2009, Comunidades de aprendizaje. Trasnformando la educacin, (Gra: Barcelona.)
Flecha, R., Gmez, J., Puigvert, L.: 2001, Teora sociolgica contempornea. (Paids: Barcelona)
Freire, P.:1995, Pedagoga del oprimido. (Siglo XXI: Madrid).
Ganz, M. (2009) Leading change. Leadership, Organization and Social Movements. Harvard Business Press Chapters.
Giddens, A.: 1995, Modernidad e identidad del yo. (Pennsula, Barcelona).
Habermas, J: 2001, Teora de la Accin Comunicativa. (Taurus, Madrid)
5DGO3KLOLSS5  /DWHRUtDGHODFWXDUFRPXQLFDWLYRGH-UJHQ+DEHUPDVXQPDUFRSDUDHODQiOLVLVGHODVFRQGLFLRQHVVRFLDOL]DGRUDV
HQODVVRFLHGDGHVPRGHUQDV3DSHUV0DJD]LQHQS
5RPDQRV(GXDUGR  (O0\ODGHPRFUDFLDGHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHV%RRNVDQG,GHDV1RYHPEHU,661;
85/KWWSZZZERRNVDQGLGHDVQHW(O0\ODGHPRFUDFLDGHORVKWPO
Taibo, C.: 2011, El 15M en sesenta preguntas, (Catarata, Madrid)
Webber, M.: 1977, Economa y sociedad. (Fondo de Cultura Econmica, Mxico)
123 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

Entre los militantes y los laboratorios deliberativos:


el 15-M

HLOSE NEZ
Universit Paris 13

Resumen
Con la emergencia de nuevos movimientos sociales en los aos 1970, luego del mo-
YLPLHQWRSRUODMXVWLFLDJOREDODQDOHVGHORVDxRVODGHPRFUDFLDSDUWLFLSDWLYD
VHKDFHXQSULQFLSLRVXSHULRUGHODDFFLyQFROHFWLYDTXHTXHGDQRREVWDQWHUHVWULQJLGR
DXQDSUiFWLFDPLOLWDQWH(OGHPD\RGHHPHUJHHQ(VSDxDXQPRYLPLHQWRTXH
no sale directamente de los movimientos sociales y pone la deliberacin al centro de
todas sus acciones, en relacin con el giro deliberativo en la accin pblica local y el
creciente uso deliberativo de Internet y las redes sociales. Nuestro artculo trata de este
pasaje de la deliberacin de las microesferas de los movimientos sociales a la esfera p-
EOLFDFLXGDGDQDFXHVWLRQDQGRORVRUtJHQHVODVHVSHFLFLGDGHV\HOLPSDFWRGHODVSUiF-
ticas deliberativas experimentadas en las asambleas populares del 15-M. Con relacin
a otras movilizaciones, tres elementos diferencian el 15-M: la participacin individual,
la ausencia de un programa y de lderes, y el lugar central dado a la deliberacin. Si
otros movimientos ya reinvendicaban los principios de horizontalidad, de inclusin y
de transparencia, el 15-M se distingue tanto por el lugar de la deliberacin como por la
LQVWDXUDFLyQGHWpFQLFDVGLVFLSOLQDULDVTXHJDUDQWL]DQVXDSOLFDFLyQ0LHQWUDVTXHORV
modos tradicionales de movilizacin estan declinando, los indignados podran aportar
un nuevo soplo a la accin colectiva en Espaa, renovando a los militantes y poniendo
la cuestin de la deliberacin en el centro del repertorio de accin.

Palabras clave
Democracia deliberativa, espacio pblico, Espaa, movimientos sociales, 15-M.

Introduccin
La organizacin y las formas de democracia interna son centrales en la sociologa de los movimientos
VRFLDOHV3ODQWHDQXQUHWRQDGDGHVSUHFLDEOH&XDOTXLHUPRYLPLHQWRVRFLDOTXHSURFXUDLQVFULELUVHHQHO
WLHPSRSDUDDOFDQ]DUVXVREMHWLYRVWLHQHTXHGRWDUVHGHXQDRUJDQL]DFLyQSURSLDFRQHOQGHFRRUGLQDUVXV
DFFLRQHVGHUHXQLUUHFXUVRV\GHGHIHQGHUGHPDQHUDHFD]XQDFDXVD 1HYHX (OSUREOHPDHVTXH
VHJ~QODOH\GHKLHUURGHODROLJDUTXtDSODQWHDGDSRU5REHUW0LFKHOV  ODVRUJDQL]DFLRQHVHYROX-
FLRQDQVLHPSUHKDFLDXQDIRUPDOL]DFLyQLQWHUQD ROLJDUTXL]DFLyQ TXHFRQFHQWUDHOSRGHUHQPDQRVGHXQRV
pocos profesionales y convierte a los socios en agentes pasivos. Al analizar el fenmeno de la delegacin
SROtWLFD3LHUUH%RXUGLHX  LGHQWLFDEDXQHIHFWRRFLQDVHJ~QHOFXDOORVSURIHVLRQDOHV monopoli-
]DEDQSURJUHVLYDPHQWHHOSRGHUGHQWURGHODVRUJDQL]DFLRQHV<VHJ~QORVHVWXGLRVVREUHORVPRYLPLHQWRV
sociales, esta formalizacin suele adems empujar las organizaciones a la utilizacin creciente de formas
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 124

convencionales de presin poltica, as como una moderacin de las demandas del movimiento (Meyer y
7DUURZFLWDGRHQ-LPpQH] 

/RVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVQRVRQVRUGRVDHVWHGLOHPD3RUHOORPXFKRVWUDWDQGHEXVFDUDOWHUQDWLYDVTXH
permitan conjugar la consecucin de objetivos estratgicos con un grado de organizacin ms participati-
YR(OUHFXUVRDOFRQVHQVRPiVELHQTXHDOYRWRPD\RULWDULRODLPSRUWDQFLDFRQFHGLGDDODGHOLEHUDFLyQR
ODDXVHQFLDGHSRUWDYR]VRQSUiFWLFDVDQWLJXDVTXHPDUFDURQORVPRYLPLHQWRVGHSURWHVWDGHVGHORVJUXSRV
DQDUTXLVWDVHXURSHRVDQDOHVGHOVLJOR;,;KDVWDODVFRRUGLQDFLRQHVTXHVHPXOWLSOLFDURQHQ)UDQFLDD
QDOHVGHORVDxRVRFKHQWDSDVDQGRSRUORVPRYLPLHQWRVDPHULFDQRVGHORVGHUHFKRVFLYLOHVHQORVDxRV
cincuenta (Agrikoliansky, 2007). Sin embargo, no es hasta la emergencia de nuevos movimientos socia-
les en los aos setenta (ecologistas y feministas principalmente) y el movimiento por la justicia global a
QDOHVGHORVDxRVQRYHQWDTXHODGHPRFUDFLDSDUWLFLSDWLYDVHFRQYLHUWHHQXQSULQFLSLRFHQWUDOGHODDFFLyQ
colectiva y el discurso de los movimientos sociales.

/RVWHyULFRVGHORVQXHYRVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVPXHVWUDQTXHXQDGHODVHVSHFLFLGDGHVGHODVPR-
vilizaciones sociales de los aos setenta resida en la promocin de estructuras de funcionamiento autno-
mas y descentralizadas, denunciando con ello la organizacin centralizada y representativa del movimiento
REUHUR\HOVLQGLFDOLVPR 7RXUDLQH2IIH0HOXFFL /DGHVFRQDQ]DFRQUHVSHFWRDOD
delegacin de autoridad a representantes lejanos se haca en provecho de asambleas generales y de una
valorizacin fuerte de la democracia interna. Los trabajos sobre el movimiento por una justicia global (o
PRYLPLHQWRVDOWHUJOREDOL]DFLyQ PXHVWUDQTXHODVOyJLFDVSDUWLFLSDWLYDVUHVSRQGtDQQRVyORDODDGKHVLyQD
XQVLVWHPDGHYDORUHVHVSHFtFRVFRPRODGHPRFUDFLDSDUWLFLSDWLYD GHOOD3RUWD VLQRWDPELpQDSUR-
EOHPDVSUiFWLFRVTXHHQFXHQWUDQORVDFWRUHVDOPRYLOL]DUVH $JULNROLDQVN\$JXLWRQ\&DUGRQ
6RPPLHU $OUHYpVGHORTXHSHQVDED0LFKHOVSDUDDOJXQRVODVOyJLFDVROLJiUTXLFDV\EXURFUiWLFDV
QRVHUHYHODQVLHPSUHPiVHFDFHVTXHORVSURFHGLPLHQWRVSDUWLFLSDWLYRVTXHSUHVHQWDQWDPELpQLQWHUHVHV
prcticos para los actores (Polletta, 2002). Si la deliberacin se vuelve, por razones en parte estratgicas, un
principio de la accin colectiva de los movimientos sociales, sta ha estado, no obstante, restringida siempre
a una prctica militante.

/DLPSRUWDQFLDTXHKDDGTXLULGRODSDUWLFLSDFLyQ\ODGHOLEHUDFLyQHQORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVQRHVGH
todas formas una cuestin aislada. En las esferas institucionales se multiplican los dispositivos de participa-
cin basados en principios deliberativos. Con ellos muchas administraciones intentan ampliar el sujeto pol-
tico de la participacin, contando con los ciudadanos ordinarios (ni elegidos, ni expertos, ni asociados) en
la elaboracin de las polticas pblicas. Estos procesos se difunden desde los aos noventa bajo formas muy
diversas (consejos de barrio, presupuestos participativos, jurados ciudadanos, etc.) a escala local en todo el
mundo1. No obstante, la idea no viene de ahora. La importancia de implicar los ciudadanos en las decisiones
TXHOHVDIHFWDQPiVDOOiGHODVHOHFFLRQHVVXUJHHQORVDxRVVHVHQWD\VHWHQWD .DXIPDQ3DWHPDQ
%DUEHU EDMRODLQXHQFLDGHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVXUEDQRVTXHSUHFRQL]DQODDXWRJHVWLyQ\
ODGHPRFUDFLDGLUHFWD &DVWHOOV%RUMD&KHUNL\0HKO 

$OLJXDOTXHRFXUUHHQORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVHVWRVQXHYRVGLVSRVLWLYRVDGPLQLVWUDWLYRVSXHVWRVHQPDU-
cha desde los aos noventa, tienen como objetivo la conciliacin de la toma de decisiones con una organizacin
ms participativa de la sociedad civil. Esto supone introducir una lgica deliberativa en el espacio de relaciones
 6REUHHVWRVGLVSRVLWLYRVSDUWLFLSDWLYRVYHUSDUWLFXODUPHQWH)RQWE6DQWRV)XQJ\:ULJKW%DFTXpHWDO%ORQGLDX[
6LQWRPHUHWDO6PLWK%DFTXpHWDO
125 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

SROtWLFDVTXHVHGDEDHQWUHORVHTXLSRVGHJRELHUQRV\ORVUHSUHVHQWDQWHVGHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVXUEDQRV
ampliando el sujeto poltico hacia la globalidad de la ciudadana. La mayora de estos procesos procura movili-
]DUHOVDEHUGHXVRGHORVKDELWDQWHVRHOVHQWLGRFRP~QGHORVFLXGDGDQRVRUGLQDULRV 6LQWRPHU1H]
 GHWDOPRGRTXHODVDVRFLDFLRQHVWUDGLFLRQDOHVODVSHUFLEHQFRPRXQHVSDFLRFRQFXUUHQWHRVHDXQPHGLR
GHURGHDUVXSHULWDMHFROHFWLYR\VXFDSDFLGDGGHFRQWUDSRGHU 5XL\9LOOHFKDLVH'XSRQW+HQGULNV
Ganuza y Nez 2012). En general, estos dispositivos participativos, puestos en marcha por los poderes pblicos
locales, se encuentran hoy ampliamente desconectados de la dinmica de los movimientos sociales y no son ob-
MHWRGHPRYLOL]DFLRQHVIXHUWHV %ORQGLDX[ DXQTXHHVWpQYROFDGRVHQODGHOLEHUDFLyQ\XQDRUJDQL]DFLyQ
PiVKRUL]RQWDOGHORVHVSDFLRVS~EOLFRV *DQX]D\)UDQFpV7DOSLQ 

En este contexto, marcado por una creciente consideracin de la deliberacin tanto en los movimientos
VRFLDOHVFRPRHQODDFFLyQS~EOLFDORFDOVXUJHHO0TXHVLW~DODGHOLEHUDFLyQHQHOFHQWURGHVXVDFFLRQHV
con una organizacin basada en asambleas abiertas a todos. El anlisis del 15-M representa una contribucin
interesante a la literatura de los movimientos sociales, como a la democracia participativa y deliberativa, por
la capacidad singular del movimiento en articular ambas dimensiones. Con relacin a los procesos partici-
pativos institucionales, los indignados presentan un fuerte carcter ERWWRPXS (desde abajo haca arriba) al
revs de los dispositivos WRSGRZQGHODVDGPLQLVWUDFLRQHV\XQDGLPHQVLyQGHPRYLPLHQWRVRFLDOTXH
se encuentra desconectada de los dispositivos de participacin en Europa (Sintomer y Ganuza, 2011). Con
respecto a los movimientos sociales, los indignados parecen distinguirse por la importancia central de la
deliberacin en el proceso de elaboracin y de toma de decisiones, as como su capacidad para sobrepasar la
barrera de la militancia sin perder los rasgos participativos de su organizacin. El 15-M permite analizar bajo
XQQXHYRSULVPDODFXHVWLyQGHODGHOLEHUDFLyQHQXQPRYLPLHQWRVRFLDOGDGRTXHODGHOLEHUDFLyQQRVHOLPLWD
a una organizacin o a un conjunto de organizaciones (como en el caso de los foros sociales en el movimiento
SRUODMXVWLFLDJOREDO VLQRTXHVHGHVSOLHJDDPSOLDPHQWHHQODHVIHUDGHOHVSDFLRS~EOLFRORTXHLQFOX\HD
los no-militantes. Como subraya Eduardo Romanos el 15-M ha impulsado el traslado de las prcticas de
democracia deliberativa desde recintos ms o menos limitados (e.g., campamentos, foros sociales o centros
autogestionados) a las plazas, y esa parece ser una diferencia importante (Romanos, 2011: 9).

Nuestro artculo analiza este paso de la deliberacin de las microesferas de los movimientos sociales a la
HVIHUDS~EOLFDFLXGDGDQDDQDOL]DQGRORVRUtJHQHVODVHVSHFLFLGDGHV\HOLPSDFWRGHODVSUiFWLFDVGHOLEHUD-
tivas experimentadas en las asambleas populares del 15-M. De donde vienen los mtodos de deliberacin
SXHVWRVHQHMHFXFLyQSRUORVLQGLJQDGRV"6HSXHGHQQRWDUOLDFLRQHVFRQPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVSUHFHGHQWHV
RGLVSRVLWLYRVSDUWLFLSDWLYRVLQVWLWXFLRQDOHV"(QFXiOPHGLGDVHGLVWLQJXHHO0GHRWURVPRYLPLHQWRV
VRFLDOHV\GHVXVSUiFWLFDVGHOLEHUDWLYDV"&yPRVHSHUFLEHHVWHPRYLPLHQWRHQODVHVIHUDVPLOLWDQWHV\TXp
LPSDFWRWLHQHVREUHODDFFLyQFROHFWLYDHQ(VSDxD"

3DUDUHVSRQGHUDHVWDVSUHJXQWDVQXHVWURDQiOLVLVVHDSR\DHQXQDLQYHVWLJDFLyQHWQRJUiFDUHDOL]DGD
GHVGHQDOHVGHPD\RGHHQ0DGULG+HPRVREVHUYDGRODGLQiPLFDGHODDFDPSDGDODVDVDPEOHDV
generales y las reuniones de comisiones y de grupos de trabajo llevadas por los indignados en Puerta del
6ROFRPRHQYDULRVEDUULRVGHODFDSLWDODVtTXHPDQLIHVWDFLRQHV\PDUFKDV(QODySWLFDGHDQDOL]DUODV
interacciones entre este movimiento y las organizaciones sociales y polticas existentes (partidos polticos,
sindicatos, asociaciones de vecinos), hemos seguido en particular las actividades del 15-M en Carabanchel
y Vallekas, dos barrios populares al Sur de Madrid caracterizados por una tradicin poltica fuerte enrai-
zada en el movimiento obrero. Hemos realizado entrevistas semi-directivas con diferentes actores impli-
FDGRVHQHO0SDUWLFLSDQWHVDFWLYRVGHXQDGHODVSODWDIRUPDVTXHODQ]DURQHO0 'HPRFUDFLDUHDO
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 126

\D PLHPEURVDFWLYRVGHRWUDVRUJDQL]DFLRQHV\SDUWLFLSDQWHVTXHQRSHUWHQHFHQDQLQJ~QPRYLPLHQWR
)LQDOPHQWHKHPRVVHJXLGRUHJXODUPHQWHODFRPXQLFDFLyQTXHVHHIHFWXyHQ,QWHUQHWDWUDYpVGHODVUHGHV
VRFLDOHV SULQFLSDOPHQWH7ZLWWHU\)DFHERRN SHULyGLFRVHQOtQHD\EORJVSROtWLFRV

Los orgenes de las prcticas deliberativas del 15-M


/DVSUiFWLFDVGHOLEHUDWLYDVGHO0QRVRQHVSRQWiQHDVSHURWDPSRFRSHQVDPRVTXHKD\DTXHUHPRQ-
WDUVHDODWUDGLFLyQKLVWyULFDGHORVFRQFHMRVDELHUWRVTXHGDWDQGHOD(GDGPHGLD %RWHOODHWDO SDUD
GDUXQDH[SOLFDFLyQSODXVLEOHGHVXHPHUJHQFLD$GHPiVGHXQHQWRUQRHFRQyPLFRTXHKDFDWDOL]DGRODV
protestas y un movimiento similar en los pases rabes meses antes, la desafeccin ciudadana hacia la pol-
WLFDHVXQHOHPHQWRWUDQVYHUVDODOPRYLPLHQWRSHURTXHOOHYDSUHVHQWHHQODVRFLHGDGPXFKRVDxRV/DFULVLV
econmica y poltica no es patrimonio de la sociedad espaola, sino algo muy presente en las democracias
contemporneas. Los movimientos similares al 15-M en Europa (Inglaterra, Portugal, Grecia o Francia),
HQ((88R,VUDHOFRPSDUWHQHVWDVPRWLYDFLRQHV3RUHVRODVLQJXODULGDGGHORVLQGLJQDGRVSHQVDPRVTXH
GHVFDQVDHQRWUDVODWLWXGHVSXHVQRHVXQVLPSOHPRYLPLHQWRGHSURWHVWDPiVVLQRTXHKDSODQWHDGRXQD
forma diferente de entender la protesta y con ello una manera distinta de concebir las relaciones polticas
1) entre los poderes pblicos y la sociedad civil y 2) dentro de la sociedad civil. Esta singularidad descan-
sa sobre todo en su propuesta de plantear un movimiento deliberativo estructurado en el espacio pblico,
cuando gran parte de la teora poltica contempornea aboga por un espacio pblico desestructurado, solo
articulado mediante la accin estratgica de las organizaciones sociales y los partidos polticos (Habermas,
 /DSURSXHVWDGHO0SODQWHDSRUHOORXQPRGRGLVWLQWRGHSURWHVWDTXHSUHVXSRQHXQDVRFLHGDG
FLYLOGLIHUHQWHDODTXHKDVLGRKDELWXDOKDVWDDKRUD6HUHFKD]DODLPDJHQGHXQDVRFLHGDGFLYLOOLEHUDO
DLVODGDGHOGHYHQLUGHODSROtWLFDSHURWDPELpQVHQLHJDODSRVLELOLGDGGHXQDVRFLHGDGFLYLOUHSXEOLFDQD
EDVDGDHQYDORUHVFRPXQHV/DLQGLYLGXDOLGDGHQHO0PiVELHQODSOXUDOLGDGHVXQSUHUUHTXLVLWR6H
piensa la sociedad civil desde el individuo, pero, al contrario de los planteamientos del giro deliberativo de
la teora poltica, los intereses y las estrategias son pensados de forma colectiva en un medio pblico, fuera
GHODVRUJDQL]DFLRQHV'HVGHHOSXQWRGHYLVWDGHOJLURGHOLEHUDWLYRGHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVDOQDOGHO
VLJORSDVDGRHO0KDIUDFWXUDGRODVIURQWHUDVHQODVTXHVHLQVHUWDEDODGHOLEHUDFLyQHQORVPRYLPLHQWRV
y ha sido capaz de empujarlas hacia fuera para implicar a la ciudadana en la deliberacin.

(VWRKDKHFKRTXHODGHOLEHUDFLyQVHDXQHOHPHQWRPHGXODUGHOPRYLPLHQWRTXHKDJHQHUDGRUHDFFLRQHV
contrarias en otras organizaciones y a su vez ha disciplinado todos los actos pblicos desde una perspectiva
concreta. En el 15-M, hay reglas claras de comportamiento poltico y de dilogo. La presencia de tcnicas
y procedimientos deliberativos es tan dominante en el movimiento (sus informes, sus actas, sus reuniones,
VXRUJDQL]DFLyQVXVHVWUDWHJLDVVXVFRQYHUVDFLRQHVHWF TXHODSUHJXQWDSRUVXVRUtJHQHVSUHWHQGHGLEXMDU
DOJXQDVKLSyWHVLVYLDEOHVTXHQRVSHUPLWDQFRPSUHQGHUPHMRUHOGHVDUUROORGHOLEHUDWLYRGHOPRYLPLHQWR
6LQRVDWHQHPRVDODVWpFQLFDVGHOLEHUDWLYDVXWLOL]DGDVGHQWURGHODVDVDPEOHDVGHO0TXHVRQTXL]iODV
PiVHPEOHPiWLFDVSRUODVLPSOLFDFLRQHVTXHWLHQH DVDPEOHDVPXOWLWXGLQDULDVOH\GHOFRQVHQVRFRRUGLQD-
cin entre asambleas, etc), proponemos rastrearlas desde cuatro recorridos distintos: 1) la cultura poltica
de los centros sociales autogestionados, 2) una generacin de profesionales formados en cursos universita-
ULRVHVSHFLDOL]DGRVHQODSDUWLFLSDFLyQ ORVPRGRVGHGLVFXVLyQHQ,QWHUQHWDWUDYpVGHODVUHGHVVRFLDOHV
digitales y 4) una cultura poltica de la ciudadana abierta al dilogo.

1) Si no ha sido impulsado por los movimientos sociales tradicionales, las asociaciones o los sin-
127 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

dicatos, ni tampoco por el movimiento alterglobalizacin, el 15-M est impregnado de una fuerte
FXOWXUD SROtWLFD DXWyQRPD TXH VH GHVDUUROOD SDUWLFXODUPHQWH HQ ORV FHQWURV VRFLDOHV DXWRJHVWLRQD-
dos, multiplicndose desde los aos ochenta con el impulso del movimiento okupa (Adell y Mar-
WtQH]  0DUWtQH]   6HJ~Q XQD GH ODV SHUVRQDV TXH LQLFLDURQ OD WRPD GH OD SOD]D OD QR-
che del 15 de mayo, las dinmicas deliberativas de los centros sociales se convirtieron en una
referencia en la organizacin desde el principio. La gente de los centros sociales no acudi hasta
el jueves, cuatro das ms tarde, cuando ya haba cientos de personas en la plaza y una organiza-
FLyQ LQFLSLHQWH HQ FRPLVLRQHV \ JUXSRV GH WUDEDMR<D VH KDEtDQ RUJDQL]DGR DVDPEOHDV \ VH KDEtD
DGTXLULGR HO FRQVHQVR \ OD QR YLROHQFLD FRPR SULQFLSLRV RUJDQL]DWLYRV 3HUR HV DOOt HQ ORV FHQWURV
sociales autogestionados, donde se aprenden tales tcnicas. El apoyo directo de los centros sociales
QR VH KL]R SUHVHQWH KDVWD TXH DSDUHFLHURQ ORV SUREOHPDV ORJtVWLFRV GHO PRYLPLHQWR HQ VXV LQLFLRV

(O0QRVHLQYHQWDODGHOLEHUDFLyQPiVELHQYLYHLQPHUVRHQXQFRQWH[WRHQHOTXHHVWiFRQVWDQ-
temente a debate. Tanto los movimientos sociales como las administraciones llevan tiempo hablando
de regenerar la poltica, de incrementar la participacin y el debate pblico. Los movimientos alterg-
lobalizacin la han teorizado y pretenden infundir a sus prcticas organizativas una lgica tanto deli-
EHUDWLYDFRPRSDUWLFLSDWLYDSRUORTXHVHUtDIiFLOPHQWHWUD]DEOHVXLQXHQFLDHQHOPRYLPLHQWRGHORV
LQGLJQDGRV,JXDOPHQWHQRKD\TXHROYLGDUODVPRYLOL]DFLRQHVVRFLDOHVUHFLHQWHVHQ(VSDxD FRPROD
movilizacin estudiantil contra el plan de Bolonia, el movimiento por una Vivienda digna o Juventud
6,1)XWXUR TXHWDPELpQSUDFWLFDURQHOIXQFLRQDPLHQWRHQDVDPEOHDV3HURHVHQORVHVSDFLRVDXWyQR-
mos y autogestionados donde se experimenta con WpFQLFDV deliberativas dentro de las asambleas con
HOQGHJDUDQWL]DUHOEXHQIXQFLRQDPLHQWRGHXQGHEDWHVLQSHUGHUVXOyJLFDSDUWLFLSDWLYD6LYHPRVOD
organizacin de un centro social autogestionado como el de la Tabacalera en Madrid, es muy similar al
de la acampadasol, con asambleas generales, comisiones y grupos de trabajo (Botella, 2011). El apoyo
ORJtVWLFRGHORVFHQWURVVRFLDOHVIXHHOTXHDGHPiVD\XGDUtDDWUDVODGDUODGHOLEHUDFLyQGHORVPLFURHV-
pacios militantes al espacio pblico.

 2WUDIXHQWHGHLQXHQFLDYLHQHGHMyYHQHVSURIHVLRQDOHVIRUPDGRVHQFXUVRVXQLYHUVLWDULRVHVSHFLDOL-
zados en participacin. El primero aparece en 1996 en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid dirigido
por el socilogo Tomas R. Villasante (1995). Su objetivo era ensear a estudiantes y a profesionales de
los municipios nuevas metodologas de trabajo sobre la participacin, basadas en la pedagoga de Paulo
Freire (1974) y la investigacin-accin participativa desarrollada en los aos 1970 y 1980 en Amrica
/DWLQDSDUDTXHORVSURSLRVFLXGDGDQRVGHFLGLHUDQODVDOWHUQDWLYDVSRVLEOHVDORVSUREOHPDVTXHFRP-
partan. Si los cursos universitarios puestos en marcha en Madrid, luego en Barcelona, en Sevilla y en
Bilbao, tuvieron una importancia considerable sobre el desarrollo de los presupuestos participativos en
Espaa (Ganuza y Francs, 2012), tambin desempean un papel no despreciable en la organizacin y
ODPRGHUDFLyQGHODVDVDPEOHDVGHO0(VWDLQXHQFLDSDVDSRUODLPSOLFDFLyQGHDQWLJXRVHVWXGLDQ-
WHVHQODVDVDPEOHDVSRSXODUHVTXHD\XGDQHQODVGLQiPLFDVDVDPEOHDULDVVHLPSOLFDQHQODVFRPLVLR-
QHVGHGLQDPL]DFLyQ\QRGXGDQHQDIURQWDUDVDPEOHDVPXOWLWXGLQDULDV3HURVXLQXHQFLDWDPELpQ
SDVDSRUODGLIXVLyQTXHVHKDKHFKRGHODSDUWLFLSDFLyQFRQOLEURVDUWtFXORVVHPLQDULRVFRQIHUHQFLDV
congresos y la confeccin, por ejemplo, de manuales gratuitos sobre mtodos participativos (Lorenza-
QDHWDO TXHFLUFXODQKDELWXDOPHQWHHQWUHRUJDQL]DFLRQHV\SURIHVLRQDOHVRGHJXtDVSUiFWLFDV
VREUHODGHOLEHUDFLyQTXHFLUFXODURQDPSOLDPHQWHSRUORVPHGLRVDXWyQRPRVGXUDQWHORV~OWLPRVDxRV
/RUHQ]R\0DUWtQH] /DSHUVSHFWLYDGHHVWRVFXUVRVVXDYL]DHOGLOHPDFRQHOTXHHPSH]iEDPRV
HVWHWUDEDMR6HSODQWHDQWpFQLFDVSDUWLFLSDWLYDVVRVWLFDGDVTXHWLHQHQHOREMHWLYRGHJDUDQWL]DUGHEDWHV
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 128

y toma de decisiones cruciales para las organizaciones sin por ello perder las dinmicas deliberativas,
TXHLPSOLFDQODLQFOXVLyQGHWRGRVORVDIHFWDGRV\ODFRQVHFXFLyQGHDOWHUQDWLYDVUD]RQDGDV

 (OSDSHOTXHWXYLHURQ,QWHUQHW\ODVUHGHVVRFLDOHVHVFUXFLDO/DVSODWDIRUPDVTXHODQ]DURQODFRQYR-
catoria para la manifestacin del 15 de mayo (Democracia real ya!, Juventud SIN futuro, Nolesvotes,
$QRQ\PRXV0DOHVWDUHWF VHFRQVWLWX\HURQSRUHVWHPHGLR1XPHURVDVSHUVRQDVTXHSDUWLFLSDQHQ
las asambleas del 15-M estn acostumbradas al espacio ciberntico, cuyo modo de funcionamiento
DELHUWR\SDUWLFLSDWLYR HQHOFDVRGHORVZLNLORVIRURVORVEORJVODVUHGHVVRFLDOHVHWF IDFLOLWDFRQ-
FHELUXQDRUJDQL]DFLyQRILQHSDUWLFLSDWLYD0XFKRVSDUWLFLSDQWHVVXHOHQLURQL]DUFRQHVWR\KDEODQ
GHODFUHDFLyQGHXQHVSDFLRRILQHDLPDJHQGHODVUHGHVRQOLQH(OHVStULWXGHLQWHUQHWTXHDSXQWD
como los espacios autnomos, a experimentar sin tomar el poder (Cardon, 2010), pudo estimular una
QXHYDIRUPDGHSHQVDU\GHDFWXDUHQODSURWHVWD(Op[LWRVHUHHMDHQODFDSDFLGDGGHPRYLOL]DFLyQ
del movimiento. Joan Subirats (2011: 67) subraya este papel de internet en la emergencia del 15-M:
El movimiento generado por la posibilidad de compartir, de construir en comn, de colaborar para
generar bienes y conocimientos basados en la agregacin y cooperacin entre personas. Ms all del
DSUHQGL]DMHGHWpFQLFDVUHODFLRQDOHVGHGHEDWH\GHFLVLyQTXHIDFLOLWDURQODFRRUGLQDFLyQGHODDFFLyQ
entre los participantes y la moderacin de las asambleas, la utilizacin de las redes sociales fue esen-
cial en la evolucin de los modos de organizacin de las asambleas. La retransmisin de asambleas
en Internet con millares de espectadores facilit la adopcin de innovaciones, ampli la audiencia y
permiti la transferencia de tcnicas deliberativas de una asamblea a otra de forma sencilla y rpida.

 3RU~OWLPRKD\TXHPHQFLRQDUODFXOWXUDSROtWLFDGHODFLXGDGDQtD6HUtDLPSRVLEOHSHQVDUODJORED-
lizacin de un procedimiento tan exigente como la deliberacin sin la existencia previa de una cultura
SROtWLFDVHQVLEOHDHVWRVPHFDQLVPRV(QWpUPLQRVUDFLRQDOHVFXHVWDSHQVDUTXHXQDDVDPEOHDGHPiV
GHPLOSHUVRQDVFRPRODVTXHWXYLHURQOXJDUUHLWHUDGDPHQWHHQ6ROODVSULPHUDVVHPDQDVVHSXHGDOOH-
YDUDFDERGHOLEHUDWLYDPHQWH&RPRUHVXOWDLQJHQXRSHQVDUTXHXQPRYLPLHQWRSXHGHDOFDQ]DUXQDDX-
GLHQFLDItVLFDFHUFDQDDORVPLOORQHVGHSHUVRQDVVLPSOHPHQWHSRUTXHKDDFHUWDGRHQVXVHVWUDWHJLDV
Lo crucial de este desarrollo fue la aceptacin inmediata de la organizacin deliberativa por todos los
SUHVHQWHV\ODFDSDFLGDGTXHWXYRSDUDHQURODUDQXHYRVSDUWLFLSDQWHV(VWRFRQVLJXLyURPSHUODEDUUHUD
de la militancia y plantear un movimiento conformado mayoritariamente por no-militantes. Al princi-
pio, la deliberacin gener reticencias entre los militantes tradicionales, pues implicaba un civismo y
XQDFXOWXUDGHOUHVSHWRSRFRXVXDOHQWUHORVPRYLPLHQWRVGHL]TXLHUGD6LQHPEDUJRORVFRQLFWRVDO-
rededor de la disciplina deliberativa nunca supusieron un debate serio dentro del movimiento. Incluso
cuando se retir una pancarta feminista de la asamblea de Sol al principio, el problema nunca fue ms
DOOiGHXQGHEDWHHQODVUHGHVVRFLDOHVGLJLWDOHV/DGHOLEHUDFLyQ\WRGRORTXHHOODVXSRQHVHDFHSWy
tal cual: respeto al otro y a sus propuestas, no levantar la voz, siempre argumentar, lenguaje de signos
SDUDH[SUHVDUGHVDFXHUGR\WRPDGHGHFLVLRQHVFROHFWLYD6HDFHSWyHOKHFKRGHTXHQRKXELHUDOtGHUHV
\TXHWRGDODHVWUDWHJLDVHUHDOL]DUDGHIRUPDFRQVHQVXDGD/DSRVLELOLGDGGHODGHOLEHUDFLyQVHOHYDQWD
en el imaginario de la ciudadana frente a las actitudes no deliberativas de los partidos polticos o el
VLVWHPDSROtWLFRHQJHQHUDO8QDLPDJHQTXHHVWiEDVWDQWHH[WHQGLGDHQWUHODSREODFLyQHVSDxRODVLYH-
mos estudios de opinin pblica del CIS a lo largo de los aos2. Frente a un medio caracterizado como
 (QORVEDUyPHWURVGHRSLQLyQS~EOLFDGHO&,6ODFLXGDGDQtDGHVFRQItDPXFKRGHORVSROtWLFRVSLHQVDTXHQRH[SOLFDQVXVGHFLVLRQHV\TXHQRVHWLHQHHQ
cuenta a la ciudadana para tomarlas. En un estudio reciente con grupos de discusin en toda Espaa sobre la calidad de la democracia, realizado justo
DQWHVGHO0HQPDU]RGHOODPD\RUtDGHORVJUXSRVFULWLFDQHOHVFDVRFDUiFWHUGHOLEHUDWLYRGHOVLVWHPDSROtWLFR\ORVSDUWLGRV(VWRHVORTXHQRV
KDFHSHQVDUTXHHO0KD\DDOFDQ]DGRXQJUDGRGHDSUREDFLyQGHPiVGHOGHODFLXGDGDQtDHVSDxROD EDUyPHWUR&,6MXOLR \H[SOLFDHQSDUWH
el xito de la movilizacin, as como los resortes de ese xito.
129 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

HOLWLVWD\ROLJiUTXLFRDMHQRDOGHEDWHS~EOLFR\SUHRFXSDGRSRUVDFDUDGHODQWHVXVGHFLVLRQHVDQWHV
TXHGHEDWLUODVHQHOHVSDFLRS~EOLFRHO0UHLYLQGLFDHOHVSDFLRS~EOLFRHOEHQHFLRGHGHEDWLUDOOt
ODVGHFLVLRQHVTXHDIHFWDQDWRGRHOPXQGRSURSRQLHQGRXQDRUJDQL]DFLyQSOHQDPHQWHGHOLEHUDWLYD
0XFKDVRUJDQL]DFLRQHVGHL]TXLHUGDVQRWDUGDURQHQDSHODUHOPRYLPLHQWRGHUHIRUPLVWD6LQHPEDUJR
su capacidad de movilizacin, as como su presencia en casi todas las capitales de provincia y multitud
GHPXQLFLSLRVKL]RTXHPXFKRVRWURVGHIHQGLHUDQHVHFLYLVPRGHOLEHUDWLYR

De las organizaciones militantes a la esfera pblica ciudadana


Si las prcticas deliberativas de los indignados vienen en parte de medios militantes (en general de los
PRYLPLHQWRVSRUODMXVWLFLDJOREDOHQSDUWLFXODUGHORVFHQWURVVRFLDOHVDXWRJHVWLRQDGRV DTXpOODVQRVH
restringen a ese mundo y sobrepasan rpidamente sus crculos. El movimiento se distingue por su capaci-
dad de crear un espacio deliberativo estructurado en el espacio pblico, pero adems de los militantes, hay
TXHFRQVLGHUDUODSUHVHQFLDGHXQDFXOWXUDSURIHVLRQDOYLQFXODGDDODVPHWRGRORJtDVSDUWLFLSDWLYDV\XQXVR
FRODERUDWLYRHQODVUHGHVVRFLDOHVPX\H[WHQGLGRHQWUHORVLQGLJQDGRV(QHVWHVHQWLGRHO0GHQHXQ
WHUULWRULRQXHYRDSDUWLUGHHVDFRQXHQFLDTXHSHUPLWLyODFRRUGLQDFLyQGHSHUOHVGHSHUVRQDVPX\GLIH-
rentes (profesionales, mileuristas, estudiantes y precarios). Con relacin a otras movilizaciones sociales,
KD\WUHVHOHPHQWRVTXHGLIHUHQFLDQHO0\TXHORGRWDQGHXQDVRQRPtDUHFRQRFLEOHHQWUHORVSURSLRV
indignados: la participacin individual YV la de los colectivos instituidos, la ausencia de un programa y de
lderes, y el lugar central dado a la deliberacin.

Se puede vincular la valorizacin del individuo en detrimiento de los grupos organizados con la indivi-
GXDOL]DFLyQFUHFLHQWHGHODVFRQGLFLRQHVGHH[LVWHQFLD\ODHOHYDFLyQGHOQLYHOGHHVWXGLRVTXHFRQGXFHORV
ciudadanos a privilegiar modos de compromiso ms individuales, distanciados y autnomos (Ion, 1997).
/RVSDUWLFLSDQWHVGHODDFDPSDGDVROVHSUHVHQWDQHQVXPDQLHVWRFRPRSHUVRQDVTXHKHPRVYHQLGR
OLEUH\YROXQWDULDPHQWH>@1RUHSUHVHQWDPRVDQLQJ~QSDUWLGRQLDVRFLDFLyQ1RVXQHXQDYRFDFLyQGH
cambio3. La toma de palabra es individual en las asambleas del 15-M, como lo explica esta participante:
&XDOTXLHUSHUVRQDSXHGHKDFHUXQDSURSXHVWDDWtWXORLQGLYLGXDOODDVDPEOHDHVODYR]GHORVLQGLYLGXRV
no organizados4. Los indignados retiraban sistemticamente las pancartas partidarias en la acampada,
GRQGHVHH[SUHVDXQDFUHDWLYLGDGLQGLYLGXDODWUDYpVGHODSURIXVLyQGHSHTXHxRVFDUWHOHVLPSURYLVDGRV\
HVFULWRVGHSXxR\OHWUD/RVSDUWLFLSDQWHVGHQXQFLDQLQPHGLDWDPHQWHFXDOTXLHUVLJQRLGHQWLWDULRFRPRHVWD
pancarta instalada en la plaza para la primera asamblea del barrio de Carabanchel, el 27 de mayo de 2011:
+D\TXHTXLWDUODSDQFDUWD'HPRFUDFLDUHDO\DHVHOPRYLPLHQWRGHWRGRVHVRHVHOQRPEUHGHXQDRU-
ganizacin! Las personas encargadas del respeto en las manifestaciones son invitadas a evitar toda pro-
paganda poltica, como lo explica el animador de un taller de respeto antes de la marcha del 23 de julio en
HOEDUULRGH9DOOHNDV6LVHUHSDUWHQSDQHWRVQRKD\TXHLPSHGLUORVSRUTXHQRVRPRVQLQJXQDDXWRULGDG
SDUDKDFHUORSHURKD\TXHGHFLUOHVDTXLHQHVORKDFHQODVUD]RQHVGHSRUTXpHOPRYLPLHQWRHVWiHQFRQWUD
En las manifestaciones, tambin dominan los carteles escritos de puo y letra, preparados individualmente
RHQJUXSR/RVVtPERORVGHSDUWLGRVRGHVLQGLFDWRVHVWiQFDVLDXVHQWHVPLHQWUDVTXHODVSRFDVEDQGHUDV
son las republicanas y palestinas. Si el movimiento se apoya as en las individualidades y no en los colec-
WLYRVSUHFRQVWLWXLGRVHVWRV~OWLPRVQRVHTXHGDQFRPSOHWDPHQWHDIXHUD1RVyORDOJXQRVGHVXVPLHPEURV

 KWWSPDGULGWRPDODSOD]DQHWPDQLHVWR FRQVXOWDGRHO 
4 Observacin en la asamblea general de Puerta del Sol, el 17 de julio de 2011.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 130

VHLPSOLFDQHQODVDVDPEOHDVVLQRTXHSXHGHQWDPELpQHFKDUXQDPDQRSDUDFXHVWLRQHVRUJDQL]DWLYDV3RU
HMHPSORHVHO$WHQHR5HSXEOLFDQRGH9DOOHNDVXQDDVRFLDFLyQUHSXEOLFDQDDFWLYDORFDOPHQWHODTXHVH
encarga de la sonorizacin para la asamblea general del barrio y para varios eventos en Puerta del Sol.

3RURWURODGRPLHQWUDVTXHXQPRYLPLHQWRVRFLDOVHFDUDFWHUL]DWUDGLFLRQDOPHQWHSRUODGHQLFLyQGH
objetivos a alcanzar y de un adversario comn (Neveu, 2002), los indignados se niegan a elaborar un pro-
JUDPDTXHSXGLHUDUHXQLUORVIUHQWHDXQHQHPLJRGLItFLOGHDOFDQ]DUQRVyORHOJRELHUQRORVSDUWLGRVSR-
OtWLFRV\ORVVLQGLFDWRVTXHQRQRVUHSUHVHQWDQVLQRWDPELpQORVEDQTXHURVODVLQVWLWXFLRQHVQDQFLHUDV
internacionales y el sistema capitalista. La necesidad de adoptar o no un consenso de mnimos se convir-
WLyHQREMHWRGHQXPHURVRVGHEDWHVHQODVDVDPEOHDVGHODVSULPHUDVVHPDQDVGHODDFDPSDGDVRO+D\TXH
SRQHUVHGHDFXHUGRRQRVREUHXQDVHULHGHSURSXHVWDVTXHKDJDFRQVHQVRHQHOPRYLPLHQWR\GHQLUDVtXQ
SURJUDPDFRP~QGHDFFLRQHV"(OJUXSRGHWUDEDMRGHSROtWLFDDFRUWRSOD]RGHHQGHHVWDHVWUDWHJLD1HFH-
VLWDPRVXQPDQLHVWRTXHQRVUHSUHVHQWHQHFHVLWDPRVXQRVSLODUHVEiVLFRVSUHVHQWDQGRORTXHVRPRVKD\
TXHHODERUDUORV53RFRGHVSXpVHVWHJUXSRGHQLyFXDWURSURSXHVWDVGHPtQLPRVHQIRFDGDVDUHIRUPDU
el sistema poltico actual: reforma de la ley electoral, lucha contra la corrupcin, separacin efectiva de
los tres poderes, creacin de mecanismos de control ciudadano. No obstante, esta posicin estuvo lejos de
causar consenso en el movimiento. Incluso la adopcin de un consenso de mnimos no alcanz nunca el
UHVSDOGRGHODDVDPEOHDJHQHUDOGH6ROHQSDUWHSRUHOUHFKD]RTXHJHQHUDEDMHUDUTXL]DUODVSURSXHVWDV(V
PX\GLFLOHQFRQWUDUXQDPHWRGRORJtDSDUDSULRUL]DUQRVRPRVFDSDFHVGHGHVHFKDUSURSXHVWDVTXHRWURV
encontramos justas6(VWDVGLFXOWDGHVSDUDDOFDQ]DUFRQVHQVRVVRQVLQHPEDUJRDFHSWDGDV,PSOLFDQ
DSUHQGL]DMH\UHVSHWRDXQTXHOOHYHDSDUHMDGRFLHUWRLQPRYLOLVPR(QHOIRQGRSDUDPXFKRVHVODOtQHDLPD-
JLQDULDTXHVHSDUDHOPRYLPLHQWRGHXQDRUJDQL]DFLyQORTXHVXSRQGUtDFDHUHQODIRUPDOL]DFLyQLQWHUQD
3RUHVRPXFKRVSLHQVDQTXHDKtUHVLGHODIXHU]DGHO0&RPRGHFtDXQSDUWLFLSDQWHHQHOSULPHUIRUR
VRFLDOLQGLJQDGRHOGHMXOLRGHHO0HVWDQSOXUDOTXHQXQFDSRGUtDVHUXQPRYLPLHQWRSROtWLFR
FRQXQSURJUDPDSROtWLFRSHURSRGUtDPRVWHQHUDOLDGRVSROtWLFRVTXHGHQWURGHODVLQVWLWXFLRQHVGHIHQGLH-
UDQORTXHHVHO01RREVWDQWHFXDQGRVHDFHUFDURQODVHOHFFLRQHVJHQHUDOHVGHOGHQRYLHPEUHGH
2011, los indignados no slo se negaron a adoptar un programa y a designar lderes, sino tambin a apoyar
FXDOTXLHUFDQGLGDWRXRUJDQL]DFLyQSROtWLFD

/DLGHDGHFRQVHQVRHVFRQGHODVEUDVGHO0SXHVHVSUHFLVDPHQWHDTXpOODODTXHSHUPLWHVLWXDUOD
deliberacin como base de su organizacin interna. En Madrid, todas las asambleas respetan una serie de
reglas comunes, resumidas en la propuesta metodolgica transmitida por la asamblea general de Puerta del
Sol a los barrios y los pueblos cuando se descentraliz el movimiento a partir del 28 de mayo de 2011: El
objetivo ser promover en todas las asambleas del movimiento un funcionamiento transparente, horizontal,
\TXHSHUPLWDDWRGDVODVSHUVRQDVSDUWLFLSDUHQLJXDOGDGGHFRQGLFLRQHV7. Se ponen por delante cuatro
SULQFLSLRVIXQGDPHQWDOHVHQODySWLFDGHGHQLUXQDQXHYDOHJLWLPLGDGGHPRFUiWLFDODKRUL]RQWDOLGDGOD
LQFOXVLyQHOUHVSHWR\HOSHQVDPLHQWRFROHFWLYR)UHQWHDXQDGHPRFUDFLDUHSUHVHQWDWLYDTXHQRQRVUHSUH-
VHQWDORVLQGLJQDGRVSURFXUDQDVtFRQVWUXLUXQDYR]FROHFWLYDTXHVHDSR\HHQODGLYHUVLGDGGHODVRSLQLR-
nes de la poblacin. Se pone rpidamente en marcha un sistema de democracia directa, desde el primer da
GHODDFDPSDGDODQRFKHGHOGHPD\R/DVGLYHUVDVFRPLVLRQHVTXHVHRUJDQL]DQ GHLQIUDHVWUXFWXUDVGH
DOLPHQWDFLyQGHVDOXGHWF DGPLQLVWUDQSUREOHPDVSUiFWLFRVGHHVWHHVSDFLRDXWRJHVWLRQDGRPLHQWUDVTXH

5 Intervencin en la reunin de los portavoces de las comisiones y grupos de trabajo de la asamblea general de Sol, el 27 de mayo de 2011.
6 Intervencin del portavoz del grupo de trabajo sobre los derechos animales en la reunin del 27 de mayo de 2011.
7 http://madrid.tomalosbarrios.net/metodologia-asamblearia/ (consultado el 06.01.2012).
131 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

los grupos de trabajo (economa, poltica, educacin, medio ambiente, etc.) se enfocan ms hacia la accin
en la perspectiva de un cambio de sociedad. Se renen en asamblea pblica, una o varias veces a la semana,
HQODVSOD]DVFHUFDQDVSDUDSUHSDUDUORVSXQWRVTXHGLVFXWLU\ODVGHFLVLRQHVTXHWRPDUHQDVDPEOHDJHQHUDO
(VWDHVWUXFWXUDKRUL]RQWDOTXHVHPDQWLHQHHQ3XHUWDGHO6ROGHVSXpVGHOOHYDQWDPLHQWRGHODDFDPSDGDHO
GHMXQLRGH FRQHYROXFLRQHVHQHOULWPRGHODVDVDPEOHDVTXHGHGLDULRVHYXHOYHVHPDQDO\HQ
las temticas de ciertos grupos), es tambin adoptada en cada barrio y pueblo de la comunidad autnoma
con la descentralizacin del movimiento (Nez, 2011). Si movimientos sociales precedentes ya reinvendi-
caban los principios de horizontalidad, de inclusin y de transparencia, el 15-M se distingue tanto por el
OXJDUFHQWUDOTXHFRQFHGHDODGHOLEHUDFLyQFRPRSRUODLQVWDXUDFLyQGHWpFQLFDVGLVFLSOLQDULDVGHVWLQDGDV
a garantizar su aplicacin.

Deliberar en el espacio pblico


El paso de la deliberacin de las microesferas de las organizaciones militantes hacia la esfera pblica
FLXGDGDQDVHWUDGXFHHQSULPHUOXJDUHQXQDRFXSDFLyQGHOHVSDFLRS~EOLFRORTXHWLHQHXQLPSDFWRQR
despreciable sobre las prcticas deliberativas puestas en ejecucin. A pesar de la escasez de investigaciones
empricas sobre la dimensin espacial de las movilizaciones sociales, el espacio y el lugar se perciben cada
vez ms como esencial en el anlisis de la contestacin (Auyero, 2005). Ms all de la ocupacin de la
FDOOHTXHFRQVWLWX\HXQPRGRFOiVLFRGHSURWHVWDHQODVPDQLIHVWDFLRQHV\EDUULFDGDV 7LOO\*RXOG
)LOOLHXOH GLIHUHQWHVWUDEDMRVPRVWUDURQFyPRHOHVSDFLRSXHGHWDPELpQFRQVWLWXLUXQUHFXUVR
RXQDFRDFFLyQHQODVPRYLOL]DFLRQHVFROHFWLYDV =KDR+PHG (ODQiOLVLVGHO0QRVLQYLWD
a establecer vnculos entre la inscripcin espacial de un movimiento social y sus prcticas deliberativas.
Los trabajos sobre los procesos participativos se interesaron relativamente poco por su dimensin espacial
VyORPRVWUDQGRTXHODHOHFFLyQGHORVOXJDUHVGHUHXQLyQ\ODFRQJXUDFLyQGHODVDXODVSXHGHQHVWLPXODU
RQRODSDUWLFLSDFLyQHQHOFDVRSRUHMHPSORGHORVFRQVHMRVGHEDUULRHQ)UDQFLD %ORQGLDX[\/pYrTXH
1999). No obstante, la gua metodolgica sobre las reuniones y asambleas de Ana Rosa Lorenzo y Miguel
Martnez (2001: 30) dedica un apartado especial sobre la organizacin del espacio: No atender a la dis-
WULEXFLyQHVSDFLDOHQODVUHXQLRQHVSXHGHWUDGXFLUVHHQTXHVHHQWRUSH]FDIXHUWHPHQWHVXGHVDUUROOR1R
VLUYHFXDOTXLHUOXJDUQLVLTXLHUDHOPLVPROXJDUSXHGHVHUDSURSULDGRSDUDUHXQLRQHVFRQGLVWLQWRQ~PHUR
de participantes. En el caso del 15-M, la eleccin deliberada de la calle y de las plazas para organizar las
acampadas y las asambleas aparece central en la promocin de prcticas participativas y deliberativas,
SRUODDSHUWXUDODSXEOLFLGDG\ODWUDQVSDUHQFLDGHORVGHEDWHVTXHHVWRVOXJDUHVLPSOLFDQ6HHVWLPXODDVt
ODSDUWLFLSDFLyQSRUTXHFLHUWDVEDUUHUDVYLQFXODGDVDORVHVSDFLRVFHUUDGRVGHVDSDUHFHQHVSRVLEOHSRU
ejemplo, asistir a una asamblea con los nios o los animales de compaa. Se reducen en este sentido los
FRVWHVGHODSDUWLFLSDFLyQ(OHVSDFLRS~EOLFRDSDUHFHSXHVFRPRXQOXJDUPHQRVUHJODPHQWDGRTXHORV
JHQHUDOPHQWHXWLOL]DGRVHQORVSURFHVRVLQVWLWXFLRQDOHVGHSDUWLFLSDFLyQFRPRODVDXODVGHHVFXHODORTXH
atrae a nuevos pblicos como los jvenes, menos propensos a venir a lugares institucionales. El espacio
pblico constituye pues un recurso para la accin colectiva, favoreciendo una diversidad de participantes,
eliminando fronteras a la participacin y dando una visibilidad al movimiento. Favorece tambin la efecti-
YLGDGGHOSULQFLSLRGHLJXDOGDG\DTXHWRGDVODVSHUVRQDVVHQWDGDVHQHOVXHORVHHQFXHQWUDQDOPLVPRQLYHO
VLQTXHVHHVWDEOH]FDQMHUDUTXtDV

Adems del argumento de la autonoma con respecto a los colectivos ya constituidos, los indignados
VHRSRQHQUHJXODUPHQWHDRWUDVSURSXHVWDVGHOXJDUHVGHUHXQLyQTXHQRWHQJDQHVWDGLPHQVLyQS~EOLFD
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 132

como locales de asociaciones de vecinos, centros sociales autogestionados o instalaciones culturales de


EDUULR/RVHVSDFLRVS~EOLFRVSUHVHQWDQQRREVWDQWHFRDFFLRQHVYLQFXODGDVDORVSRWHQFLDOHVFRQLFWRVGH
XVRGHOWHUULWRULR\DODVFRQGLFLRQHVFOLPiWLFDV$FDPSDUXRUJDQL]DUXQDDVDPEOHDHQXQDSOD]DVLJQLFD
en primer lugar, compartir el territorio con otras personas (comerciantes, vendedores o artistas ambulan-
WHVWUDQVH~QWHVSHUVRQDVLQKRJDUHWF FX\DVDFWLYLGDGHVSXHGHQHQWUDUHQFRQLFWRFRQODVGHODJRUD
FRQVWLWXLGD/RUHQ]R\0DUWtQH]  SRUHMHPSORDGYLHUWHQTXHODVUHXQLRQHVGHEHUtDQKDFHUVHHQ
HVSDFLRVGRQGHQRVHHVWpUHDOL]DQGRDOPLVPRWLHPSRQLQJXQDRWUDDFWLYLGDGTXHSXHGDHQWRUSHFHU/DV
asambleas pblicas en las plazas se confrontan as con otros usos, particularmente comerciales y ldicos.
Las limitaciones de estos lugares pblicos dependen tambin de las condiciones meteorolgicas, por ejem-
plo, la lluvia o el sol puede hacer difcil o imposible el desarrollo de los debates. La llegada del invierno a
0DGULGIRU]yDORVLQGLJQDGRVDFDPELDUVXVOXJDUHVGHUHXQLyQORTXHWXYRXQLPSDFWRVREUHODDPSOLWXG
de la participacin y las prcticas de deliberacin. Por ejemplo, el desplazamiento de varias asambleas de
ORVJUXSRVGHWUDEDMRGH3XHUWDGHO6RODFDVDVRNXSDFRPRHO+RWHO0DGULGRFXSDGRDOQDOGHODPD-
QLIHVWDFLyQGHOGHRFWXEUHGHGHVDQLPyODSDUWLFLSDFLyQGHORVTXHQRHVWDEDQDFRVWXPEUDGRVD
pasar la puerta de tales lugares ilegales. Esta evolucin espacial de los lugares de asamblea tiene tambin
XQLPSDFWRVREUHODVSUiFWLFDVGHOLEHUDWLYDVODFRQJXUDFLyQGHFLHUWRVOXJDUHVFHUUDGRVRSULYDGRVLQFLWDQ
PHQRVHOGHEDWH\ODGLVFXVLyQTXHORVHVSDFLRVS~EOLFRVGRQGHVHSXHGHVLVWHPiWLFDPHQWHRUJDQL]DUXQD
FRQJXUDFLyQFLUFXODUSDUDIDFLOLWDUODGHOLEHUDFLyQ

La instauracin de tcnicas disciplinarias


Adems de la ocupacin del espacio pblico, el 15-M se distingue de otros movimientos sociales por el
JUDGRGHIRUPDOL]DFLyQGHODGHOLEHUDFLyQFRQHOQGHHYLWDUODVWHQWDWLYDVGHFRQFHQWUDFLyQGHOSRGHU\OD
SURGXFFLyQGHMHUDUTXtDVGHQWURGHOPRYLPLHQWR(OSULPHUHOHPHQWRHVODURWDFLyQGHWRGDVODVIXQFLRQHV
instituida en oposicin a las lgicas de representacin y de delegacin poltica. Una comisin de dinamiza-
cin asegura la preparacin y la organizacin de las asambleas generales Puerta del Sol. En asambleas pbli-
FDVDELHUWDVDWRGRVGHQHHORUGHQGHOGtD\GHVLJQDDODVSHUVRQDVHQFDUJDGDVGHPRGHUDUODDVDPEOHDGH
WRPDUORVWXUQRVGHSDODEUDGHUHGDFWDUODVDFWDV\GHIDFLOLWDUODPRGHUDFLyQ(QODVDVDPEOHDVPiVSHTXH-
xDVFXDOTXLHUSDUWLFLSDQWHSXHGHVHUYROXQWDULRDOLQLFLRGHODUHXQLyQSDUDDVXPLUHVWDVIXQFLRQHVTXHVRQ
WRGDVURWDWLYDV/DURWDFLyQGHOPRGHUDGRUHVSDUWLFXODUPHQWHLPSRUWDQWHSRUTXHHMHUFHXQDLQXHQFLDQR
despreciable sobre el desarrollo de las asambleas, decidiendo por ejemplo abrir o no un turno de palabra. Por
otra parte, no hay representantes sino un sistema de portavoca rotativo, nicamente habilitados para trans-
mitir las decisiones de la asamblea en otros espacios, particularmente meditico. Se organizan as rotaciones
para responder a las preguntas de la prensa y representar el movimiento afuera. Este sistema de portavoca
rotativo funciona tambin internamente, para constituir por ejemplo la asamblea popular de Madrid (APM)
TXHSUHWHQGHGHQLUHVWUDWHJLDVGHDFFLyQFRP~QHQWUHORVEDUULRV\SXHEORVGHODFRPXQLGDGDXWyQRPD

$GHPiVHOGHVDUUROORGHODVDVDPEOHDVGHVFDQVDHQUHJODVFODUDVORTXHHYLWDTXHHOHTXLSRGHGLQD-
mizacin tenga un peso desmesurado. Antes de empezar, los moderadores siempre exponen las reglas
cvicas de un debate: respetar a la pluralidad, a los turnos de palabra, nunca elevar el tono de voz, siempre
argumentar y evitar discursos autocomplacientes. Una vez iniciada la sesin, todos los participantes se con-
vierten en vigilantes de la deliberacin a travs del lenguaje de signos creado para ello. En cuanto alguien
levanta la voz, adems del moderador, otros participantes suelen expresar directamente con sus manos el
descontento con dicha actitud. La deliberacin en el 15-M no es por ello un ideal de relacin poltica, sino
133 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

XQFRPSHQGLRGHUHJODVTXHGLVFLSOLQDODVUHXQLRQHVDELHUWDV\TXHKDVLGRDFHSWDGRSRUWRGRVFRQYLUWLpQ-
dose cada participante en un vigilante del civismo deliberativo.

Una de las principales caractersticas de las asambleas madrileas es su funcionamiento por consenso
y no segn la lgica del voto mayoritario. Este modo de toma de decisiones ha sido objeto de debates
amplios y reiterados en el 15-M desde su nacimiento. An hoy sigue siendo una lnea de debate abierta y
el movimiento en Madrid todava no ha alcanzado un consenso a este respecto. A pesar de las situaciones
GH EORTXHR TXH SURYRFD VXV GHIHQVRUHV VHxDODQ DUGLHQWHPHQWH HO HVStULWX GHO PRYLPLHQWR FRQWUD HO
VLVWHPDGHVLHPSUHGHOTXHQRTXHUHPRVPiV8. Antes de validar una propuesta sondeando el conjunto de
ORVSDUWLFLSDQWHVHOPRGHUDGRUSLGHVLVWHPiWLFDPHQWHVLKD\XQDSHUVRQDUDGLFDOPHQWHHQFRQWUDRTXH
desea aportar matices. Si la propuesta genera oposicin, se abren turnos de palabra (limitados en nmero
\HQGXUDFLyQ SDUDHVFXFKDUORVDUJXPHQWRVDIDYRU\HQFRQWUD3DUDWRPDUXQDGHFLVLyQKDFHIDOWDTXH
VHDDFHSWDGDSRUHOFRQMXQWRGHORVSDUWLFLSDQWHVHVGHFLUTXHQLQJ~QGLVHQVRDUJXPHQWDGRVHH[SUHVHHQ
la asamblea. Este mtodo implica intentar convencer al otro, y si no est de acuerdo, de presentarlo de
manera constructiva, como lo expresa un participante en una asamblea de barrio. Se trata pues de inter-
cambiar argumentos y contra-argumentos con el objetivo de formular y de reformular las propuestas, hasta
HQFRQWUDUQDOPHQWHXQDFXHUGRORTXHH[LJHWLHPSRFRPRORVXJLHUHODGLYLVDGHOPRYLPLHQWR9DPRV
OHQWRVSRUTXHYDPRVOHMRV(OREMHWLYRVLHPSUHSODQWHDGRDOLQLFLRGHODVDVDPEOHDVHVFRQVWUXLUSURJUH-
VLYDPHQWHXQSHQVDPLHQWRFRP~QTXHVHDLQFOXVLYRWRPDQGRHQFRQVLGHUDFLyQODRSLQLyQGHODVPLQRUtDV
\TXHEXVTXHHOELHQFRP~Q(OOHQJXDMHJHVWXDOD\XGDDODLQFOXVLyQSXHVSHUPLWHPDQLIHVWDUXQDSRVLFLyQ
sin perturbar la toma de palabra: levantando las manos en el aire, cruzndolas o haciendo el signo de una
rodadura, todo el mundo puede manifestar su acuerdo, su desacuerdo o su cansancio con respecto a una
intervencin. Se invitan tambin a los participantes a utilizar un lenguaje inclusivo, sistematizando por
HMHPSORHOJpQHURIHPHQLQR WRGDV>ODVSHUVRQDV@PiVELHQTXHWRGRV PLHQWUDVTXHVHJHQHUDOL]DOD
traduccin en lengua de signos en las grandes asambleas.

(VWDIRUPDOL]DFLyQGHODVUHJODVGHSDUWLFLSDFLyQ\GHGHOLEHUDFLyQHQODVDVDPEOHDVORJUDHYLWDUTXH
unos grupos organizados monopolicen la palabra, como pudo ser el caso en otros episodios histricos9.
Los miembros de organizaciones polticas, sociales o sindicales no llegan a imponer su punto de vista en
ODVDVDPEOHDVJHQHUDOHVSRUTXHODUHJODPHQWDFLyQGHORVWXUQRVGHSDODEUD\ODWRPDGHGHFLVLRQHVSRU
FRQVHQVRQROHVGDPiVSHVRHQODGLVFXVLyQTXHDFXDOTXLHURWURLQGLYLGXR3RUHMHPSORORVPLHPEURVGHO
JUXSRGHWUDEDMRODERUDOHQ9DOOHNDVTXHVRQPLHPEURVGHVLQGLFDWRVLQWHQWDQUHSHWLGDVYHFHVLPSRQHUXQD
LGHQWLGDG HOPRYLPLHQWRREUHUR \PRGRVGHDFFLyQFRPRODKXHOJDJHQHUDOTXHQRFRQVLJXHQDOFDQ]DU
un consenso en la asamblea general. Si los debates son a menudo largos y agitados entre los miembros de
este grupo de trabajo y los dems participantes, las reglas de la deliberacin no les permiten imponerse
en este espacio. Adems, el principio de rotacin de las funciones, particularmente las de moderador y de
SRUWDYR]HYLWDTXHHPHUMDQFDEH]DVYLVLEOHVGHOPRYLPLHQWRTXHSRGUtDQRWRUJDUVHHOGHUHFKRDKDEODU
HQVXQRPEUH(QODDVDPEOHDJHQHUDOGH3XHUWDGHO6RODH[FHSFLyQGHODEXHORGHODUHYROXFLyQTXH
buscan a menudo los medios de comunicacin por su implicacin diaria con ms de ochenta aos, nadie se
LGHQWLFDFODUDPHQWHFRPRUHSUHVHQWDQWHGHO0$XQTXHODDXVHQFLDGHUHJODVFODUDVVREUHODIXQFLyQ
GHSRUWDYR]LQWURGX]FDOyJLFDVGHUHSUHVHQWDFLyQ\GHGHOHJDFLyQSROtWLFDHQRUJDQL]DFLRQHVTXHSRQHQHQ
YDORUVLQHPEDUJRODGHOLEHUDFLyQHQVXIXQFLRQDPLHQWRLQWHUQR 0RXFKDUG ODFODULFDFLyQGHODV
8 Intervenciones de un grupo de jvenes a favor del consenso en la asamblea general de Sol, el 3 de julio, dedicada al debate sobre el funcionamiento por
FRQVHQVRRSRUPD\RUtDGHFXDWURTXLQWRV
9 Ver particularmente, sobre la burocratizacin de los sovietes en el momento de la revolucin rusa, Ferro (1980).
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 134

reglas de juego por los indignados garantiza el respeto de los principios de horizontalidad, de transparencia
y de inclusin.

Los militantes frente al 15-M


La deliberacin as formalizada crea un punto de divergencia entre los indignados y los colectivos ins-
tituidos. Los representantes polticos, sindicales y asociativos sienten la concurrencia por la emergencia de
otras fuentes de legitimidad en las asambleas populares, como ya es el caso en los dispositivos participati-
YRVIXQGDGRVVREUHXQDSDUWLFLSDFLyQLQGLYLGXDO\XQLYHUVDO *DQX]D\1H] /RVFRQLFWRVUHFXUUHQ-
WHVTXHRSRQHQORVPLHPEURVGHOJUXSRGHWUDEDMRODERUDODRWURVSDUWLFLSDQWHVGHODDVDPEOHDJHQHUDOGH
Puente de Vallekas revelan las tensiones entre el 15-M y las organizaciones tradicionales. La oposicin es
VLVWHPiWLFDHQODVDVDPEOHDVGHHVWHEDUULRHQWUHDOJXQRVKRPEUHVGHVHVHQWDDxRVTXHVHLPSOLFDQHQHVWH
JUXSRGHWUDEDMRDSDUWLUGHXQDH[SHULHQFLDGHOVLQGLFDOLVPRREUHUR\HOUHVWRGHODDVDPEOHDTXHGHHQGH
una identidad ms amplia, como lo expresa este participante:

/RTXHKHHQWHQGLGRHVTXHQRVHVLHQWHUHSUHVHQWDGR>HOSRUWDYR]HOJUXSRGHWUDEDMRGHQXQFLDODVDFWDVGHODDVDPEOHD
DQWHULRU@SHUR\RQRPHVLHQWRUHSUHVHQWDGRSRUYRVRWURV(OPRYLPLHQWRREUHURHVWiELHQSHURKD\JHQWHQRREUHUDDTXt
somos artistas, autnomos, etc. Estoy harto de siempre los obreros, no me siento representado por vosotros, lo siento10!

/RVFRQLFWRVVHUHHUHQQRVyORDORVPHGLRVGHDFFLyQ ODKXHOJDJHQHUDO \ODLGHQWLGDG HOPRYLPLHQWR


obrero) propuestos por este grupo de trabajo, sino tambin sobre el mtodo deliberativo en s. Los miembros
GHHVWHJUXSRSRQHQHQWHODGHMXLFLRHOKHFKRGHWHQHUTXHLQVFULELUVHSDUDWRPDUODSDODEUD\UHVSHWDUODUHJOD
GHORVWXUQRVGHSDODEUDOLPLWDGRVDORTXHORVMyYHQHVSDUWLFLSDQWHVGHODDVDPEOHDOHVUHVSRQGHQTXHSXH-
GHQWRPDUODSDODEUDSHURQRHQFXDOTXLHUPRPHQWR\VLHPSUHVHJ~QODVUHJODVGHQLGDVSUHYLDPHQWH11.

(VWDVWHQVLRQHVHQWUHGRVJHQHUDFLRQHVGHPLOLWDQWHVWUDGXFHQFRQLFWRVGHOHJLWLPLGDGHQWUHORVPRGH-
ORVGHGHPRFUDFLDSDUWLFLSDWLYD\UHSUHVHQWDWLYD3XHGHTXHVHDQSDUWLFXODUPHQWHYLVLEOHVHQ9DOOHNDVSRU
la historia del movimiento social en el barrio. Pero las encontramos tambin en otras asambleas de barrio
del 15-M o en las asambleas generales en Puerta del Sol. Adems, el civismo deliberativo de los indignados
ha sobrepasado sus propias fronteras, contaminando otros movimientos como el de los profesores de la en-
seanza secundaria. Estos se organizan desde el mes de julio de 2011 en contra de los recortes en el presu-
puesto de la educacin de la comunidad autnoma de Madrid, inspirndose en el modo de funcionamiento
de los indignados. Los intercambios entre una profesora de unos treinta aos y dos responsables sindicales
treinta aos mayores, en una reunin de profesores en la corona metropolitana del Sur de Madrid, el 13 de
RFWXEUHGHUHYHODQORVFRQLFWRVGHOHJLWLPLGDG\GHSRGHUYLQFXODGRVDODDGRSFLyQGHXQPRGRGH
RUJDQL]DFLyQPiVSDUWLFLSDWLYRTXHUHSUHVHQWDWLYR

/DSURIHVRUD/RVVLQGLFDWRVPD\RULWDULRVKDQGHFLGLGR>HOQ~PHURGHGtDVGHKXHOJDV@VLQFRQVXOWDUDORVSURIHVRUHV
6HQRVQLQJXQHDDORVSURIHVRUHV(VWiQORVVLQGLFDWRVSHURORVSURIHVRUHVTXHUHPRVXQVLVWHPDDVDPEOHDULRQRWRGRV
estamos en sindicatos pero tenemos derecho a opinar.

10 Intervencin en la asamblea general de Puente de Vallekas, el 16 de julio de 2011.


11 2EVHUYDFLyQGHXQDDOWHUFDFLyQHQWUHORVPLHPEURVGHOJUXSRGHWUDEDMRODERUDO\MyYHQHVSDUWLFLSDQWHVDOQDOGHODDVDPEOHDJHQHUDOGHOGHMXOLRGH
2011.
135 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

La dirigente sindical: Hablamos de mayoras cuando en Comisiones Obreras nos han votado 11.000 personas en las
~OWLPDVHOHFFLRQHVUHSUHVHQWDPRVDPiVGHDOLDGRV/DVPD\RUtDVVRQPX\UHODWLYDV>@6RPRVORVTXHTXH
tienen ms representacin en la primaria para impulsar un movimiento fuerte. Tenemos la experiencia, sin nosotros,
QRWHQpLVIXHU]DVXFLHQWH

(OGLULJHQWHVLQGLFDO<RUHFLERPXFKDVFUtWLFDVFRQWUDORVVLQGLFDWRV\ORVSDUWLGRVSHURKDQYRWDGRHOGHORV
YRWDQWHVORVVLQGLFDWRVWLHQHQUHSUHVHQWDWLYLGDG1RVHSXHGHGHFLUDORVWUHVVLQGLFDWRVTXHQRQRVKDFHQFDVR<ORV
TXHQRVKDQYRWDGRTXLpQOHVUHSUHVHQWD"

0iVDOOiGHHVWRVFRQLFWRVGHOHJLWLPLGDGHQWUHGRVFRQFHSFLRQHVGHODGHPRFUDFLDHOPRYLPLHQWRGH
ODHQVHxDQ]DVHFXQGDULDHQODFRPXQLGDGDXWyQRPDGH0DGULGPXHVWUDTXHHOPRGRGHRUJDQL]DFLyQGH
los indignados y las tcnicas deliberativas utilizadas en las asambleas populares comenzaron a difundirse
HQRWURVVHFWRUHVVRFLDOHV1RVyORHVHOOHQJXDMHJHVWXDOGHO0TXHVHDGRSWDUiSLGDPHQWHHQDVDP-
EOHDJHQHUDOHVSRUUD]RQHVSUiFWLFDVIUHQWHDXQDJUDQDXHQFLDGHSURIHVRUHVDODQXQFLRGHORVUHFRUWHV
SUHVXSXHVWDULRVVLQRWDPELpQHOPRGRGHODDVDPEOHDDGLIHUHQWHVHVFDODV LQVWLWXWRVVHFWRUHVJHRJUiFRV
FRPXQLGDGDXWyQRPDGH0DGULG \ODVSUiFWLFDVGHOLEHUDWLYDVTXHORDFRPSDxDQ PRGHUDFLyQH[WHULRUD
los sindicatos, rotacin de las funciones, igualdad en las tomas de palabra, etc.). En esta movilizacin de la
enseanza secundaria, se pone progresivamente en marcha un sistema de democracia directa, en paralelo
GHODFOiVLFDUHSUHVHQWDFLyQVLQGLFDO3HQVDPRVTXHHO0HVDVtVXVFHSWLEOHGHDEULUXQQXHYRFLFORGH
PRYLOL]DFLyQWDOFRPRORGHQH6LGQH\7DUURZ  XQDRODFUHFLHQWHOXHJRGHFUHFLHQWHGHDFFLR-
QHVFROHFWLYDVHVWUHFKDPHQWHUHODFLRQDGDV\GHUHDFFLRQHVDpVWDVTXHVHFDUDFWHUL]DSRUODLQWHQVLFDFLyQ
GHOFRQLFWRVXGLIXVLyQJHRJUiFD\VRFLDOODDSDULFLyQGHDFFLRQHVHVSRQWiQHDV\GHQXHYDVRUJDQL]DFLR-
QHVODFUHDFLyQGHQXHYRVUHIHUHQWHVLGHROyJLFRV\ODH[WHQVLyQGHOUHSHUWRULRGHDFFLyQ0LHQWUDVTXHORV
modos tradicionales de movilizacin, como los sindicatos y las asociaciones de vecinos, estan declinando
1DYDUUR)RQWD6XELUDWV ORVLQGLJQDGRVSRGUtDQDVtDSRUWDUXQQXHYRVRSORDODDFFLyQ
colectiva en Espaa, renovando a los militantes y poniendo la cuestin de la deliberacin en el centro del
repertorio de accin.

Conclusin
La extensin de la deliberacin ms all de las esferas militantes se explica por la originalidad del 15-
0TXHVHLQVSLUDHQSDUWHGHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVH[LVWHQWHV\GHODFXOWXUDSROtWLFDDXWyQRPDSHUR
WDPELpQGHRWUDVFXOWXUDVSURIHVLRQDOHV\FLXGDGDQDV+D\TXHUHODFLRQDUDVtODVSUiFWLFDVGHOLEHUDWLYDV
DGRSWDGDVHQODVDVDPEOHDVGHO0FRQHOJLURGHOLEHUDWLYRTXHVHSURGXMRQRVRORHQORVPRYLPLHQWRV
VRFLDOHVVLQRWDPELpQHQODDFFLyQS~EOLFDORFDO FRQODVIRUPDFLRQHVSURIHVLRQDOHVTXHOHDFRPSDxDQ \
PiVDPSOLDPHQWHHQHOXVRFRODERUDWLYRGH,QWHUQHW\GHODVUHGHVVRFLDOHV/DJHQHDORJtDPX\HVSHFtFD
GHHVWDPRYLOL]DFLyQTXHQRKDVLGRFRQYRFDGDSRUODVRUJDQL]DFLRQHVWUDGLFLRQDOHVVLQRSRUSODWDIRUPDV
recientemente constituidas en Internet, explica sus principales caractersticas: la valorizacin del individuo
FRQWUDWRGDIRUPDGHFROHFWLYRLQVWLWXLGRHOUHFKD]RGHGHQLUXQSURJUDPD\GHHVFRJHUDOtGHUHV\HO
lugar central concedido a la deliberacin para toda accin y toma de decisiones. De este modo los indig-
nados han hecho posible construir un espacio pblico amplio, incluyendo al conjunto de la ciudadana,
y un espacio deliberativo, es decir, atravesado por procedimientos disciplinarios orientados a proteger la
GHOLEHUDFLyQ(VWRKDVLGRSRVLEOHSRUTXHORUHDOPHQWHGLVWLQWLYRGHVXVSODQWHDPLHQWRVFtYLFRVKDVLGROD
ocupacin del espacio pblico para transformarlo en espacio poltico y la fuerza disciplinaria, en trminos
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 136

GHOLEHUDWLYRVFRQODTXHHOPRYLPLHQWRORVKDOOHYDGRDFDER(O0SRQHDVtHQHYLGHQFLDODLPSRUWDQ-
cia de formalizar las tcnicas deliberativas para hacer efectiva la deliberacin en un movimiento social y
RSRQHUVHDODOH\GHKLHUURGHODROLJDUTXtDDXQTXHVHQRWDQWDPELpQIRUPDVGHLQVWLWXFLRQDOL]DFLyQGHO
movimiento al paso del tiempo.

La permanencia en el tiempo de este sistema de democracia directa provoca inevitablemente formas


de rutinizacin de las prcticas participativas y deliberativas, como lo hemos observado siguiendo durante
ms de ocho meses las asambleas madrileas. La multiplicacin de las asambleas, de las comisiones y de
los grupos de trabajo, a todas las escalas, pone a prueba el principio de horizontalidad. Poco a poco se di-
IXQGHODLPSUHVLyQHQORVEDUULRV\SXHEORVTXHODDVDPEOHDJHQHUDOGH3XHUWDGHO6ROVHLQVFULEHDUULEDGH
las dems asambleas, por su visibilidad popular: Introducimos una centralizacin dentro de la toma de de-
cisin cuando ponemos la asamblea de Sol como un elemento central en comparacin con los barrios. Es el
primer paso hacia una estructura vertical del poder12. La disminucin regular del nmero de participantes
HQODVDVDPEOHDVHQ3XHUWDGHO6ROFRPRHQORVEDUULRVGLFXOWDWDPELpQHOUHVSHWRGHODUHJODGHURWDFLyQ
GHORVSRUWDYRFHV\GHORVHTXLSRVGHPRGHUDFLyQSRUIDOWDGHYROXQWDULRV/RVPLHPEURVGHODVFRPLVLR-
nes de dinamizacin de las asambleas, conscientes de esta deriva, hacen convocatorias regulares para una
URWDFLyQGHVXVHTXLSRV4XHYHQJDJHQWHDGLQDPL]DFLyQ+R\WXYLPRVSRUSULPHUDYH]TXHUHSHWLUXQ
PRGHUDGRUQRHVEXHQRYHUVLHPSUHODVPLVPDVFDUDVODGLQDPL]DFLyQWLHQHTXHURWDUSDUDTXHQRSDUH]-
camos como los dirigentes de la asamblea131RREVWDQWHQRVSDUHFHTXHODGLVPLQXFLyQGHOQ~PHURGH
participantes en las comisiones y los grupos de trabajo no est sin relacin con el modo de decisin por con-
senso, cuya lentitud aumenta los costes de la participacin y penaliza a los participantes menos politizados.
(QORVEDUULRV\ORVSXHEORVODVKRUDVGHGHEDWHGHGLFDGDVDODGHQLFLyQGHODRUJDQL]DFLyQSUiFWLFDGHOD
asamblea, luego las discusiones interminables sobre tal o tal punto al orden del da, desanima a las personas
menos acostumbradas a la accin colectiva. Paradjicamente, contra la identidad misma del movimiento,
las asambleas del 15-M corren el peligro de transformarse en asambleas de activistas (Castells, 2012),
PLHQWUDVTXHVXVWpFQLFDVGHOLEHUDWLYDVHVWiQGLIXGLpQGRVHHQODVPRYLOL]DFLRQHVGHRWURVVHFWRUHVVRFLDOHV

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13 Observacin en la asamblea general de Carabanchel, el 2 de julio de 2011.
137 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS

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139 15M AND INDIGNADO MOBILIZATIONS
INTERNATIONALIZATION
OF PROTESTS
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 142

The notion of the Multitude and lessons from the present


cycle of struggles: the case of Greece

NIKOS SOTIRAKOPOULOS
University of Kent

Abstract
7KH0XOWLWXGHDVDFRQFHSWDQDO\]HGE\+DUGWDQG1HJULKDVWZRPHDQLQJV7KHUVW
LVDVDFODVVQRWLRQGHVFULELQJWKHZLGHQHGIRUPDWLRQRIWKHSUROHWDULDWLQWKHHUDRI
post-Fordist capitalism. In addition, it can be understood as the unmediated biopoliti-
FDOSURGXFWLRQRIDSRWHQWLDOO\UHYROXWLRQDU\VXEMHFWZKLFKGXHWRWKHVRFLDOL]DWLRQRI
SURGXFWLRQDQGWKHULVHRIJHQHUDOLQWHOOHFWDVDGULYLQJIRUFHLQWRGD\VFDSLWDOLVPKDV
constituted capital a parasitic relationship, useless in all parts of the productive schema
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cal project, the Multitude seems to be based on an overly optimistic and incomplete
DQDO\VLV7KHUHFHQWF\FOHRIVWUXJJOHVKHUHH[SORULQJWKHFDVHRI*UHHFHKDVVKRZQ
WKDWHYHQLI WKH 0XOWLWXGH LV LQGHHG DQ H[LVWLQJ VRFLDO VXEMHFW ZKLFK LV WKH SRWHQWLDO
EHDUHURISRVWFDSLWDOLVWHPDQFLSDWLRQDQXQZLOOLQJQHVVWRHQJDJHZLWKSROLWLFVDQGWKH
abandonment of some traditional forms of political organization, such as the party or
DIURQWFODLPLQJSRZHUVHULRXVO\KLQGHUVWKHSURVSHFWRIUHDOUDGLFDOFKDQJHDQGRQO\
ensures defeat.

Keywords
Greece, Hardt, Multitude, Negri, Syntagma

7KHQRWLRQRIWKH0XOWLWXGHDVDVRFLDOVXEMHFWXQLI\LQJWKRVHOLYLQJDQGZRUNLQJXQGHUFDSLWDOZKLFK
has the potential to become the bearer of social change in the globalized era of the 21st century, has been
TXLWHLQXHQWLDOLQDFDGHPLFDQGUDGLFDOFLUFOHVIRUWKHSDVWWHQ\HDUV$SSHDULQJDVSDUWRIDFKDLQLQDORQJ
SKLORVRSKLFDODQGSROLWLFDOWUDGLWLRQZKLFKKDVLWVURRWVLQ,WDOLDQDXWRQRPLVW0DU[LVPLWLVVXSSRVHGWR
NHHSWKHPRPHQWXPRIUDGLFDOWKHRU\DOLYHZKLOHDWWKHVDPHWLPHDYRLGLQJWKHGRJPDVRIWKHSDVWZKLFK
are considered outdated and pass. The aim of this paper is to examine these assumptions through the prism
RIWKHF\FOHRIVWUXJJOHVWKDWWKHZRUOGKDVH[SHULHQFHGRYHUWKHODVW\HDUV

From the large protests of the anti-globalization movement to the revolt in Greece in December 2008,
DQGIURP7DKULU6TXDUHWRWKH2FFXS\PRYHPHQWVLQWKHPHWURSROHLVRIWKHZHVWHUQZRUOGLWKDVEHHQ
DUJXHGE\YDULRXVVFKRODUVWKDWZKDWZHDUHREVHUYLQJLVWKHPDWHULDOL]DWLRQHYHQLQDQHPEU\RQLFIRUP
RIWKHUDGLFDOSRWHQWLDORIWKH0XOWLWXGH+RZHYHUZKDWVHHPVWREHPLVVLQJLVDSUDJPDWLFHYDOXDWLRQRI
WKHVHVWUXJJOHV:KDWFRQFOXVLRQVFDQEHGUDZQIURPVXFKDULFKH[SHULHQFH"$UHWKHVHPRYHPHQWVWREH
celebrated as an explosion of energy and resistance from the grassroots level, or should their lack of tan-
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ZLWKWKHWKHRUHWLFDOIUDPHZRUNVWKDWXQGHUSLQWKHP"
143 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

,ZLOOEHJLQP\DQDO\VLVE\SUHVHQWLQJDVKRUWUHYLHZRIWKHQRWLRQRIWKH0XOWLWXGHLWVKLVWRULFDOURRWV
DQGKRZLWKDVEHHQDUWLFXODWHGDQGSUHVHQWHGDVWKHUDGLFDOFRQFHSWSDUH[FHOOHQFH for the struggles of the
early 21stFHQWXU\7KHQLWVDSSOLFDWLRQZLOOEHWHVWHGLQWKHFDVHVWXG\RI*UHHFH7KHDQDO\VLVZLOOIRFXV
RQWKHF\FOHRIVWUXJJOHVRIWKHODVWWKUHH\HDUVLQ*UHHFHEHJLQQLQJZLWKWKHWXUEXOHQWGD\VZKLFKIRO-
ORZHGWKHSROLFHVKRRWLQJRIDVWXGHQWLQ'HFHPEHUDQGFRQWLQXLQJZLWKWKHPXOWLIDULRXVVWUXJJOHV
against the imposition of extreme-austerity measures by the International Monetary Fund, the European
8QLRQDQGWKH(XURSHDQ&HQWUDO%DQN RUWKHWURLNDDVLWKDVEHFRPHFRPPRQO\NQRZQ DQGWKH*UHHN
JRYHUQPHQWV0RUHHPSKDVLVZLOOEHJLYHQWRWKHSHDNRIWKLVVWUXJJOHZKLFKWRRNSODFHLQWKHVXPPHURI
ZLWKWKHPRYHPHQWRIWKH)UXVWUDWHGWKHHTXLYDOHQWRIWKH6SDQLVKLQGLJQDGRVDQGWKHEXLOGLQJ
RIDPRYHPHQWFHQWUHGLQWKHRFFXSLHG6\QWDJPD6TXDUH

,WZLOOEHVKRZQWKDWZKLOHWKHQRWLRQRIWKH0XOWLWXGHFDQEHDTXLWHXVHIXODQDO\WLFDOWRROIRUWKHXQGHU-
VWDQGLQJRIWKHPRGHUQWHFKQLFDOFRPSRVLWLRQRIODERXUDQGWRZDUGVGUDZLQJDPRGHUQPDSRIUHVLVWDQFH
QHWZRUNVLWLVDWOHDVWIRUWKHPRPHQWLQDGHTXDWHDVDEHDUHURIUDGLFDOVRFLRSROLWLFDOFKDQJH7KXVTXHV-
WLRQVDULVHDVWRZKHWKHUSROLWLFDOFRQFHSWVWKDWKDYHEHHQORQJGHFODUHGLQHIIHFWLYHRUHYHQXQZHOFRPH
such as the party or the political front, should be re-evaluated in light of the current capitalist crisis and the
LQDELOLW\RIWKHVRFLDOVWUDWDDIIHFWHGE\LWWREXLOGVXIFLHQWIRUPVRIUHVLVWDQFHDQGFRXQWHUDWWDFN

On the notion of the Multitude


Multitude as a class concept and as a political potentiality

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VOLJKWO\GLIIHUHQWFRQQRWDWLRQVIURPWKHPRUHQHJDWLYHO\FKDUJHGPREPDVVKRUGHRUSOHEV 'RX]LQDV
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LW\DUH$QWRQLR1HJULDQG0LFKDHO+DUGWZKRVHWULORJ\(PSLUH (2000), 0XOWLWXGH (2006) and &RPPRQZHDOWK
 KDYHEHHQDPRQJWKHPRVWLQXHQWLDOWKHRUHWLFDOUHIHUHQFHVLQPRGHUQUDGLFDOPRYHPHQWV7KLVSDSHU
ZLOOPDLQO\IRFXVRQKRZWKHQRWLRQRIWKH0XOWLWXGHLVFRQFHLYHGLQWKHZRUNRI+DUGWDQG1HJUL7KLVLVEH-
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having as the main characteristic that links its subjects the symbolic common code that language offers. Virno
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SURGXFWLRQ 9LUQR$XIKHEHQ 7KHVHUHDVRQVLQDGGLWLRQWRKLVVFHSWLFLVPUHJDUGLQJWKHYLDELOLW\
RIDQ\UHYROXWLRQDU\SROLWLFDOSURMHFWPDNH9LUQRVZRUNOHVVVXLWDEOHDVDVWDUWLQJSRLQWIURPZKLFKWRDVVHVV
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 0XOWLWXGHZLWKFDSLWDO0UHIHUVWRWKHSKLORVRSKLFDODQDO\WLFDOFRQFHSWDVRSSRVHGWRPXOWLWXGHUHIHUULQJWRWKHQRUPDOXVHRIWKHZRUG
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 144

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FRPSOHWLRQRIKLVWKHRUHWLFDODWWHPSWVWRJUDVSWKHHVVHQFHRIWKHQHZKHJHPRQLFVXEMHFWRIFDSLWDOLVWSUR-
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VWUXJJOHVRIWKHVDQGVZDVQRORQJHUWKHLQGXVWULDOSUROHWDULDWRUDV1HJULFDOOHGLWWKHPDVV
ZRUNHU$VFDSLWDOLVPZDVVWUHQJWKHQLQJLWVFRQWURORYHUDOODVSHFWVRIOLIHH[SDQGLQJWKHVSKHUHRISUR-
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With the intellectual companionship of Michael Hardt, over the last decade Negri has developed the
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WKH0XOWLWXGHPXVWEHUHDOL]HGLQFODVVWHUPV7KHGHQLWLRQRIWKH0XOWLWXGHFDQEHVWUDLJKWIRUZDUGO\XQ-
GHUVWRRGVLPSO\DVDOOWKRVHZKRZRUNXQGHUWKHUXOHRIFDSLWDODQGWKXVSRWHQWLDOO\DVWKHFODVVRIWKRVH
ZKRUHIXVHWKHUXOHRIFDSLWDO  7KH0XOWLWXGHJLYHVWKHFRQFHSWRIWKHSUROHWDULDWLWVIXOOHVWGHQLWLRQ
DVDOOWKRVHZKRODERXUDQGSURGXFHXQGHUWKHUXOHRIFDSLWDO +DUGWDQG1HJUL 7KXVWKH
0XOWLWXGHDVDFODVVFRQFHSWLVDEURDGHQHGQRWLRQRIWKHSUROHWDULDWWKDWVSHFLFDOO\UHODWHVWRWKHHUDRI
immaterial labour and biopolitical production.

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For them, labour has undergone an important transformation in the post-Fordist paradigm. The major char-
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WLYHVKLIWLQWKHSURGXFWLRQRILPPDWHULDOSURGXFWVVXFKDVYDOXHVFRPPXQLFDWLRQV\PEROVHPRWLRQVDQG
FRGHV +DUGWDQG1HJUL )RU+DUGWDQG1HJULRQHRI0DU[VJUHDWHVWDFKLHYH-
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compared to the peasants or the small craftsmanship, this class and its accompanying mode of production
ZRXOGEHFRPHWKHGRPLQDQWSDUDGLJPRIFDSLWDOLVP7KLVPHDQVWKDWDZKROHVHULHVRISLYRWDOFDSLWDOLVW
LQVWLWXWLRQVVXFKDVWKHVFKRROWKHSULVRQDQGWKHPLOLWDU\DV)RXFDXOWKDVVKRZQZRXOGEHRUJDQL]HGDQG
ZRXOGGLVFLSOLQHWKHLUVXEMHFWVXVLQJWKHPRGHORIWKHIDFWRU\,QGXVWU\ZRXOGLQRWKHUZRUGVWUDQVIRUP
VRFLHW\DFFRUGLQJWRLWVRZQLPDJH1RZDGD\VWKLVKHJHPRQLFUROHEHORQJVWRLPPDWHULDOODERXU7KHPDLQ
FKDUDFWHULVWLFVRIWKLVQHZPRGHODUHWKHIUDJPHQWDWLRQRISURGXFWLRQDQGWKHVLPXOWDQHRXVIUDJPHQWDWLRQ
RIZRUNLQJFODVVLGHQWLW\WKHFUXFLDOLPSRUWDQFHRIKRUL]RQWDOQHWZRUNVWKHH[LELOLW\DQGSUHFDULW\RI
ODERXUWKHLPSRUWDQFHRIFRPPXQLFDWLRQVDQGWKHEOXUULQJRIZKDWFRQVWLWXWHVODERXUDQGQRQODERXUWLPH
These very same characteristics seem to engulf social areas beyond the sphere of immaterial production,
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though that immaterial production is becoming the prevailing paradigm in the present stage of capitalism,
WUDQVIRUPLQJVRFLHW\DFFRUGLQJWRLWVRZQLQKHUHQWFKDUDFWHULVWLFV +DUGWDQG1HJUL 

%HVLGHVLPPDWHULDOODERXUZKDWLVUHDOO\LPSRUWDQWWRXQGHUVWDQGDERXWWKH0XOWLWXGHLVKRZLWLVHQ-
JDJHGLQWKHSURFHGXUHRIELRSROLWLFDOSURGXFWLRQ7RXQGHUVWDQGWKHDERYHWHUPRQHKDVWRWDNHDVWHS
EDFNDQGVHHKRZ)RXFDXOWGHVFULEHGWKHDELOLW\RIVWDWHDQGFDSLWDOWRGLVFLSOLQHWKHLUVXEMHFWVQRWRQO\
145 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

WKURXJKSK\VLFDOFRHUFLRQ DOWKRXJKWKLVHOHPHQWLVDOZD\VSUHVHQWRQO\WRRXULVKLQSHULRGVRIFULVLV EXW


DOVRWKURXJKELRSRZHU )RXFDXOW %LRSRZHULVWKHDELOLW\WRSROLFHRQHVRZQGHYHORSPHQWRIVHOI
WKHZD\KHWKLQNVDQGWKHZD\KHSURGXFHVKLVVRFLDOFKDUDFWHUDQGUHODWLRQV%LRSRZHULVLQRWKHUZRUGV
the ability of the state and capital to produce social life itself, besides controlling material production (Hardt
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penetrates every aspect of everyday life and transforms it according to its needs (Curcio and Franceschini,
2007). :HDUHKHUHGHDOLQJZLWKWKHUHDOVXEVXPSWLRQQRWRQO\RIODERXUEXWRIOLIHLWVHOIXQGHUFDSLWDO. The
IXQFWLRQRIELRSRZHULVVLPLODU7KURXJKELRSRZHUWKHUXOLQJHOLWHVRIVWDWHDQGFDSLWDORUWKH(PSLUHDV
+DUGWDQG1HJULKDYHSXWLWDUHWU\LQJWRVKDSHWKHLQGLYLGXDOWKH0XOWLWXGHDQGWKHZKROHZRUOGDFFRUG-
LQJWRWKHLURZQZLOO

+RZHYHUWKH0XOWLWXGHEHDUVLQLWVHOIWKHJHUPVRIUHVLVWDQFHWRELRSRZHU,WHPERGLHVDFRXQWHUEDO-
DQFLQJSRZHUQDPHO\WKHDELOLW\IRUELRSROLWLFDOSURGXFWLRQ7KURXJKLWVQHWZRUNVDQGWKURXJKLWVFRO-
laboration, the Multitude creates, besides commodities, forms of subjectivity and even social life itself.
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WKHLPSRVLWLRQRISRZHURYHUOLIH +DUGWDQG1HJUL ,PPDWHULDOODERXUSURGXFLQJQRQWDQJLEOH
SURGXFWVVXFKDVUHODWLRQVKLSVDQGFRGHVRIFRPPXQLFDWLRQFRXOGEHFKDUDFWHULVHGDVELRSROLWLFDOSURGXF-
tion at its purest.

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hards of Marxian sociology. Most importantly, for its advocates, it is also a political concept. It has to be
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according to Hardt and Negri, one preserves his individuality by participating in the biopolitical production
of the Multitude. Instead of a homogenous mass, the Multitude in its potential as a political actor is better
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1970s (see his Books for Burning, 2005), he and Hardt argue that since the form of the political subject
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union belong to the past. According to Hardt and Negri, in the era of the free and unmediated biopolitical
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LVQRWDEOHWRQGDMREDWDOO"

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WKHWUDGLWLRQVRIZRUNHULVPDQGDXWRQRPLVPLVVWLOODOLYHDQGNLFNLQJLQWKHQRWLRQRIWKH0XOWLWXGH$Q\
idea of representation is objected to, since ...it eclipses or homogenizes singularities in the construction
of identity, restricts the production of the common by undermining the necessary freedom and plurality
(Hardt and Negri, 2011a, p. 305). Accordingly, the Multitude is indifferent to the taking of the state, as its
PHFKDQLVPVFDQRQO\KLQGHUWKHIUHHRZRILWVELRSROLWLFDOSURGXFWLRQ7KXVZKLOHDIRUPRIFRPPXQLVP
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of capitalist domination have changed. Hardt and Negri claim that the direct extraction of surplus value,
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 146

although it still takes place2LVQRWWKHVROHVRXUFHRISURWIRUWKHFDSLWDO:KDWLVDOVRLPSRUWDQWLVWKHH[-


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appropriate the value of the product. The importance of this shift is enormous for Hardt and Negri. Since
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Theoretical problems with the concept of the Multitude

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is not a subject that is already existing. It is a procedure under never-ending realization. As the authors
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its demise or, moreover, create an alternative to capitalist rule. (...) We can bet on the rupture of the relation of capital
and build politically on the emerging autonomy of biopolitical labour. The open social relation presented by capital

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to be distinguished from non-labour time (Hardt and Negri, 2006:145)
147 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

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izing their actually existing perceptions of political action as extremely problematic. Having rejected the
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PRUHOLNHWKH3KDUDRKLQWKHERRNRI([RGXVLQWKH%LEOHZKRSXUVXHVDQH[RGXVDLJKW,WLVQRWDPDWWHURIDLJKW
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speak of exodus (2004).

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RIVXEWUDFWLRQIURPWKHUHODWLRQVKLSZLWKFDSLWDOE\PHDQVRIDFWXDOL]LQJWKHSRWHQWLDODXWRQRP\RIODERXU
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explanations of the exodus concept are far from persuading.

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PDQDJLQJWRHVFDSHFDSLWDOVUXOHOHDYLQJEHKLQGWKRVHZKRFDQQRWDIIRUGOLYLQJLQWKHPDUJLQVRIFDSLWDO"
This brings to mind the exhausted notion of the Temporary Autonomous Zone, popular in countercultural
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LQJ3RZHUWKH0HDQLQJRI5HYROXWLRQ7RGD\ (2005) and &UDFN&DSLWDOLVP (2010), argues that the radical
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FDSLWDODZD\)RU+ROORZD\WKHH[DPSOHRIDVTXDWRURIDQRFFXSLHGVTXDUHVLJQLHVFRPPXQLVPLQWKH
KHUHDQGQRZ,WLVDSSDUHQWKRZQDLYHVXFKDQDSSURDFKLV7KHJXOIEHWZHHQRFFXS\LQJDVTXDUHDQGWKH
FUHDWLRQRIDQHQWLUHDOWHUQDWLYHVRFLDOQHWZRUNLQFRUSRUDWLQJPLOOLRQVLVKXJH,QDGGLWLRQ+ROORZD\KDVQR
DQVZHURQZK\WKHVWDWHDQGFDSLWDOZRXOGHYHUDOORZWKHHYHQHYROXWLRQDU\ DVRSSRVHGWRUHYROXWLRQDU\ 
FUHDWLRQRIVXFKFRXQWHUVRFLDOLQVWLWXWLRQV$QGWKHUHDUHDOZD\VWKHELJTXHVWLRQVRIZKHWKHURUQRWWKHVH
SURMHFWVDFWXDOO\DLPWRFRPSOHWHO\RYHUWKURZWKHFDSLWDOUHODWLRQZLWKDOOLWVFKDUDFWHULVWLFVRUZKHWKHU
EHKLQGDIDQF\ZUDSSLQJWKHUHLVRQO\DQLPDJLQHGFDSLWDOLVPZLWKDPRUHKXPDQIDFH

Besides the problematic detachment of the Multitude to any practical political project, criticisms of
+DUGWDQG1HJULJRIXUWKHUWRPRUHWKHRUHWLFDODVSHFWV+RZPXFKLVLPPDWHULDOODERXUZLWKDOOWKHFKDU-
DFWHULVWLFVDWWULEXWHGWRLWDFWXDOO\GRPLQDQWLQUHDOOLIH"7UXHVRPHRQHZRUNLQJLQDXQLYHUVLW\RUDODZ\HU
PLJKWH[SHULHQFHWKHORVVRIGLVWLQFWLRQEHWZHHQODERXUDQGQRQODERXUWLPHRUKDVLQGHHGDFHUWDLQGHJUHH
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 148

RIDXWRQRP\LQKLVELRSROLWLFDOSURGXFWLRQZKLFKLVRQO\ODWHUKLMDFNHGE\FDSLWDO%XWZKDWDERXWYDULRXV
RWKHUPHPEHUVRIWKHZRUNLQJFODVVVXFKDVWKHSUHFDULRXVZRUNHUVLQFDOOFHQWUHV" $XIKHEHQ ",Q-
GHHGWKHSURGXFWRIWKHLUODERXULVLPPDWHULDOEXWEHVLGHVWKHREYLRXVTXDQWLWDWLYHVKLIW DUDSLGULVHLQWKH
FUHDWLRQRILPPDWHULDOSURGXFWV LVWKHUHDQ\UHDOTXDOLWDWLYHSDUDGLJPVKLIW",WKDVWREHDGGHGWKRXJK
WKDW+DUGWDQG1HJULKDYHPDGHH[SOLFLWWKURXJKRXWWKHLUZRUNWKDWWKH\DUHGHVFULELQJPRUHRIDWHQGHQF\
and a procedure, rather than a settled reality.

In addition, it appears that Hardt and Negri are overly optimistic in their analysis. By considering the
WUDQVLWLRQIURP)RUGLVPWRSRVW)RUGLVPDYHULFDWLRQRIZRUNLQJFODVVYLFWRU\LQWKHFODVVVWUXJJOHVGXU-
LQJWKHSUHYLRXVFDSLWDOVF\FOHRIDFFXPXODWLRQWKH\DUHKLQWLQJDWDSRVVLEOHYLFWRU\DOVRLQWKHSUHVHQW
WLPHZKHUHWKHVRFLDOL]DWLRQRIODERXULVXQSUHFHGHQWHGZLWKRXWKRZHYHUIXUWKHUH[SODLQLQJKRZVXFK
DQRXWFRPHZRXOGEHFRPHSRVVLEOH6RWLULV  LVULJKWWRSRLQWRXWKRZWKHWZRWKLQNHUVRPLWWKHGDUN
VLGHRIWKLVUHDOLW\WKDWLVKRZWKHSUROHWDULDWLVQRZPRUHXLGPRUHLVRODWHGZLWKRXWDVHQVHRILGHQWLW\
DQGLQDSHULRGRIFULVLVVWUXJJOLQJIRULWVPDWHULDOVXUYLYDO,QDGGLWLRQ6RWLULVVD\VWKHGRZQJUDGLQJRI
WKHSROLWLFDOXQGHUWKHHFRQRPLFDQGSURGXFWLYHSURFHVVFRPELQHGZLWKDQDEVWUDFWGHVFULSWLRQRIWKH0XO-
titude, detached from any national or cultural reality, actually distances even further the prospects of any
radical rupture in the body of capital (Sotiris, 2005).

/DVWEXWQRWOHDVW+DUGWVDQG1HJULVRYHURSWLPLVPLVHYLGHQWLQWKHLUFODLPWKDWFDSLWDOQHHGVWKHWRWDO-
LW\RI0XOWLWXGHDVSURGXFHUVDQGDVFRQVXPHUV  +RZHYHUWKLVVHHPVWREHHYLGHQWO\IDUIURP
true. Due to many factors, ranging from structural tendencies such as the organic composition of capital to
WKHGHFOLQHLQWKHZHOIDUHVWDWHDQGWKHUDSLGERRVWLQFDSLWDOVQDQFLDOL]DWLRQZHH[SHULHQFHJOREDOO\WKH
FUHDWLRQRIDVXUSOXVSRSXODWLRQWKDWLVRIOLWWOHXVHWRWKHFDSLWDODVLWQHHGVOHVVZRUNHUVDQGDOVRZRUNLQJ
FODVVFRQVXPSWLRQLVDFWXDOO\UDWKHUOLPLWHGDVDVRXUFHIRUFDSLWDOVSURWPDNLQJ %ODXPDFKHQD 

7RVXPXSIHZFDQGHQ\WKDW+DUGWDQG1HJULVQRWLRQRIWKH0XOWLWXGHDVZHOODVWKHLUDQDO\VLVLQJHQ-
HUDOKDVKDGDUHYLWDOLVLQJHIIHFWRQUDGLFDOWKRXJKWHVSHFLDOO\LQDSHULRGRIUHODWLYHWKHRUHWLFDOGURXJKW
DWWKHWXUQRIWKHPLOOHQQLXP'UDZLQJLQVSLUDWLRQIURP1HJULV0DU[LDQEDFNJURXQGWKH\DWWHPSWHGDKR-
listic systemic analysis based on historic trends. The Multitude as a class notion is an attempt to understand
WKHFXUUHQWFRPSRVLWLRQRIODERXUDQGDOVRWKHFXUUHQWVWDJHRIFDSLWDOVF\FOHRIDFFXPXODWLRQUXQQLQJ
IURPWKHVXQWLOSUHVHQW+RZHYHUTXHVWLRQVDUHUDLVHGDVWRKRZDFFXUDWHWKH0XOWLWXGHDVDFODVV
GHVFULSWLRQFDQEHZKHQLWFRXOGLQFOXGHHYHU\RQHIURPDVDQVSDSLHUV and an immigrant proletarian, to a
ORZUDQNPDQDJHULQDPXOWLQDWLRQDOFRUSRUDWLRQDVORQJDVWKHODWWHUDOVROLYHVDQGZRUNVXQGHUWKHUXOH
RIFDSLWDOFUHDWLQJGLUHFWO\RULQGLUHFWO\VXUSOXVYDOXH6LWXDWLRQEHFRPHVHYHQPRUHSUREOHPDWLFZKHQ
the Multitude turns from a class concept into a political subject. But if things are unclear at the theoretical
level, then perhaps the historical experience of the present cycle of struggles on the eve of and during the
FDSLWDOLVWFULVLVFRXOGVKHGOLJKWRQWKH0XOWLWXGHVSRWHQWLDODVDQDXWRQRPRXVVXEMHFWDQGDVWKHSRWHQWLDO
bearer of post-capitalist emancipation.

The case of Greece: the cycle of struggles around the capitalist crisis

7KH REMHFW RI WKLV FKDSWHU LV QRW WR SUHVHQW D KLVWRULFDO RYHUYLHZ RI WKH FXUUHQW FLUFOHV RI VWUXJJOHV
LQ*UHHFH,QVWHDGLWVHHNVWRSUHVHQWDFDVHVWXG\RIKRZWKHQRWLRQRIWKH0XOWLWXGHFDQEHDSSOLHGWR
struggles at the centre of the current crisis of capitalism. Greece is very useful as a case study for a number
of reasons.
149 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

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at the forefront, in 2010 the social-democratic government of PASOK has asked for the intervention of
WKH,0)WKH(8DQGWKH(&% WKHWURLND 7KHWURLNDVXEVHTXHQWO\SURYLGHGPDVVLYHORDQVWRWKH*UHHN
government, mainly for the repayment of older loans, and demanded the imposition of strict economic
measures, high taxation, severe cuts and general deregulation that threatens to seriously change the class
composition of Greece, that has for the last decades been a nation of an enlarged petite bourgeoisie, mainly
occupied in the service sector.

In addition, Greece has a long tradition of radical and contentious politics. From the communist-led
resistance in the Second World War to the student uprising in 1973 against the military dictatorship and
WKHSUHVHQFHRIWKHODUJHVWRUWKRGR[&RPPXQLVW3DUW\DQGDQDUFKLVWPLOLHXLQ(XURSHLQWKHODVWGHFDGHV
*UHHFHLVFRQVLGHUHGRQHRIWKHODVWSODFHVZKHUHUDGLFDOSROLWLFVDQGJUDQGQDUUDWLYHVRIVRFLDOWUDQVIRUPD-
tion are still on the agenda. As Kouvelakis (2011) has pointed out, revolting is deeply part of the Greek
national psyche.

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WRGD\VUDGLFDOPRYHPHQWVLVKRZSRO\PRUSKRXVWKHVWUXJJOHKDVEHHQWKHUHZLWKDULFKUHSHUWRLUHRIDF-
WLRQDQGWKHDSSOLFDWLRQRIDOPRVWDOOSRVVLEOHPHDQV6LQFHZKHQWKHQDQFLDOUHFHVVLRQEHJDQWR
PDWHULDOL]HWRWKHSUHVHQWZKHQLWLVDWWKHFHQWUHRIDPDVVLYHVRFLRHFRQRPLFFULVLV*UHHFHKDVH[SHUL-
HQFHGDKXJHDQGVXFFHVVIXOVWXGHQWPRYHPHQWRSSRVLQJDUHIRUPDWLRQLQKLJKHUHGXFDWLRQWKUHHZHHNV
of riots in December 2008 (considered by some commentators as a revolt), more than 20 general strikes,
some accompanied by major violence and even the death of a protester in one case (October 2011), the
UHDSSHDUDQFHRIXUEDQJXHUULOODJURXSVYLROHQW1,0%<ORFDOVWUXJJOHVDQGDPXOWLIRUPPRYHPHQWDJDLQVW
WKHWURLNDDQGWKHJRYHUQPHQWLPSRVHGDXVWHULW\KDYLQJDVLWVFHQWUHWKHRFFXSDWLRQRI6\QWDJPD6TXDUH
)URPWKLVULFKUHSHUWRLUH,ZLOOIRFXVRQ'HFHPEHUUHYROWDQGWKHPRYHPHQWRIWKH*UHHN)UXVWUDWHG
DURXQG6\QWDJPD6TXDUHLQWKHVXPPHURI7KHUHDVRQLVWKDWWKHVHWZRSKHQRPHQDVHHPWRFRPSO\
PRUHZLWKWKHFKDUDFWHULVWLFVRIWKHSROLWLFDODFWLRQWKDWWKH0XOWLWXGHLVDEOHWRXQGHUWDNH,WZLOOEHVKRZQ
WKDWWKHWKHRUHWLFDOOLPLWVRIWKH0XOWLWXGHVHHPWRFRUUHODWHWRWKHOLPLWVRIWKHVWUXJJOHVZKLFKKDYHWDNHQ
its characteristic form.

The days and nights of Alexis

The December 2008 uprising started on the evening of December 6thZKHQD\HDUROGVWXGHQW$OH[LV


*ULJRURSRXORVZDVVKRWE\DSROLFH6SHFLDO*XDUGZLWKRXWDQ\HYLGHQWUHDVRQLQWKHOLEHUWDULDQFRXQWHU-
FXOWXUDOVWURQJKROGRI([KDUKLDLQWKHFHQWUHRI$WKHQV:LWKLQKRXUVRIWKHVKRRWLQJWKHQHZVVSUHDGYLD
,QWHUQHWDQGPRELOHSKRQHVDQGWKHUVWVSRQWDQHRXVSURWHVWVEURNHRXWLQ$WKHQVDQGRWKHU*UHHNFLWLHV
3HRSOHZKRKDGEHHQHQMR\LQJWKHLU6DWXUGD\QLJKWGULQNLQWKHFHQWUHRIWRZQWRRNWRWKHVWUHHWVLQDQJHU
2Q6XQGD\DSURWHVWDWWKHSROLFHKHDGTXDUWHUVHQGHGLQULRWLQJDQGVKRSVVPDVKLQJWKDWODVWHGIRUKRXUV
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WKURXJKRXWWKHFRXQWU\2FFXSDWLRQVWRRNSODFHDVZHOOLQXQLYHUVLWLHVSXEOLFEXLOGLQJVVXFKDVWRZQKDOOV
DQGWKHWUDGHXQLRQFRQIHGHUDWLRQVKHDGTXDUWHUV7KHUHZHUHLQWHUUXSWLRQVLQPDQ\WKHDWULFDOSOD\VZKHUH
VWXGHQWVLQWHUYHQHGDQGDVNHGIRUVROLGDULW\LQWKHLUXSULVLQJ3URWHVWHUVHYHQLQWHUUXSWHGWKH79QHZVE\
HQWHULQJWKHVWXGLRRIWKH*UHHNSXEOLFWHOHYLVLRQVWDWLRQ$JLDQWEDQQHUZDVKXQJRYHUWKH3DUWKHQRQGLV-
SOD\LQJWKHZRUGUHVLVWDQFHLQVHYHUDOODQJXDJHV
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 150

7KHLQWHUQDWLRQDOLPSDFWRIWKHXSULVLQJUHDFKHGHYHQWKH&KLDSDVPRXQWDLQVLQ0H[LFRZKHUH=D-
SDWLVWDVLFRQLFJXUH6XEFRPPDQGDQWH0DUFRVJDYHDVROLGDULW\PHVVDJHLQ*UHHN&ORVHUWR*UHHFHLQ
France, President Sarkozy postponed his scheduled reform of the education system, fearing that the Greek
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RIWKH*UHHNUHEHOOLRQZLWKDVLJQLFDQWDUWLFOHHQWLWOHG:HDUHDOO*UHHNV+RZHYHUDVWKHGD\VSDVVHG
WKHUHWXUQWRQRUPDOLW\ZDVPRUHDQGPRUHLUUHYHUVLEOH$IWHUWKUHHZHHNVWKHUHZHUHIHZUHPLQGHUVOHIWRI
WKHWXUEXOHQWGD\VDQGQLJKWVRI$OH[LVDVWKHHYHQWVZHUHSRSXODUO\UHIHUUHGWRWKHUHDIWHU

'HFHPEHU ZDV D FKDUDFWHULVWLF PRPHQW RI ZKDW WKH UHVLVWDQFH RI D WKUHDWHQHG DQG GHVSHUDWH SDUW RI
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SXEOLFVFHQHRFFXUUHGRQH\HDUHDUOLHULQWKHVXPPHURI)ROORZLQJDKXJHHQYLURQPHQWDODQGVRFLDO
FDWDVWURSKHWKDWWRRNWKHIRUPRIZLGHVSUHDGUHVVZHHSLQJDFURVV*UHHFHZKLFKFRVWWKHOLYHVRIPRUH
WKDQSHRSOHEORJJHUVDQGRWKHUSDUWVRIFLYLOVRFLHW\VXFKDV1*2VFDOOHGIRUDQGRUJDQL]HGJDWKHU-
ings in the centre of Athens (Kioupkiolis, 2011:55-60). There, a multitude in the traditional sense of the
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FDODQGIRUEDGHDQ\WKLQJRWKHUWKDQGHFODUDWLRQVRIVHQWLPHQW+RZHYHU,FODLPWKDWWKHPHUHIDFWWKDWD
JURXSRISHRSOHLVJDWKHUHGLQDSODFHZLWKRXWPHGLDWLRQE\WUDGLWLRQDODFWRUVOLNHDSROLWLFDOSDUW\GRHVQRW
FRQVWLWXWHDQDSSHDUDQFHRIWKH0XOWLWXGHLQ+DUGWDQG1HJULVVHQVHDVHOHPHQWVO\LQJLQWKHFRUHRIWKHLU
QRWLRQVXFKDVWKHFODVVGLPHQVLRQDQGWKHFUHDWLYHSURFHGXUHVRIELRSROLWLFDOSURGXFWLRQZHUHPLVVLQJ

%XWZK\FRXOGWKH'HFHPEHUUHYROWEHFRQVLGHUHGDQDSSHDUDQFHRI DWOHDVWSDUWVRI WKH0XOWLWXGHLQ


WKHFHQWUDOVFHQH"7KHUVWHOHPHQWKDVWRGRZLWKWKHFODVVIRUPDWLRQRIWKRVHSDUWLFLSDWLQJLQWKHHYHQWV
7KHSURWDJRQLVWRI'HFHPEHUZHUHWKRVHDWWKHIRUHIURQWRIWKHQHZIRUPRISUROHWDULDWWKRVHZKRDUHWKH
ZHDNOLQNRIWKH0XOWLWXGHEXWZKRDUHIRUWKHVDPHUHDVRQDOVRLWVKHDY\DUWLOOHU\\RXQJSUHFDULRXV
ZRUNHUVDQGWKHXQHPSOR\HG\RXQJLPPLJUDQWVVWXGHQWVDQGRQO\DPDUJLQDOSDUWRIWKHWUDGLWLRQDOZRUN-
LQJFODVV%\LWVDFWLRQWKLVPRWOH\FUHZKDVFKDOOHQJHGELRSRZHULQDOOLWVIRUPVWKHFRPPRGLW\ ORRWLQJ
and attacks on shops in the centre of Athens), the state (the police as an obvious target) and capital in gen-
eral (various arsons of banks) (Blaumachen, 2009).

$OWKRXJKWKHQDQFLDOFULVLVZDVQRWVWLOOLQLWVIXOOH[SUHVVLRQWKHVHSDUWVRIWKHZLGHQHGSUROHWDULDWKDG
DOUHDG\VHQVHGLW<RXQJVWXGHQWVDQGSUHFDULRXVZRUNHUVFRXOGVHQVHWKDWWKHUHZDVQRWPXFKIXWXUHIRU
WKHPLQDFDSLWDOLVPIDFLQJDKXJHFULVLVDQGUHFRQVWLWXWLQJLWVHOILQVXFKDZD\DVWRPDNHWKHSUROHWDULDWV
RZQUHSURGXFWLRQPRUHDQGPRUHGLIFXOW3HUKDSVWKLVLVDUHDVRQZK\PRUHWUDGLWLRQDOSDUWVRIWKHZRUN-
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WKLQJVWRORVHDVRSSRVHGWRWKHZLOGSUROHWDULDQVZKRKDGOLWWOHRUQRWKLQJWRORVH$OOWKHDERYHH[SODLQWKH
almost complete lack of demands in the December revolt. The Multitude does not have many expectations
IURPDVWDWHZKRVHUROHLVEHFRPLQJPRUHDQGPRUHSXUHO\VXSSUHVVLYH'HFHPEHUPDLQO\GHQLHGDOVRWKH
notion of political mediation. Groups and parties of the Left played only a peripheral role in trying to give
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from the events, considering them degenerative.

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FKLVWLFQDWXUHDQGWKHIDFWWKDWLWZDVEDVHGPDLQO\LQWKHDFWLRQVRIVPDOOJURXSV7KHVHJURXSVKRZHYHU
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151 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

Hardt and Negri have introduced in explaining the combative marching of the Multitude. Douzinas also
HPSKDVL]HVKRZWKH0XOWLWXGHLQ'HFHPEHURUJDQL]HGLWVRZQWHPSRUDOGLPHQVLRQLQDQDSRWKHRVLVRILWV
FDSDFLW\IRUELRSROLWLFDOSURGXFWLRQ  'HFHPEHUZDVQRORQJHUDERXWSUHSDUDWLRQVIRU&KULVW-
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ZDVFHOHEUDWHG+HQFHRQHRIWKHPRVWSRSXODUVORJDQVRIWKHVHGD\VSURFODLPHG&KULVWPDVLVSRVWSRQHG
ZHDUHRQUHYROW7KHDUVRQRIWKH&KULVWPDVWUHHLQWKHFHQWUHRI$WKHQVEHFDPHWKHPRVWIDPRXVLPDJH
RIWKH'HFHPEHUXSULVLQJGHFODULQJKRZWKH0XOWLWXGHLVVHWWLQJLWVRZQV\PEROVDQGUXOHV

'HVSLWHLWVLPDJLQDWLRQDQGGHWHUPLQDWLRQKRZHYHUWKHSROLWLFDODFWLYLW\RIWKH0XOWLWXGHLVFRQFHUQHG
SUREOHPDWLFDWERWKWKHSUDFWLFDODQGWKHRUHWLFDOOHYHOV%HVLGHVWKHIUHQ]LHGSDVVLRQRIWKHVHGD\VZKDW
GLG'HFHPEHUOHDYHEHKLQG":DVWKHVLWXDWLRQDQ\EHWWHULQWKHPRUQLQJDIWHUDV=L]HNOLNHVWRUHIHUWR
the situation concerning the imaginary explosion of freedom in sublime enthusiasm, the magic moment of
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WREHSHUIRUPHGLIWKLVHQWKXVLDVWLFH[SORVLRQLVWROHDYHLWVWUDFHVLQWKHLQHUWLDRIWKHVRFLDOHGLFHLWVHOI
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KRZHYHULW\HWVHHPVFRPSOHWHO\LQFDSDEOHRIWUDQVIRUPLQJWKHVHVLWXDWLRQVLQWRDFWXDOSUDFWLFDOJDLQV

The Multitude meets in Syntagma Square

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RI1RUWK$IULFDQFRXQWULHVZKHUH(J\SWV7DKULU6TXDUHEHFDPHDV\PERORIUHVLVWDQFHDQGRISRSXODU
GHWHUPLQDWLRQ7KHEDWRQZDVSDVVHGWR6SDLQZKHUHWKH,QGLJQDGRVLQ3XHUWDGHO6ROVTXDUHRI0DGULG
FDPSHGIRUZHHNVZLWKXQFOHDUGHPDQGVEXWZLWKDGHWHUPLQDWLRQWRH[SUHVVFODLPVIRUDFKDQJHWRZDUGV
D PRUH VXEVWDQWLDO GHPRFUDF\:LWK *UHHFH H[SHULHQFLQJ DQ XQSUHFHGHQWHG QDQFLDO UHFHVVLRQ DQG WKH
LPSRVLWLRQRIWKHKDUVKHVWDXVWHULW\PHDVXUHVHYHUVHHQLQD:HVWHUQFRXQWU\LQRYHUKDOIDFHQWXU\LWZDVD
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times taking the form of small-scale guerrilla battles, of the citizens of the village of Keratea for months
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to circulate in social media and the blogosphere that one of the placards of the Spaniards in Puerta del Sol
PHQWLRQHGVKKEHTXLHWZHPLJKWZDNHXSWKH*UHHNV7KLVSODFDUGZDVSURYHQQHYHUWRKDYHH[LVWHG
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opposite from the Greek Parliament, for the 25thRI0D\7KHHVWLPDWHGSHRSOHZKRJDWKHUHGWKDW
HYHQLQJDW6\QWDJPDZDVMXVWWKHEHJLQQLQJRIDPRYHPHQWWKDWZRXOGODVWIRUPRUHWKDQWZRPRQWKVSRV-
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 152

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the movement.3$VDUHVXOWLWVFODVVFRPSRVLWLRQZDVDOVRZLGHZKLFKSURGXFHGDODUJHDPRXQWRIWHQVLRQ
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in a situation of imminent proletarization. It is not a coincidence that many direct-action struggles in Greece
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damaging ticket control devices on the Athens tube. As the theoretical journal %ODXPDFKHQ mentioned in
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dominant role attributed to it for the last several decades (Blaumachen, 2011b). Class diversity had also a
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national sovereignty (the imposition of an unelected banker as Prime Minister in late 2011 being only the
symbolic completion). The procedure has been so holistic, grasping all aspects of social, economic and even
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153 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

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tude and a demos, in the old Athenian sense, but not because different people in the apolitical upper or in
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by their interactions (idem: 221).

It is true that the Multitude in Syntagma not only managed to produce a turbulent socio-political situ-
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a government, leading even to the resignation of the then Prime Minister Papandreou on the 26th of June,
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becoming the sites for the revival of the ancient demos, the gathering of the citizens in the open assemblies
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 154

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strike of the 15thRI-XQHOHIWSDUWLHVDQGWUDGHXQLRQVPHWWKH)UXVWUDWHGLQWKHVTXDUHDQGIDFHGDZLOG
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Genoa in 2001) that ended in more than 500 injured people, attacks on the ad hoc medical centres of the
protesters and the hunting of protesters by policemen on motorcycles in all the neighbourhoods surround-
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the Multitude is capable of producing inspiring events, to give determinate struggles and to make its pres-
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pillars of capital.

The resistance by the Greek people to the harsh austerity measures decomposing the Greek society has
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spontaneous rage and their attempt at grassroots organization, at the level of civil disobedience movements
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155 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

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political narrative, besides verbalisms for direct democracy and a full political catharsis. This should give
rise to much critical thought and re-evaluation of existing practices.

Some general conclusions from the global present cycle of struggles


The historic momentum and the capitalist crisis has created an almost global unrest that is on the one
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although different in character, massiveness and importance, from Egypt to Syria and from Greece to the
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Ali and Mubarak in Tunisia and Egypt, threaten the rule of Assad in Syria and put pressure on the Greek
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ELRSROLWLFDOSURGXFWLRQDQGWKHVSRQWDQHLW\RIWKH0XOWLWXGHZDVQRWSURYHQHQRXJKIRUSUHYHQWLQJGLIIHU-
HQWJRYHUQPHQWVHTXDOO\LIQRWPRUHKRVWLOHWRSHRSOHVLQWHUHVWVIURPULVLQJWRSRZHU7KH0XOWLWXGHDW
WKHPRPHQWVHHPVWRRZHDNWRHVWDEOLVKLWVYLFWRULHVOHWDORQHEULQJDSURVSHFWRIDVRFLRSROLWLFDOFKDQJH
beyond capitalism. 7KLVPDNHVFOHDUWKHQHHGIRUDSROLWLFDOVXEMHFWWKDWZLOOPDWHULDOL]HDQGHVWDEOLVKDWD
SROLWLFDOOHYHOWKHYLFWRULHVWKDWWKH0XOWLWXGHDFKLHYHVLQWKHVWUHHWV.

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setting of such a socio-political alliance. Needless to say, the Left can and should play a hegemonic role in
this procedure.

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by a progressive and in a socialist direction government, as in cases of Venezuela and Bolivia (Douzinas,
 ,IWKH0XOWLWXGHH[SUHVVHVDSXUHQHJDWLRQZLWKLWVSUHVHQFHLQWKHVWUHHWVDQGVTXDUHVRIWKH
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coming its limits and dialectically producing an unprecedented potential for radical social change.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 156

Epilogue
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WLRQDJDLQVWFDSLWDO$QRWKHUUHDGLQJKRZHYHUZRXOGFRQVLGHU0XOWLWXGHVXFKDORRVHWHUPWKDWLWFDQQRW
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RQO\GLJVLWVRZQJUDYHDQGXQGHUPLQHVLWVSRWHQWLDOIRUDPDWHULDOL]DWLRQRILWVPDVVVFDOHVXEYHUVLYHDF-
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IURQWFDQRQO\EHDQVZHUHGLQSUDFWLFHDQGWKURXJKWKHKLVWRULFH[SHULHQFHRIWKHVWUXJJOHVWRFRPHKRZ-
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to be. We could argue that their attempt for a theoretical and practical guide for the struggles of the 21st
FHQWXU\LVDOVR\HWWREHDQGQHHGVPRUHDQGGLIFXOWWKHRUHWLFDOZRUNOLQNHGZLWKUDGLFDOSROLWLFDODFWLY-
ity. Because as it currently stands, Zizek is right to point out that the limits of the concept of the Multitude
seem also to be the limits of existing radical movements (Zizek, 2005).

Abbreviations
ECB: European Central Bank
EU: European Union
IMF: International Monetary Fund
1,0%< not in my backyard (commonly referred to local protests against the imposition of an unpleasant project)

References
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KWWSOLEFRPRUJOLEUDU\ODQJXDJHUHWUHDWUHYLHZYLUQRVJUDPPDUPXOWLWXGHIRRWQRWHBSEPTSR>DFFHVVHGDW
Bey, H.: 2004, T.A.Z.: The Temporal Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Second Edition, Autonomedia
%ODXPDFKHQ'HFHPEHU*UHHFHDQ$WWHPSWWR'HWHFWWKH3RZHUDQGWKH/LPLWVRIRXU6WUXJJOH
KWWSZZZEODXPDFKHQJUGHFHPEHUJUHHFHDQDWWHPSWWRGHWHFWWKHSRZHUDQGWKHOLPLWVRIRXUVWUXJJOH
>DFFHVVHGDW@
%ODXPDFKHQD 7KH(UDRI5LRWV 6XPPHU$WKHQV
%ODXPDFKHQE7KH,QGLJQDGRV0RYHPHQWLQ*UHHFH
KWWSZZZEODXPDFKHQJUWKH(LQGLJQDGRV(PRYHPHQWLQJUHHFH>DFFHVVHGDW@
&XU]LR5DQG)UDQFHVFKLQL$ 'URSVRI6XQLQWKH&XUVHG&LW\ (SDQLNLRSLLVL
Publications, Athens
157 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

'RX]LQDV& 5HVLVWDQFHDQG3KLORVRSK\GXULQJWKH&ULVLV
Politics, Ethics and Syntagma Stop),Alexandreia Publications, Athens
)RXFDXOW03RZHU(VVHQWLDOZRUNVRI)RXFDXOW9ROXPH3HQJXLQ%RRNV
)UDQW]LV3 :HWKH3HRSOH  $ULVWHUR9LPD KWWSDULVWHURYLPDJUEORJSKS"LG 
>DFFHVVHGDW
Hardt, M. and Negri, T.: 2000, Empire, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England: Harvard University Press
Hardt, M. and Negri, A.: 2006, Multitude, Penguin Books
+DUGW0DQG1HJUL$D&RPPRQZHDOWK&DPEULGJH0DVVDFKXVHWWV/RQGRQ(QJODQG7KH%HONQDS3UHVVRI+DUYDUG8QLYHUVLW\
Press
Hardt,M. and Negri, A.: 2011b, The Fight for real Democracy at the Heart of Occupy Wall Street, Foreign Affairs,
KWWSZZZIRUHLJQDIIDLUVFRPDUWLFOHVPLFKDHOKDUGWDQGDQWRQLRQHJULWKHJKWIRUUHDOGHPRFUDF\DWWKHKHDUWRIRFFXS\
ZDOOVWUHHW"SDJH VKRZ>DFFHVVHGDW
+ROORZD\-&KDQJHWKH:RUOG:LWKRXW7DNLQJ3RZHUWKH0HDQLQJRI5HYROXWLRQ7RGD\1HZ(GLWLRQ/RQGRQ$QQ$UERU0,
Pluto Press
+ROORZD\-&UDFN&DSLWDOLVP3OXWR3UHVV
.LRXSNLROLV$ 3ROLWLFV
of Freedom: Militant Democracy, Post-Anarchist Utopias and the Rising of the Multitude), Ekkremes Publications, Athens
.RXYHODNLV6 6L[3RLQWVRQWKH5HYROW -XQH 'URPRVWLV$ULVWHUDV 
QHZVSDSHU$WKHQV
1HJUL$0XOWLWXGHRU:RUNLQJ&ODVV"VSHHFKRQWKH6RFLDO)RUXPRI3DULV
KWWSOLEFRPRUJOLEUDU\PXOWLWXGHRUZRUNLQJFODVVDQWRQLRQHJUL>DFFHVVHGDW@
1HJUL$%RRNVIRU%XUQLQJ%HWZHHQ&LYLO:DUDQG'HPRFUDF\LQV,WDO\9HUVR/RQGRQ1HZ<RUN
1HJUL$ )URP0DVV:RUNHUWR6RFLDO:RUNHU (QDOODNWLNHV(NGRVHLV$WKHQV
Negri, A.: 2009, Goodbye Mr Socialism, Eleftheriaki Koultoura Publications, Athens
6RWLULV31HJUL+DUGW &RQWUDGLFWLRQVRID
GHPRFUDWLF8WRSLD1RWHVRQ1HJULVDQG+DUGWV0XOWLWXGH 7KHVHLV0DJD]LQH9ROXPH$SULO-XQH
KWWSZZZWKHVHLVFRPLQGH[SKS"RSWLRQ FRPBFRQWHQWDQGWDVN YLHZDQGLG DQG,WHPLG >DFFHVVHGDW@
Virno, P.: 2004, A grammar of the Multitude, Semiotexte
=L]HN65HYROXWLRQDWWKH*DWHV6HOHFWHG:ULWLQJVRI/HQLQIURP9HUVR/RQGRQ1HZ<RUN
Zizek, S.: 2005, Objet a as Inherent Limit to Capitalism: On Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri,
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=L]HN6D,Q'HIHQVHRI/RVW&DXVHV9HUVR/RQGRQ1HZ<RUN
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<RUNSS
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 158

Occupy: A New New Social Movement

LAUREN LANGMAN
Department of Sociology, Loyola University

Introduction
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:DOO6WUHHW"6XUHO\WKHUHDUHPDQ\IDFWRUVVWDUWLQJRIFRXUVHZLWKWKHPXOWLSOHVWUXFWXUDOFULVHVRIQHROLE-
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EXWFRUHFRQVWLWXHQFLHVRI\RXQJFROOHJHHGXFDWHGW\SLFDOO\XQGHUHPSOR\HGXQHPSOR\HG\RXWKZKRZLWK
computer access and savvy, have acted as catalysts igniting but not really leading protests and mobili-
]DWLRQV7KH\RXWKZKRUVWPRELOL]HGDUWLFXODWHGZLGHVSUHDGJULHYDQFHVDQGVRRQDWWUDFWHGPDQ\RWKHU
JURXSVFODVVHVDQGDJHFRKRUWV%XWWKLVPXFKLVFOHDUWRPRVWSHRSOHZKRDUHH[SHULHQFLQJWKHFRQVH-
TXHQFHVRIWKHDGYHUVHFRQVHTXHQFHVRIQHROLEHUDOLVPRYHUWKHSDVWIHZGHFDGHVWKHPHOWGRZQDQG
VXEVHTXHQWJOREDOVOXPS0F1DOO\  

0DQ\REVHUYHUVDQGMRXUQDOLVWVKDYHVDLGDVPXFKLQGHHGPDQ\DVNZKDWWRRNVRORQJIRUSHRSOHWR
protest given the combination of declining mobility and greater disparities of rich and poor, governments
WKDWDUHLQGLIIHUHQWDWEHVWGXSOLFLWRXVDWZRUVWDQGFORVHGWRSRSXODUFRQFHUQVRUSUHVVXUHV)RUWKHVRFLDO
VFLHQWLVWKRZHYHUWKHTXHVWLRQVRIZKRKRZDQGZK\PRELOL]DWLRQVRFFXUDUHQRWVRVLPSOHWKHUHDUHVSH-
FLFSUREOHPDWLFVRIPHGLDWLRQEHWZHHQVWUXFWXUHVWUXFWXUDOFRQGLWLRQVDQGLQGLYLGXDORUFROOHFWLYHDJHQF\
,QWKHHVVD\WRIROORZ,ZRXOGOLNHWRDUJXHWKDWWKHVHQHZVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVZKLOHFOHDUO\SUHFLSLWDWHG
E\VSHFLFLVVXHVVXFKDVMREVRSSRUWXQLW\EORFNHGPRELOLW\SULYDWL]DWLRQRIUHVRXUFHVVHUYLFHHWFDUH
EHVWXQGHUVWRRGWKURXJK1HZ6RFLDO0RYHPHQWWKHRU\1600RUHVSHFLFDOO\ZKLOHURRWHGLQWKHQHR
0DU[LVW)UDQNIXUW6FKRRO160GRHVQRWVHHWKHVHPRYHPHQWVDVSUROHWDULDQVWUXJJOHVZLWKWKHERXUJHRL-
VLHRYHUZDJHVEHQHWVDQGVDIHW\0RUHRYHUWKHHFRQRPLFUHGXFWLRQLVPRIRUWKRGR[0DU[LVPWKDWPD\
KDYHEHHQPRUHUHOHYDQWLQHDUOLHUWLPHVKDVOHVVVDOLHQFHLQWKHFRQWHPSRUDU\SRVWLQGXVWULDOQHWZRUNHG
ZRUOGRIJOREDOFDSLWDO1RUZKLOHSURPSWHGE\WKHFULVLVWKHVHPRYHPHQWVDUHQRWVLPSO\LVVXHGULYHQSHU
VH5DWKHUDVZLOOEHDUJXHG these movements, of the excluded, if the indignant, as contestations over
cultural meanings and recognition of new lifestyles and identities seek cultural transformations of
identity-informed by participatory, democratic dialogues and with visions of alternative possibili-
ties of subjectivity for the society.7KXVIHPLQLVPRUJD\ULJKWVPRYHPHQWVZHUHQRWRYHUGLVFULPLQDWRU\
legislation, but granting the heretofore subordinates and indeed often marginalized if not scapegoated,
UHFRJQLWLRQDVGLJQLHGKXPDQEHLQJVHTXDOWRDOORWKHUV

Part I: explaining social movements


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WXUDOIDFWRUVDQGFRQWUDGLFWLRQVRUORRNDWSROLWLFDORSSRUWXQLWLHVDQGDVVXPHWKDWWKHUHDUHDOZD\VIRUFHV
DQGSUHVVXUHVDQGVRFLDOPRYHPHQWHQWUHSUHQHXUVUHDG\WROHDGPRELOL]DWLRQV$VZLOOEHDUJXHGWKHVH
PRYHPHQWVFDQEHEHVWXQGHUVWRRGE\FRQVLGHULQJYHPRPHQWVWKDWZLOODUHFHQWUDOHOHPHQWVLQDWKHRU\
159 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

of mobilization, 1) legitimation crises, 2) identity, 3) emotions, 4) morality, and 5) vision-all of are


located within spatial, interactional information and matrices.

Legitimation Crises

For Habermas (1975) a crisis has objective aspect, the system, and subjective moments, the life world
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VXFKDVWKHPHOWGRZQDQGLPSORVLRQVWDJQDWLRQLVQRWOLPLWHGWRWKHHFRQRP\DQGRUSROLW\EXWOHDGV
WRFULVHVRIFXOWXUHDQGPHDQLQJVDVSHRSOHZLWKGUDZFRPPLWPHQWWRWKHVRFLDORUGHUFUHDWLQJVSDFHVIRUDO-
WHUQDWLYHYLHZVDQGXQGHUVWDQGLQJV%XWDVZLOOEHQRWHGZKLOHWKHSURJUHVVLYHPRYHPHQWVRIWRGD\DUHLQ
response to the economic conditions, these conditions do not lead to social movements per se. Crises need
to arouse collective emotions, they must be interpreted, alternative understandings and visions must be
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of moral shock (Jaspers, 1997) can apply as much to political economic crises as human/animal rights.

Economic crises as structural problems such as contradictions and implosions of the economy that cre-
ate unemployment or underemployment, sudden price hikes-especially of basic commodities (food, oil,
utilities), retrenchments of entitlements etc, that threaten survival or maintenance of living standards, or
social status, undermines the legitimacy of political leadership and legitimating ideologies. But at the same
WLPHWKHVHPDFURFRQGLWLRQVLPSDFWWKHOLIHZRUOGWKHPLFUROHYHORIIHHOLQJVLGHQWLWLHVDQGYDOXHV$V
ZLOOEHQRWHGLGHQWLWLHVLQGLYLGXDOO\DQGFROOHFWLYHO\PHGLDWHEHWZHHQVWUXFWXUDOFRQGLWLRQVHJOHJLWLPD-
tion crises and either social mobilizations (left or right), or retreatist escapism.

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FRPHWLPHVZKHQWKHROGLGHQWLWLHVDFWDVEUDNHVXSRQWKHQHZSROLWLFDOHFRQRP\DQGPXVWEHGLVFDUGHG
6RPHPD\ZLWKGUDZIURPWKHVRFLHW\DQGEHFRPHGHSROLWLFL]HGDVIRUH[DPSOHWKHP\ULDGVRI\RXWKZKR
RFNWRWKHDXGLHQFHVKLSVDQGIDQGRPVRISRSXODUFXOWXUH6RPHPD\EHFRPHSROLWLFDOO\PRELOL]HGDQG
seek social change or transformations that may be reactionary or progressive. But the key factor here is that
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the system are undermined or challenged by crises in the system and becomes dysfunctional, there are often
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identity . Moreover, that identity is located at particular social locations and nodules of interaction chains
(Collins, 2005)

Identity

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FLHW\DQGVSHFLFWKRXJKWVDQGDFWLRQVRIWKHVRFLDODFWRU,WDFWVDVDOWHUWKDWSURYLGHVVHOHFWLYHDWWHQWLRQ
WRH[WHUQDOHYHQWVVRPHSHRSOHPD\SD\DWWHQWLRQWRVRFFHURWKHUVWRSROLWLFVDQGVWLOORWKHUVWRSRSXODU
FXOWXUH%XWLGHQWLW\LVQRWVLPSO\DVHWRIFRJQLWLYHSURFHVVHVLWLVDFTXLUHGWKURXJKVRFLDOLQWHUDFWLRQV
DQGWLHVWRJURXSVLWLVDQFKRUHGE\SRZHUIXOHPRWLRQV7KXVVDOLHQWHYHQWVPHGLDWHGWKURXJKLGHQWLW\FDQ
HQJHQGHUHPRWLRQDOUHDFWLRQV VHHEHORZ 
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 160

Given the limitations of RM theory, social movement theory began a move from class and interests to
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WKHVHFRQFHUQVZLWKVHOIKRRGVXEMHFWLYLW\DQGLGHQWLW\UDWKHUWKDQVWUDWHJLFFKRLFHHPSKDVL]HGFXOWXUH
DQGPHDQLQJUDWKHUWKDQPRUHUDWLRQDOFRQFHUQVZLWKSROLFLHVVWUDWHJLHVDQGLQVWLWXWLRQDOUHIRUPVDQG
FRQFHUQVZLWKLGHQWLW\ZHUHDVPXFKLIQRWPRUHFRQFHUQHGZLWKWKHLUFXOWXUDOHIIHFWVWKDWVSHFLFIRUPVRI
legislation (Cf. Polleta and Jaspers, 2001).

Emotions

One of the great shortcomings of the rational choice/resource mobilization theories of motivation and
mobilization has been the valorization of Reason as basis for social organization and social behavior. While
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RI/XNDFVDQGWKH)UDQNIXUW6FKRROVFULWLTXHRIRQHGLPHQVLRQDOWKRXJKW5HDVRQVHUYHVDQLPSRUWDQW
LGHRORJLFDOIXQFWLRQIRUHFRQRPLFVDQGSV\FKRORJ\,WMXVWLHVFDSLWDOLVPDVEDVHGRQVHOILQWHUHVWHGKX-
PDQQDWXUHWKDWUDWLRQDOO\SXUVXHVPD[LPL]LQJKLVKHUVHOILQWHUHVWDVZHOODVEHLQJWKHPRVWUDWLRQDO
ZD\ WR RUJDQL]H DQ HFRQRP\ It offers a clear, simple and wrong understanding of motivation for
sociologists and psychologists. Rather, one could argue that understanding emotions is far more salient.
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species as a means of communication. But given human consciousness, and in turn our socialization and
internalization of collective norms, our cues or releasers to use the term ethologists like, are more likely
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turn actions. Gaining an identity, individually or collectively, is an interpersonal process and thus involves
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Collective identities are also the result of similar processes. Moreover, collective identities mediate events
that evoke many of the same emotions and individuals feel. For Durkheim, religion provided a collective
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IURPHGXFDWLRQWRKHDOWKFDUHWRUHWLUHPHQWSHQVLRQVZKLOHWKHJURZLQJZHDOWKDQGSROLWLFDOSRZHURIHOLWHV
is especially visible, people experience a moral shock.

a transgression of all the sentiments, values, beliefs, feelings, emotions and ideas that people hold about themselves,
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courteous and an irreparable break in the routines of social relations (Jaspers, 1997) .

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161 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

ger at those believed responsible-and often scapegoated targets to blame. :KHQSHRSOHQGWKHPVHOYHV


facing sudden economic reversals (job loss, foreclosure, bankruptcy), when they feel marginalized
as either workers without work or underemployed and/or politically powerless, they are likely to be
angry, frustrated, anxious about the future and impelled to seek amelioration. In most cases, in late
modern societies, people are likely to feel indignant, humiliated over the lack of recognition and in many
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ZDVDWDFLWVRFLDOFRQWUDFWWKDWLVSHUFHLYHGDVKDYLQJEHHQEURNHQ 5XELQ 

While the cumulative effects of neo liberal globalization have been ever more evident for the last several
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OLYLQJXQDIIRUGDEOH0DQ\ROGHUSHRSOHKDGMREVWKDWKDYHGLVDSSHDUHGDQGZLOOQRWFRPHEDFN7KLVKDV
evoked a great deal of frustration, anger and resentment at those elites deemed responsible. Moreover, the
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US government bailouts of its banks (and some European ones) and the austerity measures of the Eurozone
that attempt to save the bankers.

To paraphrase Marx, global capital has laid bare the domination of society by the capitalist class, it has
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carnivals to assuage the people (Wolin, 2008) and fragment the society that might offer resistance.

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VSKHUHWKH\RSHUDWHLQWKHSXEOLFVSKHUHWRDWWHPSWWRLPSDFWWKHFXOWXUHWKDWLQWXUQZRXOGWRLPSDFWSROLWLFV

Morality

While little addressed by social movement scholars, contemporary social movements are less guided
by particular interests than by moral claims. These movements do not attempts to establish minimum
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arrangements simply on interests of even fairness, but on the fundamental morality of the concentra-
tion of wealth and power that is so evident-and equally evident is the growth of poverty and degrada-
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 162

temple and preached an elementary socialism-or at least a message of sharing.

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SUHVVXUHWRRXVWOHDGHUVDQGHQGUHJLPHVDQGWRSURSDJDWHDVRFLDORUGHUWKDWHPERGLHVDQHZVRFLDOFRQWUDFW,WHP-
bodies a different utopian politics that delivers a nation from degradation, serves as a barometer of future progress
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:KHUHYHUFLWL]HQVKDYHEHHQJULSSHGE\WKHIHUYRURISHDFHIXOSHRSOHSRZHULWZDVDOZD\VWKHSXUVXLWRIDQLPDJLQ-
DEOHVRFLDOXWRSLDWKDWGURYHSURWHVWRUVZKRKDUERUHGQRIHDUDQGZHUHFRQYLQFHGWKDWDQHZXQLYHUVHRIVRFLDOUHOD-
WLRQVFDQEHFUHDWHGEDVHGRQDFRPPRQEHOLHI,WLVDPRUDOYLVLRQEHVWGHVFULEHGDVWKHUHODWLRQVKLSEHWZHHQWKH
FLWL]HQDQGWKHLGHDOSURJUHVVLYHVWDWHDVWKHHPERGLPHQWRIWKHKLJKHVWDVSLUDWLRQVRIDQDWLRQVSROLWLFDOOLIH3URWHVW
LVDVWDWHPHQWZULWODUJHRIWKHGHVLUHVRIPLOOLRQVRILQGLYLGXDOVWRVXSSODQWWKHDUELWUDULQHVVEUXWDOLW\DQGSDUWLDOLW\
RISULRUDUUDQJHPHQWVEDVHGRQWKHSULYDWHSRZHURIGLVSRVLWLRQ

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DWWKHEDVLVRIDJURXSVFODLPVWKDWDUHQRWVLPSO\UHGXFLEOHWRFODVVRUHGXFDWLRQEXWUHHFWSDWWHUQVRI
FKDUDFWHULGHQWLW\DQGORFDWLRQVLQVRFLDOQHWZRUNV7KLVZDVHYLGHQWLQWKHHDUO\VWXGLHVRQDXWKRULWDULDQLVP
LQZKLFKSHRSOHYDULHGRQWKHEDVLVRIWHQGHQFLHVWRVXEPLWWRDXWKRULW\FRQIRUPWRJURXSVDQGVKRZLQWROHU-
ance of ambiguity, vs. being autonomous, creative, open to experience and self-realization. In contemporary
VRFLDOSV\FKRORJLFDOUHVHDUFKZHPLJKWQRWHWKDWWKLVSRODULW\LVDVVRFLDWHGZLWKFRQWUDVWLQJPRUDOYLVLRQV
WKDWLQWXUQLPSDFWZRUOGYLHZVDQGSROLWLFDOFKRLFHV)RUH[DPSOH/DNRII  KDVVXJJHVWHGWKDWWKHUH
is a basic polarity of the strict father vs. nurturant parent moralities. The former stresses self-discipline,
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empathy, sharing, compassion and creativity. In a similar vein, Haidt ((2012) has argued that people have
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People differ over care/compassion, liberty/fairness and loyalty authority and sanctity.1)RURXUSXUSRVHVZH
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is an important moral stance and that there is far too little compassion in either the corporate.

Vision-that are located within spatial and interactional matrices.

Social movement research has considered framing an essential aspect of mobilization and claim stak-
ing and the goals of social movements. Movements depend on the shared interpretations of events and
FRQGLWLRQVDQGLQWXUQJRDOVWREHDWWDLQHGDQGVWUDWHJLHVWRDWWDLQWKHP,QRUGHUWRDIUPWKHERQGVRI
VROLGDULW\EHWZHHQPHPEHUVDQGDWWUDFWQHZPHPEHUVLWLVQHFHVVDU\WRIUDPHUHDOLW\LQZD\VWKDWDSSHDO
WRWKHHPRWLRQDOQHHGVRIPHPEHUVDQGSRWHQWLDOPHPEHUVDVZHOOWKHLUPRUDORXWORRNVBut that said,
we would then argue the fundamental question raised by the contemporary social movements is the
nature of vision-indeed hope and the good life. Sociology, rooted in the Enlightenment valorization of
5HDVRQKDVW\SLFDOO\HVFKHZHGWKHQRWLRQRIYLVLRQUHOHJDWLQJLWWRWKHQRUPDWLYHFRQFHUQVRISKLORVRSK\
DQGUHOLJLRQLGOHVSHFXODWLRQVRI8WRSLDRUDQHPSLULFDOTXHVWLRQWREHPHDVXUHG

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H[DPSOH%HOODKDQGKLVFROODERUDWRUVKDYHEHHQFRQFHUQHGZLWKWKHYLVLRQRIWKHJRRGOLIHVLQFHEHIRUH
PDQ\RIWKHRFFXSLHUVZHUHERUQ)URPWKH%URNHQ&RYHQDQW to +DELWVRIWKH+HDUW to the *RRG6RFLHW\,

 $QH[FHOOHQWLQWURGXFWLRQWR+DLGWVYLHZVFDQEHVHHQLQKLVLQWHUYLHZZLWK%LOO0R\HUVKWWSYLPHRFRP
163 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

%HOODKKDVQRWHGWKHGRZQVLGHVRIDQXQEULGOHG/RFNHDQLQGLYLGXDOLVPWKDWKDVJLYHQXVJUHDWDIXHQFHEXW
IRUWKHIHZZKLOHPDQ\IDFHXQHPSOR\PHQWXQGHUHPSOR\PHQWKRPHOHVVQHVVXQWUHDWHGLOOQHVVDGHFD\-
ing infrastructure and devastating environmental degradation. A ruthless, market oriented individualism has
pervaded the entire society and undermined any shared purpose, public spirit or concerns for the unfortunate-
LQGHHGWKH\SRRUPLQRULWLHVLPPLJUDQWVDQGVWXGHQWVDUHRIWHQVHHQDVHYLOSDUDVLWHV0HDQZKLOHRXUKXJH
military consumes almost half of our income taxes and has been used to support imperialist interventions in
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the good life has been seen in terms of freedom to pursue personal satisfactions and achievements apart
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this freedom from social concerns and indifference to less fortunate others is itself a virtue to be celebrated.

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and a resurrection of utopian thinking. As Shostak (2001) put it :

,WZRXOGVHHPIDUPRUHXWRSLDQIRUDVRFLHW\WRHQGFDSLWDOSXQLVKPHQWWRUHMHFWWKHXVHRIWHUURUDQGWRUWXUHWRSURYLGHIRUWKH
QHHGVRILWVOHDVWZHOORIIFLWL]HQVDQGWREROVWHUWKHKRSHVDQGDELOLW\RIDOOSHUVRQVWRFRPSHWH6LPLODUO\EDVLFYDOXHVWKDW
appear to promote utopian gains include the cultivation of artistry, caring, creativity, curiosity, empathy, faith, honor, hu-
mor, love, sensitivity, and other virtues celebrated by healthy, life-appreciating people everywhere2. (emphasis mine).

:H PLJKW QDOO\ UHFDOO WKH LPSRUWDQFH RI KRSH DQG YLVLRQ LQ WKH ZRUN RI (UQVW %ORFN3 For Bloch,
)UHXGVQRWLRQRIWKHGUHDPDVZLVKIXOOOPHQWEHFRPHVWKHHVVHQWLDOPRWLYHIRUKRSHZKLFKSHUPHDWHV
myths, dreams, religions and utopian thought often dismissed as ideology by some Marxists. But for Bloch,
this hope for a better life

LVURRWHGLQDKXPDQLVWDQWKURSRORJ\ZKLFKJURXQGVKLVFULWLTXHRIRSSUHVVLRQDQGHPDQFLSDWRU\SHUVSHFWLYHV%ORFK
DOZD\VEHJLQVZLWKWKHZLVKLQJKRSHIXOQHHG\DQGKXQJU\KXPDQEHLQJDQGDQDO\]HVZKDWSURKLELWVUHDOL]DWLRQRI
KXPDQGHVLUHDQGIXOOOPHQWRIKXPDQQHHGV,GHRORJ\FRQWDLQVDXWRSLDQUHVLGXHRUVXUSOXVWKDWFDQEHXVHGIRUVR-
FLDOFULWLTXHDQGWRDGYDQFHSURJUHVVLYHSROLWLFV%ORFKSURYLGHVDFULWLFDOKHUPHQHXWLFRIWKHZD\VWKDWFXOWXUDOKLV-
tory and socio-economic developments point to socialism as the realization of humanities deepest dreams and hopes,
and that encourages us to look for the progressive and emancipatory content of cultural artifacts (Kellner, p.2). For
%ORFKWKHFXOWXUDOVXUSOXVSUHVHUYHVXQVDWLVHGGHVLUHVDQGKXPDQZLVKHVIRUDEHWWHUZRUOGDQGEHFDXVHWKHVHZLVKHV
DUHXVXDOO\QRWIXOOOHGWKH\FRQWDLQFRQWHQWVZKLFKUHPDLQUHOHYDQWWRDIXWXUHVRFLHW\ZKLFKPD\EHDEOHWRVDWLVI\
WKHVHZLVKHVDQGQHHGV,QRWKHUZRUGVLGHRORJ\FRQWDLQVKLQWVDVWRZKDWKXPDQEHLQJVGHVLUHDQGQHHGZKLFKFDQEH
used to criticize failures to satisfy these needs and to realize these desires in the current society. (Kellner)

$VZLOOEHHYLGHQWWKLVNLQGRI8WRSLDQWKRXJKWDVHPERGLHGLQWKH2FFXS\PRYHPHQWVLVQRWHDVLO\
understood in the dominant perspectives of either social movement analysis, or main stream politics. With-
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morality, social movement theory is as empty and vacuous as the one dimensional society that has given
rise to the great refusals. Similarly, pundits and politicians fail to see that the messages and demands, and
Utopian visions are expressed in the very existence-not formal petitions or attempts to engage in partisan
SROLWLFVZKLFKLVWKHJUDYH\DUGRIVRFLDOPRYHPHQWV

 KH)XWXULVW,QWHUYLHZV$UWKXU6KRVWDNKWWSZZZZIVRUJQRGH
 6HH.HOOQHU'(UQVW%ORFK8WRSLDDQG,GHRORJ\&ULWLTXHIRUDVKRUWLQWURGXFWLRQWR%ORFK
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 164

Occupy Wall Street


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XVQRZFRQVLGHUWKH2:6PRYHPHQWWKDWZRXOGHYHQWXDOO\HPHUJH

The Legitimation Crisis

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QHROLEHUDOLVPLQWKHVIRUPRVW$PHULFDQVLQFRPHVVWDJQDWHGZKLOHWKHLQFRPHVDQGZHDOWKRIWKH
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WD[FRGHVWRIXUWKHULQFUHDVHWKHLUSHUVRQDOZHDOWK +DUYH\ 

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VDZDUDSLGULVHLQWKHYDOXHRIKRXVLQJZKLFKLURQLFDOO\HQRXJKLQFUHDVHGWKHGHPDQGDVPRUHDQGPRUH
SHRSOHERXJKWKRPHVIRULQYHVWPHQWVSXUSRVHVDQGRUUHQDQFHGWKHKLJKHUYDOXHWRSD\RIIFUHGLWFDUG
GHEW0RUHRYHUPRUWJDJHGHEWZDVWUDQVIRUPHGLQWRDQDVVHW&'2VDQGWKHQEXQGOHGWRJHWKHUDQGVROGDV
DQDVVHWLQVXUHGE\KHGJHIXQGV7KHUHZDVDYDVWSUROLIHUDWLRQRIVXESULPHPRUWJDJHVLQZKLFKYHWWLQJ
ZDVQHJOLJHQWDWEHVWFULPLQDODWZRUVW(YHQWXDOO\WKHUDSLGO\H[SDQGLQJKRXVLQJPDUNHWFUDVKHGWKHHQ-
WLUHQDQFLDOLQGXVWU\LPSORGHGDQGWRRNWKHHQWLUHHFRQRP\GRZQ0LOOLRQVRISHRSOHORVWMREVKRPHVDQG
DOPRVWZHUHRIFLDOO\XQHPSOR\HG%XWZKLOHVXUHO\WKHUHZDVPDOIHDVDQFHLIQRWFULPLQDOEHKDYLRU
WKLVPXVWEHXQGHUVWRRGDVDVWUXFWXUDOFULVLVLQZKLFKWKHVWHHULQJPHFKDQLVPVKDGEURNHQGRZQ4

,WZDVVRRQHYLGHQWWKDWWKDQNVWRFURQ\FDSLWDOLVPWKDWJXDUDQWHHGFDVLQRSOD\HUVZRQWKHEDQNLQJ
QDQFHLQGXVWULHVKDGUHFRYHUHGLQGHHGDPDVVHGPRUHZHDOWKWKDWWKDQHYHUEHIRUHZKLOHLWVHOLWHVZHUH
ZHOOUHZDUGHG2XWVLGHRIDOWHUQDWLYHPHGLDPRVWO\DIHZSURJUHVVLYHMRXUQDOVOLNHWKH1DWLRQ6DORQ or
5ROOLQJ6WRQH, or internet media such as 'DLO\.RV$OWHUQHW7UXWKRXWRU7UXWK'LJWKHUHZDVOLWWOHFULWLTXH
RIWKHH[WHQWWRZKLFK:DOO6WFRQWUROOHGWKHJRYHUQPHQWWKHEDQNVZHUHVDYHGWKHSHRSOHZHUHVFUHZHG
7KHQDQFLDOVHFWRUQRZFRQWUROOHGWKHSROLWLFDOV\VWHPUHJDUGOHVVRISDUW\RUSURFODLPHGLGHRORJ\%H-
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KLGGHQGRPLQDWLRQGHVFULEHGE\:ROLQ  DV'HPRFUDF\,QFZKLFKEULQJVXVLQYHUWHGWRWDOLWDULDQ-
ism. The mass media focused on the bizarre constumes and silly slogans of the Tea Party. But neverthe-
OHVVPDQ\SHRSOHZHUHEHFRPLQJLQFUHDVLQJO\IUXVWUDWHGDQGDQJU\$QGWKHQFDPH$UDE6SULQJLQ7XQLVLD
and the 18 days of Tahir.

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JUDPRIWKH%XVKDGPLQLVWUDWLRQWKDWSXPSHGWULOOLRQVRIGROODUVLQWRWKHLQVROYHQWEDQNVIROORZHGE\WKH
Obama Stimulus program5$QGZKLOHWKHJRYHUQPHQWUHVFXHKDOWHGWKHSOXPPHWDQGLQGHHGWKHQDQFLDO
V\VWHPZDVVDYHGDQGLWVHOLWHSURVSHUHGKXJHQXPEHUVRISHRSOHORVWMREVZHUHVWLOOIRUHFORVHGDQGHYLFWHG
DQGPDQ\UHPDLQHGXQHPSOR\HGDQGRUXQGHUHPSOR\HG/DUJHQXPEHUVRIZRUNLQJFODVVHVHVSHFLDOO\FRQ-
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cated.
165 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

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LGHQWLW\DQGGRQRWEHORQJWRDQ\RFFXSDWLRQDOFRPPXQLW\ZLWKDORQJHVWDEOLVKHGVRFLDOPHPRU\JLYLQJDQDQFKRU
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FLWL]HQVLQWKDWWKH\KDYHIHZHUULJKWVWKDQFLWL]HQV7KHUHDUHWKUHHYDULHWLHVRISUHFDULDWDOOGHWDFKHGIURPROG
SROLWLFDOGHPRFUDF\DQGXQDEOHWRUHODWHWRWZHQWLHWKFHQWXU\LQGXVWULDOGHPRFUDF\RUHFRQRPLFGHPRFUDF\7KHUVW
YDULHW\FRQVLVWVRIWKRVHGULIWLQJIURPZRUNLQJFODVVEDFNJURXQGVLQWRSUHFDULRXVQHVVWKHVHFRQGFRQVLVWVRIWKRVH
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RWKHUVVXFKDVWKHFULPLQDOL]HGLQDVWDWXVGHQ\LQJWKHPWKHIXOOULJKWVRIFLWL]HQV(DFKKDVDGLVWLQFWLYHYLHZRQOLIH
and society (Standing, 2012)

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GLGWKHVHPDVVSURWHVWVLQ7XQLVLDDQG(J\SWKDYHFRQWDJLRQHIIHFWVLQ(XURSH,VUDHODQGWKH86"$VKDV
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PHDQWWKHUHZDVYHU\OLWWOHHIIHFWLYHSURWHVW7KHQGXULQJWKH%XVK\HDUVWKHPLQXVFXOHIUDJPHQWHGOHIW
RUJDQL]HGLWVHOIDURXQGRSSRVLWLRQWRWKHZDUV7KHLPPHGLDWHUHDFWLRQWRWKHHOHFWLRQRI2EDPDZDVWKH
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election of an African American president and his socialist plans to provide health care to everyone and
subsidize the parasitic classes (Langman, 2011).

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WLPLQJRIWKHH[SORVLRQRI2FFXS\FRXOGQRWEHIRUHWROGLQLQDQRZFODVVLFDOHQWUHDW\DPD]LQJO\
prescient, Frances Fox Piven noted that Obama needed a social movement to insure a progressive agenda
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summer of 2011, the irreverent Canadian $GEXVWHU magazine called for an occupation of Wall Street on Sept
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7KH RFFXSLHUV HVWDEOLVKHG D GHPRFUDWLFDOO\ RUJDQL]HG HJDOLWDULDQ FRPPXQLW\ ZKRVH YHU\ H[LVWHQFH
ZDVLWVHOIDSURWHVWDQGUHVLVWDQFHWRWKHLQHTXDOLW\WKHVWDJQDWLRQXQHPSOR\PHQWXQGHUHPSOR\PHQWDQG
PRVWRIDOOWKHH[WHQWWRZKLFKWKHVFDOHOLWHVEHQHWWHGDQGWKHSHRSOHZHUHVFUHZHG,WV\PEROL]HGWKH
DOWHUQDWLYHSRVVLELOLWLHVZLWKLWV*HQHUDO$VVHPEOLHVRISDUWLFLSDWRU\GHPRFUDF\LWVHPSKDVLVRQVKDULQJ
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VWRRGE\DFDGHPLFVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVFKRODUV$QGZKLOHFRQVHUYDWLYHVGLVPLVVHGWKHPRYHPHQWDVZKLQ-
HUVZKRMXVWZDQWHGDJRYHUQPHQWKDQGRXWWKH\KDGQRPRUHXQGHUVWDQGLQJRIWKHPRYHPHQWWKDQGLG
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most of the Occupiers clearly see that the Democratic Party had been just as complicit in sustaining Wall
St, if not more so, than the Republic party6.

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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 166

Identity

*LYHQZKDWKDVEHHQVDLGLWLVREYLRXVWKDWWKH2FFXSLHUVQRWRQO\IHHOWKDWWKH\KDYHEHHQH[FOXGHG
and marginalized, but their fundamental sense of self has been assaulted. In American society, for many
SHRSOHZRUNKDVEHHQRQHRIWKHNH\HOHPHQWVRIRQHVLGHQWLW\HVSHFLDOO\DPRQJKLJKO\VNLOOHGLQGXVWULDO
ZRUNHUVDQGWKHHGXFDWHGVHFWRUV%XWIROORZLQJWKHLPSORVLRQPLOOLRQVRIVXFKZRUNHUVZHUHVXGGHQO\
ZLWKRXWMREVRUZRUNLQJDWPLQLPXPVNLOOHGPLQLPXPZDJHVHUYLFH0F-REVVXFKDVLQIDVWIRRGUHWDLO
VDOHVVHFXULW\HWF$QGHYHQWKHVHMREVZHUHKDUGWRQG$ORQJWUDGLWLRQRIVRFLRORJLFDOUHVHDUFKJRLQJ
EDFNWRVWXGLHVRIWKH*UHDW'HSUHVVLRQKDYHVKRZQKRZMREOHVVQHVVOHGWRGHVSDLUGHSUHVVLRQWKHORVV
of self-esteem and in some cases, aggression to self or others. Such conditions of prolonged joblessness
humiliate people rob people of their dignity, of their humanity.

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ZKDWWKH\QHHGHGWRGRDQGIRXQGLQVWHDGUHMHFWLRQDQGGLVGDLQ%XWIRUPDQ\DVZLOOEHQRWHGPRYH-
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cations. Participation in identity granting/recognizing communities of meaning from Churches to gangs,
SURYLGHSHRSOHZLWKWKHIXQGDPHQWDOEDVLVIRUDJRRGOLIH

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Emotions

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JHUDQ[LHW\DQGUHVHQWPHQW%XWIRU2FFXSLHUVWKHPRYHPHQWUHSODFHVGHVSDLUZLWKKRSHSURYLGHVZD\V
RIRYHUFRPLQJDOLHQDWLRQDQGFKDQQHOLQJZKDWWKH\VHHDVOHJLWLPDWHDQJHUWRZDUGSURGXFWLYHHQGVWKH
transformation of society.

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HPRWLRQDOJUDWLFDWLRQVHVSHFLDOO\IHHOLQJVRIFRPPXQLW\ZLWKRWKHUVIHHOLQJRIDJHQF\DQGHPSRZHU-
PHQWWKDWRQHLVGRLQJVRPHDFWLQJRQWKHZRUOGLQVWHDGRISDVVLYHUHVLJQDWLRQIHHOLQJVRIUHFRJQLWLRQ
DQGGLJQLW\DQGQDOO\IHHOLQJWKDWRQHVLGHQWLW\HYHQLIRUHVSHFLDOO\LILWLVUHFRJQL]HGDVDPRYHPHQW
LGHQWLW\SURYLGHVDVHQVHRIGLJQLHGVHOIKRRGQRWSURYLGHGE\WKHODUJHUVRFLHW\

Morality

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WLRQVRI,QWKH86ZHFRXOGDUJXHWKDWWKHUHH[LVWEDVLFPRUDOYLVLRQVRIIDLUQHVV7KH/RFNHDQSXUVXLWRI
XQIHWWHUHGVHOILQWHUHVWLQDGDQJHURXVFRPSHWLWLYHZRUOGRIZLQQHUVDQGORVHUVGHPDQGIDLUQHVVRIRSSRU-
WXQLWLHVVRWKDWDOOPD\FRPSHWHHTXDOO\$QGPDQ\RIWKHZLQQHUVZLQELJDQGLIRQHGRHVQRWZRUNKDUG
HQRXJKRUGRHVQRWPDLQWDLQFHUWDLQNLQGVRIPRUDOVVKHZLOOORVHRXWDQGQRWKDYHDQ\RQHHOVHWREODPH
167 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

)DLUQHVVDWOHDVWWRWKHZLQQHUVPHDQVWKDWVRFLHW\VKRXOGQRWUHZDUGLWVORVHUVZLWKDQ\EHQHWVZKLFK
ZLOOWKHQFUHDWHDQDWLRQRILPPRUDOSDUDVLWHVOLYLQJRIIWKHODERUVRIRWKHUV

%XWIRURWKHUSHRSOHRQHVEDVLFPRUDOSRVWXUHLVEDVHGRQFDULQJVKDULQJDQGFRPSDVVLRQHPSDWK\
DQGPXWXDOVXSSRUW)DLUQHVVLVDERXWVHHLQJWKDWLQDZRUOGRISOHQW\DOOVKRXOGEHQHWIn deed and
word, the Occupiers have embraced and articulated the sharing and caring morality-as not simply
desirable-but the very survival of the world depends on changing life styles, identities and values. It
ZDVQRWE\DFFLGHQWWKDWWKHLQLWLDOWDUJHWZDV:DOO6WUHHWWKH8UV\PERORIWKHJUHHGSRZHUDQGZHDOWKRI
a small number of people that is grossly unfair. . As Lakoff (2011) put it:

'HPRFUDF\VWDUWVZLWKFLWL]HQVFDULQJDERXWRQHDQRWKHUDQGDFWLQJUHVSRQVLEO\RQWKDWVHQVHRIFDUHWDNLQJUHVSRQVL-
ELOLW\ERWKIRURQHVHOIDQGIRURQHVIDPLO\FRPPXQLW\FRXQWU\SHRSOHLQJHQHUDODQGWKHSODQHW7KHUROHRIJRYHUQ-
PHQWLVWRSURWHFWDQGHPSRZHUDOOFLWL]HQVHTXDOO\YLD7KH3XEOLFSXEOLFLQIUDVWUXFWXUHODZVDQGHQIRUFHPHQWKHDOWK
HGXFDWLRQVFLHQWLFUHVHDUFKSURWHFWLRQSXEOLFODQGVWUDQVSRUWDWLRQUHVRXUFHVDUWDQGFXOWXUHWUDGHSROLFLHVVDIHW\
QHWVDQGRQDQGRQ1RERG\PDNHVLWRQHWKHLURZQ,I\RXJRWZHDOWK\\RXGHSHQGHGRQ7KH3XEOLFDQG\RXKDYHD
UHVSRQVLELOLW\WRFRQWULEXWHVLJQLFDQWO\WR7KH3XEOLFVRWKDWRWKHUVFDQEHQHWLQWKHIXWXUH0RUHRYHUWKHZHDOWK\
GHSHQGRQWKRVHZKRZRUNDQGZKRGHVHUYHDIDLUUHWXUQIRUWKHLUFRQWULEXWLRQWRRXUQDWLRQDOOLIH

,WKLQNLWLVDJRRGWKLQJWKDWWKHRFFXSDWLRQPRYHPHQWLVQRWPDNLQJVSHFLFSROLF\GHPDQGV,ILWGLGWKHPRYHPHQW
ZRXOGEHFRPHDERXWWKRVHGHPDQGV,IWKHGHPDQGVZHUHQRWPHWWKHPRYHPHQWZRXOGEHVHHQDVKDYLQJIDLOHG,W
VHHPVWRPHWKDWWKH2:6PRYHPHQWLVPRUDOLQQDWXUHWKDWRFFXSLHUVZDQWWKHFRXQWU\WRFKDQJHLWVPRUDOIRFXV,WLV
HDV\WRQGXVHIXOSROLFLHVKXQGUHGVKDYHEHHQVXJJHVWHG,WLVKDUGHUWRQGDPRUDOIRFXVDQGVWLFNWRLW,IWKHPRYH-
ment is to frame itself, it should be on the basis of its moral focus, not a particular agenda or list of policy demands. If
WKHPRUDOIRFXVRI$PHULFDFKDQJHVQHZSHRSOHZLOOEHHOHFWHGDQGWKHSROLFLHVZLOOIROORZ

,WLVHYLGHQWWKDWZKLOHWKLVYLHZLVKLJKO\FRQWHVWHGHYHQYHKHPHQWO\UHSXGLDWHGE\VRPHLWUHVWVRQ
EDVLFHPRWLRQDOGLVSRVLWLRQVWKDWGHQHIDLUQHVV6XFKHPRWLRQDOVWDQFHVDUHOLWWOHLPSDFWHGE\IDFWVRU
HYLGHQFH%XWLWHTXDOO\HYLGHQWWKDWHPSKDVLVRQWKHXQIHWWHUHGLQGLYLGXDOJDLQRIWKHIHZDQGFRUSRUDWH
greed-and let others be damned, has not only fostered the decline of the United States economy and its
LQIUDVWUXFWXUHEXWWKUHDWHQVLQWHQVHUHVRXUFHZDUVDQGDGYHUVHO\LPSDFWVWKHHQYLURQPHQWLQZD\VWKDWSRU-
WHQGPDMRUHFRORJLFDOFROODSVHPRUHFDWDVWURSKLFZHDWKHUDQGULVLQJVHDOHYHOV$WOHDVWZHPD\QRWIDFH
locusts or frogs-they, like many other species are becoming extinct.

Vision

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various religious communities and communes such as the Shakers, political experiments such as kibbutzim
and of course the Marxist revolutions of 1917 and 1949. But most Utopian communities either faded or
turned into brutal dictatorships that betrayed the hopes and promises of their visionaries. But that said, the
Occupy movements ask us to rethink the role of vision in social movements, and indeed, bring Utopia in.
:KLOH8WRSLDQWKRXJKWKDVOLWWOHLPSDFWHGVRFLDOUHVHDUFKZHPXVWUHFDOOIROORZLQJ7RXUDLQHWKDW160V
ZHUHQRWDWWHPSWVWRFKDQJHSDUWLFXODUSROLWLFDOVWUDWHJLHVRURYHUWXUQODZVLQWKHQHDUWHUPEXWWRFKDQJH
the very nature of the society in the long term by challenging meanings and values and changing identity
LQWKHIXWXUH,QIROORZLQJXSRQWKHHQGRILGHRORJ\GHEDWHV5XVVHOO-DFRE\  SURQRXQFHGWKH
demise of Utopian thought- that the future could fundamentally surpass the present. Politics had become
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 168

ERULQJ%XWWKHHYHQWVWRIROORZHVSHFLDOO\WKHYDULRXVPRYHPHQWRI$UDE6SULQJ,VUDHO6XPPHU$PHUL-
FDQ)DOOWKH2FFXS\PRYHPHQWVUHTXLUHWKDWZHUHWKLQNWKHLPSRUWDQFHRI8WRSLDQYLVLRQV

Conclusion: social movements in the 21st Century


At the end of the 20th&LWZDVHYLGHQWKRZWKH,QWHUQHWKDGEHFRPHWKHEDVLVRIYLUWXDOSXEOLFVSKHUHV
DQGLQWHUQHWZRUNHGVRFLDOPRYHPHQWV &I0HOXFFL/DQJPDQ 6XUHO\WKHJOREDOMXVWLFHPRYH-
PHQWVZHUHFOHDULQGLFDWLRQVRIDQHZPRYHPHQWRIPRYHPHQWVLQWKHVSDFHRIRZVWKDWOLQNVXSGLVWDQW
locales around shared functions and meanings on the basis of electronic circuits and fast transportation
FRUULGRUVZKLOHLVRODWLQJDQGVXEGXLQJWKHORJLFRIH[SHULHQFHHPERGLHGLQWKHVSDFHRISODFHV &DVWHOOV
 %XWWKHSRZHURIWKHLQWHUQHWDQGLQGHHGWKHRXULVKLQJRIVRFLDOPHGLDDFFHVVLEOHYLDVPDUWSKRQHV
KDVDPSOLHGWKHSRZHURIWKHZHDNDQGHQDEOHGWKHPDVVHVWRFRQIURQWWKHSRZHURIWKHIHZ$V5XVKNRII
(2011) has put it:

WKLVLVQRWDPRYHPHQWZLWKDWUDGLWLRQDOQDUUDWLYHDUF$VWKHSURGXFWRIWKHGHFHQWUDOL]HGQHWZRUNHGHUDFXOWXUHLW
LVOHVVDERXWYLFWRU\WKDQVXVWDLQDELOLW\,WLVQRWDERXWRQHSRLQWHGQHVVEXWLQFOXVLRQDQGJURSLQJWRZDUGFRQVHQVXV
,WLVQRWOLNHDERRNLWLVOLNHWKH,QWHUQHW2FFXS\:DOO6WUHHWLVPHDQWPRUHDVDZD\RIOLIHWKDWVSUHDGVWKURXJK
FRQWDJLRQFUHDWHVDVPDQ\TXHVWLRQVDVLWDQVZHUVDLPVWRIRUFHDUHFRQVLGHUDWLRQRIWKHZD\WKHQDWLRQGRHVEXVLQHVV
DQGRIIHUVKRSHWRWKRVHRIXVZKRSUHYLRXVO\IHOWDORQHLQRXUEHOLHIWKDWWKHFXUUHQWHFRQRPLFV\VWHPLVEURNHQ%XW
XQOLNHDWUDGLWLRQDOSURWHVWZKLFKLGHQWLHVWKHHQHP\DQGJKWVIRUDSDUWLFXODUVROXWLRQ2FFXS\:DOO6WUHHWMXVWVLWV
WKHUHWDONLQJZLWKLWVHOIGHEDWLQJLWVRZQZRUWKUHFRJQL]LQJLWVLQWHUQDOLQFRQVLVWHQFLHVDQGWKHQFRQWLQXLQJRQDVLI
WKLVZHUHVRPHVRUWRIQHZQRUPDO,WPRGHOVDQHZFROOHFWLYLVPSLFNLQJXSRQWKHVXVWDLQDEOHSURWHVWYLOODJHRIWKH
PRYHPHQWV(J\SWLDQFRXQWHUSDUWVZLWKIRRGUVWDLGDQGDOLEUDU\7KHPHPEHUVRI2FFXS\:DOO6WUHHWPD\EH
DVXQZLHOG\SDUDGR[LFDODQGLQFRQVLVWHQWDVWKRVHRIXVOLYLQJLQWKHUHDOZRUOG%XWWKDWLVSUHFLVHO\ZK\WKHLUQHZ
DSSURDFKWRSURWHVWLVPRUHDSSOLFDEOHVXVWDLQDEOHDQGDFWLRQDEOHWKDQZKDWSDVVHVIRUSROLWLFVWRGD\7KH\DUHVXJ-
JHVWLQJWKDWWKHVFDORSHUDWLQJV\VWHPRQZKLFKZHDUHDWWHPSWLQJWRUXQRXUHFRQRP\LVQRORQJHUDSSURSULDWHWR
WKHWDVN7KH\PHDQWRVKRZWKDWWKHUHLVDQLQDSSURSULDWHDQGFRUUHFWDEOHGLVFRQQHFWEHWZHHQWKHDEXQGDQFH$PHULFD
SURGXFHVDQGWKHVFDUFLW\LWVPDUNHWVPDQXIDFWXUH$QGLQWKHSURFHVVWKH\DUHSRLQWLQJWKHZD\WRZDUGVRPHWKLQJ
HQWLUHO\GLIIHUHQWWKDQWKH]HURVXPJDPHRIDUWLFLDOVFDUFLW\IDYRULQJWRSGRZQLQYHVWRUVDQGPHGLDPDNHUVDOLNH

From all that has been said, the movements of the 21st&DUHQRW\RXUIDWKHUVVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVRUIRU
VRPHRIXVWKHPRYHPHQWVRIRXURZQ\RXWKIXOLGHDOLVP7KHVHPRYHPHQWVDUHQRWGLUHFWHGDWDSDUWLFXODU
event or single adversity, they are not episodic gatherings, but enduring as testaments to the enduring nature
of the contemporary economic system. We cannot analyze these movements using the tools and concepts of
the 20th C-although as I argued, a number of traditions in critical theory, NSM theory and sociology of emo-
WLRQVHVSHFLDOO\ZKHQFRQMRLQHGZLWKLVVXHVRIPRUDOLW\FDQSURYLGHLPSRUWDQWVWDUWLQJSRLQWV$VQRWHGWKH
ZRUNRI-DVSHUVDQG3ROOHWDZKLOHEDVHGRQPRYHPHQWVVXFKDVDQLPDOULJKWVQHYHUWKHOHVVKDVSURYLGHG
some very useful starting points. This essay has attempted to continue that discussion.
169 INTERNATIONALIZATION OF PROTESTS

Epilogue
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WKRVHZKRDVNDUHLQGHHGTXLWHXQDZDUHRIMXVWKRZPXFKKDVKDSSHQHG)URPWKHHQFDPSPHQWRI=XF-
FRWWL6TXDUHPRQWKVODWHUWKHUHDUHQRZSOXVRFFXSDWLRQVQDWLRQDOO\DQGLQWHUQDWLRQDOO\0RUHRYHU
LQWKDWWLPHWKHFRQFHUQVZLWKWKHEOHDWLQJVRIWKHWHDSDUW\KDYHJRQHEHORZWKHUDGDUDQGWKHQDWLRQDO
GLVFXVVLRQKDYHWXUQHGIURPDXVWHULW\GHEWUHGXFWLRQDQGUHWUHQFKPHQWVWRIDLUQHVVLQHTXDOLW\DQGWKHLP-
portance of job creation. And the recent positive, if anemic, economic picture has tended to support those
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GUHVVFRXOGKDYHEHHQZULWWHQE\2FFXSLHUV6PRQJWKHFOHDUUHVXOWVRI2FFXS\3HZ5HVHDUFKQRWVKRZV
WKDWRI$PHULFDQVQRZVHHWKDWWKHUHLVDJURZLQJDPRXQWRILQHTXDOLW\DUHZLOOLQJWRGHPDQGJUHDWHU
government support, economic investment, and that the that the rich pay higher taxes. Despite inclement
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7KH\DUHWKHSURGXFWRIFDSLWDOLVWFRQWUDGLFWLRQVWKDWZLOOQRWVRRQFKDQJH0RUHRYHUTXLWHXQGHUWKHUDGDU
WKH\KDYHEHHQIRUJLQJOLQNVZLWKODERUDFWLYLVWVDQWLIRUHFORVXUHJURXSVFRPPXQLW\DFWLYLVWVDQGPLQRULW\
FRPPXQLWLHVWKDWGHVSLWHPDQ\GLIIHUHQFHVDUHDOOLPSDFWHGE\WKHLQHTXDOLW\DQGXQIDLUQHVVDQGXQGHU-
VWDQGWKDW:DOO6WUHHWKDVWKHZHDOWKDQGEX\VWKHSRZHUEXWZKDWWKH\GRQWKDYHLVWKHSRSXODWLRQ7KH
2FFXS\PRYHPHQWVKDYHEHHQEXV\IRUJLQJDOOLDQFHV%XWWRIXOO\XQGHUVWDQGWKHVHPRYHPHQWVZHPXVW
occupy social movement theory.
YOUTH AND STUDENT
MOBILIZATIONS
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 172

The New Wave of Student Mobilizations in Europe


Explained as a Fordist-Posfordist Transition

JOSEBA FERNNDEZ
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Abstract
The transformation of the historical functions and goals of the European university
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WUDLQLQJ+RZHYHU,FODLPWKDWWKLVZDYHRIPRELOL]DWLRQFDQEHH[SODLQHGE\WKHFKDU-
acteristics of the Fordist model that still applies to the European university. This model
of university in extinction has facilitated a student response that can be characterized
in terms of the classical Fordist patterns of collective action. At the same time, these
patterns of action are being adapted to the emergence of the post-Fordist corporate-
XQLYHUVLW\WKURXJKVSHFLFUHSHUWRLUHVRIDFWLRQ

Keywords
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ment.

Introduction
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7KHFXUUHQWPXWDWLRQRIKLJKHUHGXFDWLRQKDVSURYRNHGDZDYHRIVWXGHQWPRELOL]DWLRQVDJDLQVWWKH%ROR-
JQD3URFHVV7KLVQHZVRFLDOPRYHPHQWKDVRSHQHGDEURDGGHEDWHRQWKHVLWXDWLRQRI(XURSHDQXQLYHUVL-
WLHVDQGFRQVHTXHQWO\RQWKHVWXGHQWFRQGLWLRQZKLFKLVYHU\GLIIHUHQWIURPKRZLWZDVLQSUHYLRXVVWXGHQW
cycles of mobilization (mainly the one of 1968).

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YHUVLW\LVSURGXFLQJWKHWUDQVLWLRQIURPPDVVXQLYHUVLW\WRZKDWKDVEHHQFDOOHGFRUSRUDWHXQLYHUVLW\ 6HYLOOD
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WKHZRUNLQJZRUOG:LWKWKLVDLP,ZLOOH[DPLQHKRZWKHQHZIXQFWLRQVRIWKHXQLYHUVLW\DUHDLPHGDWSURYLGLQJ
VHUYLFHVDQGSUHFDULRXVZRUNHUVWRWKHODERUVWUXFWXUHRI3RVW)RUGLVP)XUWKHUPRUHWKLVPXWDWLRQPLUURULQJWKH
$QJOR6D[RQPRGHORIXQLYHUVLW\KDVSURYRNHGKXJHVWXGHQWSURWHVWV7KHQHZVWXGHQWFULWLFLVPKDVEHHQPDLQO\
directed against the mercantilist orientation of the university, but also against the assimilation of the university as
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KDVEHHQFODLPHGWREHEDVHGLQWKHHPHUJHQFHRIDQHZVWXGHQWVXEMHFWLYLW\WKDWRIWKHSUHFDULRXVLQWUDLQLQJ
173 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

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facilitated a student response that can be characterized in terms of classical Fordist patterns of collective action. At
the same time, these patterns of action are being adapted to the emergence of the Post-Fordist corporate-university.

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LQVLGHWKH)RUGLVWXQLYHUVLW\DQGDQWLFLSDWHVDWWKHVDPHWLPHVRPHHOHPHQWVRQKRZWKHVWXGHQWVWUXJJOHV
ZLOOEHLQWKHQHZFRQWH[WRIWKHXQLYHUVLW\DVDGHYLFHRIH[LEOHSURGXFWLRQRINQRZOHGJH

The transformation of University:


towards a University in service of postfordism
Since the oil crisis of 1973 and the later neoliberal reorientation of economy, capitalism has experi-
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WLRQRIZRUNDQGWKHQHZZD\VIRUFDSLWDODSSUHFLDWLRQ:LWKLQWKLVFRQWH[WLQWKHODVW\HDUVVRPHWKHRULVWV
have developed the idea of FRJQLWLYHFDSLWDOLVP1WRH[SODLQWKHQHZHUDRIFDSLWDOLVPDQGWKHLQFUHDVLQJ
LPSRUWDQFHRINQRZOHGJH DQGDIIHFWV IRUWKHFDSLWDOLVWDFFXPXODWLRQ0RVWRIWKHVHWKHRULVWVEHORQJWRWKH
SRVWZRUNHULVWWUDGLWLRQ 1HJUL9LUQR)XPDJDOOLRU0H]]DGUDDPRQJRWKHUV DQGDUHLQXHQFHGE\WKH
ZRUNHULVWHPSKDVLVRQWKHUHDOVXEVXPSWLRQRIODERU,QWKLVVXEVXPSWLRQWKHFROOHFWLYHVRFLDOLQWHOOHFWXDO
productive ability is one of the main subjects of exploitation, including the collective cognitive capability
ZKDW0DU[UHIHUUHGWRDVWKH*HQHUDO,QWHOOHFWLQWKH*UXQGULVVH fragment on machines. This idea leads
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FDQEHFRQVLGHUHGDVDFRJQLWLYHSURFHVV$FFRUGLQJWRWKHVHLGHDVWKHSURGXFWLRQRINQRZOHGJHSOD\VD
FHQWUDOUROHIRUWKHFDSLWDOLVWDFFXPXODWLRQ:LWKLQWKLVWKHRUHWLFDOIUDPHZRUNXQLYHUVLWLHVEHFRPHDVWUD-
WHJLFVHFWRULQWKHLQFUHDVLQJO\LPSRUWDQWJOREDOPDUNHWRINQRZOHGJH

On the other hand, the deregulation of the labor market has led to a degradation of labor, specially for
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ture context for their lives.

Because of this transformation of labor, the transition from Fordism to Post-Fordism (from material to
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edge as a basic strategy for accumulation, the University has become a central institution in this transforma-
tion. In this sense, the deep transformation of the labor market and the changes produced inside the industrial
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GHSHQGHQWODERURQZKLFKWKHH[WUDFWLRQRIVXUSOXVODERULVIRXQGHG LL WKHWHUPFRJQLWLYHHPSKDVL]HVWKHQHZQDWXUHRIWKHFRQLFWXDOUHODWLRQRIFDSL-
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 174

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the University has also had to face the tensions derived from the general transition from Fordism to Post-
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How university adapts to Post-fordism: the importance of neoliberalism

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restructuring of the labor market, the implementation of neoliberal policies oriented to reduce the public
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scribed by de Sousa Santos (2005:20): (1) a high reduction of public investment in universities, and (2) the
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necessary to be in competence.

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3.- A institutional crisis, because of the increasing pressure to subjecting university to the criteria of
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racy, the project of university is under struggle. As Sotiris (2011) claims:

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being turned into private businesses, but as the condensation of class strategies related to the imperatives of hegemony
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175 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

How mass-university becomes corporate-university

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capitalism (namely, factory, school and family) (Zizek 2011: 166). In the case of education, lifelong learn-
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glorious years after the II World War) as both the product and the site of the real subsumption of labor that
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the mass university is functional to the designs of both the state and private managers of this real subsumption, but
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as a post-Fordist device. In this sense, there are some nuclear elements of the corporate-university that con-
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cilitate the use of trained technicians.

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to shift job very easily.

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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 176

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student (or educational) debt42QHRIWKHPDLQFKDUDFWHULVWLFRIWKHQHZHUDRIFDSLWDOLVPLVLWVQDQ]LDOL]D-
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DVZHFDQVHHWKHVHGD\VLQVHYHUDOXQLYHUVLWLHVRIWKH865). Moreover, the problem of the educational
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The new wave of student movement


and the fordist-postfordist transition
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the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) during nine months. Since that time, several stu-
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had the common goal of facing the neoliberal model applied to higher education. And also in clear harmony
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transnational coordination (in this case, European) and the contentious repertoire of protest.

The transition from the mass university to the corporate-university has caused a cycle of transnational
student mobilization6,QWKLVQHZVWXGHQWPRYHPHQWZDYHWKHIDFWRUVIDFLOLWDWLQJWKHHPHUJHQFHRIPR-
bilizations have varied -inevitably- from one context to another, and in terms of intensity, objectives and
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Looking for a possible genealogy of the new wave of student mobilizations

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177 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) during nine months. Since that time, several stu-
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had the common goal of facing the neoliberal model applied to higher education. And also in clear harmony
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transnational coordination (in this case, European) and the contentious repertoire of protest.

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movement start to be developed. Indeed, the process of the European Social Forum (ESF), becomes for
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spondents claimed to belong to student groups. This process created the conditions for a Europeanization
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On the other hand, the dynamics of sectionalism ESF (health, education, migrants, climate change, pub-
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ence 2002, Paris 2003, London 2004, Athens 2006, Malm 2008), and the development of the European
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Bologna process and the birth of a European coordination of the movement beyond the traditional stu-
dent union structured in the ESU.

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.RXYHODNLV DJDLQVWWKHODZRIKLJKHUHGXFDWLRQLQ*UHHFH  

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of free public university in Greece and the focus of resistance to the implementation of the Bologna
process in the Spanish State.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 178

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movement after the murder of the teenager Alexander Grigoropoulos by the police in December 2008, led
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Last year, mainly England but also Italy and other peripheral countries of EU (such as Serbia) led the
protests against the educations cuts of the austerity measures dictated by the governments. In both cases, a
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DQGYLVXDOH[DPSOHRIWKHFRQLFWDURXQGNQRZOHGJHSUHFDULW\DQGHGXFDWLRQ

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gle in Chile8KDVEHHQRQHRIWKHPRVWLQWHQVLYHSURWHVWVLQWKHFRXQWU\VLQFHWKHEUHDNGRZQRI3LQRFKHWV
dictatorship. Also in Colombia there has been a huge mobilization against the marketization of higher edu-
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JOREDOUHEHOF\FOHZLWKPRELOL]DWLRQVLQVHYHUDOFRXQWULHVDQGFRQWH[WV,QWKHVHGLIIHUHQWPRYHPHQWVZH
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and the huge problem of the student debt in the public debate.

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of the student movement in each country, Roggero9DUJXHVWKDWLWLVSRVVLEOHWRQGFRPPRQHOHPHQWVWRDOO
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ZKHUH LY DQGQDOO\WKHUHFRQJXUDWLRQRIWKHVSDFHWLPHLQWKHSURGXFWLRQRIDXWRQRPRXVNQRZOHGJH
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during the 1968 cycle), the student/youth mobilizations have acted as a tactical vanguard and as a catalyst
for social antagonisms in very different demographic contexts and political situations (such as Arab coun-
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changes have turned into mobilizing factors: On the one hand, the rise of cultural capital of youth, that
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 6HHKWWSZZZIXQGDFLRQEHWLNRRUJLQGH[SKSHVDQRVPRYLOL]DFLRQHVHVWXGLDQWLOHVHQFKLOH
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179 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

3UHFLVHO\WKHFRQFHSWRI\RXWKKDVEHHQXVHGLQVRPHZD\DVDQHPSW\VLJQLHU /DFODX 
becoming a legitimizer for contentious mobilization. For instance, in the Spanish case, the appeal to the
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)XWXUR <RXWKZLWKRXWIXWXUH VWXGHQWSODWIRUP10 on April the 7th. In this case, the term youth, acting
DVDQHPSW\VLJQLHUHQFDSVXODWHGPXFKRIWKHVRFLDOUHDOLW\DQGWKHFROOHFWLYHLPDJLQDWLRQWKDWDOORZHG
WRMXVWLI\VXFKDPRELOL]DWLRQ7KLVXVHZDVDOVRDSSOLHGLQ3RUWXJDOE\WKH*HUDFDRD5DVFD movement.
7KHVHH[DPSOHVVKRZWKDWLQWKHEDWWOHIRUOHJLWLPDF\DQGVRFLDOKHJHPRQ\WKHUROHRIWKHVWXGHQWPRYH-
ment and youth in general is still key. In the last months, the appeal to the condition of youth has been
instrumental in articulating broad movements that undermine the dominant discourse on the economical
crisis and the austerity measures.

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The chances of the mass university for student activism

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WRFODLPWKDW8QLYHUVLW\QRZDGD\VLVDWRWDOSRVW)RUGLVWFRQWH[WZKHUHWKHVRFLDOERQGVKDYHGLVVDSHDUHG
and the individualization of relationships is total. Thus, some structural and inherent elements of University
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,QWKLVVHQVHWKHQHZHPHUJHQFHRIWKHVWXGHQWPRYHPHQWFDQEHH[SODLQHGE\VHYHUDOUHDVRQV$PRQJ
the different approaches existing for the social movements study, the resource mobilization perspective
RQVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVVHHPVWREHWKHPRVWDSSURSULDWHWRH[SODLQWKLVQHZZDYHRIVWXGHQWPRYHPHQWV
Thus, the persistent mass university offers tangible and intangible resources (Freeman: 1979:170) for the
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taken by student movements, in the last years, as a tactical vanguard (Mandel, 1973: 33) in the mobiliza-
tion process in Europe or in other regional areas.

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interests shared by the students inside the faculties. This fact is really interesting because as Toscano claims
(2011: 83): $WRQFHUHHFWLQJDQGDWWLPHVH[DFHUEDWLQJWKHGLYLVLRQVDQGFRQWUDGLFWLRQVLQVRFLHW\DW
ODUJHWKHXQLYHUVLW\FDQDOVRXQLI\VWXGHQWVLQZD\VWKDWFRUSRUDWLYLVWRUIUDJPHQWHGLQWHUHVWFDQQRW.

Obviously, as Bourdieu (2004) claimed, the education is a central institution for the social reproduction
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FRQWUDGLFWRU\ZLWKWKHLGHDGHIHQGHGE\UHVHDUFKHUVDV6HYLOOD

VWXGHQWVGRQRWFRQVWLWXWHDFODVVUDWKHUWKH\QGWKHPVHOYHVVLWXDWHGLQDWHPSRUDOFRQGLWLRQWKH\DUHDSSUHQWLFH
LQWHOOHFWXDOZRUNHUVZKRWKHPRPHQWWKH\JDLQVHOIFRQVFLRXVQHVVDVDFRPPXQLW\DUHGLVSHUVHGDQGQGWKHPVHOYHV
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enormous political impulse in country after country.

10 6HH(UUHMyQ  LQKWWSZZZUHEHOLRQRUJQRWLFLDSKS"LG 


From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 180

On the other hand, the tangible resources available for the student movements are directly linked to the
VWXGHQWHQYLURQPHQW,QWKLVFDVHWKHWZRPDLQUHVRXUFHVDUHWKHDYDLODEOHWLPHDQGWKHVKDUHGSK\VLFDO
space. Both of them imply a great chance to achieve the goal of organizing and mobilizing students.

Regarding WLPHWKHSDUWLFXODUVWXGHQWFRQGLWLRQDOORZVPDQ\VWXGHQWVWRKDYHWKHLURZQWLPHUHOHDVHG
IURPZRUN QRWDOLHQDWHGWLPH ZKLFKEHFRPHVDQRSSRUWXQLW\IRUFROOHFWLYHVHOIRUJDQL]DWLRQWRGHYHORSD
FROOHFWLYHGLDJQRVWLFDQGGLVFRXUVHRQWKHLURZQLQWHUHVWVDQGWRKDYHHQRXJKWLPHWRDJUHHRQDUHSHUWRLUH
of actions to be displayed in order to defense these common interests. Indeed, the introduction of ECTS
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UDWHVRIVWXG\WKDWDUHLQIDFWUK\WKPVRIZRUN7KHDSSOLFDWLRQRI(&76FUHGLWVLVOHDGLQJWRWKHVXFFHVVLRQ
DQGSUROLIHUDWLRQRIFRXUVHVVHPLQDUVPRGXOHVWHVWVSURMHFWVDQGUHTXLUHGFRXUVHVWKDWPDNHGLIFXOWWR
FRPELQHWKHVWXGLHVZLWKKDYLQJDMRERUDQ\H[WUDFXUULFXODUDFWLYLW\8QLYHUVLW\LQWKLVVHQVHORRNVDMXVW
LQWLPH assembly line.

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LQWRDOLHQDWHGZRUNWLPHWKHZRUNWREHFRPHIXWXUHSUHFDULRXV%HFDXVHRIWKLVWKHH[SURSULDWLRQRIWKH
VWXGHQWVOLIHWLPHLVWKHFHQWUDOHOHPHQWIRUPDQGFRQWHQWRIWKHQHZVWXGHQWFRQGLWLRQ7KLVGRPLQLRQRYHU
WKHOLIHWLPHKDVWZRPDLQPHDQLQJV)LUVWO\WKHRULHQWDWLRQRIWKHVWXGLHVDFFRUGLQJWRWKHVSHFLDOUHTXLUH-
PHQWVRIFRUSRUDWLRQVZKDWPHDQVWKDWVSHFLFVNLOOVVKRXOGEHGHYHORSHGE\WKHZRUNIRUFHWREHPDUNHW-
DEOH6HFRQGO\WKHFHQWUDOHOHPHQWLQSUDFWLFHLVWRGLVFLSOLQHWKHIXWXUHZRUNIRUFHDQGWKHHOLPLQDWLRQRI
WKHULJKWWRRUJDQL]HWKHRZQOLIH,QJHQHUDOWHUPVZHFDQVD\WKDWVWXGLHVDUHRULHQWDWHGWROHDUQKRZWREH
SUHFDULRXVDQGDERYHDOOKRZWREHDYDLODEOHIRUDQ\MRE

2QWKHRWKHUKDQGZHQGWKHDYDLODELOLW\RID FRPPRQSK\VLFDOVSDFH. located in universities and


faculties. This shared space makes easier for students to be in touch, to establish relationships and bonds
ZLWKLQWKHPRYHPHQWDQGWRGHYHORSIRUPDODQGLQIRUPDOQHWZRUNVRIDFWLYLVWV,QWXUQWKLVPDNHVHDVLHU
ZKDW.ODQGHUPDQV  GHQHVDVWKHIRUPDWLRQRIFRQVHQVXV11ZKLFKLVRQHRIWKHFHQWUDOHOHPHQWV
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of consensus seems to be elaborated easier than in the individualization of labor relations.

This individual disconnection and fragmentation caused by neoliberalism and post-Fordism has had a
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OLIHWLPHDQGRIDVKDUHGSK\VLFDOVSDFHDPRQJRWKHUQHZGLIFXOWLHVIRUSUHFDULRXVZRUNHUV,QGHHGWKH
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from the social origins or the common uncertain future. Rather, the mass student shares a social space
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self-organization. In the fragmentation of society caused by instability and precariousness, this is a com-
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DJHQWLQVRFLDOFRQLFWVVWLOOQRZZLWKVRPHUHVRXUFHVGLIFXOWO\QGDEOHLQWKHFXUUHQWODERUPDUNHWVSH-
FLDOO\IRUSUHFDULRXVDQGZRUNLQJSRRUV,FODLPWKDWZHFDQXQGHUVWDQGWKHVHUHVRXUFHVDVWKHUHPLQLVFHQF-
es of the Fordism still alive in University. According to this thesis, it might be said that the late transition of

11 7KDWLVWKHFROOHFWLYHIRUPDWLRQZLWKLQFHUWDLQVRFLDOQHWZRUNVRIDFRPPRQGHQLWLRQRQDSDUWLFXODU VXSSRVHGO\XQIDLU VLWXDWLRQ


181 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

the University to the post-Fordist labor market means, through the evolution of the university into a model
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XVHGWRRUJDQL]HWKHPVHOYHV+RZHYHUWKHVXUYLYDORIVKDUHGVXEFXOWXUHVDQGRIWKHSK\VLFDOVSDFHVVWLOO
PDLQWDLQVWKHFKDQFHVWRGHQHFRPPRQLGHQWLWLHVDQGLQWHUHVWVZKLFKDUHNH\WRHQVXULQJWKHRUJDQL]D-
tional forms of the student response.

Facing the knowledge factory: precarious in training

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sistance undertaken by student movements against the deep mutations of the functions of the University.
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student movement is oriented against the precariousness offered in and after the years at the University12.

In fact, as claimed by Kouvelakis (2006), during the student struggle against the First Employee Con-
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WRWKHLUFRQGLWLRQRISUHFDULRXVZRUNHUV%HFDXVHRIWKDWDV6RWLULV  GHIHQGV

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demands, to create forms of solidarity. Student movements are not just a reaction to the devaluation of degrees but
are a part of greater social mobilization against the neoliberal restructuring of the totality of capital labor relations.

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DQGXQLYHUVLWLHVDQG\RXQJZRUNHUVGXHWRWKHLQFUHDVHLQZDJHHDUQLQJDFWLYLW\DPRQJO\FpHDQGDERYHDOO
university students. Because of that, differently to the 1968 movement, this transformation has not only
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WLRQRIVWXGHQWDQGZRUNLQJSRRU$GLVFRXUVHDEOHWREHWWHUXQGHUVWDQGWKHQHZFRQGLWLRQRIVWXGHQWVDQG
WKHQHZIXQFWLRQVRIXQLYHUVLWLHV

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in training) through the old lens of Fordism: that is, thinking in the student as an inactive and unproductive
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LQFUHDVLQJO\FRQIXVHG7KXVVWXGHQWVDVSURGXFHUVRINQRZOHGJHZRXOGEHDOUHDG\LQSURGXFWLRQUHJDUG-
OHVVRIWKHFRQFUHWHH[LVWHQFHRIDZRUNLQJUHODWLRQVKLS7RGD\WKHVWXGHQWLVLPPHGLDWHO\SUHFDULRXVDVD
SURGXFHURINQRZOHGJHDQGZLVGRP (6& $V&DOHOOD  FODLPV

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UDU\ZRUNHUVZLWKFRVW]HURLQWKHPDQGDWRU\SUDFWLFHVRULQWKHWKRXVDQGVRISUHFDULRXVMREVZLWKQRULJKWVWRZKLFK
have been constrained. But above all, they are a good of production, a particular commodity.

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SUROHWDULDQL]DWLRQGHULYHGIURPIRULQVWDQFHWKHJUDGXDWHVZRUNLQJMREVWKDWSUHYLRXVO\RQO\UHTXLUHGD
12 1HHGOHVVWRVD\WKDWZKDWLVUHDOO\GLIIHUHQWDPRQJWKHWZRF\FOHVLVWKHPDWHULDOVLWXDWLRQRIWKHWZRJHQHUDWLRQV$V%HQVDLGH[SODLQHG  ZHFDQQG
LQWKHVHZDYHVWKHWUDQVLWLRQIURPWKHJHWWLQJEHWWHURIWKHVWRWKHJHWWLQJZRUVHRIWKHQHZWLPHV
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 182

high-school degree13. Thus, University is becoming a factory of precariousness for most of the students
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1RZDGD\VWKHGHWHULRUDWLRQRIVWXGHQWVOLIHFRQGLWLRQVKDVPHDQWDFRPPRQVHOILGHQWLFDWLRQDVSUH-
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WRWKHGHHSPXWDWLRQRIXQLYHUVLWLHVDQGQDOO\WRDQHZVWXGHQWFRQGLWLRQWKDWKDVEHHQSURFHVVHGE\WKH
VWXGHQWPRYHPHQWDFWLYLVWVDVDJHQHUDOIUDPHZRUNRILQMXVWLFH

The repertoire of action of the new student mobilizations

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displays a non-institutionalized political action, and, on the other hand, because student movement devel-
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academic regularities, development of several forms of counter-information, and so on (Gonzlez Calleja,
2009:53). In the last period of mobilization of the student movement, these repertoires have evolved and
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LQQRYDWLRQVLQWKHIRUPVRIDFWLRQ7KLVVKRZVWKHRUJDQL]DWLRQDOH[LELOLW\RIWKHPRYHPHQWDQGWKHDELOLW\
WRLQWHUSUHWWKHVRFLDODQGSROLWLFDOFRQWH[WDVZHOODVWKHRSSRUWXQLWLHVLWSURYLGHV

7KLVF\FOHKDVDOVRGHYHORSHGDVSHFLFUHSHUWRLUHRIDFWLRQRIWKHPRYHPHQW'XHWRWKHLUV\PEROLFLPSDFW
DQGWKHKLJKGLIIXVLRQWKH\KDYHKDG,ZLOODWWHQGWRWZRRIWKHUHSHUWRLUHVWKDWKDYHEHHQUHSHDWHGLQGLIIHUHQW
contexts: (1) the faculty occupations and blockades, and (2) the development of the initiative of the book block.

Faculty occupations and blockades


The occupation of faculties have been a symbol of the movement and, in the case of Europe, they have had
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Spain etc.14,QHYHU\FRXQWU\ZKHUHWKHUHKDVEHHQDVWXGHQWPRELOL]DWLRQWKLVKDVEHHQWKHPRVWUHSHDWHG
UHSHUWRLUH$VZHKDYHSUHYLRXVO\VHHQWKHH[SURSULDWLRQRIWLPHLVDFHQWUDOHOHPHQWLQWKHQHZVWXGHQW DQG
precarious) condition. Through the occupations, the student movements tried to free time for themselves and
for social activism. As activists recognize, in the case of the protests against the Bolonia Process, occupations
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WKHPRYHPHQWVFULWLFL]HGPRVWO\DSSURYHGLQDQRQGHPRFUDWLFZD\'HYHORSHGDV-DSDQHVHVWULNHV LQWKH
Spanish case), these occupations had the goal to achieve the social time necessary to articulate the protest
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Furthermore, occupations acted as a mechanism to build up the movement and the opposition discourse.

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DVVHPEO\OLQHRIXQLYHUVLWLHVDQGEUHDNLQJWKHRZRINQRZOHGJHSURGXFWLRQ 6HYLOODDQG8UEDQ 

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14 $PDSRIXQLYHUVLWLHVRFFXSLHGLQ(XURSHLQ1RYHPEHURIFDQEHIRXQGKHUHKWWSPDSVJRRJOHFRPPDSVPV"KO GHDQGLH 87)DQGRH 87)DQGV
ource=embedandmsa=0andmsid=116283369278129786033.0004778dfa81fb402d565andll=49.781264,12.348633andspn=13.632758,28.125andz=5
183 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

The book block


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7KLVUHSHUWRLUHZDVUVWO\SXWLQWRSUDFWLFHE\,WDOLDQDFWLYLVWVLQ/DWHULWVSUHDGWRRWKHUFRXQWULHV
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meaning of this repertoire:

is a nod to the various student struggles and precarious youth that have developed around Europe and that have also
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WKLQJVRIXQGDPHQWDODVDERRNDQGWKHGHIHQVHRIFXOWXUHDQGNQRZOHGJHDJDLQVWWKHPDUNHWL]DWLRQRIWKHXQLYHUVLW\15.

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DFWLYLVWVIURPSROLFHDOZD\VDVDFWLYHQRQYLROHQWGLVREHGLHQFH16 Symbolically strong, the book block
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of the book block and its sense also means that the contradictions involved in the University cannot be
solved, exclusively, inside the university itself. And this is because the subsumption of university inside the
JOREDOPDUNHWRINQRZOHGJHPDNHVLWLPSRVVLEOHDQGEHFDXVHWKHFRQGLWLRQRISUHFDULRXVGHYHORSVLQVLGH
and, even more, outside university.

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SRVW)RUGLVWWUDQVLWLRQRIWKHODERUPDUNHWDWOHDVWLQWKHQHZPDQDJHPHQWDQGJRDOVRIXQLYHUVLWLHV,KDYH
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expressed and organized because of the resources available for students, specially the time and the common
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student movements objective chances to organize social protest. In fact, the mass university associated to
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WKHSRVW)RUGLVWODERUPDUNHWLQKLELWVRUDWOHDVWPDNHVPXFKPRUHGLIFXOWWRDUWLFXODWH

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H[SODLQZK\WKHVWXGHQWVXEMHFWKDVEHHQLQWKHODVW\HDUVRQHRIWKHPRVWLPSRUWDQWDFWRUVRIFRQWHQ-
tious social mobilization. In fact, the student protests have acted as a catalyst movement for a broader
processes of social mobilization. At the same time, the construction of a common identity (precarious
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LPSDFWVRYHUWKHUHFHQWZDYHRIPRELOL]DWLRQV L UVWO\WKHOLQNRIWKHFXUUHQWVWXGHQWPRYHPHQWZLWK
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 184

WKHZRUOGRIZRUNRUDWOHDVWWKHDUWLFXODWLRQRIDPRYHPHQWDFWLQJLQVLGHDQGRXWVLGHXQLYHUVLW\DVDKDUG
FULWLTXHWRWKHVLWXDWLRQRISUHFDULRXVQHVV LL VHFRQGO\SXWWLQJLQWRSUDFWLFHVRPHUHSHUWRLUHVRULHQWHGWR
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corporate-university.

References
Bensaid, D: 2008, 1968. El mundo pudo cambiar de base. (Ed. Viento Sur y Libros de la Catarata. Madrid)
Bourdieu, P. and Passeron, J.C : 2004: Los herederos. Los estudiantes y la cultura. )Siglo XX editores. Buenos Aires),
%RXVTXHW0+RZWKH8QLYHUVLW\ZRUNV+LJKHUHGXFDWLRQDQGWKHORZZDJHQDWLRQ 1HZ<RUN8QLYHUVLW\3UHVV S
&DOHOOD*8QLYHUVLWjIDEEULFDHVWXGHQWLPHUFHLQ&DOHOODHWDO HGV /RQGDDQRPDOD$OODULFHUFDGHOODXWRSROLWLFD (GL]LRQL
Alegre, Roma), p.75.
&RKQ%HQGLW''XWHXLO-3*pUDUG%DQG*UDQDXWLHU%:K\VRFLRORJLVWV"LQ&RFNEXUQ$%ODFNEXUQ5 HGV 6WXGHQW
SRZHU3UREOHPV'LDJQRVLV$FWLRQ 3HQJXLQ1HZ/HIW5HYLHZ/RQGRQ S
'HOOD3RUWD'6XUJLPLHQWRGHPRYLPLHQWRVHXURSHRV"6RFLHGDGFLYLO\8QLyQ(XURSHD$JRUD5HYLVWDGH&LHQFLDV6RFLDOHVQ
118, (Fundacin CEPS, Valencia), p.33.
(6&DWHOLHURFFXSDWR7HVLVXOOXQLYHUVLWiULIRUPDWDZZZHVFDWHOLHUQHW
Fernndez, J., Sevilla, C., Urbn, M.: 2009, Un nuevo sujeto estudiantil: surfeando contra la precariedad y la mercantilizacin de la
universidad in Anuario de Movimientos sociales 2009: Jvenes en la red. Pedro Ibarra y Elena Grau (coords). (Fundacin Betiko.
Barcelona)
Field, J. y Laraa, E. (coords.): 1994, Los movimientos sociales: de la ideologa a la identidad. (CIS. Madrid)
Freeman, J.: 1979, Resource mobilization and strategy: a model for analyzing social movement organization actions in Zald, M.N. And
McCarthy J.D., The dynamics of social movements. (Winthrop Publishers Cambridge, Massachusetts).
Gonzlez Calleja, E.: 2009, Rebelin en las aulas. Movilizacin y protesta estudiantil en la Espaa contempornea: 1865-2008. (Alianza
Editorial. Madrid), p.53.
+DUYH\'7KHFRQGLWLRQRISRVPRGHUQLW\ (G%ODFNZHOO2[IRUG
.RXYHODNLV6)UDQFHIURPUHYROWWRDOWHUQDWLYH,QWHUQDWLRQDO6RFLDOLVW7HQGHQF\'LVFXVVLRQ%XOOHWLQQRZZZLVWHQGHQF\QHWS
Laclau, E.:1996, Emancipation(s). (Verso Books, London)
Mandel, E.: 1973, La proletarizacin del trabajo intelectual y la crisis de la produccin capitalista en la Rebelin estudiantil y la sociedad contempornea.
0F$GDP'0FFDUWK\-'=DOG0 HG 0RYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVSHUVSHFWLYDVFRPSDUDGDV (G,VWPR0DGULG
0F$GDP'7DUURZ67LOO\&K'LQiPLFDGHODFRQWLHQGDSROtWLFD (G+DFHU%DUFHORQD
6HYLOOD&/DIiEULFDGHOFRQRFLPLHQWR/DXQLYHUVLGDGHPSUHVDHQODSURGXFFLyQH[LEOH (GLWRULDO(O9LHMR7RSR%DUFHORQD
Sevilla, C. y Urbn, M.: 2008, Tesis sobre la universidad y el movimiento estudiantil, in Asamblea Ciencias Sociales Crticas,
Movimientos estudiantiles: resistir, imaginar, crear en la universidad, (Ed. Gakoa, Hondarribia), pp.61-101.
6ODXJKWHU6DQG5KRDGHV*$FDGHPLFFDSLWDOLVPDQGWKHQHZHFRQRP\0DUNHWV6WDWHDQG+LJKHU(GXFDWLRQ 7KH-RKQ+RSNLQV
University Press, Baltimore).
6RWLULV37KHRUL]LQJWKH(QWUHSUHQHXULDO8QLYHUVLW\2SHQTXHVWLRQVDQGSRVVLEOHDQVZHUV 3DSHUSUHVHQWHGDWWKH,QWHUQDWLRQDO
Conference on Critical Education, Athens 12-16 July 2011)
de Sousa Santos, B.: 2005, La universidad en el siglo XXI. Para una reforma democrtica y emancipadora de la universidad. (Ed.
Laboratorio de Polticas Pblicas. Buenos Aires),p.20.
7DUURZ6(OSRGHUHQPRYLPLHQWR/RVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVODDFFLyQFROHFWLYD\ODSROtWLFD (G$OLDQ]D0DGULG
7DUURZ61XHYRDFWLYLVPRWUDVQDFLRQDO (G+DFHU%DUFHORQD
Tilly, Ch.: 2009, Los movimientos sociales, 1768-2008. Desde sus orgenes a Facebook. (Ed. Crtica.,Barcelona)
Toscano, A.: 2011, The university as a Political Space in The Assault on Universities: A manifesto for Resistance (edited by Michael Bailey
185 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

and Des Freedman)( Ed. Pluto Press, London),


Toscano, A.: 2011, The Limits of Autonomy: Cognitive capitalism and university struggles in Peters, M.A., Bulut, E. (editors), Cognitive
FDSLWDOLVPHGXFDWLRQDQGGLJLWDOODERU 3HWHU/DQJ3XEOLVKLQJ,QF1HZ<RUN 
Vercellone, C.: 2007, From formal subsumption to general intellect: elements for a marxist reading of the thesis of cognitive capitalism, in
Historical Materialism , 15, 1: 13-36.
:LOOLDPV-/DSHGDJRJtDGHODGHXGDLQ(GX)DFWRU\DQG8QLYHUVLGDG1yPDGD FRPSV /D8QLYHUVLGDGHQ&RQLFWRFDSWXUDV\
IXJDVHQHOPHUFDGRJOREDOGHOVDEHU (G7UDFDQWHVGH6XHxRV0DGULG
Zizek, S.: 2011, Primero como farsa, despus como tragedia. (Ed. Akal. Madrid), p.166.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 186

Precarious present, uncertain future:


multiples dimensions of precarity as a symbolic tool
and resource in the Italian university mobilisation

LORENZO ZAMPONI
European University Institute

Introduction
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RIFRQLFWIRFXVLQJLQSDUWLFXODURQWKHVWXGHQWPRYHPHQW

The idea of going out of my comfort zone and approaching this topic came to me and my friend and col-
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RIRWKHUDFDGHPLFFRPPLWPHQWV LQSUHVVHGE\WKHXUJHQF\RIWKHWRSLF$VGRFWRUDOVWXGHQWVZHDUH
DFWXDOO\OLYLQJWKLVFRQGLWLRQRISUHFDULW\LQRXUUHVHDUFKZRUNDQGZHKDYHSDUWLFLSDWHGLQWKHXQLYHUVLW\
PRELOLVDWLRQVRIWKHODVWIHZ\HDUV7KHUHIRUHZHWKRXJKWZHVKRXOGVWDUWWRLQYHVWLJDWHWKLVPDWWHUERWK
DVUHVHDUFKHUVDQGDVDFWLYLVWVLQRUGHUWRLPSURYHWKHVFKRODUO\NQRZOHGJHRQWKLVHOGDQGWRFRQWULEXWH
RIWKHVHOIDZDUHQHVVRIWKHVRFLDODFWRUVLQYROYHGLQWKLVSURFHVV

7KLVLVDZRUNLQJSDSHUWKHVWDUWRIP\LQYHVWLJDWLRQLQWKLVHOG,DPPDLQO\LQWHUHVWHGLQSUHFDULW\DVD
V\PEROLFUHVRXUFHDQGWRRODEOHWRWUDQVFHQGWKHVRFLDOHOGRIODERXUDQGWRWDNHRQDZLGHUPHDQLQJDQG
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LQWHUHVWHGLQUHFRQVWUXFWLQJVRPHWUDLWVRIWKHVKLIWIURPWKHH[LELOLW\GLVFRXUVHWRWKHSUHFDULW\GLVFRXUVH
In the third section, I analyse the main contents of the precarity discourse in the context of the university
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and in the fourth I try to individuate the most useful theoretical lenses for the further research on the role of
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Epistemological and ethical aspects

Doing research on social movements involves various kind of ethical, methodological and epistemo-
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Furthermore, I address the object of study both as a researcher and as an activist. I have been engaged in
the student movement since 2001 and I am actually a member of the national executive committee of Rete
della Conoscenza, the largest Italian student union.

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187 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

concerns data gathering, data analysis and capacity of comprehension of the internal dynamics of the
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are the references to the events that characterised the university mobilisation of 2009-2010: in those cases,
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LVWKHRQO\ZULWWHQDFFRXQWRIWKDWZDYHRIVWXGHQWSURWHVWVR,KDYHQRRWKHUFKRLFH

The symbolic dimension of collective action

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collective identity) in the making of a social movement (Touraine 1981, Melucci 1996).

Collective identity is considered a strategic device for both the setting of borders for the group member-
ship and the motivation of individuals to action. It links the actors to each other, it grants patterns to go over
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VWUDLQWVZKLFKQRWRQO\KDYHWRGRZLWKPDWHULDOUHVRXUFHVEXWDOVRZLWKFXOWXUDORQHV$FWRUVLQWHUSUHWDWLRQVRIWKHLU
VLWXDWLRQWKHLUSUHFRQFHSWLRQVWKHLULPSOLFLWDVVXPSWLRQVDERXWVRFLDOOLIHDQGLWVJXLGLQJSULQFLSOHVDERXWZKDWLV
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bedded. Social agency is indeed at the same time oriented on the reproduction of its constraining structures, and the
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GLVFRXUVH 2OLFN DQGLQVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVWXGLHVLQWKHLUSROHPLFDOHVVD\TXHVWLRQLQJWKHVWUXF-
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 188

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In that debate and in other occasions, Francesca Polletta called for a different conceptualization of cul-
ture, as the symbolic dimension of all structures, institutions, and practices (political, economic, educa-
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building process (Polletta and Jasper 2001, Tilly 2002, della Porta and Diani 2006).

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2008).

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of capitalism. (CSALE 2010)

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bank Mario Draghi1 and then-premier Silvio Berlusconi2. In fact, the change in the terms of the debate is

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189 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

shared by different social actors and does not seem directly related to their position in the topic. A clear
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WKHPXVHGSUHFDULDW3.

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on social action (Couldry 2008), using the set of instruments typical of critical discourse analysis usually
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trality, excessive rationalism, exclusion of household and economy and monism (Garnham 1992), others
have denounced the fragmentation of the contemporary public sphere (Gitlin 1998), others have described
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the precarity discourse, that is clearly visible and analysable in the mainstream public sphere, probably as
a result of more complex and articulated processes that happened out of it or in its margins. Others have
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develop in the arena of the mainstream media, that is the mediatised public sphere.

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level of public legitimacy they have and they can give (Cavallari 1990).

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H[LELOLW\WRSUHFDULW\,QRUGHUWRVKRZWKLVSURFHVV,KDYHDQDO\VHGWKHRFFXUUHQFHRIWKHZRUGV
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LPSRUWDQW,WDOLDQQHZVSDSHUVERWKLQWHUPVRIGLVWULEXWLRQDQGRIFXOWXUDOUHOHYDQFHWKDWDUH/D5HSXEEOLFD
and ,O&RUULHUHGHOODVHUD7KHZRUGVDUHXVHGDVLQGH[HVRIWKHGLIIHUHQWLQWHUSUHWLYHSDFNDJHV *DPVRQ
DQG0RGLJOLDQL XVHGWRDGGUHVVWKHWRSLFRIODERXU,QWKHQH[WVHFWLRQV,ZLOOWU\WRUHFRQVWUXFWWKH
traits that constitute one of these packages and to elaborate some hypotheses for further research on the role
of these symbolic elements in the processes of mobilisation in the university.

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 ,FKLQR3  &RQWURLOSUHFDULDWRXQQXRYRGLULWWRGHOODYRUR3LHWUR,FKLQR>RQOLQH@)HE$YDLODEOHDWKWWSZZZSLHWURLFKLQRLW"S !
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 190

7DEOH2FFXUUHQFHVSHU\HDURIWKHZRUGVHVVLELOLWjDQGSUHFDULHWjRUSUHFDULDWR
in /D5HSXEEOLFD, from 1992 to 2011

7DEOH2FFXUUHQFHVSHU\HDURIWKHZRUGVHVVLELOLWjDQGSUHFDULHWjRUSUHFDULDWR
in ,O&RUULHUHGHOODVHUD, from 1992 to 2011

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ODWHVW\HDUVLVVPDOOHU%XWWKHWUHQGLVVLPLODUDFOHDUSUHYDOHQFHRIH[LELOLW\LQWKHVDQGRISUHFDU-
LW\LQWKHV

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FUHDVLQJDQGWKHDEVROXWHQXPEHURIRFFXUUHQFHVRIDZRUGFDQGHSHQGRQWKHSDUWLFXODUIRFXVRIDQHZVSD-
SHURQDWRSLFLQDFHUWDLQSHULRGRIWLPH,IZHDUHLQWHUHVWHGLQWKHUHODWLYHJURZWKRIWKHXVHRISUHFDULW\
RYHUH[LELOLW\DPRUHHIIHFWLYHYLHZPLJKWVKRZQE\WKHUHSUHVHQWDWLRQRIWKHUDWLRRIRFFXUUHQFHVRI
SUHFDULW\WRRFFXUUHQFHVRIH[LELOLW\
191 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

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In /D5HSXEEOLFD and ,O&RUULHUHGHOODVHUD, from 1992 to 2011

This chart gives the best possible image of the evolution of the public discourse in the mainstream
PHGLDWKHUDWLRLVHTXDOO\ORZLQERWKWKHQHZVSDSHUVLQWKHVDQGWKHQLWVWDUWVLQFUHDVLQJWKHWUHQG
SURFHHGVLQWKHVDPHZD\ZLWKDGLIIHUHQFHEHWZHHQWKHQHZVSDSHUVWKDWUHPDLQVVWDEOHSHDNLQJLQ
DQGWKHQGHFUHDVLQJ7KHODUJHVWGLIIHUHQFHLVLQWKHODVWWZR\HDUV

7KLVWUDMHFWRULHVFDQEHLQWHUSUHWHGLQGLIIHUHQWZD\VWKHSHDNFRPHVDWWKHHQGRIWKHUVWZDYHRI
mobilisation on precarity (Mattoni 2009), during the period of the center-left government led by Romano
3URGLZKHQWKHDWWLWXGHWRZDUGVODERXUZDVDQLQWHQVHWRSLFRIGHEDWHLQWKHPDMRULW\FRDOLWLRQWKHGH-
FUHDVHDIWHUPLJKWEHOLQNHGWRDJHQHUDOVKLIWWRZDUGVWKHULJKWRIWKH,WDOLDQSROLWLFDOHOGZLWKWKH
liberal turn imposed by Walter Veltroni to the center-left coalition, the disappearance from the parliament
RIWKHUDGLFDOOHIWDQGWKHVWDUWRIDQHZULJKWJRYHUQPHQWOHGE\6LOYLR%HUOXVFRQLEXWDUHOHYDQWUROHPLJKW
DOVREHSOD\HGE\WKHQDQFLDOFULVLVZKLFKFRQWULEXWHGWRVKLIWWKHPHGLDDWWHQWLRQIURPODERXUUHODWHGWR
PDUNHWRULHQWHGWRSLFVDQGYLHZV

$OOWKHVHK\SRWKHVHVQHHGWREHYHULHGLQIXUWKHUUHVHDUFK:KDWLVFOHDUHYHQIURPWKLVVNHWFK\TXDQWL-
WDWLYHDQDO\VLVLVWKHJHQHUDOHYROXWLRQRIWKHSXEOLFGLVFRXUVHLQWKHPDLQVWUHDPQHZVSDSHUVZLWKDYLVLEOH
VKLIWIURPWKHH[LELOLW\GLVFRXUVHWRWKHSUHFDULW\GLVFRXUVH

7KHUHDUHTXDVLREYLRXVVWUXFWXUDOUHDVRQVIRUWKLVVKLIWURRWHGLQWKHLQWHUDFWLRQEHWZHHQWKHHYROXWLRQ
RIWKH,WDOLDQODERXUPDUNHWDQGWKHFKDQJLQJJOREDOHFRQRPLFSKDVH7KHOLWHUDWXUHVKRZVKRZSUHFDU-
LW\KDVEHFRPHDTXDVLXELTXLWRXVFRQGLWLRQIRUPRVW,WDOLDQ\RXWKSRLQWLQJRXWGLIIHUHQWDVSHFWVRIWKLV
SKHQRPHQRQODFNRIULJKWVDQGZHOIDUH ,5(6 IUHTXHQWDQGJURZLQJXQHPSOR\PHQW ,67$7
EUROSTAT 2010), etc.

But there is a symbolic side of this phenomenon that cannot be overlooked. The literature on social
movements has already underlined the role of narratives, identities, frames and ideologies in collective ac-
WLRQDQGHYHQVWUXFWXUDOIDFWRUVQHHGV\PEROLFLQVWUXPHQWVWRLQXHQFHWKHSXEOLFGLVFRXUVH
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 192

7KLVLVSDUWLFXODUO\LQWHUHVWLQJLQDFRQWH[WLQZKLFKWUDGLWLRQDOIRUPVRIFROOHFWLYHDFWLRQGRQRWVXFFHHG
LQEXLOGLQJDQHIFLHQWUHSUHVHQWDWLRQRISUHFDULRXVODERXUVDQGZRUNHUVDUHFRPPLWWHGLQQGLQJQHZDQG
GLIIHUHQWZD\VWRPRELOLVHDQGDFKLHYHWKHLUJRDOV 0XUJLDDQG6HOPL ,WORRNVOLNHSUHFDULRXVZRUN-
HUVWKDWKDYHQRWEHHQDEOHWRZLQWKHLUVWUXJJOHDWWKHDFWXDOOHYHO\HW =DQHWWL KDYHVFRUHGVRPH
points at the symbolic level. Precarity, this is my hypothesis, has not yet succeeded in producing massive
forms of organisation of social struggles, but it has succeeded in imposing itself in the public discourse,
LQYROYLQJDZLGHVHWRIDFWRUVDQGLQGLYLGXDOV

:HDOUHDG\NQRZVRPHWKLQJDERXWWKHGLVFRXUVHRQSUHFDULW\GHYHORSHGLQWKHPRYHPHQWV 0DWWRQL
 %XWZKDWLVSUHFDULW\LQWKHPDLQVWUHDPSXEOLFVSKHUH":KDWGLVFRXUVHGRWKHJXUHVLQWDEOHV
DQGUHIHUWR"

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lic sphere in a particular case: the university mobilisation of 2009-2010.

The precarity discourse in action: the case of the mobilisation


against the university reform
7KHFDVHLQZKLFK,FKRRVHWRDQDO\VHWKHSUHFDULW\GLVFRXUVHLQWKHFRQWH[WRIFROOHFWLYHDFWLRQLVWKH
mobilisation against the university reform proposed by the cabinet lead by Silvio Berlusconi (the so-called
*HOPLQLODZIURPWKHQDPHRIWKHPLQLVWHURIHGXFDWLRQ 7KHELOOZDVSURSRVHGE\WKHJRYHUQPHQWRQ
October 28thDQGQDOO\DSSURYHGE\WKHSDUOLDPHQWRQ'HFHPEHU3th, 2010.

,QWKHUVWPRQWKVWKHJHQHUDOUHDFWLRQRIWKHPHGLDWRWKHUHIRUPZDVSUHWW\IDYRXUDEOHDQGVWXGHQWV
ZHUHDORQHLQWKHRSSRVLWLRQZKLOHLQWKH6SULQJWKHPRELOLVDWLRQRIUHVHDUFKHUVJHQHUDWHGDVWURQJWXUQLQ
WKHPHGLDFRYHUDJHDQGWKHKXJHPRELOLVDWLRQVRI2FWREHU1RYHPEHUDQG'HFHPEHUZHUHJHQHUDOO\
supported by the mainstream media (Zamponi 2011).

3UHFDULW\ZDVRQHRIWKHPDLQWRSLFVRIPRELOLVDWLRQDQG,DUJXHWKDWLWKDVEHHQXVHGLQDPXFKEURDGHU
VHQVHWKDQEHIRUHEHFRPLQJDXVHIXOUHVRXUFHDQGWRROIRUWKHPRYHPHQWLQDZD\WKDWFDQEHDQDO\VHG
WKURXJKGLIIHUHQWFRQFHSWXDOOHQVHV,QWKHQH[WVHFWLRQ,ZLOOWU\DQGOLVWVRPHRIWKHVHOHQVHVZKLOHLQWKLV
,XVHWKHODEHOVRIGLVFRXUVHDQGIUDPHZLWKRXWDQ\SDUWLFXODUWKHRUHWLFDOLPSOLFDWLRQV

,QWKLVVHFWLRQ,EULH\DQDO\VHWKHPRVWIUHTXHQWXVHVRISUHFDULW\DQGSUHFDULDWLQUHIHUHQFHZLWK
the university, during the 14 months of the anti-Gelmini mobilisation. The dataset I use is constituted by the
DUWLFOHVFRQWDLQLQJWKHZRUGVSUHFDULHWjRUSUHFDULDWRDQGXQLYHUVLWjLQ/D5HSXEEOLFD from October
28th, 2009 to December 24th, 2010.

,FKRRVHWRIRFXVRQWKHPDLQVWUHDPPHGLDDQGRQDSHULRGRIWLPHWKDWFRPHVDIWHUWKHVKLIWEHWZHHQWKH
H[LELOLW\DQGWKHSUHFDULW\GLVFRXUVHVEHFDXVHP\JRDOLVQRWWRDQDO\VHWKHUHODWLRQVKLSEHWZHHQVRFLDOPRYH-
ments and media in the construction of a public discourse about precarity (for an analysis of that process, see
Mattoni 2009), but to examine the result of this process, to reconstruct the symbolic bricks of the precarity
GLVFRXUVHZKHQLWLVDOUHDG\HVWDEOLVKHGLQDSXEOLFGLVFRXUVH:KDW,DQDO\VHLVQRWWKHPRYHPHQWGLVFRXUVH
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193 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

,QWKHVHDUWLFOHVSUHFDULW\LVXVHGLQGLIIHUHQWO\E\DFWLYLVWVDQGMRXUQDOLVWVDQGWKHVKDUHGGLVFRXUVH
WKDWHPHUJHVLWLVDWWKHVDPHWLPHWKHUHVXOWRIDQLQWHUDFWLRQEHWZHHQWKHPDQGDFRPPRQV\PEROLFUHSRVL-
WRU\IURPZKLFKERWKDFWLYLVWVDQGMRXUQDOLVWVGUDZLPDJHVDQGDUJXPHQWV

,QWKHUVWIRXUVXEVHFWLRQV,GHVFULEHWKHUHIHUHQFHVWRSUHFDULW\LQWKHDUWLFOHVUHJDUGLQJWKHPRELOLVD-
WLRQRIGLIIHUHQWVRFLDODFWRUVZKLOHLQWKHIROORZLQJWKUHHVXEVHFWLRQV,DQDO\VHWKUHHGLIIHUHQWNLQGRI
DUWLFOHVQRWUHIHUULQJGLUHFWO\WRWKHXQLYHUVLW\PRELOLVDWLRQEXWFRQWDLQLQJWKHZRUGXQLYHUVLWjDUJXLQJ
that the public discourse on university constitutes the symbolic environment for the mobilisation and it is
FRQVWUXFWHGZLWKFRQWLQXLQJLQWHUDFWLRQVEHWZHHQGLIIHUHQWIUDPHVQDUUDWLYHVDQGVRFLDODFWRUV

The mobilisation of precarious researchers

3UHFDULW\LVDUHDOLVVXHLQWKHXQLYHUVLW\PRELOLVDWLRQDQGSUHFDULRXVXQLYHUVLW\ZRUNHUVDUHDPRQJ
the actors that participate in the movement, succeeding in gaining some representation in the press. In the
UVWKDOIRIHVSHFLDOO\GXULQJWKH6SULQJ WKDWLVWKHSHULRGLQZKLFKWKHPRELOLVDWLRQRIUHVHDUFKHUV
VWDUWVFKDQJLQJWKHSXEOLFGLVFRXUVHRQWKHXQLYHUVLW\UHIRUP WKHDUWLFOHVJHQHUDOO\GHDOZLWKWKHFRQGL-
WLRQRISUHFDULRXVUHVHDUFKHUVDQGHPSOR\HHVLQWKH,WDOLDQXQLYHUVLWLHV7KH\GHVFULEHWKHGLIFXOWZRUN
VDODU\DQGOLIHFRQGLWLRQVRISUHFDULRXVXQLYHUVLW\ZRUNHUVLQUHODWLRQVKLSZLWKWKHLUFRPSODLQVDERXWWKH
university reform and their actions of protest40RVWRIWKHPDUHSXEOLVKHGLQWKHORFDOQHZVVHFWLRQRIWKH
QHZVSDSHU5ZKLOHRQO\DIHZRIWKHPJHWWRWKHQDWLRQDOVHFWLRQV6. In the second half of the year, especially
from October, they tend to focus more on protest events and on the evolution of the mobilisation.7

The precarity frame in the mobilisation of students

7KHLQYROYHPHQWRIXQLYHUVLW\VWXGHQWVLQWKHXVHRISUHFDULW\DVDPRELOLVDWLRQIUDPHKDVDOUHDG\EHHQ
GHVFULEHGDVDIUDPHH[WHQVLRQVSURFHVV %HQIRUGDQG6QRZ UHIHUULQJWRWKHXQLYHUVLW\PRELOL-
VDWLRQRIE\0DWWRQL  :KDWLQZDVDWKHRUHWLFDODVVXPSWLRQLQWKHSROLWLFDOGLVFRXUVHRI
student activists, in 2010 is a concept commonly reported in the public discourse by the mainstream media.
 %RPSDQL0LFKHOD'HQLVHHWHUQDSUHFDULD,QSHQVLRQHFRQHXUR/D5HSXEEOLFD)HE/RQJKLQ'LHJR7HPRLOEORFFRGHOOHOH]LRQL
ma si sollevano giusti problemi, /D5HSXEEOLFD0DUS 7RULQR $QRQ\PRXV5LFHUFDWRULOXQLFDYLDqDQGDUVHQHGDOO,WDOLD/D5HSXEEOLFD,
$SUS$QRQ\PRXV/DULIRUPD*HOPLQLDOOXQJDLOQRVWUROLPER/D5HSXEEOLFD$SUS$QRQ\PRXV,SUHFDULXQLYHUVLWDULXQHV-
ercito di riserva, /D5HSXEEOLFD$SUS9HQWXUL,ODULD/DSURWHVWDJHQWLOHDQWL*HOPLQLLQUHWWRUDWRGRFHQWLHSUHFDUL/D5HSXEEOLFD, 19 May
S %RORJQD 5DX*DLD$WHQHLODSURWHVWDVLDOODUJD/D5HSXEEOLFD0D\S )LUHQ]H 5DX*DLD,OSLDQWRGHOVXSHUFHUYHOORQH/DPLD
ULFHUFDPRULUjFRQPH/D5HSXEEOLFD0D\S )LUHQ]H 9DOIUq(QULFD3LRWWR,JRU/DPDQRYUDFROSLVFHPLODWRULQHVL/D5HSXEEOLFD, 6
-XQS 7RULQR )XJQROL/DXUD3UHFDULHWjHWXUQLPDVVDFUDQWLLFDPLFLELDQFKLQRQVRJQDQRSL/D5HSXEEOLFD-XQS 0LODQR 0RQWDQDUL
/DXUD,OJULGRGDOODUPHGHOOD&UXVFD/D5HSXEEOLFD, 24 Jun. p.39
5 Longhin Diego 2010. Temo il blocco delle lezioni ma si sollevano giusti problemi, /D5HSXEEOLFD0DUS 7RULQR 9HQWXUL,ODULD/DSURWHVWD
gentile anti-Gelmini in rettorato docenti e precari, /D5HSXEEOLFD0D\S %RORJQD 5DX*DLD$WHQHLODSURWHVWDVLDOODUJD/D5HSXEEOLFD, 19
0D\S )LUHQ]H 5DX*DLD,OSLDQWRGHOVXSHUFHUYHOORQH/DPLDULFHUFDPRULUjFRQPH/D5HSXEEOLFD0D\S )LUHQ]H 9DOIUq(QULFD
Piotto, Igor 2010. La manovra colpisce 90mila torinesi, /D5HSXEEOLFD-XQS 7RULQR )XJQROL/DXUD3UHFDULHWjHWXUQLPDVVDFUDQWLLFDPLFL
ELDQFKLQRQVRJQDQRSL/D5HSXEEOLFD, 18 Jun. p.3 (Milano)
 %RPSDQL0LFKHOD'HQLVHHWHUQDSUHFDULD,QSHQVLRQHFRQHXUR/D5HSXEEOLFD)HE$QRQ\PRXV5LFHUFDWRULOXQLFDYLDq
DQGDUVHQHGDOO,WDOLD/D5HSXEEOLFD$SUS$QRQ\PRXV/DULIRUPD*HOPLQLDOOXQJDLOQRVWUROLPER/D5HSXEEOLFD$SUS$QRQ\-
mous 2010. I precari universitari un esercito di riserva, /D5HSXEEOLFD$SUS0RQWDQDUL/DXUD,OJULGRGDOODUPHGHOOD&UXVFD/D5HSXE
EOLFD, 24 Jun. p.39
 9HQWXUL,ODULD$JUDULDODODGXUDGHOODSURWHVWD/D5HSXEEOLFD6HSS %RORJQD 6SLQHOOD&ULVWRIRUR8QLYHUVLWjQHOEXLRODYYLRGHOOH
OH]LRQL6HLULFHUFDWRULVXGLHFL1RQLQVHJQHUHPR/D5HSXEEOLFD2FWS 3DOHUPR &DSXD3DWUL]LD6FRQWULLOULFHUFDWRUHWRUQDOLEHUR/D
5HSXEEOLFD2FWS 1DSROL 0DQQD(ULFD%OLW]GHLSUHFDULDOOLQDXJXUD]LRQH3HUQRLORUL]]RQWHqXQPLUDJJLR/D5HSXEEOLFD, 30 Oct. p.9
*HQRYD 3DUPHJJLDQQL6WHIDQLD6FXRODXQOXQJRPHUFROHGuGLSURWHVWD/D5HSXEEOLFD, 17 Nov. p.5 (Bologna), G., V., G., S. 2010. Sapienza, vita
senza futuro niente soldi per gli stipendi, /D5HSXEEOLFD, 25 Nov. p.3 (Roma)
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 194

$ODUJHQXPEHURIDUWLFOHVLQIDFWUHIHUWRSUHFDULW\RUSUHFDULDWGHDOLQJZLWKSURWHVWHYHQWVRUJDQ-
ised by students87KLVFRQFHSWLVXVHGLQGLIIHUHQWZD\VPRVWO\DVDODEHOWRGHQHDJHQHUDOFRQGLWLRQRI
distress in the university9LQUHODWLRQVKLSZLWKWKHFRQFHSWRIIXWXUH10DQGZLWKWKHLGHDRIDVRFLDOFRDOL-
WLRQEHWZHHQVWXGHQWVDQGZRUNHUV117KHUHLVDOVRWKHIUHTXHQWUHIHUHQFHWRDVHWRIWRSLFVXVXDOO\OLQNHGWR
the precarity discourse in general, out of the university context, such as the need for a generational change,
WKHLQHTXDOLWLHVEHWZHHQRSHQHQGHGDQGSUHFDULRXVZRUNHUVWKHODFNRIZHOIDUHSURWHFWLRQ12

The precarity frame in the mobilisation of tenured researchers

3DUWLFXODUO\LQWHUHVWLQJLVWKHTXDQWLW\DQGTXDOLW\RIDUWLFOHVWKDWXVHWKHZRUGVSUHFDULW\RSUHFDULDW
ZKLOHUHSUHVHQWLQJWKHPRELOLVDWLRQRIWHQXUHGUHVHDUFKHUV7HQXUHGUHVHDUFKHUVUHSUHVHQWHGE\5HWH
$SULOHIDUIURPEHLQJWKHPRVWUHOHYDQWSDUWRIWKHPRYHPHQWIURPDTXDQWLWDWLYHSRLQWRIYLHZKDYHEHHQ
fundamental for the development of the mobilisation.

7KHHPHUJHQFHRIWKHUHVHDUFKHUVPRYHPHQWLQWKH6SULQJWRZKLFKZDVDGGHGWKHVSUHDGLQJRIVWXGHQWVSURWHVWLQWKH)DOOKDV
UHSUHVHQWHGXQGRXEWHGO\DQRYHOW\IRUWKH,WDOLDQDFDGHPLDEHFDXVHWKHVWXGHQWVDQGWKHSUHFDULRXVRQO\ZHUHSUHYLRXVO\PR-
ELOL]HG>@,QIDFWUHVHDUFKHUVDVVRFLDOFDWHJRU\UHSUHVHQWIHZZRUNHUVNQRZOHGJHRQO\ZKRZHUHQRWXVHGWRXQLRQDFWLYLW\
RUSURWHVWEHIRUHWKHUHFHQWPRELOL]DWLRQ1HYHUWKHOHVVPRVWRIWKHPZHUHDEOHWRJLYHULVHDQGWROHDGDPRYHPHQWDJJUHJDW-
LQJRWKHUXQLYHUVLW\FDWHJRULHVQRWMRLQLQJWKHH[LVWHQWXQLRQVRUFDWHJRU\DVVRFLDWLRQEXWFUHDWLQJDQHZQHWZRUNHGRUJDQL]D-
WLRQDQGLQYHQWLQJQHZIRUPVRISURWHVWRUDGDSWLQJWKRVHXVHGE\RWKHUZRUNHUVFDWHJRULHV,IWKHUHVHDUFKHUVIDLOHGWRSUHYHQW
WKHDSSURYDORIWKH%LOOWKH\ZHUHKRZHYHUDEOHWRDWWUDFWPHGLDDWWHQWLRQDQGLQXHQFHSXEOLFDQGSROLWLFDODJHQGDFDUU\LQJ
RQWKHPRELOL]DWLRQWKRXJKDWORZHULQWHQVLW\HYHQGXULQJWKHFXUUHQWSKDVHRILPSOHPHQWDWLRQRIWKHUHIRUP 3LD]]D

The role of tenured researchers has been fundamental for three main reasons: on the public discourse level,
WKHLUOHJLWLPDF\RIVFLHQWLVWVRISRWHQWLDOEUDLQVRQWKHUXQJDYHWKHSURWHVWDFUHGLELOLW\WKDWWKHVWXGHQWV
FDQQRWKDYHRQWKHVWUDWHJLFOHYHOWKHLUGHFLVLRQWRVWRSDOOWHDFKLQJDFWLYLWLHVSURGXFHGDWRWDOEORFNRIXQL-
YHUVLWLHVWKDWJDYHWKHVWDUWWRWKHJHQHUDOPRELOLVDWLRQRQHDUO\2FWREHU =DPSRQL RQWKHFROOHF-
WLYHLGHQWLW\OHYHOWKHLUSURWHVWKDGLWVDGGHGYDOXHLQWKHDELOLW\WREXLOGSURMHFWVDQGFRQFUHWHDFWLRQVZLWK
WKHVWXGHQWPRYHPHQWDQGWKHJDOD[\RISUHFDULRXVUHVHDUFKHUV 0DLGD[LWUDQVODWHGE\3LD]]D 
8 Anonymous 2009. Poli, prove di fusione con Milano, /D5HSXEEOLFD1RYS 7RULQR $QRQ\PRXV6RWWR3DOD]]R9HFFKLROHXUODGHLSUHFDUL
QHKDQQRGLULWWRPDODVVXQ]LRQHQRQDUULYD/D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS )LUHQ]H 'L*LXVHSSH)XOYLR6WXGHQWLHGLVRFFXSDWLVODODUDEELD/D
5HSXEEOLFD0DUS %DUL 'L*LDFRPR$QWRQLR4XLSRVVRQRULQDVFHUHLQRVWULVRJQL/D5HSXEEOLFD-XQS %DUL *LDQQROL9LROD
1RDWDJOLDOORVWXGLRHSUHFDULDWRHFFRLODVKPREGLVWXGHQWLHSURI/D5HSXEEOLFDS 5RPD %UXQHWWR&ODXGLD%OLW]HVWULVFLRQLVWXGHQWLLQ
rivolta, /D5HSXEEOLFD2FWS 3DOHUPR *LX20HORQLHYLWDLOFRQIURQWRFRQO8QLYHUVLWj/D5HSXEEOLFD1RYS 7RULQR 6WXGHQWL
/LQNH&ROOHWWLYR/HWWHUH,WDJOLDOOXQLYHUVLWjSUHVLGHQWHLQWHUYHQJD/D5HSXEEOLFD)HES %DUL %UXQHWWR&ODXGLD6WXGHQWLLQFRUWHR
a scuola autunno caldo, /D5HSXEEOLFD2FWS 3DOHUPR *LXVWHWWL2WWDYLD$UULYD6DFFRQLXQLYHUVLWjEOLQGDWD/D5HSXEEOLFD, 9 Nov. p.9
7RULQR )RUJQRQH9DOHULD*UDWWRJJL6DUD8QLYHUVLWDULHOLFHDOLVODQRLQPLOD/D5HSXEEOLFD1RYS 5RPD 9HWWRUL(PLOLR
3DOD]]R&DPSDQDVGDOD*HOPLQL'RPDQLRFFXSLDPRVWUDGHHXQLYHUVLWj/D5HSXEEOLFD1RYS 7RULQR *LDQQROL9LROD*UDWWRJJL6DUD/
assemblea degli studenti Contro la riforma Gelmini in piazza il 22 dicembre, /D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS 5RPD 3''RWWRUDQGRVXLFLGDFRQWURL
EDURQL*HORVXOOLQWHUYHQWRGHOOD*HOPLQL/D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS 3DOHUPR 6RIUL$GULDQR,UDJD]]LFRQLSHQVLRQDWL/D5HSXEEOLFD, 30 Nov.
S'H)D]LR%LDQFD/XQLYHUVLWjWUDOHPDFHULHGL3RPSHL/D5HSXEEOLFD1RYS 1DSROL $QRQ\PRXV1XRYDRQGDWDGLVFXROHRF-
cupate, /D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS 3DOHUPR 0DOWHVH&XU]LR/DSURWHVWDGHOOHFKLWDUUHULGDWHFLLOIXWXUR/D5HSXEEOLFD, 23 Dec. p.1.
9 Anonymous 2009. Poli, prove di fusione con Milano, /D5HSXEEOLFD, 12 Nov. p.8 (Torino).
10 *LDQQROL9LROD*UDWWRJJL6DUD/DVVHPEOHDGHJOLVWXGHQWL&RQWURODULIRUPD*HOPLQLLQSLD]]DLOGLFHPEUH/D5HSXEEOLFD, 17 Dec. p.2 (Roma).
11 *LDQQROL9LROD1RDWDJOLDOORVWXGLRHSUHFDULDWRHFFRLODVKPREGLVWXGHQWLHSURI/D5HSXEEOLFDS 5RPD 6RIUL$GULDQR,UDJD]]LFRQ
i pensionati, /D5HSXEEOLFD1RYS'H)D]LR%LDQFD/XQLYHUVLWjWUDOHPDFHULHGL3RPSHL/D5HSXEEOLFD1RYS 1DSROL $QRQ\-
mous 2010. Nuova ondata di scuole occupate, /D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS 3DOHUPR 0DOWHVH&XU]LR/DSURWHVWDGHOOHFKLWDUUHULGDWHFLLOIXWXUR
/D5HSXEEOLFD, 23 Dec. p.1.
12 $QRQ\PRXV6RWWR3DOD]]R9HFFKLROHXUODGHLSUHFDULQHKDQQRGLULWWRPDODVVXQ]LRQHQRQDUULYD/D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS )LUHQ]H 
195 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

For a reconstruction of the mobilisation of tenured researchers in the Italian university movement of
2010, see Ferretti (2011), Maida (2011) and Piazza (2011). What is relevant in the context of this paper is
WKHIUHTXHQF\RIDUWLFOHVLQZKLFKWHQXUHGUHVHDUFKHUVHYHQLIWKH\DUHQRWSUHFDULRXVVWULFWRVHQVX, use
SUHFDULW\DVDIUDPHWRSUHVHQWWKHLUFRQGLWLRQVFRPSODLQVDQGSURSRVDOVLQWKHSXEOLFHOG

These articles are mainly concentrated in the Spring13ZKHQWKHUHVHDUFKHUVVWDUWRUJDQLVLQJDQGIRUP


WKHLUQDWLRQDOQHWZRUNDQGLQWKH)DOODWWKHDSH[RIWKHSURWHVW14.

5HVHDUFKHUVXVHSUHFDULW\DVDFRQFHSWDEOHWRGHVFULEHWKHLUFRQGLWLRQLQDVHQVHWKDWLVZLGHUWKDQ
WKHVWULFWGHQLWLRQRIWKHFRQWUDFW7KHSKHQRPHQRQLVTXLWHVLPLODUWRWKHRQHGHVFULEHGLQWKHSUHYLRXV
VXEVHFWLRQUHIHUULQJWRWKHVWXGHQWVWKHIUDPHLVH[WHQGHGERWKKRUL]RQWDOO\FRPSUHKHQGLQJDZLGHVHWRI
meaning related to different aspects of the labour conditions of researchers (that in other times might have
EHHQLQWHUSUHWHGZLWKRWKHUZRUGVVXFKDVH[SORLWDWLRQ DQGYHUWLFDOO\GHVFULELQJSUHFDULW\VWULFWRVHQVX
DVDSDVWWKDWWHQXUHGUHVHDUFKHUVNQRZDQGZDQWWRUHPHPEHUDQGUHGHHP0RVWRIWKHPKDGSUHFDULRXV
contracts for year, before the tenure, and the representation of that condition is still part of the collective
identity they are building15.

Precarity as a frame to address the movement from outside

7KHKHJHPRQLFIXQFWLRQRIWKHSUHFDULW\IUDPHWKHXVHRIZKLFKKDVWDQJLEOHUHVXOWVLQWKHSXEOLFGLV-
course, is proved by the fact that, from a certain moment on, different social actors start to use it to refer to
the university movement.

This phenomenon, a part from one case16 that anticipates all the others, happens in the Fall of 2010, at
WKHDSH[RIWKHPRELOLVDWLRQZKHQDV,VKRZHGLQWKHSUHYLRXVVXEVHFWLRQVWKHUHLVDOUHDG\DSUHFDULW\
GLVFRXUVHGHYHORSHGDQGVKDUHGE\GLIIHUHQWDFWRUVLQWKHHOG

Politicians from different parties address the issue of the university mobilisation, referring mainly to
VWXGHQWVDQGXVLQJWKHZRUGVSUHFDULHWjRUSUHFDULDWR7KHUVWLV1LFKL9HQGROD17, leader of the eco-
socialist party 6LQLVWUD(FRORJLDH/LEHUWjWKHQWKHVDPHZRUGVDUHXVHGIURPGLIIHUHQWSRLQWRIYLHZVE\
Giorgia Meloni18, minister of youth and member of the conservative party 3RSRORGHOOD/LEHUWj, Maurizio

13 Bompani, Michela 2010. Ricercatori pronti allo sciopero delle lezioni, /D5HSXEEOLFD0DUS *HQRYD %RPSDQL0LFKHOD5LFHUFDWRULVLDO-
ODUJDODSURWHVWDOXQLYHUVLWjYHUVRLOEORFFR/D5HSXEEOLFD$SUS *HQRYD $QRQ\PRXV,SUHFDULXQLYHUVLWDULXQHVHUFLWRGLULVHUYD/D5HSXE
EOLFD$SUS5DX*DLD,ULFHUFDWRULULWLUDQRODGLVSRQLELOLWjDLQVHJQDUH/D5HSXEEOLFD$SUS )LUHQ]H 5XVVL)UDQFHVFD$WHQHR
e Politecnico, rischio paralisi da domani si fermano 900 ricercatori, /D5HSXEEOLFD0D\S %DUL 5DX*DLD$WHQHLODSURWHVWDVLDOODUJD/D
5HSXEEOLFD0D\S )LUHQ]H $OWLHUL/HRQDUGR7DVVLQDUL*LRUJLR9HFFKL5REHUWR=DSSROL6HUJLR/HXQLYHUVLWjQRQIDFFLDQRODQHGHOOH
aziende sanitarie, /D5HSXEEOLFD0D\S %RORJQD $QRQ\PRXV/8QLYHUVLWjGL3DUPDLQGLIHVDGHOOD&RVWLWX]LRQH/D5HSXEEOLFD, 25 May
p.11.
14 Venturi, Ilaria 2010. Ateneo, la mobilitazione al potere, /D5HSXEEOLFD6HSS %RORJQD &RLQ)UDQFHVFD&DUD*HOPLQLQRQFLIDFFLDIXJJLUH
dalle Universit, /D5HSXEEOLFDS9HQWXUL,ODULD  *OLXQLYHUVLWDULGDQQRODVYHJOLDDOODFLWWj/D5HSXEEOLFD, 30 Nov. p.7 (Bologna).
15 9HQWXUL,ODULD$JUDULDODODGXUDGHOODSURWHVWD/D5HSXEEOLFD6HSS %RORJQD 
16 $QRQ\PRXV,OVDFULFLRGHLSLPDWXUL/D5HSXEEOLFD, 16 Jun. p.1 (Firenze)
17 $QRQ\PRXV/DYLGHROHWWHUDGL9HQGROD3UHFDULqRUDGLULYROWDUVL/D5HSXEEOLFD, 16 Oct. p.4 (Bari)
18 *LX20HORQLHYLWDLOFRQIURQWRFRQO8QLYHUVLWj/D5HSXEEOLFD, 6 Nov. p.13 (Torino)
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 196

Sacconi19, minister of labour and member of the same party, Vendola again20, the center-left 3DUWLWR'HPR
FUDWLFR, the president of the republic Giorgio Napolitano22 and then-major of Turin Sergio Chiamparino23
(3DUWLWR'HPRFUDWLFR).

A similar attitude is adopted, at the beginning of December, 2010, that is the moment of highest popu-
larity of the movement (Zamponi 2011), by pundits, that start identifying precarity as one of the main and
most legitimate reasons of the protest. In /D5HSXEEOLFD this happens four times24LQRQHZHHNWKHUVW
ZHHNRI'HFHPEHU7KH)ORUHQWLQHHGLWLRQRI/D5HSXEEOLFDLQFOXGHVDQDQRQ\PRXVXQLYHUVLW\VWXGHQW
DVDSRVVLEOHSHUVRQRIWKH\HDUEHFDXVHRILWVXQFHUWDLQIXWXUHPDGHRIFXWVDQGSUHFDULW\25

Brains on the run

$FRPPRQWRSLFTXLWHIUHTXHQWLQWKHDUWLFOHVUHJDUGVWKHVRFDOOHGEUDLQVRQWKHUXQWKH,WDOLDQUH-
VHDUFKHUVZRUNLQJDEURDG7KHWKHPHLVSDUWLFXODUO\SRSXODUEHWZHHQWKHHQGRIDQGWKHEHJLQQLQJRI
LQRFFDVLRQRIWKHSXEOLFGHEDWHWKDWIROORZVWKHRSHQOHWWHULQZKLFK3LHUOXLJL&HOOLJHQHUDOGLUHFWRU
of the private university Luiss, advises his son to go abroad26.

7KHFRQGLWLRQVRIWKHSHRSOHZKRGHFLGHWRHPLJUDWHLVGHVFULEHGDVFKDUDFWHULVHGE\SUHFDULW\DQG
ZRUU\27DVVRFLDWLQJSUHFDULW\ZLWKDYHU\JHQHUDOGHQLWLRQRIGLVWUHVV$VWKHSUHYLRXVVXEVHFWLRQVKDYH
VKRZQWKHZRUGSUHFDULW\LVJUDGXDOO\LQFUHDVLQJLWVSRO\VHPLFQDWXUHLWLVWKHDFWXDOSUHFDULW\RIODERXU
of researchers, it is the precarity of labour that the students expect from their future, it is also the uncertainty
on the future of university for tenured researchers. The concept becomes larger than itself, and becomes a
SRZHUIXOV\PEROFKDUJHGZLWKDPHDQLQJWKDWJRHVEH\RQGDQ\SXQFWXDOGHQLWLRQDEOHWRUHSUHVHQWWKH
general condition of a generation.

The lost generation

$QRWKHUJURXSRIDUWLFOHVUHIHUVPRUHJHQHUDOO\ZLWKSUHFDULW\DVDFRQGLWLRQRIGLVWUHVVWKDWFKDUDFWHU-
LVHV\RXQJSHRSOHVRPHWLPHVGHVFULELQJWKHDFWXDOVRFLDOSUREOHPVFRQQHFWHGZLWKODERXUDQGZHOIDUH
VRPHWLPHVIRFXVLQJPRUHVXSHUFLDOO\RQGLIIHUHQWVWHUHRW\SHVUHJDUGLQJWKH,WDOLDQ\RXWK

19 Giustetti, Ottavia 2010. Arriva Sacconi, universit blindata, /D5HSXEEOLFD, 9 Nov. p.9 (Torino)
20 Casadio, Giovanna 2010. Giusto ribellarsi, sono senza futuro ma la guerriglia un vicolo cieco, /D5HSXEEOLFD, 17 Dec. p.14
21 6DQQLQR&RQFKLWD%LQGLFRQ%HUVDQL3ULPDOHDOOHDQ]H/D5HSXEEOLFD, 19 Dec. p.1 (Napoli)
22 Zunino, Corrado 2010. Napolitano riceve gli studenti Solo lui ci ha ascoltato davvero, /D5HSXEEOLFD, 23 Dec. p.2
23 Griseri, Paolo 2010. Se il movimento vuole un futuro dica basta a violenza e vecchi slogan, /D5HSXEEOLFD, 23 Dec p.7
24 *DOOL&DUOR/LVWUX]LRQHSUHFDULD/D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS&ROHWWL9LWWRULR/DOHJJHGHOOLJQRUDQ]D/D5HSXEEOLFD, 5 Dec. p.1 (Geno-
YD &HFFDULQL/XLJL3RFKLIRQGLHSUHFDULDWROHUDJLRQLGHOODSURWHVWD/D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS'LDPDQWL,OYR5DJD]]LULEHOOL/DPDUFLD
GHL SL JLRYDQL/D5HSXEEOLFD, 6 Dec. pp-27-28-29
25 5DX*DLD3HUVRQDJJLRGHOODQQR/D5HSXEEOLFD, 28 Dec. p.10 (Firenze)
26 $QRQ\PRXV/DIXJDGLFHUYHOOLULJXDUGDDQFKHJOLH[WUDFRPXQLWDUL1RXUHGLQQHVSLHJD7DKDLOPDURFFKLQR4XLPLODXUHRSHUOLPSLHJRGRYUz
ODVFLDUHO,WDOLD/D5HSXEEOLFD1RYS 7RULQR &HOOL3LHUOXLJL,RPLRJOLRHODUWHGHOODIXJD/D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS$QRQ\PRXV
1DSROLWDQRJLRYDQLQRQODVFLDWHO,WDOLD/D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS$XJLDV&RUUDGR/DWHQWD]LRQHGLIXJJLUHGDXQSDHVHSHUYHFFKL/D5H
SXEEOLFD, 10 Feb. p.44.
27 $QRQ\PRXV/DIXJDGLFHUYHOOLULJXDUGDDQFKHJOLH[WUDFRPXQLWDUL1RXUHGLQQHVSLHJD7DKDLOPDURFFKLQR4XLPLODXUHRSHUOLPSLHJRGRYUz
ODVFLDUHO,WDOLD/D5HSXEEOLFD, 24 Nov. p.3 (Torino)
197 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

$FRPPRQWRSLFLQWKHVHDUWLFOHVLVWKHUHIHUHQFHWRWKHLQVXIFLHQF\RIWKH,WDOLDQZHOIDUHV\VWHPQRW
DEOHWRGHDOZLWKVRFLDOFRQGLWLRQVWKDWDUHGLIIHUHQWIURPWKHWUDGLWLRQDORSHQHQGHGFRQWUDFW28. There are
DOVRIUHTXHQWFRPSDULVRQVZLWKRWKHU(XURSHDQFRXQWULHV29DQGUHIHUHQFHVWRWKHZRUGEDPERFFLRQL30,
ZLWKZKLFKWKHQPLQLVWHURIHFRQRP\7RPPDVR3DGRD6FKLRSSDLQGHQHG\RXQJ,WDOLDQVZKROLYH
ZLWKWKHLUSDUHQWV)XUWKHUPRUHVRPHDUWLFOHVIRFXVRQWKHGLIFXOWLHVRIIRUPLQJDIDPLO\31 and on the use-
lessness of higher education in the job market32([SUHVVLRQVOLNHSUHFDULHWjHVLVWHQ]LDOH33 and precariet
GLYLWD34 are used, and it is generally conveyed the idea of a common condition of distress and hopeless-
QHVVVKDUHGE\DZKROHJHQHUDWLRQWKHERUGHUVRIZKLFKDUHXQGHQHGDQGZKLFKLVFDOOHGZLWKGLIIHUHQW
ODEHOVJHQHUD]LRQHVHQ]DSRVWRVVR35 JHQHUDWLRQZLWKRXWDVWDEOHMRE JHQHUD]LRQHGHLSUHFDUL36
JHQHUDWLRQRISUHFDULRXV JHQHUD]LRQH37JHQHUD]LRQHVDQGZLFK38. This shared condition is so
JHQHUDOO\DFNQRZOHGJHGWKDWLWEHFRPHVSDUWRIWKHSRSXODUFXOWXUHWRZKLFKWKHPHGLDUHIHUHYHQZKHQ
GHDOLQJZLWKWRSLFVIDUIURPFRQQHFWHGZLWKODERXU39.

From the lips of the enemy

7KHODVWJURXSRIDUWLFOHVLQFOXGHVWKHFDVHVLQZKLFKWKHZRUGVSUHFDULW\RUSUHFDULDWDUHXVHGE\
social and political actors that are on the opposite side of the struggle fought by the university movement.
,WLVLQWHUHVWLQJWRQRWLFHKRZWKHVHDUWLFOHVDUHFRQFHQWUDWHGDURXQGWKHHQGRI$SULOZKHQWKHUHVHDUFKHUV
PRELOLVDWLRQJHWVIRUWKHUVWWLPHPHGLDDWWHQWLRQDQG1RYHPEHUGXULQJWKHPRVWLQWHQVHVWXGHQWSURWHVW

7KHJDOOHU\RIFKDUDFWHUVLVTXLWHYDULRXV3LHU/XLJL&HOOL40, general director of the private university


/8,66SUDLVHVWKH*HOPLQLODZEXWUHIHUWRSUHFDULW\DVZHOODVSXQGLW0DULR3LUDQL41*LDQIUDQFR
Fini, co-founder of the conservative party 3RSRORGHOOD/LEHUWjFLWHVWKHVWUXJJOHDJDLQVWSUHFDULW\DV
one of the priorities that the government he supports must assume42/XFD&RUGHURGL0RQWH]HPRORSUHVL-

28 6FKLDYD]]L9HUD)LJOLG(XURSD/D5HSXEEOLFD-DQS'H/XFD0DULD1RYHOOD/HIDPLJOLHGHOZHHNHQG,IRU]DWLGHOOHFRSSLHD
distanza, /D5HSXEEOLFD0DUSS$QRQ\PRXV5LFHUFDWRULOXQLFDYLDqDQGDUVHQHGDOO,WDOLD/D5HSXEEOLFD$SUS6DVVR&LQ-
]LD&RVuVLVDOYHUjODJHQHUD]LRQH/D5HSXEEOLFDSS$QRQ\PRXV'LDPDQWLVWXGLDODJHQHUD]LRQHGHLSUHFDUL/D5HSXEEOLFD, 8
0D\S'H5LFFDUGLV6DQGUR6HVWXGLDUHGLSLGLYHQWDXQKDQGLFDS/D5HSXEEOLFD,, 15 Sep. p.1.
29 $QRQ\PRXV5LFHUFDWRULOXQLFDYLDqDQGDUVHQHGDOO,WDOLD/D5HSXEEOLFD$SUS6DVVR&LQ]LD&RVuVLVDOYHUjODJHQHUD]LRQH/D
5HSXEEOLFDSS'H5LFFDUGLV6DQGUR6HVWXGLDUHGLSLGLYHQWDXQKDQGLFDS/D5HSXEEOLFD,, 15 Sep. p.1.
30 6FKLDYD]]L9HUD)LJOLG(XURSD/D5HSXEEOLFD-DQS$QRQ\PRXV'LDPDQWLVWXGLDODJHQHUD]LRQHGHLSUHFDUL/D5HSXEEOLFD, 8
May p.10.
31 $QRQ\PRXV9RFLGDOODJHQHUD]LRQHVHQ]DSRVWRVVR/D5HSXEEOLFD'HFS )LUHQ]H 'H/XFD0DULD1RYHOOD/HIDPLJOLHGHOZHHNHQG
I forzati delle coppie a distanza, /D5HSXEEOLFD0DUSS
32 Visitilli, Giancarlo 2009. In cattedra la resa dei genitori, /D5HSXEEOLFD1RYS %DUL 'H5LFFDUGLV6DQGUR6HVWXGLDUHGLSLGLYHQWDXQKDQGL-
cap, /D5HSXEEOLFD,, 15 Sep. p.1.
33 'H/XFD0DULD1RYHOOD/HIDPLJOLHGHOZHHNHQG,IRU]DWLGHOOHFRSSLHDGLVWDQ]D/D5HSXEEOLFD0DUSS
34 6DVVR&LQ]LD&RVuVLVDOYHUjODJHQHUD]LRQH/D5HSXEEOLFD, pp.29-30-31
35 $QRQ\PRXV9RFLGDOODJHQHUD]LRQHVHQ]DSRVWRVVR/D5HSXEEOLFD, 15 Dec. p.3 (Firenze)
36 Anonymous 2010. Diamanti studia la generazione dei precari, /D5HSXEEOLFD, 8 May p.10
37 6DVVR&LQ]LD&RVuVLVDOYHUjODJHQHUD]LRQH/D5HSXEEOLFD, pp.29-30-31
38 *DOLPEHUWL*HQHUD]LRQHVDQGZLFK/D5HSXEEOLFD, 27 Jan. p.49.
39 5DPSLQL)HGHULFR+RPRIDEHULOULWRUQRDOODPDQXDOLWjSHUFKpRJJLqGLPRGDOXRPRDUWLJLDQR/D5HSXEEOLFD, 6 Mar. p.49.
40 &HOOL3LHU/XLJL,OULVFDWWRGHOPDGHLQ,WDO\GHYHSDUWLUHGDOOXQLYHUVLWj/D5HSXEEOLFD$SUS $IIDULHQDQ]D 
41 Pirani, Mario 2010. Liberare la ricerca dalle mani dei boiardi, /D5HSXEEOLFD, 19 Apr. p.22.
42 %HL)UDQFHVFR/XOWLPDWXPGL*LDQIUDQFR%HUOXVFRQLVLGHYHGLPHWWHUH/D5HSXEEOLFD, 7 Nov. p.3.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 198

GHQWRI)HUUDULDQGIRUPHUSUHVLGHQWRIWKH,WDOLDQHPSOR\HUVRUJDQLVDWLRQ&RQQGXVWULDSURSRVHVDJHQ-
HUDWLRQDOSDFWDJDLQVWSUHFDULW\43.

)LQDOO\ FORVLQJ WKH F\FOH D ERRN RQ H[LELOLW\ LV WLWOHG (ORJLR GHOOD SUHFDULHWj 7KH SUDLVH RI
SUHFDULW\ 447KHSUHFDULW\GLVFRXUVHKDVJDLQHGVXFKSRVLWLRQLQWKHSXEOLFHOGWKDWHYHQWRFULWLFLVHLWLW
is easier to assume than to deny it.

Multiples conceptual lenses to interpret the multiples dimensions


of a phenomenon
7KHV\PEROLFVXFFHVVRIWKHSUHFDULW\GLVFRXUVHHPHUJHVTXLWHYLVLEO\IURPWKHSUHYLRXVVHFWLRQV%XW
WKHUHDVRQVRIWKLVVXFFHVVWKHPHFKDQLVPVZKLFKPDGHSUHFDULW\DV\PEROLFWRRODQGUHVRXUFHLQWKHPR-
bilisation of Italian university students and researchers and the potential implications of this process in the
future of Italian contentious politics need further analysis.

$OLFH0DWWRQLVZRUNWKDW,KDYHFLWHGPDQ\WLPHVSRLQWVRXWWKHUROHRIWKHPHGLDLQWKLVSURFHVV
DQGLQSDUWLFXODUWKHLQWHUDFWLRQEHWZHHQDFWLYLVWVDQGPHGLDLQVRFLDOO\FRQVWUXFWLQJWKHPHDQLQJRIWKH
VWUXJJOHVRISUHFDULRXVZRUNHUV7KLVLVZK\,GRQRWGHQHSUHFDULW\RQO\DVDV\PEROLFUHVRXUFHIRUVRFLDO
actors, but also as a symbolic tool, in order to underline the active role of social movements in the construc-
WLRQRIWKHSXEOLFGLVFRXUVHRQSUHFDULW\DOUHDG\DFNQRZOHGJHGE\WKHOLWHUDWXUH

Different conceptual lenses can be useful to interpret this phenomenon. Each of them enlightens some
aspects of it, and at the same points out obscure ares that need further investigation.

3UHFDULW\ZRUNVDVDGLDJQRVWLFIUDPH 6QRZDQG%HQIRUG 6RFLDODFWRUVKDYHEHHQDEOHWRUHFRJQLVH


WKHPDWWHUDSSURSULDWHLWDQGSXEOLFLVHLWDVDVRFLDOSUREOHP:KDWLQWKHVZDVDFRQFHSWJHQHUDOO\XQ-
NQRZQDV,KDYHVKRZHGLQWKHVHFRQGVHFWLRQKDVEHFRPHDFRPPRQZD\WRLQWHUSUHWWKHDFWXDOFRQGLWLRQ
of labour. Social and political actors have played a fundamental role in this process, developing and spreading
WKLVIUDPHDVDQH[SODQDWRU\WRROIRUDFRQGLWLRQVKDUHGE\DQLQFUHDVLQJQXPEHURISHRSOH$V,KDYHVKRZHG
in the third section, this frame, in the context of the university mobilisation, has been extended from precari-
RXVZRUNHUVWRVWXGHQWVDQGWHQXUHGUHVHDUFKHUV%XWWKLVSURFHVVLVQRWZLWKRXWFRQVHTXHQFHVIRUWKHIUDPH
itself: extending it to different actors, its meaning has been stretched horizontally and vertically, in time and
VSDFH:KLFKDUHWKHLPSOLFDWLRQVRIWKHVHSURFHVVRQWKHUHODWLRQVKLSEHWZHHQGLIIHUHQWVRFLDODFWRUVWKDW
PLJKWXVHWKHVDPHIUDPHZLWKYHU\GLIIHUHQWPHDQLQJV":KHUHDUHWKHOLPLWVRIWKLVH[WHQVLRQ":KLFKDUHWKH
FRQVHTXHQFHVRIWKLVFKDQJHVLQWKHHIFDF\RIWKLVIUDPHDVDV\PEROLFUHVRXUFHIRUPRELOLVDWLRQ"

At the same time, precarity has become a FROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\ (Polletta and Jasper 2001), able to activate
PHFKDQLVPVRIUHFRJQLWLRQDQGEHORQJLQJLQDZLGHVSHFWUXPRIVRFLDODFWRUV6WXGHQWVDQGUHVHDUFKHUV
ZKRSDUWLFLSDWHGLQWKHPRELOLVDWLRQKDYHGLIIHUHQWSRVLWLRQVDQGRIWHQGLIIHUHQWLQWHUHVWVLQVLGHWKHXQLYHU-
sity, but they feel part of a collective entity, and, in our hypothesis, the main common trait they recognise
LVSUHFDULW\ZLWKERWKVRFLDODQGJHQHUDWLRQDOFRQQRWDWLRQV,KDYHH[DPLQHGWKHVRFLDOFRQVWUXFWLRQRIWKLV

43 Mania, Roberto 2010. Tagliamo le tasse ai giovani lavoratori il patto generazionale di Montezemolo, /D5HSXEEOLFD, 24 Nov. p.25.
44 Anonymous 2010. Appuntamenti, /D5HSXEEOLFD, 21 Dec. p.18 (Napoli)
199 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

FROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\LQWKHPDLQVWUHDPPHGLDEXWKRZGRHVWKLVSURFHVVZRUNDWWKHPLFUROHYHO"+RZGRHV
WKHSUHFDULRXVLGHQWLW\HYROYHLQGLIIHUHQWWLPHVDQGGLIIHUHQWFRQWH[WV"$QGZKRLVRXWRIWKHERUGHUVRI
WKLVFROOHFWLYHLGHQWLW\"

This process has brought up a QDUUDWLYH (Polletta 2006) of precarity, that is a common set of stories that
DUHWROGLQWKHSXEOLFVSKHUHGHVFULELQJWKHODERXUPDUNHWIURPWKHSRLQWRIYLHZRI\RXQJZRUNHUVDQG
SRLQWLQJRXWWKHGLIFXOWLHVRIWKHLUOLYHVDOOJDWKHUHGDURXQGWKHFHQWUDOFRQFHSWXDOQRGHRISUHFDULW\7KLV
QDUUDWLYHFRPSHWHVLQWKHSXEOLFGLVFRXUVHZLWKWKHQDUUDWLYHRIH[LELOLW\DQGWKLVFRPSHWLWLRQLVDERXW
VWRU\WHOOLQJIDFWRUVDVPXFKDVIDFWXDOIDFWRUV$V,KDYHVKRZHGLQWKHWKLUGVHFWLRQLQGLYLGXDOVWRULHVUH-
IHUULQJWREUDLQVRQWKHUXQWRVFLHQWLVWVDQGWRIDPLOLHVWKDWQHHGZHOIDUHSURWHFWLRQDUHIXQGDPHQWDO
SDUWVRIWKHSUHFDULW\GLVFRXUVHLQWKHPHGLDWLVHGSXEOLFVSKHUH%XWKRZGRHVWKHQDUUDWLYHIRUPDWLQWHUDFW
ZLWKWKHVRFLDODQGSROLWLFDOPDWWHURISUHFDULW\"+RZGRHVWKHVWRU\WHOOLQJSURFHVVLQWKHPHGLDWUDQVIRUP
WKHFRQFHSWRISUHFDULW\LQWKHSXEOLFVSKHUH"+RZGRGLIIHUHQWVRFLDODFWRUVLQWHUSUHWWKHVDPHVWRU\"

7KHZLGWKRIWKHGLIIHUHQWVRFLDOSKHQRPHQRQVWKDWDUHLQWHUSUHWHGDQGQDUUDWHGXQGHUWKHODEHORISUH-
carity suggests that precarity might also be analysed as a PDVWHUIUDPH (della Porta and Diani 2006: 79-81),
DJHQHUDOSDUDGLJPRIFRQWHPSRUDU\,WDO\DNH\WRWKHUHDGLQJRIWKHVRFLHW\LQZKLFKZHOLYH7KHODVW
VXEVHFWLRQRIWKHWKLUGVHFWLRQKLQWVDWWKHLGHDRISUHFDULW\DVVRPHWKLQJWKDWLVHYHU\ZKHUHDPRQJ\RXQJ
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the frame extension process I have already described.

These characteristics make precarity a useful resource and tool in the struggle for KHJHPRQ\VRFLDODQG
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political relevance and to create the conditions for social change. Some recent literature has already tried
to use hegemony and other Gramscian concept to analyse the university movement (Caruso 2010). But
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LIWKHUHDUHPXOWLSOHVSXEOLFVSKHUH"

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DFWRUVDQGEULQJWRGLIIHUHQWTXHVWLRQVIRUWKHHYROXWLRQRIUHVHDUFKRQWKLVWRSLF

:KDWLVYLVLEOHHYHQIURPWKLVUVWVWHSRQWKLVSDWKLVWKDWSUHFDULW\KDVEHHQDV\PEROLFHOHPHQWDEOH
to transcend the matters merely related to the duration of a job contract, and to become a factor of common
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PRWHDJHQHUDOPHVVDJHWREXLOGFRQQHFWLRQVZLWKZRUNHUVWRRSHQDJHQHUDOGHEDWHDERXWWKHIXWXUH7KH
label of SUHFDULRXVKDVEHFRPHUHOHYDQWDQGFKDUJHGZLWKDVWURQJXQLI\LQJSRZHUDOVRRXWVLGHWKHVWULFWO\
ODERXUUHODWHGHOGLWKDVEHFRPHDJHQHUDWLRQDOODEHOFKDUJHGZLWKVRFLDODQGSROLWLFDOFRQQRWDWLRQV
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 200

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of the university. This mobilisation might become one of the protagonists of the traditionally contentious Ital-
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26: 611-639
&DUXVR/  /DSROLWLFLVPRGHOO2QGDXQLQWHUSUHWD]LRQHJUDPVFLDQD,Q&DUXVR/*LRUJL$0DWWRQL$3LD]]D*$OODULFHUFD
GHOORQGD,QXRYLFRQLWWLGHOOLVWUX]LRQHVXSHULRUH. Franco Angeli, Milano.
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&XOWXUHDQG6RFLHW\, 30(5)
CSALE (Centro Studi Assemblea Legislativa Emilia-Romagna) (2010) 3UHFDULDWRFRQWUDWWLDWLSLFLHODYRURHVVLELOH6WXGLRVXOOD
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UHODWLRQDODSSURDFKHVWRFROOHFWLYHDFWLRQ2[IRUG8QLYHUVLW\3UHVV2[IRUG1HZ<RUN
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7KH$PHULFDQ-RXUQDORI6RFLRORJ\, Vol. 95, No. 1
*LWOLQ7RGG  3XEOLF6SKHUHRU3XEOLF6SKHULFXOHV"LQ/LHEHV7DPDU&XUUDQ-DPHVDQG.DW](OLKX0HGLD5LWXDODQG,GHQWLW\,
London: Routledge
*RRGZLQ-HIIDQG-DVSHU-DPHV-  &DXJKWLQD:LQGLQJ6QDUOLQJ:LQH7KH6WUXFWXUDO%LDVRI3ROLWLFDO3URFHVV7KHRU\, in
*RRGZLQ-HIIDQG-DVSHU-DPHV0 HGV 5HWKLQNLQJ6RFLDO0RYHPHQWV6WUXFWXUH0HDQLQJDQG(PRWLRQV/DQKDP5RZPDQDQG
/LWWOHHOG
*RRGZLQ-HII-DVSHU-DPHV-DQG3ROOHWWD)UDQFHVFD HGV 3DVVLRQDWH3ROLWLFV, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
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201 YOUTH AND STUDENT MOBILIZATIONS

ISTAT (2010) 5LOHYD]LRQHVXOOHIRU]HGLODYRUR6WDWLVWLFKHLQEUHYH. Istat, Roma


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3ROOHWWD)  &XOWXUH,V1RW-XVWLQ<RXU+HDG,Q*RRGZLQ-DQG-DVSHU-0 HGV 5HWKLQNLQJ6RFLDO0RYHPHQWV6WUXFWXUH0HDQLQJ
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7DUURZ6 HGV )URPVWUXFWXUHWRDFWLRQ-$,3UHVV*UHHQZLFK
6QRZ'$DQG0F$GDP'  ,GHQWLW\ZRUNSURFHVVHVLQWKHFRQWH[WRIVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVFODULI\LQJWKHLGHQWLW\PRYHPHQWQH[XV. In
6WU\NHU6DQG2ZHQV7-DQG:KLWH5: HGV 6HOILGHQWLW\DQGVRFLDOPRYHPHQWV8QLYHUVLW\RI0LQQHVRWD3UHVV0LQQHDSROLV
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(eds), )UDPHVRI3URWHVW6RFLDO0RYHPHQWVDQGWKH)UDPLQJ3HUVSHFWLYH, Lanham: Boulder
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97 (1):12240.
EMOTIONS AND AFFECTS
IN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 204

Transforming the Ominous into Happiness:


How Antinuclear Drive Was Tamed in the Post-war
Japan?1

DAISHIRO NOMIYA
Sophia University, Japan

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pets and livestock remained to be found.

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We can illuminate the meaning of this decision more clearly by placing the disaster into historical
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2 Atomic Bomb Victim Memorial Stone. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
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fering and moreover the horror that is brought by the use of the atom and by its malfunction. Perhaps they
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Toward the use of nuclear energy


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nuclear energy policy. The international situation Japan faced at that time, domestic political trends, and
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the US and the Soviet Union. This appeared as a contest of military strength. The dropping of the atomic
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stricted the military use of nuclear technologies by other countries and moreover took measures to prevent
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aimed at cooperative international control of nuclear technology.

Though it may have referred to the peaceful use of nuclear technology, the US had no intention to dis-
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present have not been applied to American military facilities. In fact, several months after its address to the
UN, the US carried out a test of the hydrogen bomb on the Bikini Atoll.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 206

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allocated uranium from a country like the US. Japan joined nations such as West Germany, Italy, and South
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all over Japan, speaking of peaceful utilization.

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same year, the nuclear energy research budget passed the House of Representatives, and the Special Com-
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VXFKSROLF\PXVWDOVREHGLVFXVVHG7KHPHGLDRIWKDWWLPHHVSHFLDOO\WKH<RPLXUL1HZVSDSHUZDVDIRUFH
that actively backed the nuclear energy development system. The visit to Japan of the above-mentioned mis-
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EMOTIONS AND AFFECTS
207 IN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

The conversion of civil society


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it have entered into our daily lives.

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QXFOHDUSRZHUDQGWKHDWRPEHFDPHDGDQJHURXVZHDSRQWKDWFUHDWHGWHUURUDQGLQLFWHGWRUPHQWXSRQ
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trace the footprints left by this change.

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ety divided into three parts. Namely, these are the intellectuals, the people of learning and experience, and
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+RZKDVXQGHUVWDQGLQJLQUHODWLRQWRQXFOHDUWHFKQRORJ\FKDQJHGVLQFH+LURVKLPDDQGIXUWKHULQZKDW
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XSRQWKHIRFDOSRLQWVLQWKHFKDQJHLQIRUPVRIXQGHUVWDQGLQJUHODWHGWRQXFOHDUWHFKQRORJ\LQSRVWZDU
Japanese civil society in the three domains mentioned above.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 208

***

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of the 1940s. The scientists at that time in occupied Japan had a nave, utopian understanding of nuclear
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(1949)4 dreamed of creating large-scale canals and lakes, changing ocean currents, moving great mountains
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nuclear energy. Further, Watanabe (1949)5SUHGLFWHGWKHDUULYDORIDQHUDLQZKLFKPDFKLQHVFRXOGSURGXFH
anything and advocated that nuclear fuel be used as an energy source instead of fossil fuels.

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ZDVEHLQJHVWDEOLVKHGDVWKHIRXQGDWLRQRIDIXWXUHXWRSLDQVRFLHW\

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misgivings about nuclear energy research and development rose. For example, at the 13th General Meeting
of the Science Council of Japan, Mimura argued, Until the use for peaceful purposes is settled upon, until
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ERXQGQXFOHDUHQHUJ\WLJKWO\ZLWK+LURVKLPD

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ment should be advanced at the hands of the Japanese people also for the sake of the spirits of those killed
E\WKHERPEV7KDWLVKHIHOWWKDWUHVHDUFKLQWRQXFOHDUGHYHORSPHQWZDVDOVRIRUWKHVDNHRIWKRVHZKR
lost their lives by nuclear technology.6

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5 Satoshi Watanabe. The atomic age and morality. Shisou no Kagaku Kenkyuukai. Gendaibunmei no hihan. Academia Press (Japan) (1949), p. 67.
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EMOTIONS AND AFFECTS
209 IN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

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model nuclear reactor, the ground under Tokai village, the countermeasures against accidents and disaster
damage, and the maximum permissible amounts of radiation. But it seems that the logic of, The homeland
EHLQJERPEHGLVDOOWKHPRUHUHDVRQWRVXSSRUWSHDFHIXOXWLOL]DWLRQDVVHHQLQ7DNHWDQLVZRUGVDOZD\V
put a lid on the voices raising such doubts.7

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RIWKHH[DFWPRPHQWLQZKLFKWKHPHDQLQJRIWKHQXFOHDUXQGHUZHQWDFKDQJH)XUWKHUPRUHWKHORFDWLRQ
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efforts. Both Takeda and Oe gathered information at Tokai.9+RZHYHUWKH\GLGQRWWRXFKWKHSURVDQGFRQV
RIQXFOHDUJHQHUDWLRQRULVVXHVOXUNLQJLQWKHEDFNJURXQGRIWKHXWLOL]DWLRQRIQXFOHDUSRZHU,QWKHVHZRUNV
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WKHQXFOHDUDQGSHRSOHVOLYHVDQGFRPPXQLWLHV7KH\UHYHUVHGWKHPHDQLQJRIWKHQXFOHDUE\GHVFULE-
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voting themselves to a noble mission and the vitality of young people gambling their lives as researchers.
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als. In a process of extraordinary naivet, nuclear energy has been removed from the context of Hiroshima,
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mourning the victims of Hiroshima by supporting the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The active use
of Hiroshima, a source of agony, as the basis for nuclear technology amounted to a reversal in meaning
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8 Taijun Takeda. Tokai Observation Record. Chuuoukouron. Chuuoukouron Company, July 9, 1957, pp.182-90.
 .HQ]DEXUR2H<RXQJPDUULHGQXFOHDUVFLHQWLVWV0DLQLFKL*UDSK0DLQLFKL1HZVSDSHU&RPSDQ\6HSWHPEHUSS
10 Taijun Takeda. Work mentioned above, p. 190.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 210

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ment became legitimized among intellectuals and researchers.

***

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PRYHPHQWWKDWEHJDQZLWKWKHFU\RIWKH6XJLQDPLKRXVHZLYHVLVIDPRXVDVOLNHO\WKHODUJHVWSRVWZDU
signature-collecting campaign. It is said that the National Conference Signature Campaign for an Atomic
and Hydrogen Bomb Ban that formed in August, 1954 collected 20 million signatures by the end of that
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campaign seemed to indicate a clear recognition by large numbers of people that the atom-hydrogen bomb
issue had an impact on their daily lives.

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of insecurity in everyday life. Of course I am not suggesting this to be negative. But a movement touched
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EMOTIONS AND AFFECTS
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the core mentality of the atom-hydrogen bomb opposition movement. More than that, it is reasonable to
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to business damage from negative publicity. Because of that, an opposition movement arose. In response,
the city council of Uji, in June, 1957, declared its opposition to receiving the nuclear reactor. After that and
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them met local opposition and failed to materialize.

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gained strength in the context of a common enemy that stirred up extreme insecurity in everyday life. On
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manner.

Differing from the atom-hydrogen bomb opposition movement several years before, the opposition
movement to the establishment of an experimental nuclear research reactor actually advocated an anti-
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nation damage sites.

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their fears is removed.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 212

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reason, moreover, neither the opposition movement to atomic and hydrogen bombs nor that to the establish-
ment of an experimental nuclear research reactor actively made an issue out of nuclear energy and the ac-
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dreamed of discovering a vein of uranium ore and making a fortune selling it to the nation. Walking around
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posit bigger than that of the Ogamo mine. Then, Old Man Uranium set up a uranium mining company that
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and development.

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EMOTIONS AND AFFECTS
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became decontextualized. The nuclear escaped the connotation assigned to it by its connection to 1945,
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contribution to personal health.

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kind of thing occurred in the social domain. The discourse on using the energy from atomic bombs for
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emony. The electric scoreboard inside the convention area displayed the message, This is electricity from
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could easily be connected to the national policies of that time. Namely, riding a series of policy measures
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symbol of societal progress.

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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 214

The road to Fukushima: How did we come to accept the nuclear?


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insecurity on a global scale due to radioactive pollution to the environment and food supply. In this regard,
Fukushima is no different from Hiroshima. Only in one regard does Fukushima differ from Hiroshima.
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from Hiroshima. The very existence of the nuclear to exclude necessitated a process to legitimize the
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Japanese society, and as a support for the bright future of Japanese society.

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EMOTIONS AND AFFECTS
215 IN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
RETHINKING SOCIAL
MOVEMENTS
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 218

Aproximacin a los Movimientos Sociales


como Sujetos de Emancipacin

ZESAR MARTNEZ, BEATRIZ CASADO and PEDRO IBARRA


UPV-EHU

Abstract
(VWHSDSHUIRUPDSDUWHGHXQWUDEDMRPiVDPSOLRTXHWLHQHSRUREMHWLYRUHDOL]DUXQHQ-
PDUTXHWHyULFRGHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVFRPRVXMHWRVGHHPDQFLSDFLyQDQDOL]DQGR
ODVDSRUWDFLRQHVFRJQLWLYDVUHODFLRQDOHV\PDWHULDOHVTXHFRQVWUX\HQORVPRYLPLHQWRV
HQVXVSURFHVRVGHE~VTXHGDGHHVWUDWHJLDVSDUDVXSHUDUODVUHDOLGDGHVGHVXERUGLQD-
cin. El proyecto aspira tambin a cuestionar y replantear el papel de la produccin de
conocimiento acadmico en esos procesos de emancipacin. En este paper realizamos
XQEUHYHUHFRUULGRFUtWLFRSRUORVGLIHUHQWHVHQIRTXHV\SHUVSHFWLYDVDQDOtWLFDVTXHVH
han desarrollado en las ltimas dcadas en el estudio de los movimientos sociales, e
iniciamos una apertura a los necesarios debates epistemolgicos en los estudios-accin
sobre movimientos sociales.

Keywords
sujetos colectivos, emancipacin, pensamiento crtico, colonialidad, conocimiento si-
tuado.

Introduccin
/DFRPSOHMLGDG\SOXUDOLGDGGHORVFDPELRVVRFLDOHVDORVTXHHVWDPRVDVLVWLHQGRHQODV~OWLPDVGpFDGDV
HVWiQKDFLHQGRHPHUJHUGLIHUHQWHVFRQYXOVLRQHVFULVLV\PRYLOL]DFLRQHVVRFLDOHV\DOPLVPRWLHPSRHVWiQ
PRGLFDQGRVXVWDQFLDOPHQWHORVHVTXHPDV\ODVFDWHJRUtDVGHSHQVDPLHQWRFRQODVTXHLQWHUSUHWiEDPRVODV
luchas y prcticas emancipadoras.

$VLVWLPRVDFRQYXOVLRQHVRFULVLVGHGLIHUHQWHWLSRQDQFLHUDVHQHUJpWLFDVFOLPiWLFDVODERUDOHVDOL-
PHQWDULDVFULVLVGHFXLGDGRVHQORVKRJDUHVHWF<FRPRQRSRGtDVHUGHRWURPRGRDVLVWLPRVWDPELpQD
FRQYXOVLRQHVVRFLRSROtWLFDVSURWHVWDVPRYLOL]DFLRQHV\GLIHUHQWHVPRGRVGHH[SUHVLyQGHOGHVFRQFLHUWR\
ODLQGLJQDFLyQTXHSURYRFDODSUHYDOHQFLDGHORVSRGHUHVHFRQyPLFRV\VXVHOLWHVVREUHORVSRGHUHVSROtWL-
cos de un sistema de democracia formal en evidente crisis de representatividad y credibilidad.

/DHXIRULDPHUFDQWLOLVWD\FDSLWDOLVWDTXHVXSXVRODFDtGDGHOPXURGH%HUOtQHQWUDMRFRQVLJRXQFLHUUH
GHORVGHEDWHVSROtWLFRVEDMRODIXHUWHKHJHPRQtDGHODLGHRORJtDXOWUDOLEHUDOTXHHQWURQDEDDORVPHUFDGRV\
sus lgicas especulativas como mecanismo fundamental de regulacin social. De este modo, con el creciente
protagonismo de instituciones supra-estatales y su afn des-regulador de lo econmico y minimizador/priva-
WL]DGRUGHOVHFWRUS~EOLFRVHDFUHFLHQWDHOSRGHUGHODVHPSUHVDVWUDQVQDFLRQDOHV\ODVHOLWHVQDQFLHUDV2WURV
fenmenos globales como el proceso de expansin de las tecnologas de la comunicacin, la densidad de los
XMRVPLJUDWRULRVRODHPHUJHQFLDGHRWURVSRORVGHSRGHUHFRQyPLFRHQ$VLD\$PpULFD/DWLQDKDQYHQLGR
219 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

WUDQVIRUPDQGRWDPELpQGHIRUPDVLJQLFDWLYDODVFRRUGHQDGDVGHXQVLVWHPDPXQGRTXHDJLWDGRSRUFRQYXO-
siones de escala global comienza a plantearse las crisis como sntomas de una crisis sistmica y civilizatoria.

El poder creciente de lites econmicas y tecncratas globales, y el consiguiente descentramiento del es-
WDGR\ODDGPLQLVWUDFLyQS~EOLFDFRPRFHQWURGHGHFLVLyQGHODVSROtWLFDVTXHUHJXODQ\WUDQVIRUPDQODYLGD
VRFLDOKDJHQHUDGRPD\RUFRPSOHMLGDGHQORVGHEDWHVVREUHHOSRGHUSROtWLFRODLGHQWLFDFLyQGHDQWDJR-
nistas y las estrategias de lucha de los movimientos sociales. Desde principios de la dcada pasada venimos
DVLVWLHQGRDHVFDODJOREDODSURFHVRVGHLQWHQVLFDFLyQGHODVOXFKDVVRFLDOHVHQIUHQWDQGRGLUHFWDPHQWHOD
concentracin de poder de algunos de esos agentes transnacionales. Las protestas contra la OMC, el FMI,
HO %DQFR 0XQGLDO R HO * R ODV PRYLOL]DFLRQHV FRQWUD JUDQGHV HPSUHVDV WUDQVQDFLRQDOHV \ VXV PHJD
SUR\HFWRVRFRQWUD:DOO6WUHHWFRPRH[SRQHQWHPi[LPRGHODHVSHFXODFLyQQDQFLHUDYLHQHQFXHVWLRQDQGR
ODKHJHPRQtDTXHHOFDSLWDOLVPRQHROLEHUDOH[SDQGHDQLYHOPXQGLDOGHVGHHOQGHORUGHQPXQGLDOELSRODU

En este contexto, especialmente reseables sern las luchas y prcticas emancipadoras de los movimien-
WRVVRFLDOHVHQHOFRQWLQHQWHDPHULFDQR\DTXHSRUVXSRWHQFLDGHVHVWDELOL]DGRUD\VXFUHDWLYLGDGSURSRVL-
WLYDLQX\HQHQDFWLYLVWDV\PRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVGHWRGRHOPXQGR

Efectivamente, los levantamientos y prcticas constructivas de organizaciones y redes campesinas, indge-


QDVIHPLQLVWDV\EDUULDOHVHQ/DWLQRDPHULFDDOLPHQWDQGHVGHORVPiUJHQHVXQDVHULHGHGHEDWHVTXHFXHVWLRQDQ
las bases de la modernidad y el capitalismo con referentes hasta ahora silenciados por el colonialismo cultural
TXHHVWDEOHFtDWDPELpQHQODSURGXFFLyQGHFRQRFLPLHQWRVHLGHRORJtDVFUtWLFDVODSUHYDOHQFLDGHORVSDUiPH-
WURVWHyULFRFRQFHSWXDOHVGHODPRGHUQLGDGRFFLGHQWDO(VSRUHOORTXHHQHVWHWUDEDMRQRVDFHUFDUHPRVGHPDQH-
UDSUHIHUHQWHDODVSURSXHVWDVWHyULFDV\DQDOtWLFDVGHORTXHGDUHPRVHQOODPDUHOSHQVDPLHQWRFUtWLFRHPHUJHQWH
desde Latinoamrica, recogiendo as el desafo de abrirse a una comprensin no nicamente occidental de los
DQiOLVLVVREUHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHV8QDSHUVSHFWLYDSRVFRORQLDOTXHQRVSHUPLWDDSUHQGHUFRQ\GHVGH
los mrgenes o las periferias, desde cuyos espacios en resistencia a la dominacin se pueden hacer ms visibles
las estructuras de poder y de saber establecidas. Por esta misma razn, prestaremos tambin especial atencin a
ODSURGXFFLyQFRJQLWLYDUHDOL]DGDSRUHOSHQVDPLHQWRIHPLQLVWDTXHVHKDUHYHODGRHQODV~OWLPDVGpFDGDVFRQ
una capacidad excepcional de cuestionamiento crtico de los postulados epistemolgicos y tericos dominantes.

'HODPDQRGHORVQXHYRVFRQFHSWRV\SODQWHDPLHQWRVTXHORVPRYLPLHQWRVLQWURGXFHQHQHOGHEDWH
VRFLDO\SROtWLFRDFWLYLVWDVHLQYHVWLJDGRUHVUHYLVDQ\PRGLFDQODVFDWHJRUtDV\ODVDSUR[LPDFLRQHVFRQODV
TXHVHYHQtDDQDOL]DQGRHLQWHUSUHWDQGRHODFFLRQDUGHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHV6HLQLFLDXQDWUDQVLFLyQ
SDUDGLJPiWLFD %6RXVD6DQWRV TXHSHUPLWHUHSODQWHDUVHODPDQHUDGHREVHUYDUODUHDOLGDGVRFLR
SROtWLFD\HOSDSHOQRQHXWUDOTXHMXHJDHOREVHUYDGRUD\HOFRQRFLPLHQWRH[SHUWRTXHJHQHUD1.

Un recorrido analtico del estudio de los movimientos sociales


Las opciones analticas de la dcada de los setenta y ochenta

(QHVHWLHPSRHQWHQGHPRVTXHH[LVWHQEiVLFDPHQWHGRVSHUVSHFWLYDVWHyULFRDQDOtWLFDVPDWULFHV

 'HDKtHOLQWHUpVGHHVWDSHUVSHFWLYDSRUODJHRSROtWLFDGHOFRQRFLPLHQWRHVWRHVSRUSUREOHPDWL]DUTXLpQSURGXFHHOFRQRFLPLHQWRHQTXpFRQWH[WROR
SURGXFH\SDUDTXLpQORSURGXFH %'H6RXVD6DQWRV
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 220

$ 8QHQIRTXHracionalista instrumental en el anlisis de los movimiento sociales. La teora de


movilizacin de recursos (Resource Mobilization Theory, RMT) implantada a partir de la dcada de los
VHWHQWDHVWDEOHFHTXHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVH[SUHVDQFRQGXFWDVFROHFWLYDVSHUIHFWDPHQWHUDFLRQDOHV
FRQREMHWLYRVSROtWLFRV\VRFLDOHVPX\SUHFLVRV\FRQHVWUDWHJLDVGHPRYLOL]DFLyQGHDGTXLVLFLyQGHUH-
cursos (humanos, organizativos, materiales, tcticos, etc) deliberadamente adecuados a esos objetivos. Este
HQIRTXHSURSXJQDEDODH[LVWHQFLDGHGHOLPLWDGDV\SUHYLVLEOHVFDGHQDVFDXVDOHVGHXQWHMLGRQRGHPDVLDGR
HVSHVR\SRUHOORFLHQWtFDPHQWHGHWHUPLQDEOHGHPRWLYDFLRQHVHIHFWRVLQXHQFLDVFRQWH[WXDOHV\FLFORV
SRUORVTXHVHSXHGHVHJXLU\FRPSUHQGHUHOQDFLPLHQWRYLGD\GHVDSDULFLyQGHXQPRYLPLHQWRVRFLDO

(OHQIRTXHGHPRYLOL]DFLyQGHUHFXUVRVWRPDSDUWLGRHOLJHQXQDGLPHQVLyQGHOSURFHVR/RUHOHYDQWH
se nos reitera desde esta teora, es cmo el movimiento se organizaRUJDQL]DDVXVJHQWHV\RUJDQL]DD
su entorno para obtener, con sus reivindicaciones dirigidas a las autoridades dentro del sistema poltico,
DYDQFHVHQORVLQWHUHVHVFROHFWLYRVTXHUHSUHVHQWD/D507PDUJLQDHQHVWHVHQWLGRWDQWRODUHOHYDQFLDGH
ODVFDXVDVGHOVXUJLPLHQWRGHOPRYLPLHQWRFRPRODGLPHQVLyQLGHQWLWDULDGHOPLVPRFyPRHOPRYLPLHQWR
HVWDPELpQXQIRUPDFROHFWLYD\DOWHUQDWLYDGHGHQLU\SURSRQHUHOPXQGRTXHYDPiVDOOiGHOVLVWHPD
poltico institucionalizado.

&RQHFWDGDFRQHVWDSHUVSHFWLYDVHH[WLHQGHDSDUWLUGHORVRFKHQWDHOHQIRTXHGHOproceso poltico en
general y el de la estructura de oportunidad poltica 3ROLWLFDO2SSRUWXQLW\6WUXFWXUH326 HQSDUWLFX-
lar. El Estado, y su sistema poltico-institucional, aparece como principal conformador de la estrategia de
ORPRYLPLHQWRV(QODUHODFLyQLQWHUDFWLYDHQWUHPRYLPLHQWRV\VLVWHPDSROtWLFRHLQVWLWXFLRQDOORTXHVH
GHVWDFDGHVGHHVWHiQJXORDQDOtWLFRQRHVORTXHHOSRGHUSROtWLFRLQVWLWXFLRQDOL]DGRGHFLGHRFyPRRUJDQL]D
su proceso decisorio a partir de la accin de los movimientos, si no cmo los movimientos ajustan y reajus-
tan sus recursos y estrategias movilizadoras y discursivas a partir de la menor o mayor apertura o cierre del
sistema poltico, o de las relaciones y fracturas entre la elites polticas, o de cules son los posibles aliados
polticos institucionalizados del movimiento, etc.

%  /D RSFLyQ DQDOtWLFD GHO 507 HV FRQWHVWDGD SRU  HO HQIRTXH GH OR 1XHYRV 0RYLPLHQWRV 6RFLDOHV
(NMS). Ahora lo relevante no es tanto los procesos organizativos y los contextos polticos, si no la causa-
lidad de origen y la construccin identitaria$KRUDORTXHHVGHVWDFDGRHVFyPRGHWHUPLQDGDVFULVLV
estructurales (sobre todo de ndole cultural) hacen surgir los movimientos y como estos tratan de distin-
guirse del mundo circundante creando su propia identidad colectiva, siendo distintos y propugnando una
UHDOLGDGGLVWLQWD6LOD507GDSRUVXSXHVWRTXHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVVRQRWUD forma normalizada de
FRPSRUWDPLHQWRSROtWLFRHOHQIRTXHGHORQXHYRVPRYLPLHQWRVHQWLHQGHTXHORVPLVPRVVRQXQDIRUPD
distinta, una forma alternativa de conducta poltica colectiva.

&RQHVWHHQIRTXHFRQHFWDQODSHUVSHFWLYDVPiVGLVFXUVLYDV'HVGHHOODV\HVSHFLDOPHQWHGHVGHORVDFHU-
camientos del IUDPHDQDO\VLV, se trata de observar cmo el movimiento construye su particular y polmica
visin del mundo y cmo con ese discurso asienta su identidad y moviliza a su entorno, a sus simpatizantes.

(VWHHQIRTXHFXOWXUDOLVWDWLHQGHDVXEUD\DUODVGLPHQVLRQHVsimblicasSULQFLSLRVYDORUHVHVTXHPDV
de pensamiento, expresivas repertorios y formas de comunicacin, de accin y de vida, y rupturistas
SODQWHDPLHQWRVSROtWLFRVTXHYDPiVDOOiGHORVOtPLWHVGHFRPSDWLELOLGDGFRQHOVLVWHPDVRFLDOLQVWLWXLGR
0HOXFFL /RUHOHYDQWHHVODFRWLGLDQLGDGGHORVPRYLPLHQWRV\ODVDUPDFLRQHVDOWHUQDWLYDVTXHVHFRQV-
WUX\HQHQHVHPXQGRGHODYLGDFRWLGLDQDVHQWLPLHQWRVGHSHUWHQHQFLD LGHQWLGDG DSDUWLUGHHVTXHPDVGH
221 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

SHQVDPLHQWRFUtWLFRVTXHLGHQWLFDQDEXVRVSULYLOHJLRV\GLVFULPLQDFLRQHVLGHQWLFDFLyQGHDGYHUVDULRV
FRQORVTXHVHHQWDEODXQDUHODFLyQGHFRQLFWR\DQWDJRQLVPR\SRU~OWLPRXQFXHVWLRQDPLHQWRLGHROy-
gico y cognitivo de los pilares estructurales del modelo de sociedad instituido. Por ello, esa originalidad
constitutiva tambin cuestiona el marco cultural dominante (Touraine) o la estabilidad estructural, poltica
y econmica (Offe).

$QDOHVGHORVRFKHQWDHOSDQRUDPDVHSUHVHQWDEDIUDQFDPHQWHGLYLGLGRHQWUHSRGUtDPRVDVtOODPDU-
ORVLQVWUXPHQWDOLVWDV\FXOWXUDOLVWDVHQWUHORVTXHDFHQWXDEDQFyPRVHRUJDQL]DEDQORVPRYLPLHQWRV\VX
UHODFLyQFRQHOVLVWHPDSROtWLFRLQVWLWXFLRQDO\ORVTXHUHVDOWDEDQHOSRUTXpVHRUJDQL]DEDQ\TXpSURGXF-
FLyQLGHQWLWDULDGLVFXUVLYD\SROtWLFDDOWHUQDWLYDFRQVWUXtDQ$QDOHVGHORVRFKHQWDVLQHPEDUJRVHLQLFLD
XQSURFHVRGHFRQXHQFLDRGHUHFRQRFLPLHQWRPiVHFOpFWLFRGHHVDSOXUDOLGDGGHGLPHQVLRQHV\SODQRVD
tener en cuenta.

'HHVWRVGRVHQIRTXHVDOPDUJHQGHVXVPD\RUHVRPHQRUHVFRQXHQFLDVSRGHPRVH[WUDHUalgunas
conclusiones:

Los anlisis ms instrumentales, dirigidos al estudio de cmo los movimiento utilizan recursos dis-
ponibles para lograr -o no- sus objetivos, se insertan en una visin conformista del mundo. Dan por
VXSXHVWRTXHODUHDOLGDGHFRQyPLFDVRFLDO\SROtWLFDHVLQWUDQVIRUPDEOH\TXHSRUWDQWRXQPRYLPLHQWR
VRFLDOFRPRFXDOTXLHURWURDFWRUFROHFWLYRKDFHORTXHSXHGHKDFHU<OR~QLFRTXHSXHGH\GHEHKDFHU
es tratar de cambiar, en favor de sus homologables y racionales intereses, algunas condiciones de vida
de ese mundo dentro, por supuesto, de las dimensiones fundamentales de ese mismo mundo.

En los anlisis ms culturales,OLJDGRVDODLQWHUSUHWDFLyQGHORV106ODLGHDIXHU]DTXHVHGHVWDFDHV


la de ser y aparecer distintos. Vivir y actuar colectivamente en el mundo de forma distinta, e interpre-
tarlo tambin de forma distinta. Se rechaza as la inevitabilidad, la naturalidad, tanto de las estructuras
realmente existentes como de la lgica cultural -mercantil, instrumentalista- dominante. A diferencia
de los instrumentalistas, los anlisis culturalistas abren la perspectiva y no se sitan en una posicin
WHyULFDTXHGDSRUVXSXHVWDODLQHYLWDELOLGDGGHOVLVWHPD\HOPRGHORGHVRFLHGDGFUHHQTXHORVPRYL-
PLHQWRVFXHVWLRQDQHVD VRORDSDUHQWH LQPRYLOLGDG\HVWiQGHDFXHUGRFRQTXHDVtVHD

Desvalorizacin del movimiento feminista. En las dcadas de los 60 y 70, en el contexto de la gue-
rra fra, las luchas de liberacin anti-coloniales, la proliferacin nuclear, las luchas estudiantiles y la
FRQWUDFXOWXUDTXHFXHVWLRQDORVYDORUHV\PRGRVGHYLGDGHODVVRFLHGDGHVRFFLGHQWDOHVEXUJXHVDV
una serie de movimientos sociales se articulan en torno a protestas y reivindicaciones antimilitaris-
WDV SDFLVWDV DQWLLPSHULDOLVWDV HFRORJLVWDV DQWLUDFLVWDV SRU ORV GHUHFKRV FLYLOHV  DQWLUHSUHVLYDV
\DQWLGLVFLSOLQDULDV6RQPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVTXHVHFRQIRUPDQ\PRYLOL]DQHQWRUQRDVHQWLGRVGH
SHUWHQHQFLD\HMHVGHFRQLFWRGLIHUHQWHVDORVGHOPRYLPLHQWRTXHFRQVWLWXtDODUHIHUHQFLDIXQGDPHQWDO
hasta entonces en los anlisis sociales, el movimiento obrero/sindical. Un movimiento progresivamen-
te integrado en el sistema poltico-institucional.

/DHWLTXHWDGH1XHYRV0RYLPLHQWRV6RFLDOHV 106 DWULEXLGDDHVRVPRYLPLHQWRVTXHHPHUJHQHQ


ORVHQWUHORVTXHVHLQFOX\HWDPELpQDOPRYLPLHQWRIHPLQLVWDSRQHGHPDQLHVWRODFHQWUDOLGDGKH-
gemnica del movimiento obrero en los anlisis sociales, en clara desvalorizacin del movimiento feminis-
WDFX\DWUD\HFWRULDKLVWyULFDKXQGHWDPELpQVXVUDtFHVHQHOVLJOR;,;6HFRQVLGHUDSRQLHQGRGHPDQLHVWR
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 222

XQHYLGHQWHVHVJRGHJpQHURHQORVDQiOLVLVVREUHPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVTXHVXUJHDOJRQRYHGRVRLQpGLWR
TXHSRUORWDQWRH[LJHXQDQiOLVLVQXHYR<HVWRVyORHVSRVLEOHGHMDQGRGHODGRODFRQWLQXLGDGKLVWyULFD\
ORVUDVJRVHVSHFtFRVTXHHOPRYLPLHQWRIHPLQLVWDKDPDQLIHVWDGRHQVXWUD\HFWRULDVXFDUiFWHUQRYLR-
lento, anti-vanguardista e internacional, o sus postulados sobre lo personal como poltico, lo sitan como
SUHFXUVRUKLVWyULFRGHDOJXQDVGHODVQRYHGDGHVTXHVHDWULEX\HQDORVPRYLPLHQWRVTXHHPHUJHQDSDUWLU
de la dcada de los 60. Es decir, hasta esta dcada los anlisis sociales otorgaron al movimiento obrero un
casi exclusivo protagonismo, el sesgo androcntrico de estos anlisis ha continuado interpretando los pro-
cesos de accin colectiva irruptiva en funcin del carcter primigenio del movimiento obrero, sin reconocer
ese mismo carcter al movimiento feminista y desvalorizando las concepciones, valores, reivindicaciones
y formas de organizacin y accin de este movimiento.

El alterglobalismo

Transcurren los aos y los anlisis sobre movimientos sociales siguen su curso. Aparecen intentos de
FRQXHQFLDHQWUHFXOWXUDOLVWDVHLQWUXPHQWDOLVWDVSHURHQJHQHUDOVLJXHQSUHYDOHFLHQGRORVHVWXGLRVPDV
procedimentalistas, los anlisis sobre la trayectoria y los impactos de determinados movimientos en la con-
tienda poltica por alcanzar sus objetivos.

7DO\FRPRVHxDODQGLIHUHQWHVDXWRUHV ,EDUUD.ODQGHUPDQV\5RJJHEDQG%ULQJHO 
SRGHPRVDUPDUTXHGHVGHQDOHVGHORVHOFDPSRGHHVWXGLRGHODDFFLyQFROHFWLYD\GHORVPRYL-
mientos sociales, se ha convertido en un campo ms dinmico y con mayor apertura a nuevas disciplinas,
reas de estudio, formas de contestacin y nuevas visiones del mundo, pero tambin se ha convertido en un
FDPSRPiVIUDJPHQWDGR\FRPSOHMRGHIRUPDTXH

Las anteriores divisiones entre escuelas de interpretacin y paradigmas son sustituidas por abordajes ms plurales,
HFOpFWLFDVHLQFOXVLYDVVLQTXHORVHQIRTXHVFOiVLFRVKD\DQSHUGLGRWRWDOPHQWHVXLQXHQFLD\DTXHJUDQSDUWHGH
la teorizacin reciente no supone una renovacin radical del debate, sino ms bien una actualizacin a los nuevos
tiempos y contextos (Bringel, 2011:2)

$SHVDUGHTXHODVWHRUL]DFLRQHVUHFLHQWHVVREUHPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHV\DFFLyQFROHFWLYDVXSRQHQXQD
DFWXDOL]DFLyQGHOGHEDWH\QRXQDUHQRYDFLyQUDGLFDOGHOPLVPRVHSURGXFHQQXHYRVDFRQWHFLPLHQWRVTXH
reactivan los estudios ms estructurales y generalistas. Nos referimos al surgimiento de los movimientos
alterglobalistas en la dcada de los 90. Con esta denominacin, hacemos referencia al conjunto de movi-
PLHQWRVTXHDSDUWLUGHVXUHFKD]RDODJOREDOL]DFLyQQHROLEHUDOSODQWHDQODSRVLELOLGDGGHXQPXQGRDOWHU-
nativo. El movimiento alterglobalista supone una ruptura respecto a las tendencias dominantes instaladas
HQODPRYLOL]DFLyQVRFLDOGHORVDxRV\SODQWHDXQTXHKDFHUGLVWLQWRHQODOXFKDVRFLDO7DO\FRPRVHxDOD
Hoetmer:

dentro de la tormenta de la ofensiva neoliberal, aparecieron ya en 1989 nuevas resistencias frente a la dominacin
capitalista y sus consecuencias en la vida cotidiana alrededor del mundo. El caracazo (1989), el levantamiento indge-
na en Ecuador (1990) y la marcha por la dignidad y el territorio en Bolivia (1990) pasaban primero desapercibidos o
entendidos como restos del viejo orden. El levantamiento zapatista en Chiapas (1994), la huelga general en Corea del
Sur (1996-1997), los encuentros en el marco del proceso del Foro Social Mundial (desde 2001), y las protestas contra
la Organizacin Mundial del Comercio en Seattle (1999), contra el G8 en Gnova (2001), y a escala mundial en contra
GHODLQYDVLyQQRUWHDPHULFDQDD,UDT  HYLGHQFLDURQTXHHQUHDOLGDGKDEtDRWUDJOREDOL]DFLyQHQPDUFKDTXH
223 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

ha sido llamada por Boaventura de Sousa Santos (2003, 2006) la globalizacin contrahegemnica2\SRU)UDQFRLV
+RXWDUW\)UDQFRLV3ROHW  ODJOREDOL]DFLyQGHODVUHVLVWHQFLDV +RHWPHU 

3HUR\DKDQWUDQVFXUULGRGRFHDxRVGHODVSURWHVWDVGH6HDWWOHHQSURWHVWDVTXHPDUFDURQVXVXU-
JLPLHQWRPHGLiWLFR\HOPRYLPLHQWR\DQRSXHGHVHJXLUVLHQGRFDUDFWHUL]DGRSRUORVUDVJRVTXHPDUFDURQ
sus inicios y sus primeros aos, siendo necesario hacer un amplio y diverso ejercicio colectivo de evalua-
FLyQ\FRPSUHQVLyQGHORDSUHQGLGRHQHVWRVDxRV\GHORVGHVDItRVTXHKDQLGRDSDUHFLHQGR3. Ms all de
las mltiples terminologas empleadas para caracterizar el movimiento (antiglobalizacin, anticapitalista,
altermundista, movimiento de movimientos, activismo transnacional, entre otras) y de la heterogeneidad
TXHORFRQIRUPDXQDSDUWHLPSRUWDQWHGHODVLQQRYDFLRQHVFRQFHSWXDOHV\HVWUDWpJLFDVTXHORVPRYLPLHQ-
WRVVRFLDOHVYDQGHVDUUROODQGRHQVXVOXFKDVFRQWUDODVSROtWLFDVQHROLEHUDOHV\JOREDOL]DGRUDVWLHQHQTXH
YHUFRQODDGRSFLyQGHFLHUWDGLVWDQFLDUHVSHFWRDOLPDJLQDULR\ODSUiFWLFDSROtWLFDSURJUHVLVWDTXHOD
L]TXLHUGDYHQtDGHVDUUROODQGRHQODVGpFDGDVDQWHULRUHV/DUHSHUFXVLyQGHO]DSDWLVPRHQORVGHEDWHVGHORV
PRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVDQLYHOLQWHUQDFLRQDOPDUFDQXQSXQWRGHLQH[LyQHQHVHVHQWLGR

HO]DSDWLVPRFRQOOHYyXQDUHIRUPXODFLyQGHOKRUL]RQWHGHODVL]TXLHUGDV XQPRYLPLHQWRDFRQWUDFRUULHQWHGH
ODVYLVLRQHVYDQJXDUGLVWDVGHOSRGHU  HVWRIXHORTXHGRWyDO]DSDWLVPRGHXQDJUDQFDSDFLGDGGHDWUDFFLyQHLUUD-
GLDFLyQSRUXQODGRVXSRGHURVDLQWHUSHODFLyQHVSHFtFDKDFLDORVSXHEORVLQGtJHQDV SRURWURODGRVXLQWHUSH-
ODFLyQJOREDODXQDIRUPDGHFRQFHELUODSROtWLFDGHVGHDEDMRTXHUHFODPDODDXWRQRPtDODKRUL]RQWDOLGDGGHORVOD]RV
y la democracia por consenso como valores estructurantes, valores compartidos con los nuevos movimientos sociales
VXUJLGRHQORVDxRV/DQRFLyQGHDXWRGHWHUPLQDFLyQIXHODOODYHTXHXQLyHVWDVGRVGLPHQVLRQHVGHODDXWRQRPtD
SURYHQLHQWHVGHH[SHULHQFLDVWDQGLYHUVDV 0DULVWHOOD6ZDPSD

/DWHRUtDGHOSRGHU\GHODWUDQVIRUPDFLyQVRFLDOTXHIXHKHJHPyQLFDHQODL]TXLHUGDSDUWLGDULD\UHYR-
lucionaria, estableca la necesidad de la toma del poder gubernamental-estatal como palanca desde la cual
UHDOL]DUPRGLFDFLRQHVHVWUXFWXUDOHVHQODHFRQRPtDSURSLHGDGGHORVPHGLRVGHSURGXFFLyQ\SODQLFD-
FLyQHVWUDWpJLFDTXHSHUPLWLUtDVXSHUDUODVRFLHGDGGHFODVHVDOUHVROYHUODFRQWUDGLFFLyQIXQGDPHQWDOHQWUH
capital y trabajo. De este modo se abordaba la tarea de transformar la sociedad en su conjunto, atendiendo
prioritariamente a la educacin, la salud y la atencin social a los sectores sociales ms necesitados desde
polticas pblicas de carcter igualitario, homogeneizante y centralista.

2UJDQL]DFLRQHVIHPLQLVWDVHLQGtJHQDVKDFtDPXFKRTXHSODQWHDEDQTXHODVXERUGLQDFLyQXRSUHVLyQQRVyOR
HVFXHVWLyQGHODUHODFLyQHQWUHFDSLWDO\WUDEDMRRGHOH\HVLQVWLWXFLRQHV\SROtWLFDVS~EOLFDVODVGLVFULPLQDFLRQHV
son tambin cotidianas y en las diferentes esferas de interaccin social, incluidas las organizaciones polticas de iz-
TXLHUGD4. No es posible, por lo tanto, reducir la poltica a estrategias por la toma de poder, planteando como contra-
GLFFLyQIXQGDPHQWDO FDVL~QLFD ODTXHHQIUHQWDDODFODVHWUDEDMDGRUDFRQODEXUJXHVtDFDSLWDOLVWD\UHOHJDQGRHO
UHVWRGHRSUHVLRQHV\OXFKDVDXQVHJXQGRSODQRGHUHOHYDQFLDTXHLQVWUXPHQWDOL]DDRWUDVVXEMHWLYLGDGHVSROtWLFDV

 %RDYHQWXUDGH6RXVD6DQWRVHQWLHQGHODJOREDOL]DFLyQFRQWUDKHJHPyQLFDFRPRODDFWXDFLyQWUDQVQDFLRQDOGHDTXHOORVPRYLPLHQWRVDVRFLDFLRQHV\RU-
JDQL]DFLRQHVTXHGHHQGHQLQWHUHVHV\JUXSRVUHOHJDGRVRPDUJLQDGRVSRUHOFDSLWDOLVPRJOREDO 6DQWRV 
 3DUDSURIXQGL]DUHQORVDQiOLVLVTXHVHKDQFHQWUDGRHQLQWHUSUHWDUORVRUtJHQHV\SULQFLSDOHVFDUDFWHUtVWLFDVGHOPRYLPLHQWRDOWHUJOREDOL]DGRUDVtFRPR
LGHQWLFDUODVGLIHUHQWHVIDVHVSRUODVTXHHOPRYLPLHQWRKDLGRSDVDQGRVHUHFRPLHQGDXQDOHFWXUDVHFXHQFLDOGHODQXDULRGH0RYLPLHQWRV6RFLDOHVHGL-
WDGRSRUOD)XQGDFLRQ%HWLNR KWWSZZZIXQGDFLRQEHWLNRRUJ 
 7DO\FRPRQRVUHFXHUGD+RHWPHUDWHQGLHQGRPtQLPDPHQWHDODFRPSOHMLGDG\SOXUDOLGDGGHODL]TXLHUGDHQVXGHVDUUROORKLVWyULFRGHEHPRVUHODWLYL]DUHO
FDUiFWHUQRYHGRVRGHDOJXQRVSODQWHDPLHQWRVTXHDFRQWLQXDFLyQYDPRVDVXEUD\DU\DTXHGHQWURGHODL]TXLHUGDVLHPSUHKXERYRFHVGLVLGHQWHVTXHFXHV-
tionaron el vanguardismo, las tendencias economicistas, el centralismo y, en algunos casos, el machismo, el racismo o el personalismo elitista presentes en
sus seno. (Hoetmer: 2009).
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 224

Tal y como nos planeta Boaventura (B. De Sousa: 2001), el debilitamiento poltico de la identidad obre-
ra y SRUHQGH del movimiento obrero, tanto en sus expresiones ms espontneas como institucionalizadas5,
permite emerger la denuncia de formas de subordinacin ms all de las relaciones de produccin. Formas
GHRSUHVLyQTXHQRDIHFWDQVyORDXQDFODVHVRFLDOHVSHFtFD\VtDJUXSRVVRFLDOHVWUDQVYHUVDOHVDWRGDV
las clases, o a la sociedad en su conjunto: machismo, colonialismo y guerras, opresin nacional y cultural,
racismo, deterioro del medio y el territorio en nombre del progreso (productivismo, consumismo),... Por
ORWDQWRFRPLHQ]DDWRUQDUVHGRPLQDQWHODLGHDGHTXHWRGDVODVIRUPDVGHGRPLQDFLyQGHEHQVHUFRQVLGH-
radas por igual en las tareas emancipatorias, tanto las relaciones de produccin como las de convivencia y
reproduccin de la vida en todos los mbitos de lo cotidiano. No hay posicin o protagonismo central de la
FODVHREUHUDRGHOPRYLPLHQWRVLQGLFDOSRUTXHQRKD\XQD~QLFDRSULRULWDULDSUHFRQVWLWXFLyQHVWUXFWXUDO
del sujeto de cambio, de los grupos o movimientos de emancipacin.

ODFDtGDGHOPXURGH%HUOtQ  OLEHUyXQDVHULHGHPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVTXHVHHQFRQWUDEDQFRQQDGRVKDVWD


HQWRQFHVSRUODHVWUDWHJLDLGHROyJLFDGHODJXHUUDIUtD(VFRPRVLHOHVStULWXGHORVDxRVVHVHQWDSXGLHVHQDOPHQWH
HPHUJHUHQODHVFHQDSROtWLFDPXQGLDOVLQODVGHVFDOLFDFLRQHVTXHYHQtDQGHDPERVODGRVGHODJXHUUDIUtD 3RUWR
Gonsalves en Hoetmer 2009: 92)

En trminos del trabajo por la transformacin del modelo de sociedad, el cambio social no es slo es-
WUXFWXUDO\QRGHEHVHUXQDSURPHVDGHIXWXURXQDYH]TXHVHKDOODFRQTXLVWDGRHOSRGHUJXEHUQDPHQWDO
institucionalizado. La emancipacin debe plantearse en trminos de transformacin de las prcticas per-
VRQDOHV\FROHFWLYDVTXHHQORFRWLGLDQRLQIHULRUL]DQ\VXERUGLQDQDODVYtFWLPDVGHODRSUHVLyQWUDQVIRU-
macin emancipadora, por lo tanto, desde las propias prcticas en el presente, y no en un futuro de cambio
estructural total. Lo cotidiano y cercano deja de ser algo supeditado a una estrategia general de lucha en las
relaciones de poder, para comenzar a ser el campo privilegiado de lucha por un mundo y una vida mejores.

/DWDUHDGHLGHQWLFDUSUiFWLFDVGHVXERUGLQDFLyQ\GHFRQVWUXLUSUiFWLFDVDOWHUQDWLYDVQRRSUHVRUDVVH
WRUQDXQDWDUHDQXQFDGHOWRGRQDOL]DGD\VLQXQDLGHQWLGDGRVXEMHWLYLGDGHVSHFtFDPHQWHWLWXODUGHHOOD
SRUTXHODVGRPLQDFLRQHVVRQP~OWLSOHV/DHPDQFLSDFLyQ\ODGHPRFUDWL]DFLyQQRVDSDUHFHQSRUORWDQWR
FRPRSULQFLSLRVVLQQFRPRSURFHVRVVLHPSUHDELHUWRVVLHPSUHLQFRQFOXVRV

(VWHFXHVWLRQDPLHQWRGHODOLPLWDGDSHUVSHFWLYDVREUHHOFDPELRVRFLDOFRQVWUXLGDGHVGHODL]TXLHUGD
clsica se complementa con un cuestionamiento terico-ideolgico del poder, reubicando el Estado en el
conjunto de las relaciones de poder de la sociedad. Atendiendo a Michel Foucault, y sus trabajos sobre las
relaciones de dominacin como relaciones sostenidas sobre concepciones, imaginarios y prcticas cons-
WUXLGDVKLVWyULFDPHQWHFRPRKHJHPyQLFDVSDUDDVtQDWXUDOL]DU\MXVWLFDUODGRPLQDFLyQHO(VWDGRHVXQD
SUiFWLFDVRFLDOGHPDQHMRGHODVRFLHGDGTXHIRUPDSDUWHGHXQFDPSRPiVDPSOLRGHSUiFWLFDVGHSRGHU

Una de las matrices centrales en esas prcticas de poder, es la prctica del poder colonial moderno
&RORQLDOLGDGGHOSRGHU$QLEDO4XLMDQR TXHSDUWHGHXQPLWRIXQGDFLRQDOGHFDUiFWHUHYROXFLR-
QLVWDSRUHOTXHODKLVWRULDKXPDQDHVXQDOtQHDGHVGHHOHVWDGRGHQDWXUDOH]DKDVWDODPRGHUQLGDGHXURSHD
TXH D WUDYpV GHO FRQWUDWR VRFLDO VDOH GHO HVWDGR GH QDWXUDOH]D HVWDEOHFLHQGR XQD VHULH GH FRGLFDFLRQHV
5 En ello han intervenido diferentes factores y vicisitudes histricas, Garca Linera destaca los procesos de reestructuracin productiva, el cierre de las
JUDQGHVHPSUHVDVODPRGLFDFLyQHQODFRPSRVLFLyQWpFQLFDGHOWUDEDMRDVDODULDGRTXHKDIUDJPHQWDGRODVFRQFHQWUDFLRQHVREUHUDVKDUHGXFLGRGUiVWLFD-
PHQWHHOQ~PHURGHREUHURVVLQGLFDOL]DGRV\KDFUHDGRXQDQXHYDFXOWXUDGHOWUDEDMRIXQGDGDHQODFRPSHWHQFLDREUHUDSHURWDPELpQHVLQQHJDEOHTXHHO
SURSLRPRYLPLHQWRREUHURQRWHQtDXQKRUL]RQWHSURSRVLWLYRTXHYD\DPiVDOOiGHOFRUSRUDWLYLVPRGHQWURGHOHVWDGRGHELHQHVWDU\GHOXVRLQVWUXPHQWDOGH
ODVOLEHUWDGHVGHPRFUiWLFDV *DUFtD/LQHUD$
225 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

ELQDULDVHQWUHFLYLOL]DGRSULPLWLYRPRGHUQRWUDGLFLRQDOFRQRFLPLHQWRFLHQWtFRVDEHUHVSRSXODUHVUD]yQ
emocin, hombre/mujer, blanco/indgena. Presentando la colonizacin y subordinacin de lo primero so-
bre lo segundo como algo natural en la evolucin de la historia del ser humano, y no como el resultado de
relaciones de poder opresoras.

/DLGHDGHTXHODGRPLQDFLyQGHODQDWXUDOH]DLPSOLFDVXWUDQVIRUPDFLyQHQFLYLOL]DFLyQUHYHODXQDFRPSUHQVLyQ\
prctica del poder colonial-moderno, en la cual el polo dominante/activo tiene el deber de civilizar/formar/disciplinar
al polo subordinado. (Hoetmer, 2009: 94)

Las prcticas polticas de los movimientos sociales en las ltimas dcadas han pivotado, por lo tanto,
hacia un cuestionamiento ms integral de las relaciones de poder y de dominacin en la sociedad. Plan-
teamientos no solamente de condicionar el poder poltico institucionalizado, sino de transformar el poder
GHVGHSUiFWLFDVSROtWLFDVTXHFXHVWLRQHQODVIRUPDVGHKDFHU\ORVPRGHORVGHYLGDGRPLQDQWHVGHVGHLGHQWL-
GDGHVRVXEMHWLYLGDGHVHVSHFtFDVPXMHUHVLQGtJHQDVHVWXGLDQWHVMyYHQHVJD\V\OHVELDQDVFDPSHVLQRV
DVVLQWLHUUDSDUDGRVDVRSLTXHWHURVDVHWF

De esta manera, los movimientos actuales aparecen como procesos de aprendizaje, laboratorios para la
construccin de prcticas y relaciones sociales (parcialmente) no-capitalistas, en vez de responder a estra-
WHJLDVSUHGHQLGDVSDUDUHVROYHUODFRQWUDGLFFLyQIXQGDPHQWDOHQWUHFDSLWDO\SXHEORWUDEDMDGRU +RHWPHU
2009: 97). Este entendimiento del movimiento social como un principio educativo (Caldart 2004, citado
en Bringel, 2010: 6), torna como elemento de importancia en los movimientos la generacin y sistema-
tizacin de conocimiento: el movimiento autoconstruye y articula sus saberes para alimentar su proceso
transformador emancipatorio (Gohn 2005, citado en Bringel, 2010: 6).

Adems de las anteriores destacamos a continuacin, de forma sinttica, otras cuestiones referentes a
los debates y prcticas de los movimientos alterglobalizadores (en realidad red de movimientos) sealadas
desde diferentes anlisis:

'HVWDFDQHOFDUiFWHUHPDQFLSDWRULRGHHVWRVPRYLPLHQWRVHQFXDQWRFRQWHVWDFLyQ\UHVLVWHQFLDDOD
KHJHPRQtDGHOSHQVDPLHQWR~QLFRQHROLEHUDO\DOIDWDOLVPR\FRQIRUPLVPRTXHFRQOOHYDUHVLVWHQFLD
al cierre de los debates ideolgicos y a la negacin de la contigencia de los procesos histricos y de
ODVGHFLVLRQHVSROtWLFDVTXHORVJXtDQ/DVUHGHVGHPRYLPLHQWRVVHVLW~DQHQXQDYLVLyQPiVDPSOLD
TXHIUHQWHDODQHJDFLyQGHODDJHQFLDKXPDQDHQORVSURFHVRVJOREDOHVHQFXUVRLGHQWLFD\VHxDOD
PHGLDQWHODPRYLOL]DFLyQORVDJHQWHV\FHQWURVGHGHFLVLyQTXHJXtDQHOSURFHVRJOREDOL]DGRUQHROLEH-
UDOFRQWUDSRQLpQGRVHDQWDJRQLFDPHQWHDHOORVPHGLDQWHHOFRQLFWR(OPRYLPLHQWRGHPRYLPLHQWRV
ensancha el debate y el antagonismo ideolgico y poltico, reivindicando opciones y alternativas hacia
otros mundos posibles (Martnez, Z. 2003).

6RQUHGHVRDYHFHVVRORFRQXHQFLDVTXHQLHJDQOHJLWLPLGDGDOVLVWHPDQRVRORHQVXVH[SUHVLRQHV
GHH[FOXVLyQPiVIUHFXHQWHVVLQRHQVXPLVPDUD]yQGHVHU6RQUHGHVTXHDUPDQTXHODFRQVWUXFFLyQ
GHDOWHUQDWLYDVSUiFWLFDVDQLYHOORFDOTXHPDQWHQJDQFRPXQLFDFLyQ\FRQH[LyQDQLYHOJOREDOHVOD
RSFLyQSULRULWDULDSDUDYLVXDOL]DU\YLYLUHVDVRWUDVDOWHUQDWLYDVSRVLEOHV'HHQGHQODSUR[LPLGDGOD
FHUFDQtD\ODLJXDOGDGHQODGLIHUHQFLDIUHQWHDODH[FOX\HQWHKRPRJHQHLGDGGHODJOREDOL]DFLyQFX\R
verticalismo impositivo y mercantilista se disfraza de horizontalidad, democracia, libertad, desarrollo,
progreso, etc.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 226

2WURVDQiOLVLVGHHVWRVPRYLPLHQWRVGHVWDFDQWDPELpQODDXVHQFLDGHFRQH[LyQHQWUHGLVFXUVR\SUDF-
WLFDGHORVPRYLPLHQWRVSRUXQODGR\ORVORJURVSROtWLFRVHVSHFtFRVGHFDUDDXQDUHDOLGDGVRFLDO\
poltica emancipada por el otro. Constatan su potencial emancipador basado en su radicalidad cons-
titutiva, pero no logran las mediaciones polticas necesarias para lograr tal impacto emancipador. Se
WUDWDGHGLFXOWDGHV\FDXWHODVTXHHQHVWHFDVRVHDGHFXDQDOSURSLRGLVFXUVRGHODVUHGHV'HDOJXQD
IRUPDODVPLVPDVVHKDQQHJDGRDHVWDEOHFHUXQSURJUDPDGHWUDQVLFLyQJHQHUDOHQTXHVHHVWDEOH]FD
SRUHMHPSORTXpKDFHU\FyPRJHVWLRQDUHOSRGHUSROtWLFRLQVWLWXFLRQDOL]DGR+D\UHFKD]RIUHQWHDO
Estado, frente al poder centralizado, la democracia representativa y frente al mercado controlado por
oligopolios y multinacionales, pero no se formula un modelo estructural alternativo en su conjunto.

Nos encontramos as en este caso, con unas teoras sobre los movimientos sociales como sujetos de
HPDQFLSDFLyQHQODVTXHHODQiOLVLVVREUHFDXVDVIRUPDVQXHYDV\DVSLUDFLRQHVJHQHUDOHVVXSHUDHQGHQVL-
GDG\DSRUWDFLRQHVDOGLULJLGRDHVWXGLDUORTXHSRGUtDPRVGHQRPLQDUODVFRQGLFLRQHV\FDUDFWHUtVWLFDVGH
los procesos emancipatorios, entendidas como emancipaciones estructurales en el conjunto de la sociedad.
/DSUHFLVLyQUHVXOWDLQH[FXVDEOHHQFXDQWRTXHODHPDQFLSDFLyQWDPELpQHVHQWHQGLEOH\SUDFWLFDEOHHQHO
seno del movimiento y sus prcticas de construccin de alternativas en sus comunidades de referencia.

Por ello, diferentes analistas advierten de la necesidad de prestar atencin y profundizar en el cono-
cimiento de las condiciones y caractersticas concretas de los procesos emancipatorios en construccin,
puestos en marcha por diferentes movimientos sociales en las ltimas dcadas, pero la mayora de estos
autores tambin sealan la necesidad de investigar cmo se estn construyendo dichos procesos desde pre-
supuestos epistemolgicos e ideolgicos renovados.

(QHVWHVHQWLGR%ULQJHODGYLHUWHGHODLPSRUWDQFLDGHQRFDHUHQOHFWXUDVVXSHUFLDOHVGHORVSURFHVRV
SURWDJRQL]DGRVSRUORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHV\VHxDODTXHHVSUHFLVRUHVROYHUFXDQWRDQWHVXQDOLPLWDFLyQ
GHIDOWDGHELGLUHFFLRQDOLGDGHQWUHXQLYHUVLGDG\PRYLPLHQWRVHQORVHVWXGLRVHLQYHVWLJDFLRQHVTXHVHKD-
FHQGHVGHORTXHVHSRGUtDGHQRPLQDULQWHQWRVDFDGpPLFRVGHDSHUWXUDHSLVWHPROyJLFD\GLiORJRGHVDEHUHV
(B. Sousa Santos, 2009).

$VtFDGDYH]HVPiVIUHFXHQWHHQFRQWUDUHVWXGLRVTXHHQWLHQGHQDORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVFRPRVX-
MHWRVJHQHUDGRUHVGHFRQRFLPLHQWRVRWURV(OSUREOHPDHVTXHHVWDVDUPDFLRQHVHQPXFKDVRFDVLRQHV
se basan en, anlisis poco profundos de los procesos puestos en marcha por los movimientos, y adems de
HVWDHVFDVDSURIXQGLGDGHVWRVDQiOLVLVQRSUHVWDQVXFLHQWHDWHQFLyQQLDODVOyJLFDGHODDFFLyQFROHFWLYD
ni a la forma empleada por el movimiento para construir y reconstruir sus complejos procesos en curso.

Pensamiento social critico emergente desde Amrica Latina

En la ltima parada de este recorrido de perspectivas analticas sobre el estudio de los movimientos
VRFLDOHVQRVYDPRVDDFHUFDUDODVUHH[LRQHV\GHEDWHVDELHUWRVSRUORTXHSRGUtDPRVOODPDUXQSHQVD-
PLHQWRVRFLDOFUtWLFRHPHUJHQWH3HQVDPLHQWRTXHHPHUJHGHORVPiUJHQHVGHOVLVWHPDPXQGRGHGRQGH
WDPELpQHPHUJHQORVSURFHVRVGHPRYLOL]DFLyQVRFLDOFRQWUDKHJHPyQLFDTXHORDOLPHQWDQHVWRVSURFHVRV
son protagonizados y construidos por organizaciones y redes campesinas, indgenas, feministas, estudian-
WLOHVWUDEDMDGRUDV\EDUULDOHVTXHVHDUWLFXODQGHIRUPDFDGDYH]PiVDPSOLD ORFDOQDFLRQDOUHJLRQDO
intercontinental, etc.) y compleja.
227 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

Efectivamente, la necesidad de generar nuevas formas de conocimiento sobre la realidad, la emancipacin


\ORVPRYLPLHQWRVQRVXUJHGHXQDEULOODQWHLQVSLUDFLyQDFDGpPLFDVLQRTXHVRQORVSURSLRVPRYLPLHQWRV
VRFLDOHVORVTXHHQSDUWHKDQIRU]DGRHVDQHFHVLGDGGHLQQRYDFLyQFRJQLWLYD&RQVXVSURFHVRVGHPXHVWUDQ
TXHQRVRORHVSRVLEOHFXHVWLRQDUGHVGHODSUiFWLFDODPRGHUQLGDGFDSLWDOLVWD\SDWULDUFDOHQWHQGLGDFRPR
VLVWHPDP~OWLSOHGHGRPLQDFLyQVLQRTXHDGHPiVHVSRVLEOHLUURPSLHQGR DXQTXHVHDGHIRUPDSDUFLDOHV
decir con limitaciones) con esas mltiples dominaciones (antropocentrismo, capitalismo, patriarcado, euro-
centrismo, colonialidad, etc.) al poner en marcha la construccin de alternativas a las mismas. Desde estas
claves analticas, es en Latinoamrica donde los movimientos sociales han demostrado una mayor actividad
HQORV~OWLPDVGpFDGDV GHVGHHO]DSDWLVPRDORVSLTXHWHURVDUJHQWLQRVSDVDQGRSRUHO067 LQFOXVRLUUXP-
SLHQGRHQODHVFHQDSROtWLFD\OOHJDQGRDVHUSLH]DVFODYHHQODGHQLFLyQGHSROtWLFDVJRELHUQRV\SDUWLFL-
pando en los procesos de replanteamiento del modelo de Estado (como en los casos de Bolivia y Ecuador).

$XQTXHVLJXLHQGRQXHVWURUHFRUULGRDQDOtWLFRQRUHVXOWDIiFLOKDFHUXQDGLVWLQFLyQWDMDQWH\FODUDHQWUH
HOPRYLPLHQWRDOWHUJOREDOL]DGRU\ORVPRYLPLHQWRVODWLQRDPHULFDQRV\DTXHPXFKRVGHORVVHJXQGRVIRU-
PDQSDUWHGHOSULPHUR\FRPSDUWHQOXFKDV\SURFHVRV3HQVDPRVTXHHVLPSRUWDQWHKDFHUHVWDGLVWLQFLyQ
GHGLFDQGRXQDSDUWDGRHVSHFLFRDODVHPHUJHQFLDV/DWLQRDPHULFDQDVFRQODLQWHQFLyQGHGHVWDFDUSRUXQ
ODGRTXHORVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVODWLQRDPHULFDQRVWLHQHQUDVJRVSURSLRVHVSHFLDOPHQWHSRUVXRULJHQ\
VXFRVPRYLVLyQDOWHUQDWLYDSHURWDPELpQSRUFRQVWUXLUVHGHVGHORVPiUJHQHVGHOVLVWHPDPXQGRPRGHUQR
\SRURWURODGRTXHORVDQiOLVLVODWLQRDPHULFDQRVSUREDEOHPHQWHSRUHOWLSRGHSURFHVRVSXHVWRVHQPDUFKD
por los movimientos sociales de la regin, y tambin por formar su pensamiento acadmico desde los mr-
genes del sistema-mundo moderno, han profundizado ms en la cuestin de la emancipacin y no solo en
VXDVSHFWRFRQFHSWXDOVLQRWDPELpQHQDOJXQDVGLPHQVLRQHVPiVRSHUDWLYDV7RGRHOORKDFHTXH$PpULFD
Latina sea actualmente un referente muy importante para el campo de estudio de la accin colectiva y los
movimientos sociales, por ser un lugar donde se estn gestando y emergiendo nuevas e interesantes pro-
puestas analticas sobre, pero tambin desde, los movimientos sociales contemporneos.

4XL]iSRUUD]RQHVKLVWyULFDVSHURWDPELpQSRUVXFDSDFLGDGFUtWLFDHPDQFLSDGRUD\SURSRVLWLYDQRV
VHQWLPRVFHUFDGHHVWDVSURSXHVWDVDQDOtWLFDV\SRUHOORKHPRVTXHULGRGHGLFDUOHVXQHVSDFLRSURSLR(VWD
corriente de pensamiento plural y diversa se ha propuesto, entre otras, la difcil tarea de re-pensar la
HPDQFLSDFLyQVRFLDOGHVGHXQDSHUVSHFWLYDTXHGHVPLWLFD\FXHVWLRQDODPRGHUQLGDGFDSLWDOLVWDHQWHQGLGD
FRPRVLVWHPDP~OWLSOHGHGRPLQDFLyQDOWLHPSRTXHUHLYLQGLFDODXUJHQWHQHFHVLGDGGHDSHUWXUDDXQD
FRPSUHQVLyQQR H[FOXVLYDPHQWH RFFLGHQWDOGHOPXQGR\GHODVGLYHUVDVUHDOLGDGHVTXHHQpOH[LVWHQ

Desde esta perspectiva la emancipacin social se contempla como un complejo proceso de ruptura y
liberacin de las mltiples dominaciones instauradas en y por la modernidad capitalista. En nuestro caso
\GHELGRDOREMHWLYRGHHVWHWH[WRSUHVWDUHPRVHVSHFLDODWHQFLyQ DXQTXHQRVyOR DODVYRFHVFUtWLFDVTXH
proceden de un concreto campo de estudio, el de la accin colectiva y los movimientos sociales, desde el
FXDOGLIHUHQWHVDQDOLVWDVHLQYHVWLJDGRUHVDVYLHQHQVHxDODQGRHQORV~OWLPRVDxRVTXHQRVyORVRQSRVLEOHV
VLQRTXH\DH[LVWHQRWUDVIRUPDVRWUDVSUiFWLFDV\RWUDVSRVLFLRQHVUHODWLYDVDOFRQRFLPLHQWRTXHUHVXOWDQ
necesarias para entender tanto la realidad social con sus violencias y tensiones como determinadas respues-
WDVTXHGHVGHHVDPLVPDVRFLHGDGVHGDQFRQWUDHVDVUHDOLGDGHV

Por tanto, situarse en esta perspectiva implica situarse frente a grandes y complejos desafos, entre otros,
el de aprender con y desde los mrgenes del sistema-mundo, llevando a la prctica la Epistemologa del
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 228

Sur6RHO&RQRFHUGHVGHHO6XUGH%6RXVD6DQWRV  \DTXHFRPRVHxDOiEDPRVSiJLQDV


atrs, es desde los espacios de resistencia a la dominacin (mrgenes del sistema-mundo) desde donde se
hacen ms visibles las estructuras y lgicas de poder y saber establecidas.

Repensar las formas de entender el conocimiento, su produccin, su funcin social y su uso es un ejer-
FLFLRGHUHH[LYLGDGDOTXHFDGDYH]VHVXPDQPiVYRFHVGHQWURGHODWHRUtDVRFLDOFULWLFDHVWDVXPDGH
voces consigue tomar forma de grito en algunos mbitos de conocimiento llegando a cuestionar con fuerza
ORVSULQFLSLRVHSLVWHPROyJLFRVTXHKDQJXLDGRODSURGXFFLyQGHFRQRFLPLHQWRGHODFLHQFLDPRGHUQDSHUR
esas voces, tambin han sido y siguen siendo silenciadas en muchos otros mbitos. Este silenciamiento se
H[SOLFDSRUTXHODSHUVSHFWLYDHSLVWHPROyJLFDTXHYDPRVDH[SRQHUDFRQWLQXDFLyQHVFUtWLFDFRQHOSDUDGLJ-
PDSRVLWLYLVWD\REMHWLYLVWDTXHGRPLQDHQODSURGXFFLyQGHFRQRFLPLHQWRWpFQLFR\FLHQWtFR

(QQXHVWURFDVRQRVVXPDPRVDORVGLYHUVRVHVIXHU]RVTXHEXVFDQWRPDUFLHUWDGLVWDQFLDGHORVUHTXHUL-
mientos experimentales y matemticos de la ortodoxia de la ciencia moderna sobre la produccin de cono-
FLPLHQWRV2UWRGR[LDTXHVHDXWRDWULEX\HXQDFFHVRSULYLOHJLDGRDOFRQRFLPLHQWRGHODUHDOLGDG REMHWLYR
QHXWURH[SHUWR TXHFUHDODLOXVLyQGHODYHUGDG\ODFHUWH]DGHOFRQRFLPLHQWRH[SHUWR

(VWHHQIRTXHREMHWLYLVWDDGHPiVGHJHQHUDUXQDDUURJDQFLDEDVWDQWHGLVFDSDFLWDQWHSDUDODHVFXFKD\HO
aprendizaje, deposita la responsabilidad de sus conclusiones y de sus consecuencias en una supuesta rea-
lidad/verdad independiente de la persona observadora o investigadora. Presentar algo como conocimiento
REMHWLYRIXQGDPHQWDGR~QLFDPHQWHHQXQDUHDOLGDGH[WHULRUDODVSHUVRQDVTXHORKDQHODERUDGR\DVX
proceso de construccin, es intentar imponer un argumento de autoridad (voz experta y autorizada por la
OHJLWLPLGDGDWULEXLGDDVXHODERUDFLyQFLHQWtFRDFDGpPLFD (QSDODEUDVGHOELyORJRFKLOHQR+XPEHUWR
Maturana presentar algo como conocimiento objetivo es una peticin de obediencia, un argumento para
obligar.

En no pocas ocasiones el conocimiento experto, revestido de esa supuesta objetividad incuestionable, se


QRVSUHVHQWDFRPRVLQRWXYLHUDQDGDTXHYHUFRQORVYDORUHVLGHDV\HQIRTXHVGHWUDEDMRGHODVSHUVRQDV
TXHORKDQSURGXFLGR(VGHFLUVHXWLOL]DSDUDHVWDEOHFHUXQDYHUGDGRFULWHULRWpFQLFRLQFXHVWLRQDEOHTXH
EORTXHDODSDUWLFLSDFLyQ\HOGHEDWHVRFLDO\DTXHQLHJD\FLHUUDORVGHEDWHVLGHROyJLFRV\SROtWLFRVDOL-
PHQWDQGRXQWLSRGHJHVWLyQGHOFRQRFLPLHQWRWHFQRFUiWLFDTXHUHIXHU]DODFRQFHQWUDFLyQGHOSRGHU\QRVX
GHPRFUDWL]DFLyQ(OFRQRFLPLHQWRH[SHUWRTXHVHSUHVHQWDFRPRREMHWLYRGLItFLOPHQWHVHSXHGHVRPHWHUD
debate social y puede utilizarse para establecer una verdad hegemnica y excluyente, se trata por lo tanto
de un peligroso instrumento de poder.

)UHQWHDORVSODQWHDPLHQWRVHSLVWHPROyJLFRVKHJHPyQLFRVTXHDFDEDPRVGHH[SRQHUFDGDYH]HVPiV
KDELWXDOOHHU\HVFXFKDUTXHHVWiHQPDUFKDORTXHDOJXQRVOODPDQXQDUHYROXFLyQHSLVWHPROyJLFDRWURV
SUHHUHQOODPDUDHVWHSURFHVRJLURHSLVWHPROyJLFR(QQXHVWURFDVRSHQVDPRVTXHWHQGUiTXHSDVDU
un tiempo para poder precisar, con algo ms de perspectiva, el calado de estos debates epistemolgicos y
su traduccin en la prctica investigadora, solo entonces se podr esclarecer si estamos ante un giro, un
WUiQVLWRRXQDUHYROXFLyQHSLVWHPROyJLFD/RTXHVtSRGHPRVDUPDUVREUHHOGHEDWHHSLVWHPROyJLFR\OD
 /D(SLVWHPRORJtDGHO6XUGH%RDYHQWXUDGH6RXVD6DQWRVHVXQDSURSXHVWD HSLVWpPLFD\pWLFRSROtWLFD GHFRPSUHQVLyQGHOPXQGRPXFKRPiVDPSOLDTXH
ODFRPSUHQVLyQRFFLGHQWDOGHOPXQGR&RQHOOD6DQWRVVHxDODTXHXUJHKDFHUYLVLEOHORLQYLVLEOHSHQVDEOHORLPSHQVDEOH\SUHVHQWHORDXVHQWHSDUDHOOR
propone el paso de una epistemologa de la ceguera, producida desde la limitada y perezosa razn indolente (razn dominante desde la modernidad oc-
FLGHQWDO DXQDHSLVWHPRORJtDGHODYLVLyQ TXHDSUHFLDODGLYHUVLGDG HVGHFLUXQD(SLVWHPRORJtDGHO6XU SDUDXQDDGHFXDGDH[SRVLFLyQGHHVWHFRQFHSWR\
sus diversas implicaciones, ver Santos, 2006 y 2010).
229 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

HPHUJHQFLDGHHSLVWHPRORJtDVDOWHUQDWLYDVVRQGRVFXHVWLRQHVODSULPHUDGHHOODVHVTXHVHWUDWDGHXQ
SURFHVRSOXUDO\DFXPXODWLYRGHDxRVGHHYROXFLyQODVHJXQGDHVTXHPiVTXHXQKHFKRVHWUDWDGHXQD
QHFHVLGDG3URIXQGLFHPRVXQSRFRPiVHQHVWDVGRVLGHDVDOWLHPSRTXHYDPRVVHxDODQGRORVGHEDWHVTXH
abren a su paso la emergencia de epistemologas alternativas.

(QSULPHUOXJDUFXDQGRGHFLPRVTXHVHWUDWDGHXQSURFHVRSOXUDO\DFXPXODWLYRQRVUHIHULPRVDTXH
HVXQSURFHVRTXHVHKDLGRHQULTXHFLHQGRGHFRQWULEXFLRQHVSURFHGHQWHVGHGLIHUHQWHVJHRJUDItDV\FDOHQ-
GDULRV\TXHTXL]iSRUODFRPSOHMLGDGGHODFR\XQWXUDDFWXDOHVWDPRVHQXQPRPHQWRHQHOTXHHVWHGHEDWH
puede empezar a cuajar y tomar especial fuerza. Adems de las crticas realizadas desde la hermenutica y
ODWHRUtDFUtWLFDGHODHVFXHODGH)UDQIRXUWHQWUHODVFRQWULEXFLRQHVPiVUHFLHQWHVTXHDOLPHQWDQODDSHUWXUD
GHJULHWDVHQORVSODQWHDPLHQWRVHSLVWHPROyJLFRVKHJHPyQLFRVTXHUHPRVGHVWDFDUODVUHDOL]DGDVGHVGHOD
epistemologa feminista7, la cual surge y se construye como reaccin y en contra de la tradicin cien-
WtFD SRVLWLYLVWD8, instaurada en la modernidad capitalista y patriarcal. Sus contribuciones, nos parecen
especialmente reseables por su histrica invisibilizacion y por su importancia en el proceso de apertura
del debate epistemolgico (no solo en las ciencias sociales).

El concepto de conocimiento situado +DUDZD\ KDVLGRXQDGHODVDSRUWDFLRQHVPiVLPSRUWDQWHV


de la epistemologa feminista, este concepto no alude solamente a dominaciones del sistema sexo-genero
VLQRTXHYDPXFKRPiVDOOi4XHHOFRQRFLPLHQWRVHDVLWXDGRQRVGHVYHODDOPHQRVGRVFXHVWLRQHVSRUXQ
ODGRVHHQWLHQGHTXHORVP~OWLSOHVIDFWRUHV\VLWXDFLRQHVVRFLDOHVTXHQRVFRQIRUPDQ\VLW~DQFRPRVXMHWRV
FODVHHWQLDVH[RJHQHURLGHRORJtDHWF IRUPDQSDUWHGHOFRQRFLPLHQWRTXHSURGXFLPRVGHPDQHUDTXH
ORTXHVHFRQRFH\FyPRVHFRQRFHGHSHQGHGHODVLWXDFLyQ\SHUVSHFWLYDGHOVXMHWRFRQRFHGRU 1LFROiV
 SRURWURODGRQRVGHVYHODTXHODVUHSUHVHQWDFLRQHVGHODUHDOLGDGVRQVLHPSUHSDUFLDOHV\DVt
deben ser interpretadas. De esta forma, se hace explcita y se reconoce la imposibilidad de dar una visin
holstica y completa de la realidad.

(OFRQRFLPLHQWRQRVHUHFRJHVHSURGXFH\VHFRQVWUX\H\HVDDFWLYLGDGGHSURGXFFLyQGHFRQRFLPLHQ-
WRHVVLHPSUHXQDWDUHDTXHVHGHVDUUROODHQXQFRQWH[WRVRFLRFXOWXUDOGHWHUPLQDGRHOFRQRFLPLHQWRHV
siempre un conocimiento situado. La ciencia objetivista todo lo ve (mirada panptica) desde una atalaya
FLHQWtFRWHFQLFDTXHVXSXHVWDPHQWHQRVHVLW~DVRFLDO\FXOWXUDOPHQWHHQQLQJXQDSDUWHSHURHQUHDOLGDG
esconde y disfraza la mirada socialmente situada de un sujeto concreto, normalmente hombre, occidental,
blanco, heterosexual, de clase media alta y perteneciente a un grupo etno-lingustico dominante.

Otra aportacin importante desde la epistemologa feminista ha sido su particular y acertada forma de
VHxDODUTXHODFLHQFLDHVVLHPSUHSDUDDOJRSRUDOJR\SDUDDOJXLHQGHVYHODQGRODIDODFLDGHODREMHWLYL-
dad positivista de la ciencia moderna (supuestamente neutral, autnoma e imparcial) ya sealada al inicio
GHHVWHDSDUWDGR3RGUtDPRVSHQVDUTXHHVWDIDODFLDHVXQHUURUHSLVWHPROyJLFRGHODUJDGXUDFLyQSHUROD

 ([LVWHXQDFODVLFDFLyQGHORVHVWXGLRVHSLVWHPROyJLFRVIHPLQLVWDVUHDOL]DGDSRU+DUGLQJHQTXHHVWDEOHFHWUHVFDWHJRUtDVDODVTXHOODPyHPSLULFLV-
PRIHPLQLVWDSXQWRGHYLVWDIHPLQLVWD\SRVWPRGHUQLVPRIHPLQLVWD$SHVDUGHTXHHVWDFODVLFDFLyQRWLSRORJtDHVDFHSWDGDJHQHUDOPHQWHSRUODPD\RUtD
GHDXWRUDVIHPLQLVWDVHQODDFWXDOLGDGODVIURQWHUDVTXHVHSDUDQORVWUHVWLSRVVRQFDGDYH]PiVGLIXVDVH[LVWLHQGRXQSDUGHFXHVWLRQHVTXHVRQFRPXQHV
a los tres tipos: la defensa del pluralismo y el rechazo a las teoras totalizante (Nicols, 2009). En este texto haremos alusin a la epistemologa feminista
GHIRUPDJHQpULFD\DTXHQRVYDPRVDGHWHQHUHQODVFXHVWLRQHVTXHVRQFRPXQHVHQFRQFUHWRHQODVLGHDVGHFRQRFLPLHQWRVLWXDGR\HQODQRFLyQGH
objetividad.
 /DHSLVWHPRORJtDIHPLQLVWDHVWXGLDODPDQHUDHQTXHHOVLVWHPDVH[RJHQHURLQX\H\GHEHUtDLQXLUHQQXHVWUDVFRQFHSFLRQHVGHOFRQRFLPLHQWR\HQ
ORVPpWRGRVGHLQYHVWLJDFLyQ\GHMXVWLFDFLyQ>@$OKDFHUHVWDUHH[LyQURPSHDOLJXDOTXHRWURVSHQVDPLHQWRVFUtWLFRVFRQHOSRVLWLYLVPR +DUGLQJ
1991) (Nicols, 2009:26).
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 230

historia y los estudios sobre los sistemas de poder y dominacin realizados desde diferentes corrientes de
pensamiento crtico (feminismo, posestructuralismo, posmodernismo y poscolonialismo) han demostrado
TXHVHWUDWDGHXQDHVWUDWHJLDLGHROyJLFDGHPDQWHQLPLHQWRGHODKHJHPRQtDGHORVJUXSRVGRPLQDQWHV 1L-
FRODV TXHHVQHFHVDULRVHJXLUFXHVWLRQDQGRKDVWDFRQVHJXLUURPSHUOD

(QVHJXQGROXJDUFXDQGRGHFLPRVTXHHOGHEDWHHSLVWHPROyJLFR\ODHPHUJHQFLDGHHSLVWHPRORJtDV
DOWHUQDWLYDVPiVTXHVHUXQKHFKRVRQXQDQHFHVLGDG+DFHPRVUHIHUHQFLDDORTXHVHxDOD%RDYHQWXUDGH
6RXVD6DQWRVFXDQGRDUPDTXH

no necesitamos alternativas, QHFHVLWDPRVXQSHQVDPLHQWRDOWHUQDWLYRGHODVDOWHUQDWLYDVSRUTXHPXFKDVDOWHUQDWLYDV


H[LVWHQKR\SHURQRVRQUHFRQRFLGDVFRPRWDOHVVRQPDUJLQDGDVVRQLQYLVLELOL]DGDVVRQH[FOXLGDVVRQGHVSUHFLDGDV
y tambin desperdiciadas (Santos, 2008. las cursivas son nuestras).

,GHQWLFDU\WRPDUFRQVFLHQFLDGHHVWHYDFtRHSLVWHPROyJLFR\ODVGLFXOWDGHVTXHVXSRQHTXHUHUUH-
VROYHUORQRVREOLJDDWHQHUHQFXHQWDSRUORPHQRVGRVFXHVWLRQHVSRUXQODGRWDO\FRPRVHxDOD&HFHxD
 HOHVSDFLRGHORVVDEHUHVHVXQHVSDFLRGHOXFKDVTXHWDPELpQIRUPDQSDUWHGHOSURFHVRHPDQFLSDWR-
ULRSRURWURODGR\VLJXLHQGRD+RHWPHUXQDGHODVWDUHDVSULQFLSDOHVGHORVLQYHVWLJDGRUHVFRPSURPHWLGRV
con la construccin colectiva de conocimiento emancipador, consiste en:

 UH HYDOXDUORVFRQFHSWRVDQDOtWLFRVWHRUtDVGHFDPELR\PHWRGRORJtDVTXHXVDPRVSDUDDQDOL]DUH[SOLFDUFULWLFDU
\FDPELDUODVRFLHGDG(VGHFLUUHTXHULPRVGHDQiOLVLVLQWHUSUHWDFLRQHV\WHRUL]DFLRQHVGHORVFDPLQRVGHWUDQVIRU-
macin social presentes en las acciones, conceptos, imaginarios, y propuestas polticas de los movimientos sociales
actuales (Hoetmer, 2009: 13).

$VtGLIHUHQWHVDXWRUHVDVVHxDODQTXHHVQHFHVDULR\XUJHQWHVXSHUDUHVRVYDFtRV\ODVWUHVTXHYHQLPRV
DUUDVWUDQGRGHVGHKDFHGpFDGDVVLHQGRLQVXFLHQWHODWRPDGHFRQVFLHQFLDGHORVPLVPRV\SRUWDQWRKD-
cindose necesarias la puesta en marcha de vas para su superacin. Uno de estos lastres se hace todava
ms patente cuando nos enfrentamos al desafo de interpretar los movimientos sociales latinoamericanos
FRQWHPSRUiQHRV\DTXHFRPRVHxDOD%ULQJHO

nos volvemos a encontrar con una problemtica fundacional mal resuelta: las nociones, las categoras y los concep-
tos utilizados por la sociologa de los movimientos sociales, emergente en las dcadas de 1960 y 1970, estaban cons-
truidos principalmente a partir de las experiencias europeas y norteamericanas (en particular, las luchas estudiantiles
GHORODVLQH[LRQHVGHOPRYLPLHQWRREUHURHQ(XURSD\ODVOXFKDVSRUORVGHUHFKRVFLYLOHVHQ(VWDGRV8QLGRV 
\QRDSDUWLUGHODVOXFKDVDQWLFRORQLDOHVH[WHQGLGDVSRUIULFDRDTXHOODVGHFDUiFWHUDQWLLPSHULDOLVWDSUHVHQWHVHQ
$PpULFD/DWLQD>@(VWXGLRVSLRQHURVFULWLFDURQGHGLIHUHQWHPDQHUDWDQWRHQ$PpULFD/DWLQD *RKQ FRPRHQ
frica (Mandani y Wmba-dia-Wamba, 1995) el sesgo eurocntrico -o ms bien occidentocntrico- de muchos an-
OLVLV\ODQHFHVLGDGGHEXVFDUXQSDUDGLJPDSURSLRDSHQDVGHOLQHDGRTXHVHFRQVWUXLUtDDSDUWLUGHODVH[SHULHQFLDV
\ODVHVSHFLFLGDGHVGHODVOXFKDVVRFLDOHVGHFDGDOXJDU\UHJLyQ %ULQJHO 

3RUWDQWRDORVHVIXHU]RV\DSRUWDFLRQHVUHDOL]DGDVGHVGHODHSLVWHPRORJtDIHPLQLVWDWHQHPRVTXHVX-
mar aportaciones ms recientes y con un fuerte carcter Latinoamericano (por razones antes expuestas).
1RVUHIHULPRVDP~OWLSOHV\GLYHUVDVLQLFLDWLYDVTXHHVWiQKDFLHQGRXQJUDQHVIXHU]RSRUUHXQLU\SRQHU
en dialogo a voces crticas individuales y colectivas, acadmicas y extra acadmicas. Todas estas aporta-
ciones y esfuerzos estn unidos entre s por la asuncin de una serie de retos comunes (al menos de forma
231 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

LPSOtFLWD HVWRVUHWRVSRGUtDPRVUHVXPLUORVHQODVXSHUDFLyQGHODVGLFRWRPtDVWUDGLFLRQDOHVGHODFLHQFLD
PRGHUQD VXMHWRREMHWRWHRUtDSUiFWLFDQDWXUDOH]DFXOWXUDLQGLYLGXRFROHFWLYRHVWUXFWXUDDFFLyQHWF HO
rechazo a la hegemona de la epistemologa positivista (desde donde la relacin entre conocimiento y poder
TXHGDWRWDOPHQWHFDPXDGD \ODFUtWLFDDORVXQLYHUVDOLVPRVDEVWUDFWRV

Una de las iniciativas intelectuales colectivas con mayor impacto y trascendencia en los ltimos aos es
el surgimiento y consolidacin del programa modernidad/colonialidad9 y su perspectiva o Teora deco-
lonial10(QWUHRWUDVFXHVWLRQHV\VLQWHWL]DQGRGHPDVLDGRODFRPSOHMDSURSXHVWDTXHKDFHQHVWRVDXWRUHV\
DXWRUDVHVWHJUXSRSODQWHDTXHODVUHJLRQHVFRORQL]DGDVWUDVHOQGHOFRORQLDOLVPRKDQVHJXLGRH[SXHVWDV
DWUHVWLSRVGHFRORQLDOLGDGODFRORQLDOLGDGGHOSRGHU TXHDIHFWDDOiPELWRHFRQyPLFR\SROtWLFR FRORQLDOL-
GDGGHOVHU TXHDIHFWDDODVVXEMHWLYLGDGHV\VH[XDOLGDGHV \ODFRORQLDOLGDGGHOVDEHU DIHFWDQGRDOiPELWR
HSLVWHPROyJLFRORVyFR\FLHQWtFR 9HDPRVDFRQWLQXDFLyQFRPRORSODQWHDXQDGHODVYRFHVDFDGpPL-
FDVTXHVHVXPDDHVWRVSODQWHDPLHQWRV%RDYHQWXUDGH6RXVD6DQWRVDUPDTXHODPRGHUQLGDGFDSLWDOLVWD
WLHQHXQDYLROHQFLDIXQGDFLRQDOTXHHVVXFDUiFWHUFRORQLDOHLPSHULDOFX\RUDVWURQRKDGHVDSDUHFLGR

HOFRORQLDOLVPRSROtWLFRWHUPLQySHURQRHOFRORQLDOLVPRVRFLDO\FXOWXUDO>@QRVHSXHGHHQWHQGHUODGRPLQDFLyQ
\ODGHVLJXDOGDGVLQODLGHDGHTXHVHJXLPRVVLHQGRHQPXFKRVDVSHFWRVVRFLHGDGHVFRORQLDOHV 6DQWRV 

+LVWyULFDPHQWHODSURGXFFLyQGHFRQRFLPLHQWRFUtWLFRHQ(XURSDSRGUtDVHUXQEXHQUHHMRGHORTXHHVWi
VHxDODQGR%RDYHQWXUDHQHVWDVOtQHDV\DTXHKDVLGREDVWDQWHPRQRFXOWXUDOHVGHFLUEDVWDQWHRFFLGHQWDO\
sujeta por lo tanto a los parmetros terico conceptuales de la modernidad capitalista. Sin embargo hoy en da
necesitamos de una racionalidad ms amplia acorde con la realidad intercultural de nuestro tiempo y capaz
de entender la complejidad de los fenmenos contemporneos. Una racionalidad capaz de reconocer la exis-
WHQFLDGHRWUDVUDFLRQDOLGDGHVFRQVWUXLGDVDSDUWLUGHH[SHULHQFLDVKDVWDDKRUDLQYLVLELOL]DGDV\VLOHQFLDGDV\
entrar en dialogo desde una lgica de relacin cooperativa y no de dominacin, para llegar a construir un tipo
GHFRQRFLPLHQWRTXHVHDHPDQFLSDGRU(QSDODEUDVGH$UWXUR(VFREDUXQRGHORVDXWRUHVTXHSDUWLFLSDGHO
programa Modernidad/Colonialidad, la principal fuerza orientadora de este programa de investigacin es la
inclusin y puesta en valor del conocimiento subalternizado de los grupos explotados y oprimidos.

6LVHSXHGHGHFLUTXHODHGXFDFLyQSRSXODUODWHRUtDGHODGHSHQGHQFLDODWHRORJtDGHODOLEHUDFLyQ\ODLQYHVWLJDFLyQ
accin participativa han sido las contribuciones ms originales de Latinoamrica al pensamiento crtico en el siglo
;;FRQWRGRVORVFRQGLFLRQDOHVTXHSXHGHQDSOLFDUVHDWDORULJLQDOLGDGHOSURJUDPDGHLQYHVWLJDFLyQ0RGHUQLGDG
Colonialidad (M/C) emerge como el heredero de esta tradicin. Ssin embargo, existen sustantivas diferencias. Como
:DOWHU0LJQRORKDDUJXPHQWDGROD 0& GHEHVHUYLVWDFRPRXQSDUDGLJPDRWUR$QWHVTXHXQQXHYRSDUDGLJPD
GHVGH/DWLQRDPpULFDFRPRSXHGHVHUHOFDVRFRQODWHRUtDGHODGHSHQGHQFLDHOSUR\HFWRGH0&QRVHHQFXDGUD
HQXQDKLVWRULDOLQHDOGHSDUDGLJPDVRHSLVWHPHVHQWHQGHUORDVtVLJQLFDUtDLQWHJUDUORHQODKLVWRULDGHOSHQVDPLHQWR
moderno. Al contrario, el programa M/C debe ser entendido como una manera diferente del pensamiento, en contrava
de las grandes narrativas modernistas la cristiandad, el liberalismo y el marxismo-, localizando su propio cuestio-

 (VWHSURJUDPDGHSHQVDPLHQWRFUtWLFRHVWiIRUPDGRSRUQXPHURVRVLQWHOHFWXDOHVGHGLVWLQWDVGLVFLSOLQDV ORVRItDVRFLRORJtDDQWURSRORJtDVHPLRORJtD


economa) y de muy diversas latitudes (EEUU, Asia, frica, Amrica Latina y en menor medida Europa). En este grupo participan autores/as como Anbal
4XLMDQR:DOWHU0LJQROR6RXVD6DQWRV$UWXUR(VFREDU&DWKHULQH:DOV$QD(VWKHU&HFHxD(QULTXH'XVVHOHWF
10 La perspectiva decolonial (en construccin) es una propuesta epistmica, terica y metodolgica para comprender y superar las relaciones de
poder/dominacin instauradas por el sistema mltiple de dominacin de la modernidad-capitalista. Esta perspectiva es asumida por un nmero creciente de
DXWRUHVDVFRPRHVSDFLRFUtWLFRSDUDDQDOL]DUODUHDOLGDGFRQWHPSRUiQHD\HOSUHVHQWHGHODV&LHQFLDV6RFLDOHV\+XPDQDVKR\SXHVWDVHQMDTXH(QHOOLEUR
Colonialidad del saber: eurocentrismo y ciencias sociales, compilado por Lander (2000) se puede ampliar informacin sobre el surgimiento y primeros
pasos del programa Modernidad/colonialidad y la perspectiva decolonial.
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 232

namiento en los bordes mismos de los sistemas de pensamiento e investigaciones hacia la posibilidad de modos de
SHQVDPLHQWRQRHXURFpQWULFRV (VFREDU$

Adems del programa modernidad/colonialidad, nos parecen especialmente reseables iniciativas como
la del Consorcio de investigacin sobre movimientos sociales y transformaciones poltico culturales del
S.XXI de la Universidad de Massachusetts-Amherst (Umass) o los Talleres internacionales sobre para-
digmas emancipatorios en Amrica Latina11, en estos talleres participan diferentes organizaciones y redes
junto a acadmicos, investigadores, activistas sociales y polticos, educadores populares y personas intere-
sadas en buscar el Dilogo de Saberes (Ecologa de Saberes para Sousa Santos) acerca de los problemas de
la emancipacin social y humana en Amrica Latina.

(Q VXPD GHVGH HVWDV FRQFHSFLRQHV HSLVWHPROyJLFDV VH KDFH HYLGHQWH TXH OD FRQVWUXFFLyQ GH FRQR-
FLPLHQWR YiOLGR \ OHJtWLPR QR VH SURGXFH VyOR HQ OD DFDGHPLD \ TXH SRU WDQWR HPSUHQGHU XQ WUDEDMR
GHLQYHVWLJDFLyQGHVGHHVWDVSRVLFLRQHVUHTXLHUHXQDSHUPDQHQWHDXWRUHH[LyQVREUHORVFRQGLFLRQDQWHV
VRFLRFXOWXUDOHVSURSLRV\VXVQRGHVHDGRVVHVJRVUHFRQRFHUHOFDUiFWHULQFRPSOHWR\OLPLWDGRGHQXHVWUD
aproximacin para, desde una pre-disposicin prudente y responsable, estar receptivos a una mayor plurali-
GDGFRJQLWLYDSRQHUHQSUiFWLFDODDSHUWXUD\GLDORJRUHDOFRQORVFRQRFLPLHQWRVTXHVHJHQHUDQHQiPELWRV
H[WUDDFDGpPLFRV\H[WUDFLHQWtFRV FXOWXUDVSRSXODUHVPRYLPLHQWRVVRFLDOHVFRVPRORJtDV\ORVRItDV
QRRFFLGHQWDOHVHWF \SRU~OWLPRH[SOLFLWDUHOSRUTXp\HOSDUDTXpGHDTXHOORTXHVHDQDOL]DHLQYHVWLJD
'HHVWDIRUPDQXHVWUDVUHH[LRQHVFRQFOXVLRQHV\SURSXHVWDVQRVHUiQODYHUGDGGHORTXHRFXUUHVLQRXQD
LQYLWDFLyQHQWUHRWUDVSRVLEOHVDPLUDUHLQWHUYHQLUGHVGHODSHUVSHFWLYDTXHSURSRQJDPRV

11 Desde 1995 el Grupo Amrica Latina: Filosofa Social y Axiologa (GALFISA) del Instituto de Filosofa de La Habana (Institucin acadmica cubana
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Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC), Marcha Mundial de Mujeres (MMM), Red Latinoamericana Mujeres Transfor-
mando la Economa (REMTE), Movimiento Trabajadores Sin Tierra (MST) Brasil, La Otra Campaa/EZLN, Mxico, Confederacin de las Nacionali-
dades Indgenas del Ecuador (CONAIE).
233 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

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San Marcos. Lima. 2009
ALVAREZ, S.E Repensando la dimensin poltica y cultural desde los movimientos sociales: algunas aproximaciones tericas en
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(coord). Repensar la poltica desde Amrica Latina. Cultura, Estado y movimientos sociales. Programa Democracia y Transformacin
global. Universidad de San Marcos. Lima. 2009
MARTNEZ, Zesar. Aldaketa Sozialaren produkzioa eta gidaritza. Servicio de Publicaciones del Gobierno Vasco. Vitoria-gasteiz. 2003.
NICOLS, G. Debates en epistemologa feminista: del empiricismo y el standpoint a las crticas postmodernas sobre el sujeto y el punto de
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SANTOS, Boaventura de Sousa. Conocer desde el sur: para una cultura poltica emancipatoria. Per: Fondo Editorial Facultad de Ciencias
sociales. 2006.
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SANTOS, Boaventura de Sousa. Descolonizar el saber, reinventar el poder. Montevideo: Ediciones Trilce, 2010.
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M.(comps.) Recuperando la radicalidad Barcelona. Hacer. 2011
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 234

Social Movements in Post-Political Society:


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RAPHAEL SCHLEMBACH
University of Salford

Abstract
This theoretical paper takes as its starting point the sociology of Alain Touraine, and
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society, this paper engages recent literature and research that analyses contemporary
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Keywords
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Introduction
With criticisms of economic globalisation making it less and less to the surface of public debate, and the
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these tensions appeared in unlikely places. Suddenly, pro-democracy protests took grip of the Arab World
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DIWHUPDWKRIWKHQDQFLDOFUDVKDQGWKHHFRQRPLFFULVLVPDQDJHPHQWWKDWKDVIROORZHGLWLWZDVQRW
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Touraine, a social movement is a particular moment in the historical trajectory of society understood as
collectivity making and remaking itself. Historicity here refers to the ability of social actors to produce the
235 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

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as the 15-M protests in Spain, or Occupy Wall Street, as products of and challengers to the social conditions
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example, democracy or political economy.

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by a hegemonic dominance of neo-liberal ideas over the realm of public discussion and deliberation. They
argue that political economy, rather than being contested or criticised, is increasingly being policed and ad-
ministered by technocratic arrangements that leave no space for political debate. As such, the existing neo-
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for any challenge to the present socio-economic relations.

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The social movement in programmed society


Alain Touraine argued that the practical task of movement research is

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(Touraine, 1981: 24).

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$PHULFD GHPRFUDF\ PRYHPHQWV LQ WKH 0HGLWHUUDQHDQ DQG$UDE ZRUOG WKH JOREDO 2FFXS\:DOO 6WUHHW
movement, or anti-corruption protests in Russia. Such movements respond to an increasingly technocratic
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 236

political and deliberative spheres are being closed by a hegemonic dominance of neo-liberal ideas over the
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ments that leave no space for political debate.

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bilisations as both a product of and a challenge to the present economic crisis and its management. Second,
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society emphasises a number of social characteristics (of production) that can inform the analysis of the
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upon, the PRGXVRSHUDQGLRIVRFLHW\:KHQZHLGHQWLI\SUHJXUDWLRQGHOLEHUDWLRQDQGFRQVHQVXVDVNH\
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their participants, but must explain them in their endogenous relationship to the production of society itself.

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grammar of forms of life (Habermas, 1987: 392). At the heart of such an approach lies the analysis of a
changing pattern of social organisation. Touraine, in particular, considers a shift from an industrial to a pro-
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corresponded to the emergence of post-Fordist and de-centralised patterns of production and consumption.
Melucci, for example, abandons the concept of class relationship as economic reductionist and instead re-
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237 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

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and seek to defend an alternative mode of living.

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of analysis. Rather than a systems theory of society, Touraine reintroduces the agency of actors into the
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form of struggle, but is also understood as a dynamic process of human activity. Touraine is thus concerned
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change that is capable to formalise revolutionary values in collective action. While in industrial society,
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or programmed society as shaped by technocratic concerns:

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(Touraine, 1971: 27)

In programmed society economic decisions are no longer purely based on accumulation of capital through
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Technocracy does not mean the replacement of political choices by technical choices. Such an idea does not correspond
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Recent formal responses to the eurozone crisis are telling. The appointments of, for example the former
university rector and EU Commissioner Mario Monti both as Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of Econ-
omy and Finance, or of ex-European Central Bank employee and Harvard professor Lucas Papademos as
Prime Minister of Greece, can be thought of very much as an a-political, technocratic response. Their ser-
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WKRVHRIWKHWHFKQRFUDWLFFODVV7RXUDLQHQRORQJHUGHQHVWKHQHZFODVVWKHQHZVRFLDOPRYHPHQWLQWHUPV
RIWKHSURSHUW\UHODWLRQRIZDJHHDUQHUVDQGRZQHUVRIPHDQVRISURGXFWLRQ,QVWHDGWKHQHZGRPLQDWHG
FODVVLVGHQHGE\LWVGHSHQGHQFHRQWKHPHFKDQLVPVRIHQJLQHHUHGFKDQJHDQGKHQFHRQWKHLQVWUX-
PHQWVRIVRFLDODQGFXOWXUDOLQWHJUDWLRQ 7RXUDLQH )RU7RXUDLQHWKHQHZVRFLDODFWRUVDWWKH
IRUHIURQWRIVWXGHQWDQGZRUNHUVVWUXJJOHVLQV)UDQFHZHUHQRWWKRVHPRVWUHPRYHGIURPWKHFHQWUHVRI
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 238

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continuing importance of class struggle for a sociological analysis of social movements. His sociology of
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tion did not lead to a dispersal of struggles to the point that their common purpose is indiscernible. Rather
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WHQHWRIFODVVDQWDJRQLVPFDQQRORQJHUEHPDLQWDLQHGWKHQHZFHQWUDOTXHVWLRQUHODWHVWRWKHFRQWLQXLQJ
SRVVLELOLW\RIDQWLV\VWHPLFFRQLFW7RXUDLQHUHPDLQVWUXHWRDFULWLFDOPDWHULDOLVWVWXG\RIPRYHPHQWVE\
IRFXVLQJKLVDWWHQWLRQRQWKHKLVWRULFDODJHQF\RIPRYHPHQWVYLDKLVFRQFHSWLRQRIKLVWRULFLW\+HGHQHV
KLVWRULFLW\DVWKHV\PEROLFFDSDFLW\RIVRFLDODFWRUVWRFRQVWUXFWDV\VWHPRINQRZOHGJHDQGWKHWHFKQL-
FDOWRROVWKDWDOORZWKHPWRLQWHUYHQHLQWKHLURZQIXQFWLRQLQJDFWXSRQWKHPVHOYHVDQGWKHUHE\SURGXFH
VRFLHW\ 7RXUDLQH 6RVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVDUHQRWLQGHSHQGHQWIURPVRFLHW\LQZKLFKWKHDFWEXW
VWDQGLQDGLDOHFWLFDOUHODWLRQVKLSWRLW6RFLDOOLIHLVQRWRUGHUHGE\QDWXUDORUKLVWRULFDOODZVEXWE\WKH
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social form (Touraine, 1988: 18).

$VVXFKWKHGLVFLSOLQHRIVRFLRORJ\LVWLHGLQWRWKHHPHUJHQFHRIDVRFLDOPRYHPHQW,Q7RXUDLQHV
ZRUGVWKHSURSHUREMHFWRIVRFLRORJ\>LV@WKHIRUPDWLRQRIFROOHFWLYHDFWLRQWKURXJKZKLFKWKHFRQVXPHU
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UHODWLRQVDQGWKDWVHHNVDQVZHUVIRUDGLIIHUHQWIXWXUHDIXWXUHWKDWLVQRWSUHGHWHUPLQHGE\WKHFXUUHQW
V\VWHPEXWWKDWLVRSHQWREHVKDSHGDQGUHVKDSHG7KHLGHQWLFDWLRQRIQHZVRFLDOPRYHPHQWVWKDWFDQ
RSHQXSQHZYLVLRQVDQGDOWHUQDWLYHSDWKVRIVRFLDOGHYHORSPHQWLQWKHIUDPHZRUNRISRVWLQGXVWULDOSUR-
grammed society emphasises the contest of different political and cultural trajectories.

The social movement in post-political society


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HFRQRPLFSURFHVVHVWKDWKDYHPRYHGXVEH\RQGDSURJUDPPHGVRFLHW\WRZDUGVDSRVWSROLWLFLVDWLRQRIVR-
FLHW\:HPLJKWZDQWWRDQDO\VHWKHSRVWSROLWLFDOFRQGLWLRQRIWKHSUHVHQWDVPRUHWKDQVLPSO\WKHWULXPSKRI
neo-liberalism. Of course the collapse of real-existing socialism and the rise of an economic consensus based
on market ideology contributed to the foreclosure of actual and practical possibilities to imagine alternative
IRUPVRIVRFLDORUJDQLVDWLRQ:KDWLVHYHQPRUHKRZHYHUWKHSUHVHQWFULVLVRIQHROLEHUDOLVPKDVGRQHOLWWOH
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DVZHOODVGLVFRQWHQWGLUHFWHGDWDXVWHULW\SURJUDPPHVLWUHPDLQVKDUGWRWKLQNDZD\RXWRIWKHFXUUHQWFULVLV

7KHJOREDOHFRQRPLFFUDVKKDVSURYHQWKHHQGRIKLVWRU\WKHVLVZURQJ:KLOHLWIRXQGDGYRFDWHVLQ
JOREDOLQVWLWXWLRQVXQLYHUVLW\HFRQRPLFVGHSDUWPHQWVDQGQDQFLDOVHFWRUVWRGD\WKHSURMHFWLWVHOILVLQ
FULVLV$QG\HWQHROLEHUDOLVPGHVSLWHKDYLQJORVWLWVDOOSRZHUIXOLGHRORJLFDOJULSDQGSROLWLFDODGYRFDWHV
FRQWLQXHVWRUHLJQLQWKHZRUGVRIWKH7XUEXOHQFH&ROOHFWLYH]RPELHOLNH
239 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

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zombie, a body stripped of its goals, unable to adjust itself to the future, unable to make plans. A zombie can only
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]RPELHOLEHUDOLVP"7KHERG\RIQHROLEHUDOLVPVWDJJHUVRQEXWZLWKRXWGLUHFWLRQRUWHOHRORJ\ 7XUEXOHQFH

This seems to be the current nature of the post-ideological or post-political society. Despite the apparent
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OLFYLHZ:ULWHUVOLNH5DQFLqUHRU=L]HNH[SODLQWKLVDVWKHIRUHFORVXUHRIZKDWLVSURSHUO\SROLWLFDOZKHUHDV
WKHSROLWLFDOVSKHUHSURPRWHVWKHDELOLW\WRIXQGDPHQWDOO\GHEDWHDQGTXHVWLRQWKHZD\VRFLHW\LVRUJDQLVHG
DQGWKHZD\ZHOLYHFROOHFWLYHO\7KHFULWLFVRISRVWSROLWLFLVDWLRQSURFHVVHVHPSKDVLVHWKHLPSRUWDQFHRIDQ-
WDJRQLVPRUGLVDJUHHPHQWEHWZHHQGLIIHUHQWYLVLRQVRIWKHVRFLDODQGWKHHFRQRPLF%XWPRUHWKDQWKDWWKH\
FKDUJHSRVWSROLWLFVZLWKGHQRWLQJDQGGHOLPLWLQJWKHYHU\ORFDOLWLHVDQGVXEMHFWLYLWLHVRIWKHSROLWLFDOUHDOP

3ROLWLFDOFRQVHQVXVHVSHFLDOO\RYHUTXHVWLRQRIHFRQRPLFVDQGHFRORJ\PDNHVLWLPSRVVLEOHWRKROG
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of administration and management of the existing society and of socioeconomic relations and matters of
ecological concern. Rather than ideological debate being the driving force behind social change, it is bu-
reaucrats and technocrats that act as gatekeepers and promote certain interests over others. So the processes
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describe the complete monopoly over the political by the liberal democratic and neo-liberal consensus.

Moreover, increased populist measures to enhance participation in formal democratic processes are not
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called democratic regimes. It appeared as the internal exhaustion of democratic debate. The end of the socialist alter-
QDWLYHWKHQGLGQRWVLJQLI\DQ\UHQHZDORIGHPRFUDWLFGHEDWH,QVWHDGLWVLJQLHGWKHUHGXFWLRQRIGHPRFUDWLFOLIHWR
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supreme democratic value (Rancire, 2004b: 3-4).

In contrast to the real democracy demanded and enacted by the global occupy activists, liberal democ-
UDF\KDVFDUULHGZLWKLWWKHVSHFWUHRIWKHHQGRISROLWLFVVLQFHWKHFROODSVHRIUHDOH[LVWLQJVRFLDOLVP1RW
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neo-liberalism as the only thinkable economic logic has had as an effect the foreclosure of political utopia.
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participatory elements and populist measures such as referenda or citizen consultations.

Consensus, for Rancire, is the negation of politics, and therefore of social change. Politics (the notion
he terms le SROLWLTXH) instead needs to be understood as antagonism, as disagreement. This disagreement
LVSUHFLVHO\DQHFHVVDU\RXWFRPHRIGLIIHULQJYDOXHVDQGQRWLRQVRIWKHFRPPRQ3ROLWLFVLVQRWKLQJRWKHU
WKDQWKHSOD\LQJRXWRIFRPSHWLQJYLVLRQVRIZKDWLVFRPPRQWRDOO,QFRQWUDGLVWLQFWLRQWRWKHLGHDRISROL-
WLFVDVGLVDJUHHPHQWVWDQGVWKHFRQVHQVXVSURPRWHGDQGXSKHOGE\ZKDW5DQFLqUHWHUPVWKHSROLFHRUGHU
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 240

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political. The LQGLJQDGRV pose a challenge to this police order. They react against the idea that it should
be left to experts (economists, elected representatives and so on) to decide on the best representation of
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majority to take part in the political determination of public matters.

The police order defends the very perimeters of the possible and the impossible, a certain distribution
of the sensible determining the place and the stakes of politics as a form of experience (Rancire, 2004a:
 ,WLQYROYHVQRWVRPXFKWKHGLVFLSOLQLQJRIERGLHVDVDUXOHJRYHUQLQJWKHLUDSSHDULQJDFRQJXUDWLRQ
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This can at times play out very literally as the policing of protest and public assemblies. In fact, the occupa-
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order more than the protests directed at established channels of politics:

Police interventions in public spaces consist primarily not in interpellating demonstrators, but in breaking up demon-
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nothing to see and so nothing to do but move along. It asserts that the space for circulating is nothing but the space of
circulation (Rancire, 2010: 37).

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7KHRFFXSDWLRQVRIVTXDUHVSDUNVVWUHHWVDQGEXLOGLQJVWXUQHGLQWRSXEOLFDOO\DFFHVVLEOHVLWHVRIQRWRQO\
protest but debate and participation in themselves represent the axiomatic claim that public spaces are the
loci of political deliberation and action.

The Occupy movement and the protests of the LQGLJQDGRVGLGQRWEHJLQLQDSUHGHQHGSROLWLFDOVSDFH


RULQWKHDWWHPSWWRFDSWXUHDQHVWDEOLVKHGSROLWLFDOUHDOPIRULWVRZQLGHDV,WLVQRFRLQFLGHQFHKHUHWKDWLW
UHMHFWHGSDUOLDPHQWDULDQLVP,QPDQ\LQVWDQFHVSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVDQGHVWDEOLVKHGWUDGHXQLRQVZHUHQRWSHUPLW-
WHGWRSURPRWHWKHLUDJHQGDVRURUJDQLVDWLRQVLQWKHRFFXSLHGVSDFHVDQGVTXDUHV,QVWHDGSROLWLFVEHJDQZLWK
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and the talent to speak, around the properties of spaces and the possibilities of time (Rancire, 2004a: 13).

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Where the fundamental aspect of post-political society relates to a hegemonic closure of deliberative
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society. The movement is characterised at once by a re-politicisation and deliberation of the fundamentals
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PRYHPHQWUHPDLQVSRVWSROLWLFDODQGGHFLGHGO\SRVWLGHRORJLFDO,WUHIXVHVWRGHQHLWVHOILQWUDGLWLRQDO
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241 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

SHUFHQWYHU\PXFKEHORQJVWRDGLVFRXUVHWKDWVWUHVVHVFRQVHQVXVUDWKHUWKDQFRQLFW0RUHRYHUDQG
fundamentally, the self-understanding of many participants paints the movement not as a protest but as a
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makes the case that the means and ends of struggle should not be separated. Social change, or revolution,
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2FFXS\:DOO6WUHHWSURWHVWVGHVFULEHVWKHDQWLJOREDOLVDWLRQPRYHPHQWLQWHUPVRIDSUHJXUDWLYHSROLWLFV

:KHQSURWHVWHUVLQ6HDWWOHFKDQWHGWKLVLVZKDWGHPRFUDF\ORRNVOLNHWKH\PHDQWWREHWDNHQOLWHUDOO\,QWKHEHVW
WUDGLWLRQRIGLUHFWDFWLRQWKH\QRWRQO\FRQIURQWHGDFHUWDLQIRUPRISRZHUH[SRVLQJLWVPHFKDQLVPVDQGDWWHPSWLQJ
OLWHUDOO\WRVWRSLWLQLWVWUDFNVWKH\GLGLWLQDZD\ZKLFKGHPRQVWUDWHGZK\WKHNLQGRIVRFLDOUHODWLRQVRQZKLFKLWLV
EDVHGZHUHXQQHFHVVDU\ *UDHEHU 

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)RUWKRVHZKRGHVLUHWRFUHDWHDVRFLHW\EDVHGRQWKHSULQFLSOHRIKXPDQIUHHGRPGLUHFWDFWLRQLVVLPSO\WKHGHDQW
insistence on acting as if one is already free (Graeber, 2011)

3UHJXUDWLRQLVWKXVDSHUIRUPDWLYHDFW,WVXWWHUDQFHRUSHUIRUPDQFHLVLQVHSDUDEOHIURPZKDWLWSUR-
QRXQFHV,QWKHFRQWH[WRI7DKULU6TXDUHRUWKH3XHUWDGHO6ROZKHUHWKRXVDQGVRISHRSOHSDUWLFLSDWHLQ
*HQHUDO$VVHPEOLHVHQDFWWKHKXPDQPLFURSKRQHVRUSDUWLFLSDWHLQGHFLVLRQPDNLQJE\VLJQDOOLQJWKHLU
DSSURYDORUGLVDSSURYDOXVLQJKDQGVLJQVWKHVSHHFKDFWWKLVLVZKDWGHPRFUDF\ORRNVOLNHDGRSWVDSHU-
IRUPDWLYHPHDQLQJDQGLQGHHGFUHDWHVWKHSRVVLELOLW\IRUUHDOGHPRFUDF\WRRFFXU7KLVGRHVQRWPHDQ
WKDWUHDOGHPRFUDF\H[LVWVLQWKHXQHYHQH[SHULPHQWVRIWKHVTXDUHVDQGSDUNVUDWKHUWKHSDUWLFLSDQWVEHJLQ
WRH[SHULHQFHDGLIIHUHQWNLQGRIGHPRFUDWLFVWUXFWXUH:KHUHLWLVVXFFHVVIXOSUHJXUDWLYHSROLWLFVEUHDNV
WKURXJKWKHSRVWSROLWLFDOGHDGORFNWKHSROLFHRUGHUWKDWGHQRWHVZKHUHSROLWLFVLVSRVVLEOHDQGZKHUHLP-
possible becomes subverted.

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movement. The movement is explicitly not demand based. It does not ask concessions or policy implemen-
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6TXDUHWRWKRVHRI:DOO6WUHHW

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:KRLVWKHUHWRSURWHVWWR":KDWFRXOGZHDVNWKHPIRUWKDWWKH\FRXOGJUDQW":HDUHRFFXS\LQJ:HDUHUHFODLPLQJWKRVH
VDPHVSDFHVRISXEOLFSUDFWLFHWKDWKDYHEHHQFRPPRGLHGSULYDWLVHGDQGORFNHGLQWRWKHKDQGVRIIDFHOHVVEXUHDXFUDF\
UHDOHVWDWHSRUWIROLRVDQGSROLFHSURWHFWLRQ:K\VKRXOGLWVHHPVRQDWXUDOWKDWWKH\VKRXOGEHZLWKKHOGIURPXVSROLFHG
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 242

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praxis and social engagement being made in the occupations avoid the empty ideals and stale parliamentarianism that the
term democracy has come to represent. And so the occupations must continue, because there is no one left to ask for reform.
7KH\PXVWFRQWLQXHEHFDXVHZHDUHFUHDWLQJZKDWZHFDQQRORQJHUZDLWIRU &RPUDGHVIURP&DLUR 

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WRVHH,QWHUPVRIUHDOGHPRFUDF\WKHGHOLEHUDWLYHSUDFWLFHVLQFRQVHQVXVGHFLVLRQPDNLQJWKDWZHKDYH
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+HQFHWKHVORJDQWKLVLVZKDWGHPRFUDF\ORRNVOLNHLVLQFRQVLVWHQWLQLWVHOI2QWKHRQHKDQGLWLVWREHWDNHQ
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RIDUHDOGHPRFUDF\WKDWGUDZVSDUWLFLSDWLRQIURPWKHSHUFHQW2QWKHRWKHUKDQGLWLVSHUKDSVOLPLWLQJWR
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Deliberation

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ist magazine $GEXVWHUVDVNLQJZKDWLVRXURQHGHPDQG0XFKKDVEHHQPDGHRIWKHIDFWWKDWWKH2FFXS\
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Demands have of course resulted from this process of deliberation and discussion. They often relate to
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of the LQGLJQDGRVKDGDOUHDG\SKUDVHGWKHLURQHGHPDQGUHDOGHPRFUDF\QRZ%XWWKLVZDVQRWWREHGHOLY-
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its utterance by thousands of people in the streets. Here deliberation stood at the forefront of the movement.

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of such a deliberative and rational space for the 99 percent is not accidental. It is the very means to achieve
participation and an objective assessment of diverging arguments, through the objective distinction of fact
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243 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

But this Habermasian focus on communication, deliberation and language is unsatisfactory, as much
as it appears to guide the project of General Assemblies and consensus-decision making. As Rancire
E ZULWHVLWLVDOZD\VDQDUJXPHQWDQGGLVDJUHHPHQWRYHUZKDWFRXOGFRQVWLWXWHDFRPPRQYDOXH
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symptomatic of a consensual style of post-politics. At the same time of course, the deliberative practices
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ZKHUHSROLWLFVLVSRVVLEOHDQGQRWSRVVLEOHWKHQHZPRELOLVDWLRQVFRQVWLWXWHDVRFLDOPRYHPHQWJUDSSOLQJ
ZLWKWKHSRVVLELOLW\RIVRFLDOFKDQJH

Consensus

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anarchists, eco-movements and others as a method adapt to the current situation of horizontal movement
struggles. The recent mobilisations have popularised the method and its principles.

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processes thus point out the limits of such attempts at participatory decision-making and instead postulate
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reiterates the point that increased participation does not necessarily lead to more direct forms of democracy.
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ecological importance not in political terms, but as problems to be solved and administered by means of an
instrumental rationalism. Where Occupy activists argue that political ideologies and traditional categories of
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banishing partisan and oppositional politics in favour of a post-political technocratic and populist response to
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From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 244

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WKDWZKDWZDVQHHGHGZDVQRWDQHZSDUW\RUDGLUHFWDWWHPSWWRWDNHVWDWHSRZHUEXWDPRYHPHQWZKRVHDLPLVWRH[HUW
pressure on political parties. This is clearly not enough to impose a reorganisation of social life. To do that, one needs a
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Rather it seeks to, in an inversion of post-political domination, to re-open a deliberative space for discus-
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$GHOLEHUDWLYHDQGSUHJXUDWLYHVSDFHVXFKDVWKHHQFDPSPHQWVRQSXEOLFVTXDUHVFRXOGHDVLO\EHXQ-
derstood as symbols of the post-political. Rather than offering a challenge to the neo-liberal they create
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conception as an antagonistic, if contradictory, challenge to technocratic society.

Conclusions
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ZLWKDGPLQLVWUDWLRQDQGUHJXODWLRQRIHFRQRPLFSURFHVVHVUDWKHUWKDQWKHLULGHRORJLFDOSROLWLFDODV-
VHVVPHQW'HPRFUDF\KHUHEHFRPHVV\QRQ\PRXVZLWKWUDQVSDUHQF\DQGDQWLFRUUXSWLRQPHFKDQLVPV

2) Processes of deliberation and consensus simultaneously banish and seek to reintroduce political dis-
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FRQFHSWXDOLVHGDVDSOXUDOLVWLFFRQWHVWEHWZHHQFRPSHWLQJLGHRORJLHVEXWDVDSUHJXUDWLYHSURFHVV

7KHUHLVPXFKWKDWZHFDQWDNHIURP7RXUDLQHVDQDO\VLVRISURJUDPPHGVRFLHW\$VRFLDOPRYHPHQW
LVQRWFRQGHPQHGWRWKHIULQJHVRIVRFLHW\LQVWHDGZHPXVWXQGHUVWDQGLWDVVRFLHW\LWVHOIDFWLQJXSRQLW-
VHOI,IZHXQGHUVWDQGFXUUHQWG\QDPLFVDVOLQNHGWRSURFHVVHVRISRVWSROLWLFLVDWLRQLHWKHIXUWKHUPRYH
WRZDUGVWHFKQRFUDWLFVROXWLRQVRIIHUHGWRWKHSUHVHQWFULVLVRIQHROLEHUDOLVPZHPXVWDQDO\VHWKHQHZ
PRELOLVDWLRQVDVERWKFKDOOHQJHUVDQGSURGXFWVRIWKHSRVWSROLWLFDOFRQGLWLRQ:KDWZHFDQQRWGHWHFWLVD
QHZSULYLOHJHGVXEMHFWDQGQHZXQGHUOLQLQJIDXOWOLQHVXFKDVWKDWVRXJKWE\7RXUDLQHDQGRWKHUV,QVWHDG
WKH2FFXS\PRYHPHQWDQGUHODWHGPRELOLVDWLRQVDUHFRQWUDGLFWRU\LQWKHPVHOYHVDQGDWWLPHVUHHFWWKH
post-political dynamics that they have emerged from.

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PHQWVWKLVLVQRWTXLWHDVXQHTXLYRFDOZLWKUHJDUGVWRWKHJDWKHULQJVLQVD\0DGULGRU1HZ<RUN&DQRQH
speak of a social movement if its global nature is hardly apparent, and its internal logic ravaged by con-
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sense to speak of even localised movements. Nonetheless, heterogeneity evident in Puerta del Sol or on
245 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

Wall Street, or declining numbers at their General Assemblies, do not necessarily signal a decline of the
social movement in post-political society. A social movement cannot be reduced to simply a succession of
occupations, demonstrations and direct actions. The Occupy Movement as a social movement might not
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tempting to take control of the possibility and impossibility of doing politics and of social change. Its aims,
as contradictory as they may seem, must not be understood in terms of consciousness and ideology of its
participants. Nonetheless, its actions are political in the sense that they present a challenge to and a possible
going-beyond the post-political condition that they have been born out of. It is from the contradictions and
LQKHUHQWFRQLFWVRIVRFLHW\WKDWWKHVHPRELOLVDWLRQVKDYHHPHUJHGDQGDVVXFKWKH\DUHERWKGHOLPLWHGE\
LWDQGDYLVLRQRIVRPHWKLQJQHZ,Q5DQFLqUHVWHUPVWKHPRYHIURPWKHVRFLDOWRWKHSROLWLFDOLVDQDFWRI
GLVVHQVXVLWUHSUHVHQWVWKHQHJDWLRQRIWKHIRUPDOGLYLGHEHWZHHQWKHSROLWLFDODQGWKHSULYDWH2ULQ=L]HNV
ZRUGV7KHLUEDVLFPHVVDJHLVWKHWDERRLVEURNHQZHGRQRWOLYHLQWKHEHVWSRVVLEOHZRUOGZHDUHDO-
ORZHGREOLJHGHYHQWRWKLQNDERXWDOWHUQDWLYHV =L]HND 

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0HOXFFL$$6WUDQJH.LQGRI1HZQHVV:KDWV1HZLQ1HZ6RFLDO0RYHPHQWV"LQ(QULTXH/DUDxD+DQN-RKQVWRQ-RVHSK5
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1HZ<RUN5DQGRP+RXVH 
7XUEXOHQFH/LIHLQ/LPER$QGQRZIRUVRPHWKLQJFRPSOHWHO\GLIIHUHQW"7XUEXOHQFHSS
From Social to Political.
New Forms of Mobilization and Democratization. 246

=L]HN6D2FFXS\UVW'HPDQGVFRPHODWHU
KWWSZZZJXDUGLDQFRXNFRPPHQWLVIUHHRFWRFFXS\SURWHVWHUVELOOFOLQWRQ"&03 WZWBJXDFFHVVHG-DQXDU\
=L]HN6E6KRSOLIWHUVRIWKH:RUOG8QLWHKWWSZZZOUEFRXNVODYRM]L]HNVKRSOLIWHUVRIWKHZRUOGXQLWH
accessed January 2012.
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247 RETHINKING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

Environment but for other reasons:


Asserting control, sovereignty, and transgression
in the Casc Antic of Barcelona

ISABELLE ANGUELOVSKI1
Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Abstract
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neighborhood in Barcelona, has been the site of community-based organization to re-
vitalize abandoned areas and improve environmental conditions. The mobilization of
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global, and technology- and service-focused restructuring has been accompanied by ris-
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DUHQDLQSDUWLFXODUIHZVWXGLHVDUHIUDPHGZLWKLQDEURDGHUFRQWH[WRIXUEDQFKDQJH
DQGRIIHUVSHFLFLW\RIWKHSXUSRVHLQWHQWDQGJRDOVWKDWSRRUDQGPLQRULW\UHVLGHQWV
frame as they understand, resist, and challenge their marginality. Why do residents of
marginalized neighborhoods and their supporters organize to proactively improve liv-
DELOLW\DQGHQYLURQPHQWDOTXDOLW\"7RZKDWH[WHQWGRWKHHQYLURQPHQWDOVWUXJJOHVRI
marginalized communities serve as means to advance more complex political agendas
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]DWLRQIRUOLYDELOLW\WKH&DVF$QWLFLQ%DUFHORQD,DQDO\]HKRZDFWLYLVWVXVHWKHLU
environmental endeavors as tools to address stigmas about their place, control the land
and its boundaries, and build a more transgressive form of democracy.

Keywords
urban movements, environmental revitalization, marginalized neighborhoods, land
control, borders, deepening democracy

Introduction
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doned and degraded areas and improve local livability. First, residents and their supporters self-construct-
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to advocate for structural and sanitation improvements to existing housing, create better recreational and

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