Syriza, Podemos and Mobilizations Against Austerity: Movements, Parties or Movement-Parties?
This chapter traces the development of two political parties during the last few years, Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain: adopting a broad anti-austerity agenda, both parties have been electorally successful in the last years against the background of broader social transformations and conflicts generated due to the protracted crisis experienced in Southern Europe. In order to study the origins and evolution of these parties we link concepts and methodologies developed within two different fields of study—social movements and political parties- so as to understand the interaction between collective mobilizations and party system changes. Moreover, we attempt to explore aspects of convergence between the two cases so as to reflect on the relationship developed between parties and movements during crisis. Both parties acted as ‘movement parties’ for a short period of time revealing on the one hand the massive loss of trust in traditional parties and institutions in both countries, and on the other the fact that it was the ordinary citizens who became agents of protest and change in Southern Europe. Still, both Syriza and Podemos seem as adopting conventional party strategies and discourse losing, thus, their relation with grassroots mobilizations.
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