Disrupting European authoritarianism Grassroots organizing, collective action and participatory democracy during the Eurozone crisis

Huke, Nikolai and Bailey, David and Clua-Losada, Mònica and Lux, Julia and Ribera Almandoz, Olatz (2018) Disrupting European authoritarianism Grassroots organizing, collective action and participatory democracy during the Eurozone crisis. Transnational Institute.

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Abstract

Many critical scholars have tended to analyse the recent development of the European Union (EU) and its member states as a one-way street towards authoritarianism. European crisis management and disciplinary pressures resulting from global capitalism, they argue, have constricted the room for democratic decisions and significantly increased existing tendencies to erode liberal democracy. Drawing on activist experience[i] (and in an attempt to avoid the ‘left melancholy’ that characterizes a number of critical analyses), we try here to provide a more nuanced picture. In doing so, we argue that activists’ experiences during the European crisis have highlighted the increasingly exclusionary nature of the institutions, procedures, and limitations of liberal democracy under capitalism. In addition, they have allowed us to identify new – albeit fragile – forms of social organization that have challenged this growing authoritarianism. In particular, grassroots organizing around daily social problems, alongside efforts to achieve collective self-help, inclusive solidarities, and a feminization of politics – as well as first-person and new forms of participatory democracy (presentist democracy) beyond state institutions – have all been able to partially disturb and disrupt new forms of authoritarian governance. The political turn towards authoritarianism, we conclude, not only largely fails to oppress contradictory movements, but may even – at least for a certain period – produce ‘a veritable explosion of democratic demands’.[ii] The trend towards authoritarianism in the EU thus produces, and is confronted by, undercurrents that challenge it.

Item Type: Other
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Social Science
Depositing User: Julia LUX
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2018 10:55
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2018 10:55
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2472

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