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Religion and Political Theory: Secularism, Accommodation and The New Challenges of Religious Diversity, Edited by Jonathan Seglow and Andrew Shorten

Are they simply Reformists, or do they really want a Revolution? A Comparative Analysis of the Organisational and Ideological resources of Greek, French and Spanish Indignados

Vasiliki (Vicky) Triga
Cyprus University of Technology
Vasiliki (Vicky) Triga
Cyprus University of Technology
Venetia Papa
University of Cyprus
Vasileios Manavopoulos
University of Cyprus

Recently the international financial situation which led to the adoption of austerity measures by many European national governments was met with increased resistance by the people of Europe, part of whom have been the European “Indignados”. The appearance and rise of “Indignados” was further connected to a generalized delegitimization of the political system. The “Indignados”, generally considered a grassroot, non-partisan social movement, caused some surprise, due to its intensity, longevity, size, penetration and acceptance by the general population. In relation to the latter, the use of ICTs (especially social networks) has played a significant role in framing the action and developing a sense of common identity and purpose among the participants. However, referring to the European “Indignados” as a coherent unit is rather misleading, since they include different groups, with a variety of organizational characteristics, whose actions are more rooted in local (national) circumstance and politics without a common normative perspective on contesting democracy and policies in Europe. This realisation raises crucial questions that need to be addressed: Are the European “Indignados” an international, rather than a transnational pan-European movement? How are their purported commonality and links, in terms of online and offline organizational structure and ideological resources, established? The first objective of the present paper is to map the diversity of discourses, practices and actions of Indignados groups across three countries (Greece, Spain and France). This exercise helps to discern the main contours of their online and offline organizational and communicational mechanisms and to investigate whether these differ among the three groups. The second analytical objective is to explore the ideological resources of their social protest actions by using critical discourse analysis techniques which allows us to critically evaluate the potential of the movement participants to redefine democracy in both meaning and practice.
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