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

The Transnational dimension of the Greek Anti-austerity Campaign, 2010-2012

Presenter
Maria Kousis
University of Crete
Authors
Maria Kousis
University of Crete

Abstract
The Greek campaign against austerity and neo-liberal restructuring imposed by transnational actors (troika, EU, IMF, ECB) and the collaborating Greek governments vividly illustrates transnational processes related to issues of democracy as well as communication.

Within a Tillian perspective, the paper aspires to delineate and discuss the transnational dimensions of this national campaign using a data set of the 28 largest protest events from February 2010 to the end of 2012. Protest event-claims analysis is applied under the “Mediterranean Environment, Networks and Actions” project, using five news media sources offering wider coverage of protests were selected: Eleftherotypia, the primary source, as well as Rizospastis and Aygi and two alternative media websites, Athens.indymedia.org and real-democracy.gr . The findings draw on 457 articles/mentions and illustrate the major features of an anti-austerity campaign across Greek cities, which is carried out in a number of parallel, significant action forms, such as national general strikes, marches, public meetings, demonstrations, rallies, blockades.

Protesters’ overwhelming claims are against the impacts of the unprecedented austerity laws-measures, especially those concerning the economy, society, sovereignty and democracy. On the contrary, targeted actors center on the strengthening of the eurozone, the implementation of strict austerity policies aimed to stop the threat of contagion to other economies (EU or global), and to facilitate neoliberal structural reforms. Democracy is not a visible issue, while societal impacts, such as high poverty and unemployment, children’s future and increasing social divisions, are rarely mentioned (Kousis 2012).

The ultimate aim of the paper will be to place the Greek anti-austerity campaign within a comparative frame vis-à-vis the other South European or peripheral EU countries and contribute to related discussions on how the new transnational economic and political opportunities and threats affect claims making in Southern eurozone regions as a result of the global financial crisis.


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