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Strategies of Secession and Counter-Secession

From Indignation to Power. The Genesis of the Independent Greeks

Political Parties
Social Movements
Southern Europe
Maik Fielitz
Universität Hamburg
Maik Fielitz
Universität Hamburg

Abstract: The rise of the far-right Independent Greeks (ANEL) is considered one of the most visible symptoms of the representative crisis of Greek democracy. However, while much attention is being paid to the electoral fate of Syriza and the rise and persistence of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, little is known about the political performance of ANEL. This seems surprising as ANEL is a unique case of rapid ascendance from an indignant right-wing movement into a governmental force in conditions of political and economic crisis. This paper sheds light on the political genesis of ANEL from a grassroots rebellion of Greek conservatism to a governing party. Stressing the connection between street mobilization and party politics, ANEL is introduced as a proto-type of far-right movement parties in the context of nationalist opposition to austerity measures. Scrutinizing opportunities, ideology and questions of leadership, the rise and decline of ANEL are situated in the transformation of Greek party politics.
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