Protest Dynamics, Repertoire Change and Party Politics in Times of Crisis: The Case of Greece, 2009-2016

Contentious Politics
European Politics
Political Parties
Social Movements
Political Activism
Section Number
Section Chair
Seraphim Seferiades
Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
Section Co-Chair
Loukia Kotronaki
Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences

Besides being the epicentre of economic crisis in the last period, Greece has also witnessed the outbreak of an unprecedented protest wave (with over 30 general strikes, several local movements, and a two-month long version of the Occupy mobilisations); the virtual collapse of the old party system and the coming to power of an avowedly left-wing government; and the emergence of countless solidarity initiatives, first for tackling rampant poverty and subsequently as a means for coping with the refugee crisis. It comes as no surprise, then, that Greece should also serve as a laboratory both for evaluating (and further enhancing) extant conceptual and theoretical tools and for addressing the cardinal issue of ‘European futures’. Aspiring to combine theoretical reflection with original empirical research in a variety of fields, this Section grapples with four interrelated sets of questions, corresponding to an equal number of Panels:

(a) the prerequisites and dynamics of protest in its constant interplay with the changing ‒national and European‒ political opportunity structure (analysis of social-movement dynamics);
(b) continuity and change in the way contentious repertoires have evolved over the period 2008/9-2016 (an effort to examine new forms of solidarity action -‘resilience’- as either an instance or as a substitute of more traditional forms of protest);
(c) the role that the political intermediation by parties, SMOs and the Media has been playing all along (the role of political content in the strategic intervention of a variety of actors); and
(d) the changing structure of the party system in association with internal party organisation (analysis of the ways in which the old two-party system collapsed in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the emergence of far-right populism as an acute form of the continuing crisis of representation, and the ways the new political landscape has been influencing internal organisational proclivities).

Lying at the intersection of two literatures ‒Contentious Politics and Parties/Party Systems‒ the Section seeks to serve as a much-needed bridge between the two fields in order to explore questions that are rarely tackled by either field in isolation. These include the process of party cartelisation and its ‒causal‒ interrelationship with protest dynamics, the new threat that far-right populism poses for democracy and the nature of its relationship with popular mobilisation, and the role that traditional Mass and new social media play in the shaping of the public sphere.

Although it draws its primary inspiration from the case of Greece, the Section also invites panel and paper proposals with different regional empirical foci (southern Europe, Latin America), provided they address the theoretical issues specified.

Section Chair: Seraphim Seferiades
Seraphim Seferiades (PhD Columbia - is an Associate Professor of Politics and Director of the Laboratory on Contentious Politics at the Department of Politics and History, Panteion University of Social and Political Science, Athens and Life Member in Politics and History at the University of Cambridge (CLH). For several years the Secretary of the Greek Political Science Association, he has been Senior Member at the University of Oxford (St Peter’s College), Hannah Seeger Davis Fellow at Princeton University, Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute and tutor in the Arts at the University of Cambridge (CHU). His work spans European and Greek labour and social history, contentious politics and social science methodology. He has edited or co-edited volumes on methodology, social movements, and the Greek dictatorship, and published extensively in journals such as Comparative Politics, the European Journal of Industrial Relations, the Journal of Contemporary History, the Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica, the Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Actuel Marx and the Greek Political Science Review. His latest book, Along the pathways of historiography: a critical review from a social-scientific viewpoint, was published in Athens in 2014. He is currently completing two volumes on contentious politics and the role of political content in the phenomenon of party cartelisation.

Section Co-Chair
Loukia Kotronaki is a post-doctoral fellow at the Laboratory on Contentious Politics, Department of Politics and History, Panteion University of Social and Political Science, Athens. With a special focus on transnational collective action and the anti-globalisation movement in Greece, her main research interests combine contentious politics, collective identities and their interaction with political parties and the institutional environment in European democracies. She has worked and published extensively on the European Social Forum, violent protest, and Greek social movements, including the Indignado and Occupy collective mobilisations. Her work has appeared in edited volumes and journals, such as Actuel Marx, Pôle Sud, Contretemps, Partecipazione e Conflitto, and Situations. Her most recent contribution was on the volume edited by Noëlle Burgi, La Grande Régression: La Grèce et l’avenir de l’Europe, Le Bord de l’Eau, Paris, 2014, p. 175-190.

Panel List

P117Everyday Resistance, Alternative Practices, and Repertoire Renewal in Crisis Regimes: The Case of Greece View Panel Details
P233Movement Mobilisation, Political Strategy, and the Party System: Salient ‒though still Silent‒ Dimensions View Panel Details
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