Crisis and search for political alternatives in Southern Europe: SYRIZA, Indignados and Five Stars Movement

Sümercan Bozkurt-Güngen

Abstract


The main purpose of this article is to examine and discuss political strategies of three different political organizations -SYRIZA in Greece, 15M Movement/Indignados in Spain, and M5S/Five Stars Movement in Italy- which gained prominence during the debt crisis management processes in Southern Europe in the late 2000s and early 2010s. It particularly focuses upon alternative strategies framed or implied by them regarding the way out of the debt and legitimacy crises. It is argued that their emergence as important political actors have been indicative of the growing popular discontent against and search for alternatives to the framework drawn by the austerity agenda. Although a similar context has paved the ground for their rise, these three political actors have represented different political paths that can respectively be regarded as ‘radical reformism’, ‘positive/creative negation’ and ‘anti-politics’. The article also explains these strategies on the basis of how they have politicised the three broad sources of popular discontent: austerity policies (policy contents), parliamentary/ representative democracy (policy-making processes) and the representatives (policy-makers). 


Keywords


Politics of anti-austerity, debt and legitimacy crisis, Southern Europe, radical reformism, positive/creative negation, anti-politics

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