Academic Articles


From Free Culture to Meta-Politics / The Resurgence of the Civic / The Global Street Comes to Wall Street / The Greek Cauldron / Spring Confronts Winter / The global capitalist crisis and youth: from Tunisia and Egypt to Europe and the USA / The Dynamics of Protest Recruitment through an Online Network /

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From Free Culture to Meta-Politics

In the context of multiple crises – ecological, political, financial and geopolitical restructuring – there are emerging forms of social cooperation. In the Spanish case, we have seen some of the largest demonstrations since the country made its transition to democracy in the 70s with massive occupations of public squares, attempts to prevent parliaments’ functioning

The Resurgence of the Civic

Adrian Pabst analyses the global/local dynamics of the current protest movement through a new shared notion of the ‘civic’. To excerpt: In a strikingly different configuration, the glocal protest movement neither sacralizes otherness nor erects absolute divisions. Rather, it attempts to break down the barriers that shield the governing elites from democratic accountability by pursuing

The Global Street Comes to Wall Street

Saskia Sassen explores the notion of a changing public space through the political movements of 2011. To excerpt: In each of these cases, I would argue that the street, the urban street, as public space is to be differentiated from the classic European notion of more ritualized spaces for public activity, with the piazza and

The Greek Cauldron

Stathis Kouvelakis takes a look at the patterns of Greek protest amidst EU-IMF-ECB imposed austerity and the specifically Greek dimensions of the Eurozone crisis.

Spring Confronts Winter

Mike Davis analyses the protests of 2011, including the new European social movements, and asks what Act Two of the new political situation will look like.

The global capitalist crisis and youth: from Tunisia and Egypt to Europe and the USA

Abstract: Departing from the recent revolutionary upsurge in the Arab world, this article focuses on the links between youth protest and the current economic crisis. Although its levels in Arab countries have in recent months reached spectacular heights, such protest has also been significant in other parts of the capitalist world, notably Europe. Interpreting youth

The Dynamics of Protest Recruitment through an Online Network

The recent wave of mobilizations in the Arab world and across Western countries has generated much discussion on how digital media is connected to the diffusion of protests. We examine that connection using data from the surge of mobilizations that took place in Spain in May 2011. We study recruitment patterns in the Twitter network and find evidence of social influence and complex contagion. We identify the network position of early participants (i.e. the leaders of the recruitment process) and of the users who acted as seeds of message cascades (i.e. the spreaders of information). We find that early participants cannot be characterized by a typical topological position but spreaders tend to be more central in the network. These findings shed light on the connection between online networks, social contagion, and collective dynamics, and offer an empirical test to the recruitment mechanisms theorized in formal models of collective action.