Subterranean Politics in Europe


Edited by Mary Kaldor and Sabine Selchow

We are experiencing one of those rare moments in history when subterranean politics ‘bubbles up’ to the surface. The demonstrations, occupations and new political initiatives that emerged across Europe in 2011 and 2012 struck a chord in public opinion in a way that has not been true of the protests and social movements arising over the last decade. This has caused ripples of discomfort in established institutions, challenging dominant ways of thinking and unsettling normal assumptions about how politics is done.

Based on a multi-disciplinary, collaborative research project carried out across Europe, and from the team responsible for the landmark Global Civil Society yearbooks, this volume investigates why this is occurring now, whether the current eruptions are different to previous periods of political upheaval, and what they tell us about the future of the European project.


  1. In Search of Europe’s Future: Subterranean Politics and the Other Crisis in Europe; Mary Kaldor and Sabine Selchow
  2. In Search of European Alternatives: Anti-Austerity Protests in Europe; Mario Pianta and Paolo Gerbaudo
  3. 2011: Subterranean Politics and Visible Protest on Social Justice in Italy; Donatella della Porta, Lorenzo Mosca and Louisa Parks
  4. The ‘Swarm Intelligence’ and Occupy – Recent Subterranean Politics In Germany; Anne Nassauer and Helmut K. Anheier
  5. The 15-M Movement: a Bet for Radical Democracy; Jordi Bonet i Martí
  6. Hungary at the Vanguard of Europe’s Rearguard? Emerging Subterranean Politics and Civil Dissent; Jody Jensen
  7. Political Blockage and the Absence of Europe: Subterranean Politics in London; Sean Deel and Tamsin Murray-Leach
  8. Alter-Europe: Progressive activists and Europe; Geoffrey Pleyers
  9. Conclusion: Towards a European Spring?; Ulrich Beck and Mary Kaldor


  • Helmut K. Anheier, Hertie School of Governance, Germany.
  • Jordi Bonet Martí, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile.
  • Sean Deel, LSE, UK.
  • Donatella Della Porta, European University Institute, Italy.
  • Paolo Gerbaudo, King’s College London, UK.
  • Jody Jensen, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary.
  • Lorenzo Mosca, Roma Tre University, Italy.
  • Tamsin Murray-Leach, LSE, UK.
  • Anne Nassauer, Free University of Berlin, Germany.
  • Louisa Parks, University of Lincoln, UK.
  • Mario Pianta, University of Urbino, Italy.
  • Geoffrey Pleyers, University of Louvain, Belgium.

More information and links can be found here.