Tag Archives: Spain

Tactical Innovation and the Face of Insolvency

Tourists on a protest tour in Spain are presented with declining public infrastructure, expensive mega-projects, and tales of government corruption.

Tourists on a protest tour in Spain are presented with declining public infrastructure, expensive mega-projects, and tales of government corruption.

The austerity measures imposed by European governments in response to to the sovereign debt crisis have never been popular with citizens of the most impacted  countries. Responses to the policies have taken many common social movement forms from mass protests to riots to the creation of new insurgent political parties. A recent framing of the critique of austerity has focused on the disparity between perceptions of corrupt politicians amassing wealth while the general population suffers. In Spain (where even members of the royal family are currently suspected of corruption), Miguel Angel Ferris Gil and Teresa Galindo have turned from writing about political corruption and the effects of austerity as journalists to undertake another form of protest activity: guided protest tours. Continue reading

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Cross-national gay marriage politics, the courts, and the context of activism

Mobilizing Idea’s recent Essay Dialogue on movements and the courts was inspired in part by the DOMA case on the U.S. Supreme Court docket. In her essay, Martinez discusses the role of the Supreme Court in light of a changing political and cultural context regarding gay marriage. While U.S. states have become increasingly polarized on same-sex marriage (SSM), public opinion appears to have shifted in favor of marriage equality. These environmental shifts may be important for legal mobilization. Drawing from classic sociological theory, Martinez writes that “When activists turn to law and demand legal change, it only works when the cultural conditions and political conditions are out of alignment with law. The law changes to match social beliefs and practices.” As Bua of the Huffington Post claims, “the times they are a ‘changin.’” Continue reading


Filed under Essay Dialogues, Movements and the Courts

Heavy Swells in the Mediterranean

By Lorenzo Bosi and Eduardo Romanos

Madrid, 2033. A citizen’s movement has succeeded in creating a set of support and subsistence networks that manage many of the resources of the city, beyond the reach of the political class and financial sector. This is the scene set out in La Carta de los Comunes, a book recently published by a group of Spanish activists.[i] In order for the protests that began at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid in May, 2011 to become a revolution capable of bringing about changes like this a lot of things would have to happen but in the world of future possibilities everything is conceivable. Even, shorter range predictions, like those that will be made here, will remain in the realm of fiction, in many cases molded by the hopes and fears of those that make them.
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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Outcomes of OWS