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Collective Action and the Production of Alternatives in the Crisis-ridden European South: Understanding the Politics of Commoning and Solidarity through the Greek Experience

Roussos, Konstantinos (2020) Collective Action and the Production of Alternatives in the Crisis-ridden European South: Understanding the Politics of Commoning and Solidarity through the Greek Experience. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

The global financial crisis of 2008 and the neoliberal austere governance that accompanied it hit hard the countries of the European South and resulted in tremendous sociopolitical changes in these countries. In this context, Greece was framed as the greatest threat to the stability of the European Economic and Monetary Union, the three bailout agreements implemented during this period, from 2010 to 2018, had a devastating impact on the day-to-day life of the population. However, the crisis’ austere politics were contested by large protest events and polymorphous social movements. These expressions of collective action, most notably the so-called movements of the squares (Indignants), have played a crucial role in challenging the prevailing neoliberal crisis’ politics and opened up the way for the emergence of new grassroots collective projects. Social clinics and pharmacies, workers’ cooperatives, collective kitchens and mutual-aid groups are only some of the most palpable grassroots responses. Responding to the calls for more attention to be paid to the political and productive dimensions of collective action, this thesis investigates the creation of grassroots alternatives in times of crisis. Drawing from Political Discourse Theory and engaging with Social Movement Studies and the theory of the Commons, it develops a perspective that seeks to account for the articulation of antagonisms that challenge neoliberal hegemony and pursue social change from the bottom-up. Through close attention to the characteristics of collective action in the crisis-ridden European South and with a specific - fieldwork informed - focus on the Greek experience, the three papers that compose this thesis explore how commoning and solidarity practices shape novel logics of socioeconomic life and enquire into their implications for radical democratic political action and thought. Overall, the thesis argues for an approach to the research of grassroots politics that remains attentive to their contingent character and embraces the opening of spaces for the political as a process which unfolds in, against and beyond institutional politics and state solutions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Konstantinos Roussos
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2020 10:27
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2020 10:27
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29222

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