Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology

Grievances and Public Protests

Political Mobilisation in Spain in the Age of Austerity

Authors: Portos, Martin

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  • Examines the interplay between cycles of protest and material hardship
  • Addresses the implications of the Spanish experience for existing theories of protest and contention
  • Shows how grievances contribute to protest but participation in protests also helps to shape grievances
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About this book

This book sheds light on the role that grievances play for mobilisation dynamics in a context of material deprivation. Why do people protest? To what extent do grievances account for the varying size of protest events over time? Covering different levels of analysis, the author argues that effects of socioeconomic aspects (both objective-material deprivation and subjective-attitudinal grievances) are mediated by political attitudes, especially political dissatisfaction. He develops a framework to account for the dynamics, trajectory and timing of the cycle of contention that unfolded in Spain in the shadow of the Great Recession, contributing not only to the field of social movement studies but to our broader understanding of European politics, political sociology, political economy and economic sociology.

About the authors

Martín Portos is Research Fellow at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, Italy. He is the recipient of the Juan J. Linz Best Dissertation Award in Political Science, CEPC (Government of Spain). His work appeared in international peer-reviewed journals including Acta Politica, American Behavioral Scientist, European Societies, Mobilization and Regional Studies. He is co-author of Social Movements and Referendums from Below: Direct Democracy in the Neoliberal Crisis (with D. della Porta, F. O'Connor and A. Subirats Ribas, 2017).

Reviews

“This is an impressive book that makes both theoretical and empirical contributions. Based on a variety of micro- and macro-level data and sophisticated statistical analyses, it provides a quite original message: in the depth of the Spanish economic crisis, it was not economic grievances that motivated Spaniards of different walks of life to participate massively in protests. Instead, it was political grievances that were motivating them and that eventually led them to support new challenger parties.” (Hanspeter Kriesi, European University Institute, Italy)

“The important new book of Martín Portos provides readers with a fascinating contribution to our general theoretical analysis of social movement mobilisations and our specific understanding of the Spanish case. Making use of his wide-ranging multi-method research and the rigorous examination of various types of data, Portos engages insightfully with existing theorizations and improves on them in various ways.  The result is a major in-depth contribution that will be required reading both for those who follow social movement studies and those who care about contemporary Spain and southern Europe.” (Robert M. Fishman, Carlos III University, Madrid, Spain)

“This volume is a must-read for anyone interested in the political consequences of the Great Recession or on recent Spanish politics. It addresses the relationship between austerity-related grievances and protest mobilization using an extensive array of data and methodologies. It is an impressive effort of data analysis that highlights the importance of political dissatisfaction in the context of assessing the consequences of economic upheaval.” (Eva Anduiza, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

“This remarkable book shows, if need be, that protest is a political phenomenon and, therefore, should be studied with political rather than economic categories. Martín Portos skilfully shows that, even in times of economic downturn, political grievances matter, determining the ways ordinary citizens get involved in politics. His analysis of the Spanish case offers lessons and food for thought that go well beyond this specific context.” (Marco G. Giugni, University of Geneva, Switzerland)

“Martín Portos’ work offers a most needed contribution for rethinking important concepts and theoretical approaches in social movement studies. Bringing grievances, and more broadly the structural bases of political conflicts, at centre stage, he points however at the importance of the political mobilization of those grievances. The data presented are extremely rich, allowing to address the question of the roots of the protests at different levels. As the need to study politics in times of big challenges is emerging again as most relevant for the analysis of the effects of the pandemic on political participation, this volume also offers a model for the organization of meaningful empirical research.” (Donatella della Porta, Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)
  • Exploring the Ground: Grievances and Protest

    Pages 1-37

    Portos, Martín

  • The Context: Spain, Protest and the Great Recession

    Pages 39-64

    Portos, Martín

  • Eventful Protests and No-radicalisation: The Trajectory of Contention in Spain, 2007–2015

    Pages 65-102

    Portos, Martín

  • The Merrier, the Fewer? Political Dissatisfaction and Protest Size Fluctuations in Times of Austerity

    Pages 103-155

    Portos, Martín

  • Unpacking the Virtuous Circle: Aggrieved Protesters, Feedback Effects or Both at the Same Time?

    Pages 157-193

    Portos, Martín

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53405-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase and usable on all devices
  • Bulk discounts available
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Grievances and Public Protests
Book Subtitle
Political Mobilisation in Spain in the Age of Austerity
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-53405-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-53405-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-53404-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 294
Number of Illustrations
15 b/w illustrations, 12 illustrations in colour
Topics