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Social Movements in Times of Austerity


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

1 The Re-emergence of a Class Cleavage? Social Movements in Times of Austerity 1

2 Social Structure: Old Working Class, New Precariat, or Yet Something Different? 26

3 Identification Processes: Class and Culture 67

4 Lo Llaman Democracia Y No Lo Es: A Crisis of Political Responsibility 110

5 Democracy Is Not a Spectator Sport: Changing Conceptions of Democracy in Social Movements 157

6 Bringing Capitalism Back into Protest Analysis? Some Concluding Remarks 211

Notes 226

References 228

Index 247

About the Author

Donatella della Porta is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre on Social Movement Studies at the European University Institute, Italy. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Mattei Dogan Prize for distinguished achievements in the field of political sociology.


"This book, written by one of the foremost theorists of social movements, offers a new way to theorise the complex conjuncture of late neo-liberalism, a 'precariat' that includes the young and educated. and a legitimacy crisis of our political institutions and how this plays out in the squares of Europe, America and the Middle East." Mary Kaldor, The London School of Economics "Scholars of social movements have largely ignored capitalism in recent years, but Donatella della Porta shows how a crisis of neoliberal capitalism has provided the main motives and solidarities for recent protests against economic austerity and political corruption. Hers is a very important and original attempt to bridge political economy and contentious politics. " Jeff Goodwin, New York University

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