Society for Urban, National and Transnational/Global Anthropology
Invited - Oral Presentation Session
Based on fieldwork among activists in global cities such as Barcelona and Paris, this paper analyses the emergence of new progressive movements. The paper considers the challenges of horizontality, consensus and representation which have led to some of the splits and disaffection among activists. It asks to what extent class illuminates such difficulties. The paper outlines the many active issue-oriented groups which were inspired by major demonstrations in opposition to austerity. Such groups focus on diverse but often related concerns including housing, the gentrification effects of tourism, immigration, police violence and the development of cooperatives. They operate within the context of new political parties also formed in opposition to austerity. Activist groups and progressive parties have come together but also fragmented over the past five years. Has wider cooperation or scaling up occurred, and is Gramsci´s concept of the emergence of a political bloc useful in this context?