Understanding European Movements: New Social Movements, Global Justice Struggles, Anti-Austerity Protest

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The book Understanding European Movements, edited by Cristina Flesher Fominaya and Laurence Cox,  has just been published and might be of interest to readers.

1aCristina Flesher Fominaya and Laurence Cox, eds. (2013) Understanding European Movements: New Social Movements, Global Justice Struggles, Anti-Austerity Protest. London: Routledge (Advances in Sociology series).

304 pp. hardback, ISBN 978-0-415-63879-1, release date 21 May 2013.
List price $143 / £80; discount $114.40 / £64 (order via www.routledge.com using discount code ERJ67*).

A paperback edition will come out in due course but in the meantime we are encouraging people to try ordering this through university and public libraries.

Across Europe, social movements are resisting the onslaught of austerity politics and challenging the legitimacy of the neoliberal economic model. In Ireland, commentary from both sides often revolves around the relationship between Irish movements and those elsewhere in Europe. At the same time, much of this analysis is flimsy, restricted to English-language information and anecdotal accounts. Understanding European movements represents a collaborative project by participants in the Council for European Studies’ social movements research network. Its 15 chapters include authors based in 11 countries whose analyses are all grounded in ethnographic and historical research on these movements – in Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Spain and the UK as well as transnational relationships – and in keeping with the traditions of European movement research many are active, critical participants in the movements they analyse and the book is written for movement activists as well as researchers. The book offers a comprehensive, interdisciplinary perspective on the key European social movements in the past forty years and sets present-day struggles in their longer-term national, historical and political contexts.

Key themes include:

  • the European tradition of social movement theorising – particularly in its attempt to understand movement development from the 1960s onwards
  • the extent to which European movements between 1968 and 1999 became precursors for the contemporary anti-globalisation movement
  • the construction of the anti-capitalist “movement of movements” within the European setting
  • the new anti-austerity protests in Iceland, Greece, Spain (15- M/Indignados), and elsewhere.


“Introduction”. Cristina Flesher Fominaya and Laurence Cox

Part I: European theory / European movements

  1. “European social movements and social theory: a richer narrative?” Laurence Cox and Cristina Flesher Fominaya
  2. Part II: European precursors to the global justice movement
  3. “The Italian anomaly: place and history in the global justice movement”. Michal Osterweil
  4. “The emergence and development of the ‘no global’ movement in France: a genealogical approach”. Isabelle Sommier and Olivier Fillieule
  5. “The continuity of transnational protest: the anti-nuclear movement as a precursor to the global justice movement”. Emmanuel Rivat
  6. “Where global meets local: Italian social centres and the alterglobalization movement”. Andrea Membretti and Pierpaolo Mudu
  7. “Constructing a new identity for the alterglobalization movement: the French Confédération Paysanne as anti-capitalist ‘peasant’ movement”. Edouard Morena
  8. “Movement culture continuity: the British anti-roads movement as precursor to the global justice movement”. Cristina Flesher Fominaya

Part III. Culture and identity in the construction of the European ‘movement of movements’

  1. “Europe as contagious space: cross-border diffusion through EuroMayday and climate justice movements”. Christian Scholl
  2. “The shifting meaning of ‘autonomy’ in the East European diffusion of the alterglobalization movement: Hungarian and Romanian experiences”. Agnes Gagyi
  3. “Collective identity across borders: bridging local and transnational memories in the Italian and German global justice movements”. Priska Daphi
  4. “At home in the movement: constructing an oppositional identity through activist travel across European squats”. Linus Owens, Ask Katseff, Elisabeth Lorenzi and Baptiste Colin

Part IV. Understanding the new ‘European Spring’: anti-austerity, 15-M, Indignados

  1. “The roots of the Saucepan Revolution in Iceland”. Árni Daníel Júlíusson and Magnús Sveinn Helgason
  2. “Collective learning processes within social movements: some insights into the Spanish 15M / Indignados movement”. Eduardo Romanos
  3. “Think globally, act locally? Symbolic memory and global repertoires in the Tunisian uprising and the Greek anti-austerity mobilizations”. Vittorio Sergi and Markos Vogiatzoglou
  4. “Fighting for a voice: the Spanish 15-M / Indignados movement”. Kerman Calvo

“Conclusion: anti-austerity protests in European and global context – future agendas for research”. Cristina Flesher Fominaya and Laurence Cox

About the editors

Cristina Flesher Fominaya (University of Aberdeen) is about to start a two-year Marie Curie research project based at NUI Maynooth looking at the different social movement responses to austerity in Ireland and Spain. Laurence Cox co-directs the MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. They are founding co-editors of the social movements journal Interface and co-chairs of the Council for European Studies’ social movements research network.

Further details at http://tinyurl.com/euro-movements or http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415638791/.