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Athens in the Mediterranean `movement of the piazzas'. Spontaneity in material and virtual public spaces

Leontidou, Lila (2012) Athens in the Mediterranean `movement of the piazzas'. Spontaneity in material and virtual public spaces. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action, 16 (3). 299-312(14). ISSN 1360-4813

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13604813.2012.687870


Mediterranean cities are carrying Gramsci's concept of spontaneity into the 21st century through massive social movements after the `Arab Spring'. This paper explores the ways in which the material and virtual cityscape interact with socio-political transformation during the `movement of the piazzas' in Athens, Greece. After a discussion of the importance of urban informality, porosity and land-use mixtures for social cohesion, of creeping ghettoization in some enclaves and of the perils of urbicide, we proceed to an analysis of grassroots action in Athens in comparison with different cities of the Mediterranean and beyond. Social movements are placed in their respective local and global context—their recurrent material landscapes and their cosmopolitan virtual spaces of digital interaction. This analysis leads to reflections on the possible role of popular spontaneity in democratization and in European integration at the grassroots level, against the onslaught of neoliberalism and accumulation by dispossession.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author
Divisions: Hellenic Observatory
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Hellenic Observatory
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2012 12:15
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 00:24

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