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The ‘bubbling up’ of subterranean politics in Europe

Kaldor, Mary and Selchow, Sabine (2013) The ‘bubbling up’ of subterranean politics in Europe. Journal of Civil Society, 9 (1). pp. 78-99. ISSN 1744-8689

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Identification Number: 10.1080/17448689.2013.784501


This article presents the findings of a collaborative research project involving seven field teams across Europe investigating a range of new political phenomena termed 'subterranean politics'. The article argues that the social mobilizations and collective activities in 2011 and 2012 were probably less joined up, more heterogeneous, and, perhaps, even, smaller, than similar phenomena during the last decade, but what was striking was their 'resonance' among mainstream public opinion-the 'bubbling up' of subterranean politics. The main findings included: • Subterranean political actors perceive the crisis as a political crisis rather than a reaction to austerity. Subterranean politics is just as much a characteristic of Germany, where there are no austerity policies, as other countries. • Subterranean political actors are concerned about democracy but not as it is currently practised. They experiment with new democratic practises, in the squares, on the Internet, and elsewhere. • This new political generation not only uses social networking to organize but the Internet has profoundly affected the culture of political activism. • In contrast to mainstream public debates, Europe is 'invisible' even though many subterranean political actors feel themselves to be European. The research concludes that the term 'subterranean politics' is a useful concept that needs further investigation and that Europe needs to be problematized to seek a way out of the crisis.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
Divisions: International Development
Conflict and Civil Society
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 20 May 2013 07:13
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:17
Funders: Open Society Foundations

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