Civil Society and Protest during Times of Crisis

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
S13 (13 rue de l'Université)
Tiago Fernandes , Political Studies, New University of Lisbon
In this paper I study the development of civil society organizations and protest dynamics in the recent cycle of austerity (2011-2015). Although Portugal is usually considered to be a case of weak protest and civil society development, I argue that this observation is only correct for national level dynamics. It is mainly through local netowrks and associations that the Portuguese have engaged in resistance to austerity policies. Interestingly, and also against current interpretations, this localism is permeated by democratic and universalistic values. The long-term origins of this pattern of civic engagement are located in an inclusive and potentially participatory system of local government created during the social revolution of 1974-1975.